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Sofia Delgado explores how technological advances have helped oak construction remain a popular choice for self-builders
The owners of this Oakwrights home mixed traditional and modern, opting for a glazed gable featuring exposed oak left to silver. The structure was also clad in stone to reflect the local vernacular

Oak has been a popular construction material for centuries. Its sustainability, sturdiness and durability make it an excellent choice for the environmentally conscious and many simply fall in love with the charming character offered by this hardwood as it dries. What’s more, the method’s inherent benefits continue to be enhanced to suit modern selfbuilders’ needs. Today’s oak homes offer high insulation standards, impressive airtightness and innovative architecture alongside their innate aesthetic appeal.

Contemporary performance

If sourced responsibly, oak can be a sustainable material – look for PEFC and FSC certifications to ensure you’re buying from environmentally managed forests. The embodied energy (the resources consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of the building) is also relatively low compared to some systems – plus oak frame homes can last for hundreds of years.

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About Build It

In the May edition of Build It magazine, you'll find a wealth of inspiration and advice for your self-build, renovation or extension project, including: - Cover house: A traditional-style new home on a garden plot (p20) - Kitchen design ideas (p72) - Does solar battery storage make sense? (p74) - Driveway design ideas (p80) - Complete guide to loft conversions (p 84) - Modern glazed extensions (p98) - How to keep your project on budget (p110)