timber framing

If you’re looking for timber frame suppliers in the UK for your next project but are getting overwhelmed with the number of timber frame companies out there, then we’re here to break it down for you.

As the UK’s leading structural timber frame manufacturer, we can help you navigate the timber industry and the who’s who of suppliers of Modern Methods of Construction.

//What is MMC (Modern Methods of Construction)?

Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) are construction technologies used as an alternative to traditional forms of construction for housing and other projects, embracing both offsite and onsite techniques and bringing the construction industry into the modern age.

The MMC definition framework consists of seven different categories of offsite construction which span all types of pre-manufacturing, site-based materials and process innovation.

  • Category 1: Pre-manufacturing (3D primary structural systems) – The production of 3D units in controlled factory conditions prior to final installation – this is what you may think of as modular or volumetric construction.
  • Category 2: Pre-manufacturing (2D primary structural systems) – Using flat panel units for basic floor, wall and roof structures produced in a factory environment and assembled on site to produce a final 3D structure – this is where timber frame construction, both open and closed panel timber frame, sit.
  • Category 3: Pre-manufacturing components (non-systemised primary structure) – Using pre-manufactured structural members made of framed or mass engineered timber, cold rolled or hot rolled steel or pre-cast concrete.
  • Category 4: Additive manufacturing (structural and non-structural) – Printing of parts of buildings through various materials based on digital design and manufacturing techniques.
  • Category 5: Pre-manufacturing (non-structural assemblies and sub-assemblies) – A series of different pre-manufacturing approaches.
  • Category 6: Traditional building product-led site labour reduction / productivity improvements – Traditional single building products manufactured in large format, pre-cut configurations or easy jointing features (ie large format blocks).
  • Category 7: Site process-led site labour reduction / productivity / assurance improvements – Utilising innovative site-based construction techniques that harness site improvement processes outside of the above categories.

//Pinewood Structures & MMC Category 2

To look at Category 2 in more depth, the products included in this section of the definition are:

  1. Basic framing only including walls, floors, stairs & roof
  2. Enhanced consolidation – insulation, internal linings, etc.
  3. Further enhanced consolidation – insulation, linings, external cladding, roofing, doors, windows

As one of the UK’s leading timber frame suppliers, Pinewood Structures’ products sit firmly within Category 2 of the MMC Definition Framework – offering tried and tested technologies, with the added benefits of MMC and offsite construction. This includes:

Open Panel: These systems provide just the structural frame so insulation, services and plasterboard elements can be added after the installation, on-site. Our open panel timber frame is constructed off-site and will be delivered to you ready to install and add your preferred insulation and services etc.

Pre-insulated Panel: These open panel systems already arrive insulated, so are a quick and convenient solution. At Pinewood, we provide Quantum19 pre-insulated timber frame wall panels using rigid PIR insulation so you can have high levels of insulation, and an energy efficient product.

Closed Panel: Our fully approved closed panel solution is pre-insulated too, with full NHBC Accepts accreditation. With the same structural frame as an open panel timber frame, closed panel timber frame includes insulation, VCL and service battens to close the panel.  By opting for a closed panel timber frame, you capture increased PMV (pre-manufactured value), quality, safety, plus experience quicker build times and less waste on site.

//Timber Frame Suppliers in the UK

Alongside Pinewood Structures, there are a number of reputable timber frame suppliers in the UK. Sharing the same values of sustainability in the timber industry, they strive to increase the use of the most renewable building material across the nation.

In recent years, there has been some consolidation in the timber frame industry including some of the big name suppliers being bought by housebuilders, and some housebuilders setting up their own factories. Pinewood Structures are independently owned and have no plans for this to change – we feel our independence means we can offer high levels of service to all of our customers, regardless of who they are.

Donaldson Timber Systems (previously Stewart Milne Timber Systems) are part of the Donaldson Group and are one of the largest timber frame manufacturers in the UK. With bases in Scotland and Oxfordshire, they are a well-known name in the industry. In Yorkshire, FrameTech are the North’s largest timer frame supplier.  With over 60 staff and members of the STA, they work with housebuilders and contractors in the north of the country.

Another Scottish owned timber frame supplier in the UK specialising in MMC Category 2 is Walker Timber Engineering. Operating from bases in Wisbech and Staffordshire, they supply to contractors working with Premier Inn among other clients. Taylor Lane were a family owned, traditional timber frame company similar to Pinewood Structures until their purchase by the housebuilder CALA in May 2023.  Based in Hereford they supply mainly to contractors and self-builders.

OFP Timber Frame are a south-east supplier who have recently been acquired by Kent Housebuilder Chartway Group. Working on Premier Inn schemes and housing schemes, they also manufacture staircases. Oregon Timber Frame are another timber frame supplier that had a strong record for supplying timber frame to Scotland, before their purchase by the giant Housebuilder Barratt.

And finally, Pinewood Structures. We are a proudly independent timber frame manufacturer, with over 40 years’ experience in supplying to the housebuilding market. Over that timeframe, we have built a reputation for first in class service and being a trusted supplier.  We feel our combination of traditional values, alongside innovative, modern thinking is what makes us a key supplier to many of the top housebuilders in the UK.

//Why Choose Pinewood?

If you want to find out how we compare with the different timber frame suppliers above and why we feel we offer something unique, please get in touch.