WKW staff visited Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd (near Ruthin) to visit a site where 38 new timber frame houses are being built. Williams Homes (Bala) Ltd are building the homes for ClwydAlyn Housing Limited (formerly Pennaf). This project is supported by Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing programme and Woodknowledge Wales provided input into the successful application. This was our first visit to the site to see how it was progressing and we were not disappointed!
One of the first impressions of the site was just how quickly the homes are going up. Williams Homes are manufacturing the open panel frames (made from timber sourced in Wales) at their factory in Bala. The external and internal wall panels, metal web joists and roof trusses are all manufactured in the Williams Homes factory, marked up and then delivered to site as required.
As with all open panel timber frame solutions, C16 graded structural timber is required. Most C16 used for timber frame construction in Wales is imported, despite the fact that most Sitka spruce that is grown in Wales could be graded to C16. Currently most Welsh timber flows to other markets such as pallet wood and fencing. Demand for Welsh construction timber (through schemes like IHP) is helping to improve the supply chains.
“We have worked hard with our timber suppliers over the years to develop relationships so that we can get the timber we want” explained Owain Williams “Welsh timber meets the grade, so why not use it? It cuts down transport miles, supports local jobs and hopefully will start to encourage more planting so that long term supply can be increased in the future.”
WKW is seeking to secure long term demand for Welsh timber for construction – in particular for the timber-frames, joinery elements, cladding and insulation. The aim is to stimulate investment in adding-value processing and to drive forest expansion.
Client: ClwydAlyn Housing Limited
Contractor: Williams Homes Ltd
Architect: Simon Hall Architects