Insulating Timber Frame Buildings

Timber frame insulation are often a challenge to insulate. The wood-to-wood joinery that makes a timber frame so unique can lead to gaps and air pockets which limit the performance of insulation systems and can cause moisture problems. These issues can be compounded by timber frames being concealed behind cladding rather than exposed as in traditional masonry construction.

To overcome these problems there are a number of different insulation systems that can be used to improve the thermal performance of timber frames. The main options are mineral wool, glass/mineral wool and foil blankets. All these options are designed to be installed between studs in timber frame walls. Some are more suited to this than others and some need the use of vapour barriers, all of which require a degree of skill to install correctly.

Keeping Warm in Timber Frame Homes: Insulation Solutions

These insulation systems all work by trapping air and preventing heat transfer between timber studs. They also help to reduce the effect of thermal bridging. It is important to use insulating materials with optimal thermal resistance and to integrate thermal breaks to interrupt the flow of heat through conductive metal components.

Rigid foam insulation sheets are often used to insulate timber frame walls. These can be a simple and cost effective solution to improving the thermal performance of a timber frame. However it is very important to be careful to not leave any gaps between the insulation and the timber studs. These gaps will allow heat to escape and can cause condensation within the building. Gaps should be filled with a suitable filler and a vapour barrier should be attached to the inner face of the insulation or treated softwood battens fixed to the timber frame.