The benefits of using off-site manufactured materials for your self-build

Off-site manufacturing is an increasingly popular method of delivering self-build homes across the UK.

What is offsite manufacturing? In short, it refers to structural systems that are factory-manufactured and allow for on-site assembly.

This type of manufacturing is designed to make on-site assembly easier; helping self-builders to save time, reduce costs and improve safety as well as create an energy-efficient self-build.

Speedy and predictable cost

Off-site manufactured homes are typically built from a timber frame or a timber closed-panel system in which the wall and possibly roof panels are made off-site and filled with insulation. With the right supplier you have control over almost all aspects of the specification and design.

Timber frame is the most versatile and sustainable form of construction. It ensures high quality, reduces overall build costs and considerably shortens the build programme. If everything goes to plan, your timber frame self-build could be completed between 8-12 months.

With so many choices in a self-build home - one of the real benefits of a timber frame house kit is that the whole process can be much more hassle-free and quick. For example, Scotframe provide a wide range of different designs to suit budgets, tastes and space requirements as well as a range of bespoke design and architecture services to help create a customised timber frame home package.

Scotframe provides timber kit packages, which come in open panel timber frames or closed panel systems. Open panel timber frames are manufactured with the internal side of the walling element unsheathed. Closed panel systems have insulation pre-fitted and in some cases the doors, windows and plasterboard are already in place. Many self-builders opt for a closed system, which are faster to erect and can achieve excellent airtightness levels.

Choosing off-site manufactured timber roof solutions, like those supplied by Pasquill, can also increase the speed of installation and construction with high levels of accuracy. Roof trusses, also known as trussed rafters, greatly reduce the amount of time spent installing the roof structure. The vast majority of cutting-in and lining associated with traditional roof construction is eliminated.

Cost is everything when it comes to your self-build project and a timber frame build can allow for more accurate budgeting – always a bonus as a self-builder!

A Scotframe timber frame home being installed

Energy efficient

A thermally-efficient and airtight structure can reduce energy consumption in your self-build home. Scotframe has pioneered the development of closed panel insulation systems – their Valutherm+ panels are precision factory injected to provide airtight, maintenance free, and long-lasting insulation; cutting energy bills to virtually zero. Scotframe timber comes from sustainable sources and is transported to manufacturing centres in bulk to reduce their carbon footprint.

Pasquill offers a variety of high-quality timber roof trusses including a full range of panelised roof solutions. Panelised roofs can be installed in hours and provide a thermally insulated envelope, cutting heat-loss and therefore carbon emissions, boosting the home’s energy-efficiency. Pasquill offers a just-in-time delivery service, so that a large amount of storage space on-site is not required. Their expert local teams are on hand to develop design plans and create quotes specific to each project.

Pasquill roof trusses at Pasquill site

Safety first

One of the major advantages of off-site construction are the health and safety benefits of building in a quality-controlled environment – a huge plus when it comes to reducing the risk for contractors on-site.

Philip Pointon, Sustainability Director – Saint-Gobain Off-Site Solutions, explained: “Not only does off-site construction offer greater control, accuracy and efficiency but this type of solution is manufactured in quality controlled factory environments which reduces health and safety risks. Work is unaffected by weather conditions and there is far less risk of slips, trips and falls.

“Another crucial benefit is the reduction in waste, which leads to a lower environmental impact – something which is high on the agenda as we strive towards Making the World a Better Home.”

The Saint-Gobain Off-Site Solutions division offers expertise in design, logistics, supply chain and sourcing, delivered through a partnership approach with its five specialist brands - International Timber, Pasquill, Roofspace Solutions, Scotframe and Intrastack. Find out more on the Saint-Gobain website here.

Build Materials Roof trusses Steel Frame Timber Frame