Touchwood Homes

Diana Attwood

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How do we know how the timber frame home will look?

We provide a 3D sketch-up model of the structure during the design phase, with every timber element shown. This is a vital tool so that all your follow on trades, such as lighting designers and Warmcel installers know exactly where all timber elements will be. This is unique to the Touchwood Homes system.

Do you include the MVHR design, supply and install within the frame package?

We are one of very few timber frame companies that can also provide the market leading passivhaus PAUL MVHR system as part of our package. We use Lindab rigid steel ductwork, with all of the duct routes pre-cut within the timber frame so that they are hidden within walls and floors. The system is designed on 3D …

Do you include the MVHR design, supply and install within the frame package? Read More »

How do I get started?

After seeing the plans and elevations for your project, we can quickly provide a quotation for the timber frame structure, and market leading PAUL MVHR system, fully integrated into the frame. Once you’ve received our quotation document we can then answer any questions you may have, come and see your site, and organise a visit …

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I’m a developer building a house to sell on so running costs don’t matter?

We often have people approach us with that statement. We feel that it’s morally questionable to build a home sacrificing the comfort and running costs for the future occupants of the house for the sake of a little extra on build costs, but the advantages of incorporating energy efficient features into new houses are now …

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Your PAUL MVHR system looks expensive compared to others, what makes it worth the extra money?

PAUL MVHR units are Passivhaus certified and exceptionally efficient – recovering up to 97% of the heat leaving the building and are also extremely quiet – one of the best on the market. For ducts we use Lindab rigid steel duct work, installed as we build the frame into pre-cut duct routes. These have a …

Your PAUL MVHR system looks expensive compared to others, what makes it worth the extra money? Read More »

What are the advantages of using timber frame for my new home?

A Touchwood Homes timber frame house is built to be super energy efficient, and so saves money on running costs. The timber structure is designed to be filled with Warmcel insulation, which is a very good insulator. Our pre-cut timber frame (as opposed to a panelised construction) means the timber frame comes in one lorry, with no need for a …

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Is timber strong enough to build a house from, and will it last long as conventional builds?

People have been using timber frames for building houses in England since medieval times and many of them are still around today, although unfortunately in the 1960s and 70s many of these buildings were damaged when people used cement based render instead of the traditional lime render they were originally constructed with when conducting repair and maintenance work. …

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I’ve had various cellulose fibre insulation quotes, should I go for the cheapest?

The cellulose fibre insulation is a vital component of your home, and to be effective both the quality of the material and the workmanship during the installation process is paramount. It needs to be installed at an extremely high density and checked carefully throughout the process to ensure that the fill is consistent and without …

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What would be the running costs of a new home built to the passivhaus standard?

Building a new home using our structure incorporating minimal cold bridging, completely air-tight envelope and densely packed insulation means there will potentially be a 90% reduction in heat demand over a conventional house (the passivhaus standard). Running costs consist of heating, hot water and electricity.Heating and hot water are usually provided by the same means, …

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Will the house be fire resistant?

Our timber frames are specifically designed to be filled with Warmcel cellulose fibre insulation, which is made from fire proofed recycled newspaper compact to extremely high density and which is fire resistant. Timber structures are also over engineered to allow for a ‘charring factor’.

What are the advantages living in a Touchwood Homes air-tight construction

For passivhaus homes the heating demand is so low that a conventional heating system isn’t needed, so saving substantial build and running costs. The minimal heating required can be delivered by a small heater in the MVHR system. The essential airtight layer is provided by a 15mm thick board fixed to the entire external surface of …

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I am struggling to decide between demolishing an existing building or renovating what I have, can you help?

Important considerations are that firstly, a new-build is zero rated for VAT, whereas renovations are subject to 20% VAT. Secondly, its a good idea to take an objective look at the house you have and think about what will be left of the original fabric if you decide to go down the renovation route. For example, …

I am struggling to decide between demolishing an existing building or renovating what I have, can you help? Read More »

Oak features in living / dining area

I like the look of Oak houses, can you incorporate oak into the structure to create that look?

Yes, we have experience with Oak structures, so we can of course use our super low energy build methods to create a home with visible oak inside, without the poor heat loss through cold-bridging and air-tightness associated with traditional Oak built structures.  The images below show a recent project featuring pre-cut Oak trusses and various posts …

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I’m embarking on my first self-build and will manage it myself, any advice?

