Project Details

  • Location: Herefordshire
  • House size: 388m²
  • Package type: Full Building regs package, timber frame design, manufacture, supply and erect, inc full insulation & SAP Calc package
  • Time: Project commenced in July 2017, moved into the property in July 2020
  • House type: 5 bed, two storey
External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood, with solar panels
External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood, with solar panels
Internal shot of Tanglewood- a wooden staircase going upwards
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External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood, with solar panels
External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood
External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood
External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood
External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood
External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood, with solar panels External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood, with solar panels Internal shot of Tanglewood- a wooden staircase going upwards FRAME_TECH_THE_MACES_ForWeb033 FRAME_TECH_THE_MACES_ForWeb030 FRAME_TECH_THE_MACES_ForWeb026 FRAME_TECH_THE_MACES_ForWeb018 FRAME_TECH_THE_MACES_ForWeb014 FRAME_TECH_THE_MACES_ForWeb009 External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood, with solar panels External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood External shot of Frame Technologies property, Tanglewood

Tanglewood is a stunning five bedroom, two-storey timber frame home, built by owners Frank and Pauline Mace. It is their ‘forever home’, set in the spectacular location of Herefordshire.

Introduction

Frame Technologies designed and manufactured a high-quality timber frame using their TechVantage™ E System, a 140mm closed panel system resulting in external U values of 0.10.

The Maces were inspired by the Passive House principle, and so the house incorporates the latest technology and is extremely thermally efficient. This includes an air source heat pump, MHVR system and greywater system to achieve optimum energy efficiency.

The project commenced in summer 2017 and completed in summer 2020 with only minor delays due to COVID-19.

The total build costs were £420,000 for a 388m²house. They kept the costs down by taking their time and doing as much work as was possible themselves.

Why self-build?

Following a motorcycle accident in 2007, Pauline Mace found that accessing her existing home (which was on the side of a hill) extremely challenging.

As she looked for something which suited her better, Pauline, and her husband, Frank, discovered that there were no properties in the area that worked for them. Frustrated by the existing housing stock, they decided to build their own home.

The couple’s decision to make their home eco-friendly was driven by a desire to act and build responsibly for the sake of the environment and to protect their children and grandchildren’s future. Their immediate thoughts were to look at the Passive House Principle, which would help them achieve this aim.

Why timber frame?

Having looked at clay block, SIPS and block and brick, they opted for timber frame as it offered balance of cost, speed and flexibility, and would adhere to what they needed.

Using timber frame offered the cost, speed, flexibility, design accuracy and future proofing that they required for their project, along with the outstanding green credentials. Focusing on their aim of keeping cost to approximately £1k per square metre, timber frame was by far the best option for ensuring energy efficiency at this price point. Overall, the couple spent £1,082 per square metre.

Additionally, the quality and predictability of build offered by the offsite manufacture of the frame allowed for speed of construction that would keep overall costs to a minimum and deliver best value.

Getting started

After purchasing the plot in April 2013, it was on their first visit to the NSBRC that same month that they met Frame Technologies MD, Simon Orrells. They were attracted to our company because they were based locally, but Simon immediately won them over with his enthusiasm and positivity.

Frank and Pauline explain: “The best way we can explain, is to say that Simon is a team player and wanted to work with us – not to his own agenda. We spoke with seven timber frame companies, and all of them said that they couldn’t help us because we wanted to include a balcony. We mentioned it to Simon and it wasn’t a problem, just a challenge he was happy to solve.

“We just wish we’d met him sooner. We spent a lot of time with architects and drawing up plans, but if we’d worked with Simon from the outset he would have negated all of that.”

The couple were keen to do as much of the work as they could themselves, so built a small log cabin to live in while they worked on the project, and set to work.

The technical details

An energy-efficient envelope was vital to meet the objectives of the home. A key factor in the Passive House principle is ‘comfort’, and this was the leading message for Frank and Pauline. The foundation for this was that the building needed to be efficient and airtight.

The Maces used one of Frame Technologies’ unique timber frame systems – TechVantage™ E. This is a high quality 140mm closed panel system containing Polyurethane insulation to achieve an incredibly low U-values.

The panel has a 9mm OSB outer sheathing and 100mm factory fitted Polyurethane in the panel with 100mm fixed on the inside, then an intello membrane and 25mm service zone. Plasterboard was screwed through the extra insulation/ vapour control layer and there is a service zone gap between the insulation layers. This system offers factory-fitted rigid polyurethane insulation with a single frame 140mm panel solution and U-Values down to 0.10 W/m2K. for Frank & Pauline

You can learn more about this system on YouTube, here.

Energy efficiency

The couple went heavy on insulation, and invested in technology including an air source heat pump, MHVR system, Greywater and a hot water tank with compressor. The result is an external U-value of 0.10.

The house achieved an EPC rating of A at a value of 106, and an air-tightness rating of 1.04 (after only one test). This rating is over the Passive House value (0.6-1.0) and so the couple consider this an extremely good result.

Design features

As well as taking stylistic inspiration from Frank’s roots in Austria, the couple also wanted to incorporate a European approach to energy-efficiency.

With no previous experience in construction, they dedicated three years to planning and designing a house that was not only comfortable and suited their needs; but was as eco-friendly as possible.

A European-style balcony was key to the design of the Mace’s house, and timber frame allowed them the ability to incorporate it into their design. This striking feature is really the highlight of the house and is only possible because of the timber frame system. It shows the benefit of using the latest off-site systems and working with the manufacturer from an early stage.

The balcony spans the full front of the home and offers numerous benefits: adding to the external aesthetic of the home; providing additional exterior living space to take advantage of the spectacular views, and built-in protection of the energy-efficiency of the building. The balcony acts as a shade to reduce the intensity of the sun coming through the windows which span the length of the ground floor living space, while the roof overhangs to protect the first floor glazing, and the balcony itself protects the ground floor.

 

This house is a brilliant example of an eco-friendly home that is not only perfectly designed to meet the individual needs of the self-builder, but surpasses energy efficiency standards. If you’re interested in building a sustainable, timber frame house that reduces bills for the lifetime of your home, contact us today.