Suffolk: Timber-framed homes saves weeks in building time over traditional methods
PUBLISHED: 13:43 04 April 2014 | UPDATED: 13:43 04 April 2014
Eco-friendly Swedish kit homes - built in a factory
When it is completed this summer, Woodlands, a new detached home in Stone Lodge Lane, Ipswich will look as if it has been built in a traditional style, with bricks and mortar and render.
It will have a brick chimney breast - but is actually built with a timber frame and glass construction.
This substantial detached home, of 308 square metres, is in fact a massive ‘kit home,’. pre-manufactured in Sweden with wooden panels, complete with triple glazed doors, windows and insulation installed, arriving in this country by low loader.
Woodlands is a joint project between house suppliers, Svenskhomes, of Ipswich and NPH Developments, as builders.
The two businesses have worked together before, notably on two homes in Martlesham last year and already have another project starting later this year with the planned erection of two homes in Church Lane, Elmswell, near Bury St Edmunds.
Woodlands, in a half an acre mature plot in Ipswich, is set for completion at the end of July, 2014.
The Swedes are used to coping with extreme temperatures, of course and are leaders in this technology.
The walls include triple glazing, 240mm of insulation in the walls and 290mm of insulation in the roof, a highly efficient level that already exceeds new building regulations coming into force here on April 7, 2014.
Svenskhomes, established in 2006, has supplied pre-manufactured kit homes for builders and self-builders across the country.
They have been built from South Wales to the North of Scotland,
Trevor Walshe, of Svenskhomes, said: “These homes are of particular interest to self-builders.
“We have supplied homes right across the country not just East Anglia. The furthest we have delivered a house to is Barcelona.
“They came come in all sizes, from two bedroom bungalows to large properties like Woodlands.”
“They are highly efficient and built by precision engineering in the Swedish factory, to be assembled on site here. They are designed with a cold climate and energy efficiency in mind.”
Sam Walshe added: “The big advantage for a self-builder is the certainty.
“They can buy at a fixed price. They can work out what they want to change.”
Skirting boards, window sills and internal doors are included with the house supply and assembled on site.
A crane is used to lower each complete wall panel into place on to previously prepared foundations.
One of the big advantages for self-builders is the certainty of the time frame plus time saved over traditional building methods.
Trevor explained: “Delivery from the Swedish house factory is just 12 to 14 weeks from placing the order.
“This leaves you time to do the foundations and any other preparation work before the house arrives.”
Once on site it took around three months to complete the house, he said, which was a saving of around three months on traditional construction methods,
“All the key decisions can be taken early,” Sam added, “just leaving things like the electrics, kitchens and bathrooms to be chosen, making it a much more enjoyable process for the new owner.”
Woodlands is being built by NPH Developments in partnership with Svenskhomes.
Nathan Howard of NPH and his team have developed their expertise at putting these precision homes together and recently completed two new homes, now sold, at Martlesham, near Ipswich.
They will be moving on to Inglehurst Place, Elmswell later in the year where two more Svenskhomes will be built. Another Svenskhome is on its way to the Highlands of Scotland where it will be built south of Wick on the famous Helmsdale salmon fishing river.
Trevor Walshe added, “Once on site, after the work starts, they are watertight in days. So if it turns to rain, the team can get on with work inside, even when it is not possible outside. Again that saves construction time.”
Woodlands is a unique, A-rated energy efficient home, achieving efficiency level Code 4 for Sustainable Homes.
This five bedroom, three bathroom home is within walking distance of the town centre and the railway station, on the south side of Ipswich. It is energy efficient and has solar panels, an air source heat pump, a woodburner and a whole house mechanical ventillation system.
The 3,315 sq ft detached house, with vaulted ceilings and large triple glazed windows. arrived in Suffolk on the back of four flat bed articulated lorries from Sweden.
The wall and other panels were then delivered on to the site, lowered into place on the previously prepared foundation base and bolted together.
Builder Nathan Howard said building this way had many advantages, especially when bad weather hit building projects.
He said: “From the start to weather-tight was ten days - it is a great deal faster than traditional building techniques.”
“Imagine a 5m to 10m wall section, made to millimetre precision, being craned into position and installed.”.
“Everything is prepared in the factory to precise measurements. So the foundations have to be millimetre perfect - you have to be spot on.”
“This is the fourth one these boys have worked on and we have built up a lot of expertise.”
“We are the only developer with an A-rated house. We also have Code 4 for Sustainable Homes -we have that as well. I think this is the first one in Ipswich.”
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