From our experience, keeping up a positive attitude regarding the project is important, along with some empathy for your tradesman, who for them, your build site is their work place. Ideally, some experience in managing a project with different teams involved would be good too.  Once our frame is up, many different trades will need to …

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air tight

How does your wall build-up provide a VCL (vapor control layer)?

Our VCL (vapor control layer) is on the inside face of external walls, provided by a foil-back plasterboard. The cavity between the plasterboard and external airtight board is then filled with super-high density cellulose fibre insulation. Some clients opt for a membrane (Intello) approach instead, usually when a service cavity is required. We can add a …

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sun levels affecting internal build temperature

Do Ecohomes overheat?

If not designed correctly then sure, low energy homes can overheat or be too cold. As with everything, it’s down to getting the design right. For example, a principle of passivhaus is to obtain some winter heating from south facing glazing. The size and orientation of this glazing must be modelled by an expert in …

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insulated foundation

Strip Foundations

Our Touchwood Homes Strip Foundation detail uses conventional building methods to create a thermal-bridge free foundation system which can be built by your local diligent groundworks contractor. In order to achieve the enhanced performance required for an energy efficient home, our simple solution to prevent the thermal-bridging from the outside is to add a 150-100mm polystyrene …

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Touchwood Homes: eco-friendly housing that lasts

Adam Wilkinson of Touchwood Homes explains how the family business builds passive homes, which use minimal energy to heat and run. By designing eco-housing with efficiency in mind, Touchwood Homes is able to produce robust, high-quality homes that last a lifetime and, in some cases, can reduce energy bills to less than £100 a year.

Touchwood Homes: eco-friendly housing that lasts

Adam Wilkinson of Touchwood Homes explains how the family business builds passive homes, which use minimal energy to heat and run. By designing eco-housing with efficiency in mind, Touchwood Homes is able to produce robust, high-quality homes that last a lifetime and, in some cases, can reduce energy bills to less than £100 a year.

Chief’s Farm

We’ve just released our Chief’s Farm video, which shows the construction of this passivhaus from bare ground to finished timber frame structure. Click here to visit Chief’s Farm in our portfolio pages.

Round House

Our Round House project was featured on Grand Design, find below a brief video summarising the programme, and giving detail of this impressive Glulam and I beam timber frame. Further details of the project can be found on our Portfolio page. http://touchwoodhomes.co.uk/index.php/portfolio/20-roundhouse video by Clockwork Digital

Round House

Our Round House project was featured on Grand Design, find below a brief video summarising the programme, and giving detail of this impressive Glulam and I beam timber frame. Further details of the project can be found on our Portfolio page. http://touchwoodhomes.co.uk/index.php/portfolio/20-roundhouse video by Clockwork Digital

Hennerwood Passivhaus

Our Hennerwood project gained planning on the condition of passivhaus certification, so Touchwood Homes, with their proven track record with bespok architectural design, were commissioned to create the curved roof and achieve the passivhaus goals. Our PHPP expert Rod Williams was a vital component to the project, tweaking the design to fulfil the PH criteria. The …

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Chief’s Farm

We’ve just released our Chief’s Farm video, which shows the construction of this passivhaus from bare ground to finished timber frame structure. Click here to visit Chief’s Farm in our portfolio pages.

Hennerwood Passivhaus

Our Hennerwood project gained planning on the condition of passivhaus certification, so Touchwood Homes, with their proven track record with bespok architectural design, were commissioned to create the curved roof and achieve the passivhaus goals. Our PHPP expert Rod Williams was a vital component to the project, tweaking the design to fulfil the PH criteria. The …

Hennerwood Passivhaus Read More »

Ben Ribbans

We have now been living in our house for 5 months and it is a revelation – why are all houses not built to this standard?! What’s most surprising is the ‘stillness’ of the house, no drafts, exceptionally quiet and clean controlled air distribution, makes for a very relaxing place to be. Passivhaus is the …

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Roundhouse

I am glad that they [Grand Designs] covered your timber frame so well, such a beautiful example of what can be done with wood – I am so pleased that we chose you for the job and I am more than happy to recommend your services. Peter, Roundhouse, Milton Keynes

Pytte Cottage

We have been astonished by the performance of the house…with cellulose fibre insulation Installed to test densities of 70 and above. Our son who is a commercial building energy assessor used his thermal imaging camera to check the installation and was unable to find even the smallest area which was not filled over the entire …

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Home Office Pod v3

The Touchwood Homes team have recently been building a demonstration home office building, the Pod v3, which we would like to offer as a turnkey building enterprise, that we would come and erect on your land or garden space for you to use and enjoy. Just as per our home builds, this build design is …

