Breathable Timber Frames

We are involved in designing and/or certifying a number of timber frame houses. The majority of these houses are designed as breathable structures, i.e. moisture is able to migrate through the building fabric from inside to outside, thus regulating the humidity within the building and within the fabric, preventing the formation of harmful moulds, etc. Also, They are all highly insulated structures, some being certified as passive standard.

Some of the features of these houses that help achieve this breathability and high insulation values are as follows:

Timber I-beam studs to minimise heat transfer across the studs

Cellulose insulation between studs (such as Warmcel)

Fibreboard on outside of stud, e.g. Gutex

OSB sheeting instead of plywood (for breathability)

Service cavity inside wall panel (for wires,etc.) so airtightness of the wall panel is not compromised

Cement board (such as Aquapanel) on the outside to eliminate the need for a blockwork outer leaf

We worked with Eco Timber Frame of Carrigaline, Co. Cork to design a passive standard timber frame for a house in Co. Galway, that utilised a specially designed wall stud to virtually eliminate any cold-bridge due to the studwork. This house achieved an air-tightness test result of 0.3 ach, the lowest recorded by the testing company to-date.

Some of the timber frame companies we have worked with are:

Eco Timber Frame (

MBC Timber Frame Ltd (

Shoalwater Timber Frame Ltd (

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