Waugh Thistleton Architects

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The New Model Building outlines a set of principles and guidance for the design and construction of multi-storey mass-timber buildings that adhere to the UK’s new fire safety regulations.  

The 2017 Grenfell tragedy and subsequent changes to building regulations intended to prohibit dangerous external cladding systems have created hesitancy around the use of timber as a construction material. Despite the UK's status as a world leader in timber building, these policy changes have curtailed the uptake of mass-timber as an alternative to carbon-intensive building materials such as concrete and steel. Since it is widely accepted that the use of structural timber is one of the primary ways in which we can work to reduce the carbon emissions produced by construction, this lack of confidence poses a threat not only to our ability to meet emerging embodied carbon targets, but the wider global impacts of climate change. 

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Project overview explained

Written by Waugh Thistleton Architects in collaboration with TDUK, the NMB serves as a comprehensive framework of design principles and guidance shaped specifically for the construction of multistorey residential mass timber buildings in the UK, in full compliance with national building regulations and local policies. Developed in collaboration with expert fire engineers at University College London, structural engineers at Buro Happold and cost consultancy from Gardiner & Theobald, the NMB focuses on the key areas of fire strategy and moisture management in timber structures. The NMB uses case studies and data analysis to illustrate how the substitution of traditional construction methods with engineered timber can reduce the whole life carbon footprint of a building by over 70%, whilst meeting current regulations. 

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Carbon chart

This open-source and easy to use guide comprises three distinct parts; a synopsis of the building system concept, a handbook containing a suite of details, checklists and performance specifications using these design principles, and an evidence book encompassing all the supporting documents showing how the NMB has been pre-assessed and approved by the national warranty provider NHBC.   

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Facade connection diagram

This comprehensive suite of information provides clarity and confidence amongst a diverse array of stakeholders, such as designers, developers, housing providers, local authorities, insurers and investors, providing the knowledge and know-how to seamlessly incorporate mass timber into multi-storey residential projects. New Model Building brings us closer to making significant carbon reductions in the construction of new housing, a building type which constitutes nearly half of all construction output in the UK. 

Click here to view the PDF of New Model Building Guide Book, Details Book, and Evidence Book.

The New Model Building guide is available to downloaded free of charge from the TDUK website.

If you have any questions, or would like to know more about the New Model Building please email info@waughthistleton.com.