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Maldon, Essex

  Our Touchwood Homes team finished work on this two storey home in Maldon near the Essex coast in February 2019.  This stunning new home has a distinctive modern style and will be a fabulous addition to the street scene in which it is set, but with substantially lower running costs than the neighbouring houses …

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Low Cost Passivhaus Home

Having built many unique, bespoke passivhaus homes, we feel the market needs a low cost passivhaus design that is easy to replicate and so can quickly provide super-efficient homes with extremely low running costs for families to enjoy. To this end we have created an initial conceptual design for a 2 bedroom home with attractive curved …

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Modern box-style home

The Touchwood Homes team have now completed their latest exciting new build project: constructing a modern ‘box’ style home on a plot of land previously occupied by a poorly performing 1950’s bungalow. The main features of this design are the large over-hanging first floor and glazed areas to the rear of the building. These presented us …

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Two Acres

Our Two Acres passivhaus project in Essex is now finished, our team having completing the frame erection of this 280m2 home in just 4 weeks! Before leaving site we had a diagnostic air-test done to ensure that our unique external airtight board approach to thermal enveloping had achieved passivhaus levels of airtightness – the test …

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Findhorn

Summer 2017 saw us working on this large ranch style home near the scenic Findhorn harbour on the North Sea in Scotland. Our timber-frame super insulated build system incorporating the Touchwood Homes external air-tight layer construction is the perfect solution to maintaining a comfortable indoor living environment despite harsh Scottish winter weather conditions with minimal …

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Lamorna

Lanmora is a self-managed build project in Wiltshire, replacing a derelict bungalow that had previously occupied the site. A local contracter was initially employed to demolish the bungalow and clear the ground ready for the team at Advanced Foundation Technology to come in and install the insulated raft foundation system. Touchwood Homes completed the first …

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Chiefs Farm Passivhaus

Chief’s Farm in Essex is a Passivhaus certified home built on a site that had been occupied by a derelict house that had stood vacant for many years. Our contract included designing and installing the strip foundations using our thermal-bridge free detailing to create a very well performing foundation with minimal loss of heat to ground. …

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Weymouth Passivhaus

Our Weymouth passivhaus project was completed 2016, with the client living in the house over the winter prior to having the heating connected. Incredibly the house has maintained 20 degrees on average during the winter, with the temperature outside going as low as -5 at night, without the heating connected. This shows the incredible energy …

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Harmans Orchard

Our Harman’s Orchard build in Kent is situated on a stunning site overlooking the Kent countryside. The architectural design of the house is complex, with many different cladding types, changes in floor levels and a part basement means our pre-cut system works very well – panelised systems would struggle with this degree of bespoke design. …

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Brindleshaw

We have now completed our Brindleshaw Barn project in Kent, a new build timber frame home to replace the redundant farm building on the site Our frame went up quickly, creating a large open internal space, perfect for modern open plan living. Following frame completion, we installed MVHR duct first fix leaving the site ready…

Weyhill Passivhaus +

The Weyhill passivhaus new home in Hampshire was completed by Touchwood in spring 2016, with the client then organising follow on trades. We also designed and built the large garage building which has substantial PV on the roof (as well as PV on the house). In total there is 10.8kWp PV on the site, qualifying …

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Wood House

We have recently finished erecting our modern flat roof Wood View project. This complex frame features a considerable amount of glulam beams, which will remain visible in the upstairs section of the building to create an aesthetic sympathetic to the many trees present on the site For the engineering we designed out all the steel …

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Steel Barn Conversion

We recently completed erecting the timber frame for a steel barn conversion to residential to create a large home with 650m2 of internal floor space, We have put the design through the PHPP software which shows it to be on the edge of meeting the passivhaus criteria – impressive for a building which had to fit within …

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Roundhouse

Touchwood Homes designed, supplied and erected the complex glulam frame for the Roundhouse, from an initial conceptual design from the client’s architect. Being such as unusual design the home has been selected for series (series 14) of Grand Design, first shown on 17th September 2014.​ The home not only has a circular footprint, but the ‘flat’ …

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Porters Passivhaus

  This project was managed by David and Penny, a retired couple building in the garden of their existing home. The foundation, frame and Optiwin windows were supplied and fitted by Touchwood. The renewable heating system was designed and installed by our local partners Dragon Contracts, featuring a 1000 litre thermal store, 4 solar panel …

