IFORM BUILDINGS timber frame show home using passive house technology in Dorset, UK. Main interior shot out through open bi-fold doors.

Experience our show home

We understand that, when making such an investment, it’s important to know exactly what to expect, which is why we have built a stunning, two bedroom, timber frame show home. Regardless of the build type and model you choose, it’s a good example of the build quality you can expect from us.

KEY FACTS

  • 15 x 6.8m
  • Two bedrooms
  • Passive timber frame construction
  • Super insulated
  • High performance windows and doors
  • MVHR system and passive solar gain
  • U-value of only 0.11
  • Exceeds UK building regs
  • Open plan living space
  • Bi-fold doors
  • Skylights
  • Under-floor heating
  • Log burner
  • Planning free
  • Vertical larch cladding on exterior
  • Plasterboard interior
  • Viewing by appointment only

IFORM BUILDINGS timber frame show home using passive house technology in Dorset, UK. Main exterior shot.

IFORM BUILDINGS timber frame show home using passive house technology in Dorset, UK. Exterior views.

The ultimate in energy efficiency and performance

Passive house technology makes this a super insulated energy efficient home, with tiny heating bills, minimal carbon footprint, lots of natural light and superior levels of comfort compared to normal homes – just like the models shown in our Passive range.

The walls, roof, and floor are uprated from standard residential specification to incorporate additional layers of insulation, and the windows and doors are all argon-filled, triple-glazed. This achieves the incredible levels of insulation and U-values required – only 0.11 overall for our show home. By 2020, all new buildings in Europe shall be constructed to this passive house standard.

Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR)

The show home is fitted with a MVHR system that provides a constant supply of fresh air, and warmth when required, at a fraction of the energy consumed by a typical house with traditional heating and air-conditioning systems.

The system extracts warm, stale air from areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, while also drawing in fresh supply air from outside. The heat from the stale air is recovered via a heat exchanger and used to pre-warm the fresh air (when heating is required). The fresh air is then delivered through ductwork into the living areas of the home. The system re-uses up to 95% of the heat that would otherwise have been lost, and operates almost silently.

With the help of passive solar gain, the MVHR system maintains a comfortable interior temperature – from the coldest day of winter to the hottest day of summer. Indoor air quality is improved by reducing dust and allergen levels. And the heating bill for the show home is estimated to be less than £100 per year!

IFORM BUILDINGS timber frame show home using passive house technology in Dorset, UK. View to open plan living space from exterior through bi-fold doors.

Planning free

If your new building is going in the grounds of your main house, it can be deemed as a ‘mobile home’ (with our build spec to full residential standard, not the flimsy, substandard BS3632 specification associated with holiday parks), built up to 20 x 6.8m, single-storey, without needing planning approval – exactly what we've done with our show home.

By applying to the council for a Lawful Development Certificate it is possible to install a new space with living accommodation that is significantly larger than most buildings capable of obtaining traditional planning approval as annexes (if planning permission is granted at all). More information can be found in the Planning section.

If this could apply to you, take a look at the applicable models in our Planning Free Mobile Home range – add new living space without needing planning approval and increase the value and use of your property.

IFORM BUILDINGS timber frame show home using passive house technology in Dorset, UK. Interior shots of kitchen and bathroom.

Installation

One of the advantages of timber frame construction is that it is a very quick process, especially compared to a traditional bricks and mortar approach. Everything is precision engineered in controlled factory conditions before being flat packed in specialist kit form for delivery to site, so there are no delays due to bad weather, etc.

The floor, walls and roof come in a series of panels with insulation built in. They come together really quickly, so on site build time and disruption is very minimal. Our timelapse video of the show home being build really highlights the speed and efficiency. With foundations complete, the structure goes up and is watertight in just four days. This makes for a really exciting build, and you could see your new space transform before your very eyes.

 

COST

If you love our show home so much that you’d like the same model for yourself, here are some price guides for this 15 x 6.8m model:

Passive timber frame: £130,000

Exactly as our show home has been built – for ultimate energy efficiency and performance.
Super insulated with argon filled triple-glazing to achieve the lowest U-values.

Standard timber frame: £105,000

Scaled back to a standard residential specification to meet or exceed building regulations.
Still a very efficient, modern home with double-glazed windows and doors.

Standard timber frame without bi-fold doors and skylights: £95,000

This shows what a more conventional design would cost.
For anyone not requiring passive standards or bi-fold doors and skylights.

