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building. Timber systems are designed to maximise thermal performance and minimise air leakage, resulting in well- insulated, higher-performance buildings that do not require expensive bolt-on technologies to enhance the environmental performance and will ultimately reduce running costs. This is of huge benefit to organisations, such as the NHS, with significant built assets to maintain that require a considerable amount of power to run. The continuing savings made from increased energy efficiency can have a huge impact. Thermal comfort is a factor that must be considered when

© Kingspan Timber Solutions Visually exposed glulam frames offer the opportunity to

create a light, warm and pleasing open environment, within facilities that support a sense of wellbeing. Timber structures and applications offer more than just functional space, but can also facilitate the design of a welcoming, peaceful and homely atmosphere. As well as offering aesthetically pleasing and calming

elements, off-site-manufactured timber systems also provide rapid construction times with increased levels of accuracy throughout the build process. This comes as a huge advantage when constructing healthcare buildings where budgets and timescales are frequently challenging. There is a direct correlation between the quality of an

environment and human health and wellbeing. The best prac- tice guidance, set out in BREEAM Healthcare and the Good Corporate Citizen Model (NHS), recognises this and is an essential part of the planning process. A holistic design should also include measures to minimise waste during construction and lower energy costs in use and provide re-use or recycling potential at the end of a building’s life.

Sustainable and renewable

Timber is the number one sustainable and renewable building material, offering enhanced energy efficiency beyond the construction process and throughout the whole life cycle of the

it comes to the health and wellbeing of occupants. Timber technology provides external walls with high thermal insulation without the need to be produced at a thicker scale. Over recent years, the timber frame industry has moved from 90mm to 140mm external wall studs – providing additional space for installing insulation. Other sectors tackle issues of thermal comfort through the application of thicker walls, this is more costly and it reduces the usable floor area of a building.

© Kingspan Timber Solutions

Wide range

Occupants in a mental health facility may find certain noises distressing – therefore acoustics must be taken into account in the design of the building. Thermal, acoustic and airtightness contributions from the application of timber frame have been proven to be higher than those gained from traditional materi- als. Overall timber offers a robust, energy efficient sustainable structure with real aesthetic merit – ideal for a wide range of healthcare facilities. The transition to a low-carbon economy presents the timber

products industry with great opportunities for growth. Environmental considerations will transform how buildings are constructed, what materials are used and the methods employed. I believe that we are now on the cusp of the predicted

© Kingspan Timber Solutions

‘sea-change’. The time is right for the construction industry to embrace innovative timber technology and off-site techniques to develop better buildings at a rapid rate. This will enhance lives, minimise the environmental impact and reduce energy costs for occupants for many years to come.

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