Scheme Summary

This scheme offers both transferable training skills and housing to young long term unemployed people. The six flats constructed are timber frame as this method of construction met Bournemouth Churches Housing Association's aims of achieving a property with a high insulation value that was economical to maintain, quick to construct and above all built using as much sustainable building material as possible.

Scheme Details

The timber frame Build and Train Scheme was developed from a concept by Oregon Partnerships. The Model was developed in conjunction with Purbeck District Council, who provided the land free of charge on a long term lease, Bournemouth & Poole College, who provided the College training and Oregon Partnerships who provided the timber frame structure and specialist timber frame training.

Oregon Timber Frame is totally sustainable timber, with the added incentive of it being UK home grown timber taken from Scottish Border region Keilder forests.

The external wall construction consisted of an external skin of 100mm face brick, a 50mm cavity and an internal timber frame skin of 100mm. This gave a `U' value of 0.38, thus being well below the 1995 Building Regulation Part `L' requirement of 0.45, resulting in a highly thermally efficient unit.

The general standard of the building was further improved by using high exposure rated double glazed windows from Allan Brothers of Scotland and incorporating the very best sound insulation methods between separating floors and walls.

Training Scheme

The Build & Train Model is designed to deliver a "fast track" training package of a minimum NVQ Level 2 qualification to young long term unemployed and homeless people. It was important therefore to ensure that the construction period was as fast and precise as possible, avoiding loss of interest from the trainees during a drawn out construction period. The 22 week programme of construction using the timber frame method was ideal.

The training involved the trainees visiting the head office and factory of Oregon in Jedburgh, Scotland, to undergo manufacturing process training and practical on-site timber frame erection experience. The aim was to equip the trainees with a multi-skilled ability for the trade covering all aspects of the erection, first and second fix elements of the timber method.

The ultimate aim was to integrate the trainees into the full-time employment market as we had identified a specific skill shortage in the timber frame field in the Dorset region. Their chances of full-time employment have been greatly enhanced by them having the multi-skilled ability at a time when the industry is moving towards a truly sustainable development method of thermally efficient building, in line with the demands of the housing industry, in particular, that of environmentally aware Housing Associations.

Cost Implications

The Capital Development Cost of the project was funded by a 50% grant from The Housing Corporation, and a 50% mortgage obtained by B.C.H.A. and the Revenue Training Cost by a 45% ESF Objective 3 Grant obtained through Dorset T.E.C. and Match Funded by 55% from the National Lotteries Charities Board.

We have found that the construction cost using the timber frame method to its full advantage, resulted in total contract cost on this first project comparable to masonry construction costs, but allowing for the increased revenue from the early rental income, due in the short contract period identified a definite saving over a masonry contract. For future projects we are confident that by using Oregon Partnership's expertise in the total contract construction management package, we should be able to identify an actual construction cost saving against masonry construction of around 5% - 8%.

The six flats have now been occupied by the trainees for a year. Discussions with the trainees have confirmed our original thoughts, the flats which are of around 35m2 have been extremely efficient with regard to heating and we estimate have saved around 35% of the normal heating bills.

Bournemouth Churches Housing Association's Opinion

The sound insulation has proved to be excellent with no complaints of sound transference between flats and the maintenance department have not experienced any problems.

Bournemouth Churches have adopted a policy for the use of timber frame construction on all of their future developments specifically designed to incorporate the use of the UK home grown sustainable timber. They are committed to continue to promote Build & Train projects throughout Dorset and have recently launched, in conjunction with Oregon Partnerships, a Rural Housing Initiative aimed at providing life time sustainable homes at affordable rents within small rural communities. This will help halt the migration of local young people from our villages which is identified as one of the problems of increased homelessness in our cities.

Contact: Tim Denne,
Development Manager,
Bournemouth Churches HA Limited,
Henley Court,
32 Christchurch Road,
Dorset BH1 3PD.

Tel: 02402 557666
Fax: 02402 298072