We Build Eco flat pack timber frame partnership gathers pace
The new collaborative flat pack timber-based build system partnership We Build Eco is reporting strong interest, in the aftermath of a sneak preview feature article on the business in issue 42 of Passive House Plus.
This article was originally published in issue 43 of Passive House Plus magazine. Want immediate access to all back issues and exclusive extra content? Click here to subscribe for as little as €15, or click here to receive the next issue free of charge
The ground-breaking new partnership is a joint venture between timber frame manufacturer Kithurst Homes, I-beam and wood fibre insulation manufacturer Steico, specialist green building merchant Ecomerchant & sustainable structural engineers Build Collective, along with additional software developed by Charlie Luxton Design.
We Build Eco’s proposition is to make the delivery of high performance, ecologically responsible timber frame building as simple and as scalable as possible. Clients ranging from self-builders to developers, and timber framers looking for extra capacity, simply provide 2D drawings for their proposed project – whatever build system was intended – and We Build Eco’s 3D software converts the building into an I-beam timber frame system designed to deliver passive house levels of airtightness and insulation. Kithurst’s cutting edge factory then cuts the timber frame components to 1.5 mm tolerances, and marks and labels each component for flat pack delivery and IKEA-esque assembly in flying factories or on site – all but eliminating construction waste for the superstructure, and greatly reducing transport requirements compared to sending out completed timber frame panels.
The system’s ecological, health, moisture management and embodied carbon credentials are burnished by a commitment to using Steico timber-based insulants – including insulation batts, blown wood fibre or cellulose.
According to Will Kirkman of Ecomerchant, the partners have been buoyed by such a positive response to a different way of building. “The simplicity of the system along with the accuracy and speed of production and construction have now made passive level performance a cost-effective proposition for many more customers and what we are seeing is this realisation in terms of enquiries,” he said.
Meanwhile the partnership has formally launched, with new branding and the website www.webuildeco.com set to go live in late December.
“Our core ambition to simplify and enable energy efficient buildings at scale without resorting to pre-set standard designs has great appeal,” said Kirkman.
“It’s a way of bringing high-end performance to those who may have thought it beyond their budget or capacity.”