Contemporary timber frame home on sloping site by Frame Technologies

From the core structural solution to the timber roof tiles, the natural beauty of wood is evident throughout this highly individual self build project, which has been sensitively carved into the hillside.

Featuring a 50° gradient, the steep wooded plot presented a real challenge, both in terms of design and construction. From the road, the finished house appears to be single storey – with the true scale of the property only visible from the rear.

The project, named Hen House because the site’s previous inhabitants were chickens, picked up the Best Timber Frame Home gong at the 2018 Build It Awards.

Usually, Frame Technologies likes to get on board with a project at the early design stages in order to help maximise the potential of offsite-manufactured timber technology. On this occasion, however, the company’s specialist services were called upon later in the process, when it became clear that the traditional build methods originally proposed simply couldn’t deliver on this difficult site.

The team responded with a modern, sustainable design that maximises views and natural light in the interior spaces without compromising on energy efficiency and beautiful architectural detailing.

Working in collaboration with the project architect, engineers and mechanical and engineering consultants, Frame Technologies designed and fully tailored its Tech-Vantage E system to the scheme.

The company then manufactured all the structural timber elements offsite in its own factory, delivered the frame to site and installed the superstructure of the house.

“This end-to-end service provides consistency throughout the process,” says managing director Simon Orrells. “Using the advanced Tech-Vantage E system means that finished U-values are much easier to predict.”

This became important because, having visited some completed projects on open days, the clients decided to set a target of a fully-functional Passivhaus (a standard that focuses on creating an ultra-efficient structural envelope to minimise energy use).

“The owners are delighted with the final building and that we helped them achieve their dream of constructing a new, sustainable home that is fit for future generations,” says Simon.

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