Timber frame buildings using natural materials provide number of benefits

Mark Brown, consultant at TG Escapes Eco-Buildings, explains that modular eco-structures combine traditional materials with sophisticated technology in order to create spaces which stand out from the crowd, while being environmentally friendly and providing comfort for staff and students alike

An innovative bespoke architect-designed system means TG Escapes can provide timber frame buildings to suit most locations and uses, in a variety of finishes including timber, composite cladding or render, in a range of colours and brick slips. Offsite construction minimises disruption, cost and risk.

Used for a myriad of purposes including canteens, offices, sports facilities, studios and chapels as well as classrooms and early years provision, they range in size from single room buildings up to two-storey multi-classroom blocks accommodating hundreds of students. The buildings include best-in-class active ventilation to maintain healthy air circulation.

Net zero in operation

The buildings are designed to achieve A+ energy ratings with an air test of five or less, so, with appropriate renewable energy, and are net zero in operation. Timber is the oldest and most sustainable building material ever known. Not only does its use have significantly less environmental impact than steel or concrete, timber has other properties which bring additional benefits to education day in, day out.

Timber buildings can reduce stress in schools

Weitzer Parkett, proHolz Austria and partners, undertook a research project called Schools Without Stress to scientifically demonstrate the advantages of using timber within a classroom and its long-term benefits to students who study within them.

They found that, on average, children in a timber classroom had 8,600 fewer heartbeats per day than those in a traditional building.

Biophilic design connects to nature for improved wellbeing

TG Escapes combine floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, and covered decking areas, for easy access to the outdoors. This enhances wellbeing and educational outcomes. A study by A Sigman shows that children exposed to nature:

● scored higher on concentration and self-discipline;
● showed improved awareness, reasoning and observational skills;
● achieved better results in reading, writing, maths, science and social studies;
● were better at working in teams;
● exhibited improved behaviour overall.

Buildings loved by staff and students alike

TG Escapes conduct regular research amongst customers in education to understand how timber frame buildings perform. The feedback shows that these ‘natural’ buildings provide spaces which feel very different to other types of buildings.

“The buildings provide a better-quality environment for staff and students.” Robert Mullen, estates and facilities manager, Claremont Fan School.

“Both children and staff love learning and working in the building due to the amount of natural light and space.

“Free flow access to a covered deck is a huge advantage so that outdoor learning can take place in all weathers.” Sam Patel, director of school development.

“The facility is a vast improvement on our previous canteen and also the space can be used outside service times.” Matt Devereux, facilities manager, St Bernard’s School.

“Working with TG Escapes was a very positive experience.” David Leen, bursar, Holy Cross Prep School.

TG Escapes have built over 800 eco buildings in 19 years, are members of Construction Line Gold, partners with the Institute of School Business Leadership and customers score 4.9 out of 5 (based on 166 reviews). The company was awarded Contractor of the Year at the 2021 Education Estates Awards.

Aesthetically pleasing, ergonomic and highly practical but, just as importantly, the buildings are built to last 60 years or more with appropriate maintenance. Single or double storey buildings range in price from £100k to over £3m and larger sizes can cost as little as £1600 per m².

For more information call 0800 917 7726 or email info@tgescapes.co.uk

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