30 Jun 2017

Why build with oak?


Oak is an affordable luxury that adds vitality, warmth and ambience to any development. Few people can resist the charms of oak, but aesthetics aren’t the only reason to use it, says Kat Hamilton from Oakmasters.

Oak belongs here

All over the UK, centuries-old oak-framed houses stand proudly, testament to the durability of this amazing building material. Originally built using locally-grown timber recycled from dismantled ships, oak-framed buildings have not lost their appeal. Many people choose to build in oak because it is so quintessentially British and it simply belongs here.


Oak allows for a faster build

Oak-framed buildings are pre-constructed in workshops, shipped then assembled on-site around 30% quicker than masonry. The oak frame is wrapped in a weathertight envelope and the outer walls can be clad in any material such as stone, render, oak cladding or weatherboarding. Modern oak frame designs and engineering solutions allow them to work seamlessly with SIPs as well as glazing too.


Oak is eco-friendly

Using green oak to construct oak frames means no energy is spent drying the timber. The finished frame continues to dry and during this process it gets stronger and harder. The supply chain is short, the green timber typically exchanging only two sets of hands from tree to site delivery, ready for assembly. Frame manufacturers should supply timber purchased from sustainable sources with Chain of Custody certification. In British and European forests, every felled tree is replaced with several new ones. This is healthier for the environment, as growing trees produce more oxygen than old ones.


The natural way to care for oak

Here Steve Grimwood, Managing Director at Osmo UK, a wood protection and finish specialist, talks to i-build regarding how to provide essential yet natural care for external oak.

As a building material as well as for internal furniture and features, oak is often a highly desired material. Its robust hardwood properties and aesthetically-pleasing appearance make it a popular choice for homeowners and developers alike. However, it is important to remember that, like any wood, protection is required to ensure the wood does not become weakened or damaged. This is especially important if the wood is being used for frame extensions and general external works.

At Osmo UK, we offer a full range of UV-Protection-Oils which consist of natural ingredients to eliminate algae and fungal decay and provide optimal protection against the sun. By absorbing into the wood and penetrating into its internal structure, the oil allows the surface to remain healthy and regulates the moisture content, improving elasticity and preventing it from drying out and becoming brittle. By applying two coats of Osmo’s Oak UV-Protection-Oil to oak frames, doors and windows, the wood is properly protected and reduces the risk of any cracking, flaking, peeling or blistering.

Due to the natural weathering induced by the sun and other environmental elements, a wood’s original colour can turn a silver-grey hue over time and after prolonged exposure to UV rays. Osmo’s UV-Protection-Oil Tints have been specially designed to resist against the grey patina and instead install a hint of gentle and natural colour. The Oak UV-Protection-Oil is lightly pigmented and offers a satin appearance, gently emphasising and perfectly complementing the oak’s natural tones whilst providing essential protection.


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