This timber lattice provides an ecologically friendly solution to retaining the considerable bank that rises to the front of the site.
The site is levelled in preparation for the foundations for the frame.
The Douglas fir timbers arrive at the framing yard.
The timbers are laid out, the joints marked, cut then pre-fitted.
The roof timbers have had the joints cut and are pre-fitted before beign marked and teh off-set peg holes are drilled.
As the timber frame is post borne above large ground floor beams, this enables the economic use of a micro pile system of foundations. The site and ground conditions were difficult, so this system helped to minimise the structural costs.
The scaffolding provides safe working platforms for the carpenters during the frame raising and for the following trades. This site was on a steep slope, so a scaffolding deck was provided so that the frame elements could be assembled before lifting them into position with a crane.
The frame is delivered as a kit of parts. All the joints have been cut and pre-fitted and in this case, each timber has been planed and oiled prior to raising.
The timber frame elements are assembled on the scaffolding deck and are pegged together.
The newly assembled cross frame is lifted off of the scaffolding deck and into place in the emerging frame.
The curved roof timbers are lifted into place and their joints pegged tight.
The oak deck joists are fitted. This part of the frame will be exposed to the weather, so durable green oak has been specified in these areas.
The primary frame is now complete and the site carpentry begins. This image shows the newly fitted first floor joists.
The roof has been constructed and shelters the work below.
The straw, which has come from a local farm, arrives and will shortly be used to make the house's walls.
The straw bales are neatly laid to construct the walls.
Work on the walls progresses and the bales are built around the window opening sub frames.
Attention to detail, especially the connections between the straw bales and other building elements is crucial to ensure future weather tightness and thermal performance.
A natural lime based render is applied to the bales, which will protect the straw with a breathable hard finish.
The first floor bales are lime rendered using modern spray equipment.
After the lime render, further protection is given to the straw bale walls where they are most exposed at the first floor level. This is done by applying a breathable membrane attached to battens before the timber cladding is fitted.
The scheme has been designed to protect the walls as much as possible. Here you can see the deep eaves, which will give generous protection to the walls from the prevailing weather.
The internal walls are insulated with sheeps wood. On the external walls, the double glazed units are fitted to the joinery.
The internal partition walls are almost finished and the ceilings are fitted.
The new house is warm and light. The frame has mellowed and the house is feeling comfortably lived in.
The fitted kitchen fits well within the frame layout.
The outside of the building shows the timber cladding to the upper storey and oak framed balcony lying beneath the curved roof. Combined with the rendered walls of the lower storey and the detailing around the windows, the finished house has an interesting mix of materials and forms.
Access to the house is gained from the front of the first floor via a glazed conservatory frame.