What are timber cassettes?
Timber cassettes are precision engineered offsite components, used in place of traditional walling and roofs. Our cassettes are built to order by our specialist supply chain partner Rubner Holzbau in Austria. They are finished to the desired standard, shipped to site and erected using a crane and crew. It's an incredibly simple method that offers an extremely high quality finish. By using cassettes, our clients benefit from a building that is able to rapidly seal external facing walls, giving them protection from the elements and improving health and safety.
Why use timber cassettes?
Besides the ability to seal external facing sides of a building, timber cassettes have a number of additional benefits. Through the use of a crane, erection of cassettes only need a small nucleus crew, unlike traditional building methods like concrete or brick and mortar. Furthermore, cassettes eliminate the need for scaffolding and decrease the amount of site staff working at height.
Due to the nature of their construction, cassettes are able to reduce and eliminate the level of work from follow on trades. M&E work can be accounted for by the manufacturer and its lift and bolt erection method means wet trades are all but removed. All these factors amass to a hugely accelerated build schedule. Despite using smaller teams, we're able to drastically cut the schedule of projects using offsite methods such as timber cassettes. The Sky Central project saw around 600m2 of roofing panels erected per day, complete with waterproof membrane and pre-installed insulation.
As with all timber products, there is the additional benefit of sustainability. Cassettes use either PEFC or FSC certified timber, all sourced from managed forests. Whilst panels are a combination of materials, unlike pure CLT, they still act as a carbon sink. The timber used typically contains around 50% carbon (in comparison with its net weight). This helps determine an estimate for a building's carbon footprint and gives our clients the added satisfaction in knowing their project is benefitting the environment.
How are timber cassettes used?
The two uses for cassettes are for walls and roofs. Roof cassettes come prefinished with a waterproof membrane attached and internal insulation to bolster a project's energy efficiency. They arrive on site, packaged to ensure factory level quality and ready for erection. After delivery, cassettes are removed from the transport and lifted into place by a crew. This video shows a timelapse of a crew erecting a roofing panel for the Sky Central project.
Wall cassettes are erected in a similar manner and come finished with many of the same elements. In addition to this, wall panels can be manufactured to incorporate both windows and doors, to remove the need for further external work at height.
Our Supply Chain
By exploiting our in-depth industry knowledge and extensive experience, these innovative timber systems have been developed to meet the demands of future projects in the fast moving construction sector. Our partnership with Rubner Holzbau is recognised as an innovation in custom-made, large format roof and wall elements that deliver enhanced performance over and above standard building regulations in areas such as fire safety and acoustic insulation. Detailed research and development positively contributes to building physics, ensuring actual onsite performance meets design expectations.