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Oak trees, timber conversion and the structure of traditional timber-frame buildings

Hippisley-Cox, Charles (2015) Oak trees, timber conversion and the structure of traditional timber-frame buildings. Building Engineer, 90 (01). pp. 10-12. ISSN 0969-8213

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In the climate of Northern Europe keeping warm and dry during the long winters is a key priority reflected in the form and materials of our traditional buildings. Builders have always been pragmatic when sourcing materials especially within the vernacular traditions and although large parts of the British Isles have used stone and cob, timber-frame buildings have always been the best response to the weather. A steep roof pitch and a dry building platform enabled the creation space with potentially very satisfactory comfort levels especially if a fire can be safely deployed. Of all the trees available, it is the oak that has lent itself to providing the most suitable material to create such frames. Like all timber, oak has the ability to function within a frame structure in both compression and tension. Pegs, ties and braces combine to create stable structures capable of transferring all loads effectively and efficiently to the ground.

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Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: timber frame, traditional buildings, conservation, carpentry traditions, oak, woodland management, watermills, timber conversion, saw technology, sustainable forests, trees, oak, acorns, quercus,
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
T Technology > TH Building construction
Schools: School of Art, Design and Architecture
Related URLs:
References: Alcock, N. W. 1973 A Catalogue of Cruck Buildings, Phillimore for VAG Alcock N W, 1981, Cruck Construction. The Council for British Archaeology Research Report No 42. 37-9 Airs M, 1995, The Tudor and Jacobean Country House. A Building History. Sutton Publishing, Stroud. Alcock N, W, 1973, A Catalogue of Cruck Buildings. Vernacular Architecture Society. Alcock N W, 1996, The meaning of Insethouse, Vernacular Architecture 27, 8-9. Alcock N W, 1997, A Response to: Cruck Distribution: A Social Explanation by Eric Mercer’,Vernacular Architecture 28 (1997), 92-3. Alcock N W, 2002, The Distribution and Dating of Crucks and Base Crucks, Vernacular Architecture 33, 67-70. Alcock N W, 2007, The Origins of Crucks. A Rejoinder, Vernacular Architecture 38, 11-14. Brunskill R W, 1994, Timber Building in Britain. Victor Gollancz, London. Hewett, Cecil A. 1980, English Historic Carpentry, Philimore, 231-233. Hill N, 2005, On the Origins of Crucks: An Innocent Notion, Vernacular Architecture 36, 1-14. Mason, R.T.(un-dated) Framed Buildings of England, Coach Publishing House, Horsham Mercer E, 1996, Cruck Distribution: A Social Explanation, Vernacular Architecture 27, 1-2. Pearson S, 2001, The Chronological Distribution of Tree-Ring Dates, 1980-2001: An Update, Vernacular Architecture 32, 68-69. Ross, P., Mettem, C. and Holloway, A. 2007, Green Oak in Construction, TRADA Technology. Ryder, Peter 1982, Timber Framed Buildings in South Yorkshire, SYCC Archaeological Service Williams, Michael, 1992 Americans and Their Forests, Cambridge University Press
Depositing User: Charles Hippisley-Cox
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2015 16:01
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 18:35


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