The above is based on us supplying and erecting this building onto a pre-prepared base. It means that you’d have a complete structure (including external windows and doors, internal walls and doors, and roof covering) ready for kitchens, bathroom/s, electrics and plumbing to be fitted.

Other costs to consider are:

  • Foundations
  • Groundworks (drainage and bringing the services to your building)
  • Electrics
  • Plumbing
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Flooring
  • Plaster boarding and decorating
  • Heating system
  • Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR), if passive timber frame
  • Architectural drawings (if required)
  • Planning application (if required)
  • Building regulations submission (if required)
  • Final choice of roofing material

We price our range of buildings this way because it can be more economical for our customers to arrange the internal fit out themselves, using local tradesmen. However, we can offer a full turn-key solution, managing all (or some) of the above (kitchens and bathrooms would then be zero VAT rated, if for private use), if you prefer – costs subject to site surveys and specifications.

All prices quoted are subject to VAT at the appropriate rate, and final specifications. New buildings with living accommodation in the UK are zero-rated, which means there is no VAT to pay on our residential models if for private use.

Viewing

Our show home is located in Bockhampton near Dorchester, Dorset, and is available for viewing by appointment only, so please get in touch if you'd like to see it.

IFORM BUILDINGS timber frame show home using passive house technology in Dorset, UK. Detail shots of windows and doors.

IFORM BUILDINGS timber frame show home using passive house technology in Dorset, UK. Exterior photo at night.

IFORM BUILDINGS timber frame show home using passive house technology in Dorset, UK. Floor plan showing the layout the two bedrooms, bathrooms and living space.

Quick Reference
  • 3632
    Sets out the minimum standard for residential buildings (below UK Building Regulations). It usually applies to caravan and park homes. We feel this is a substandard specification – offering inadequate insulation and flimsy build quality – so all our buildings, including our park homes, go far beyond this. We build to full residential house standards and UK building regulations, or beyond.
  • Bi­fold doors
    Bi­-fold doors consist of a number of glass panels that can be folded together and to one side. They are a great option to create a light-­filled space, connecting the living areas to the outside.
  • Building Regulations
    Building regulations are in place to ensure your finished build is safe, efficient and long-­lasting. Our timber frame and twin­-skin log models are designed to fully comply with UK building regulations (including the new Eurocode 5) as standard. In fact, we can build to stricter, Scandinavian regulations and Tek10 for ultimate performance and future proofing. Not all buildings/instances require building regulations, but if you intend to use your new building for sleeping accommodation, and it can't be classed as a 'mobile home' building regulations will usually be required.
  • C-­value

    This is a measurement of how strong the timber is. The timber's characteristics are graded against permissible limits for the timber species. The higher the number, the stronger the timber. A common strength class in the UK is C16. We only use timber of C24 to C40 (more in line with demanding Scandinavian requirements) to ensure the highest quality possible.

  • Eurocode 5 (EC5)
    Eurocodes are a series of standards that establish common rules across the European Economic Area (EEA) for structural design using any material. EC5 is the suite of standards specifically relating to timber structures. It replaces BS 5268, which is no longer maintained by BSI (British Standards Institution). Our buildings comply with EC5.
  • FSC
    The Forest Stewardship Council is the hallmark of responsible forest management, and the most widely recognised forest certification system worldwide. We only use FSC­ approved timber, so you know your new building has been responsibly sourced.
  • Glulam/Laminated
    For maximum quality we use glued laminated timber (glulam) for our residential log buildings, as opposed to standard solid timber. Solid timber moves throughout the year because of shrinking/swelling, and it splits easily, too. Glulam is engineered from 40mm layers of timber (woodgrains in opposing directions) bonded together to increase strength and stability. It won’t rot, shrink, crack or split – it’s virtually maintenance free, and lasts a lifetime. Glulam can conform to building regulations because structural calculations can be made that aren’t possible with standard solid timber. If you prefer a plasterboard interior finish in line with modern houses, rather than the traditional timber look, glulam makes it possible to add framework and plasterboard to the internal walls that are external facing.
  • Granny annex
    See 'mobile home'
  • Insulation
    Our buildings are designed to be enjoyed all year round, with unrivalled levels of insulation as standard. Insulation is built into our timber frame panels, and is added between the wall layers of our twin­-skin log buildings. We can insulate according to the U-­values the building needs to achieve, right up to passive house standards, but as a guide 100mm of insulation is very efficient for most requirements to cover walls, 175mm insulation for floors, and 215mm in the roof.
  • Larch (Siberian)

    We favour Siberian larch for our timber frame builds because of its excellent durability, dimensional stability (minimal shrinkage/swelling), and aesthetic beauty. It grows very slowly, making it extremely dense and strong when compared to other softwoods. In fact, Siberian larch is one of the toughest and most durable softwoods in the world. It can be painted or treated to maintain its straw­like colour, or when weathered it transforms to a beautifully consistent silver/grey, which is highly desirable in many cladding projects. Siberian larch should not be confused with the dark pink British/European larch that grows faster and not as dense in a warmer, wetter climate. Siberian larch also contains fewer knots – for a clean, contemporary, and consistent look – and, unlike British/European larch, its knots are light in colour and remain solid, even after drying and machining.

