When it comes to a financial factor, timber frame is only slightly cheaper than masonry for inexpensive housing but it is considerably quicker, according to a new study by cost consultant Rider Levett Bucknall UK.
Rider Levett Bucknall has said that it is the companies first construction cost comparison report between timber frame and masonry in affordable housing.
The costs were taken from four contractors for independently supplied designs and RLB bills of quantities. The construction cost per square metre was found to be £1,055.90 for timber and £1,067.24 for masonry.
This meant that the overall cost per square metre was £1,148.38 for timber and £1,180.34 for masonry, with a build time of 41 weeks for timber and 49 weeks for masonry.
This shows an overall cost saving in timber’s favour of 2.8% and programme saving of 19.5%.
The study compared the physical building only, with the external works and utility services not counted within the study. It assumed a continuous build on site from start to finish and no difference in foundations required. The whereabouts of the theoretical project for the study was Birmingham with good access to main trunk roads.
Costs were supplied by contractors Gilbert & Goode, Robert Woodhead Ltd, Speller Metcalfe and WRW Construction.
Oakworth Homes, Pinewood Structures and Stewart Milne Timber Systems also provided their pricing information for the timber frame element.
The house type designs were prepared by HTA Design LLP with structural engineering input by Milner Associates.