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Strawbale House

On a hillside in West Scotland a revolutionary build is taking place – our client Robert Dunn and his wife Justine are erecting a beautiful curved wall house which when completed will be amazingly warm and, similar to all Touchwood Homes, very economical with regard to heating demand. Contrary to our preferred use of cellulose …

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Howe Park

The Howe Park passivhaus is a modern ultra low energy home built in Milton Keynes, with the timber frame designed, supplied and erected by Touchwood from a design by Eco Design Consultants. The house also features our Optiwin passivhaus windows.   Using our robust air tightness detailing, this build achieved an extremely low air tightness …

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Sunsets Bungalow

Our farmer client here required a super low energy house to avoid high running costs, with a look that fits in with the local stone buildings. The design is a good example showing Ecohomes do not need to look different, and can in fact look like conventional houses – they just have super insulation and …

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Fox Barn Passivhaus

Fox Barn is a new build passivhaus in a Hampshire village designed to fit in with the Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The clients approached Touchwood since they needed a super insulated, air tight frame to ensure the building met the PH specification, which coupled with our passivhaus foundation system provides a home …

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Knights Hill

This bold design has substantial glazing to take full advantage of the open views. The main house has a basement with our two storey timber frame structure over. Next to this is the single storey social wing, a large open space fully glazed on one side to enjoy the view with a link building between. …

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Hampshire Modern Home

Our client for this project in Winchester owned a very poorly constructed bungalow which they found impossible to keep warm in the winter, so they decided to demolish and in its place build a modern looking home. Our pre-cut timber frame system with a passivhaus foundation slab created a completely air tight structure which we …

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The Orchard

The Orchard is our new build project in Clapham, London which fits into a narrow strip of land between the client’s (Will’s) previous self-build house, Tree House, and a garage. Tree House is a pioneering zero-carbon home, with super insulation and air tightness which adds an exciting modern build to the predominately Victorian street. Due to the …

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Winmill Farm

Winmill Farm (this is the correct name!) is a dramatic single storey curved roof home, with two storey attached garage to provide studio over the car garaging. Touchwood designed the home with curved Glulam beams to form the shape, with bespoke steel brackets to create the fixings between posts and curved beams. Touchwood’s bespoke build …

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Higher Pytte

Colin and Christine approached Touchwood Homes because they had learned that our efficient build process results in nominal day to day running costs, which they liked the idea of,  and they also liked the substantial ‘heavy weight’ quality that they experienced in the Touchwood homes that they visited. Higher Pytte was built using our 300mm …

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Traditional Oak Home

For this project in Berkshire, the requirement was for a super insulated low energy frame with a traditional look, so it was decided that the build would be that of brick skin on the exterior, and exposed Oak beam features throughout the interior. Incorporating Oak features within our frame is no problem, the structure is …

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Sans Ennui

Sans Ennui is a contemporary home on the island of Jersey completed in 2012. The frame was designed and erected by Touchwood, with Optiwin triple glazed windows sourced and installed by us. The style of the home provides a striking impression on the area, showing the complete versatility of our low energy build system.

Glen Cottage

Glen Cottage is a very low energy family home built using our passivframe construction technique with render cladding. Features of the design are a striking turret containing the staircase, a first floor balcony providing an excellent location to enjoy the sea view and on the ground floor folding doors to really open up the house in the summer to enjoy the …

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Portland Place

Portland Place is a high specification low energy development built on a town centre brownfield site to provide modern open plan accommodation. The building is timber frame, with the front facade being brick slip clad to match the Victorian street. The 3 storey timber frame structure was built over a full size basement to provide two, three bedroom apartments with a shared …

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Black House

The Black House provides an architecturally striking addition to the small Suffolk village where it sits, with inspiring views over the estuary. Internally the house features an impressive polished concrete floor throughout the ground floor, these alternatives to conventional carpet or wooden floors can have any coloured additives for any visual effect required, whilst also …

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Dyffryn

Emma and Dan Holmes had been living in a bungalow at a superb location with great sea views for 8 years but always wished for a better house. They then made the decision to demolish the bungalow and build a new low energy house on the site. After gaining planning permission, the bungalow was demolished and Touchwood were awarded the contract to …

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Hopground Cottage

Hopground Cottage is located in a small Hertfordshire village so the planning department required the styling to fit in with the local vernacular. This was achieved along with constructing an air-tight very well insulated modern building. The house features 250mm thick walls insulated with cellulose fibre insulation, house wrap for an air-tight build, heat recovery …

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