  • Log

    Alternative to timber frame construction, offering the traditional log cabin look of timber inside and out with interlocking exterior feature corners. Constructed log­by- log, rather than from sections/panels, this type of build is well suited to sites with restricted access. Log buildings are available as single or twin­skin glulam.

  • Mobile home

    A selection of our models can be classed as a 'mobile home'. Built to our usual residential house standard for all year round enjoyment (not the flimsy, substandard BS3632 specification associated with holiday parks), these can be up to 20 x 6.8m and feature multiple bedrooms. The big advantage is that if the building is going in the grounds of your main house, you could add new living space without needing planning approval and increase the value and use of your property.

  • Passive house technology

    Creates a super insulated energy efficient home, with tiny heating bills, minimal carbon footprint, lots of natural light and superior levels of comfort compared to normal homes. We can design passive house technology into our residential models. The interior maintains a comfortable temperature – from the coldest day of winter to the hottest day of summer – without traditional heating and air- conditioning systems. The thickness of the walls, roof and floor is greatly increased and all glass upgraded to argon- filled triple glazing to achieve the incredible levels of insulation and U­values required. A mechanical heat recovery ventilation system provides a constant supply of fresh air using only a fraction of the energy consumed by a typical house.

  • Permitted Development

    Single-­storey outbuildings can be considered as permitted development; without needing planning permission. Located to the rear or side of a property, they must be ancillary to the main dwelling and not contain living accommodation – office/studio space for example. The footprint can be up to 50% of the total area of land around the house. The maximum height for a dual pitch roof is 4m (3m for other roof types [e.g. mono pitch or flat]), and 2.5m if within 2m of the property boundary. Building regulations approval is not usually required up to 30m2 in floor area (no sleeping accommodation). More information can be found at www.planningportal.gov.uk

  • Planning Permission

    Full planning permission is normally required if a building does not fit the criteria for a 'mobile home' or a 'permitted development'. More information can be found at www.planningportal.gov.uk

  • Single-­skin

    Type of log construction featuring a single wall layer, or skin. With only one wall layer, plumbing and electrics are face­mounted – so pipes and cables (inside conduit) can be seen running along walls – and the wood itself is the insulation. For hidden electrics and plumbing, and additional insulation see 'twin­skin'.

  • Sustainability

    Timber is the only mainstream 100% renewable building material. Increased demand means increased sustainable managed forest to supply it, so its a win-­win situation. Timber has the lowest embodied energy and best thermal insulation properties of any mainstream building material. Our timber is FSC­approved and comes straight out of the forest and into the mill, so handling is minimal. Our timber buildings are built to order and precision engineered in factory-­controlled conditions, so wastage is minimised, and so are post erection quality/snagging issues. Timber buildings are quick to erect, so on site construction time and resources is greatly reduced.

  • Timber frame

    Constructed from sections/panels with full insulation built in, this type of build gives you a plasterboard interior finish inline with modern houses, with plumbing and electrics hidden behind. It’s an ideal option if building regulations is required. The exterior features vertical Siberian larch cladding to provide a clean, contemporary, and consistent look.

  • Twin skin

    Type of log construction featuring two wall layers, or skins. The plumbing and electrics are hidden between the two wall layers. Insulation is added here too, which makes twin-skin a good option for residential log builds, particularly if building regulations are required.

  • U­-values

    U­-values (also known as ‘heat transfer coefficients’) are a measure of how effective a building element (such as a wall, floor, roof, etc) is at preventing heat from transmitting between the inside and the outside of a building. The lower the U­value, the less energy is required to maintain comfortable conditions inside the building. U-­value requirements are part of meeting Building Regulations. Our buildings are designed to be high performance. High levels of insulation and quality features such as double, triple, and argon­filled glazing ensure low U-­values, all the way to passive house standards – like we’ve achieved on our show home.