Timber frame: Does premium insulation lead to cost compromises?


Fast, simple and versatile; timber frame constructions offer a number of benefits, making them a popular option when limiting costs is a priority. Timber walls facilitate heat retention whilst their hollow design allows insulation to be easily incorporated within the structure. So, does it really make sense to increase initial costs with a premium performance insulation specification?

Sweett Group took a look at a new property in Peterborough, comprising around 75% Cat-A office space and 25% shell laboratory space at an overall development cost of £1,875 million. The construction incorporated a timber frame wall with brick masonry outer. It might have been expected that the single storey design would limit any potential returns, which can easily be achieved just by opting for a premium performance insulation.

The low performance insulation build-up option comprised glass mineral fibre between the studs and XPS plasterboard as the internal lining. In contrast, by specifying a combination of premium performance insulated framing board and insulated plasterboard, wall thicknesses were reduced by 42 mm.

This unlocked a further 6.00 sq.m (64.58 sq.ft) of lettable floor area worth £852.00 in annual rental income, and providing a 38% overall return on investment on the cost of the insulation.

In addition to these significant returns, the premium insulation can also enhance the sustainable credentials of the timber frame construction, including highest possible BRE Green Guide Ratings of A+.

The next blog in the series will arrive on the 28th of July and will take a look at the hybrid rainscreen cladding approach.

If you can’t wait for the series to unfold and want to find out more, visit the real value of space website and download the whitepaper.

Read the whole of the Real Value of Space Blog series.

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Kingspan Insulation is a market leading manufacturer of optimum, premium and high performance rigid insulation products and insulated systems for building fabric and building services applications.

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