At Heartwood we are passionate about timber building and the craft tradition that created this legacy. We believe an understanding of this heritage informs our approach to building and is essential to ensure a sustainable future for construction.
There is a long and great tradition of timber building in Britain. The earliest surviving timber structure in England is St. Andrew’s Church at Greensted-juxta-Ongar in Essex, dating back to the 9th century. The majority of vernacular buildings built before the mid 17th century were framed from oak, and most buildings built since then contain some structural timber elements.
The longevity of the timber building tradition and the legacy of historic timber structures surviving in the built environment today can be attributed to the knowledge and skill of the carpenters who built them. These highly skilled craftsmen had a deep understanding of the materials and techniques required to build for the long future before them. Passed down from master to apprentice, this knowledge enabled carpenters to build structures which withstood the rigours of time and outlived their makers by many centuries.
Timber has an enduring appeal, its unique properties have put it back at the forefront of innovation in architecture and construction design today. Concern about environmental degradation and climate change means there has never been a better time to build with timber.