Cubis Bruton, Somerset (Structural Timber Awards Finalist 2020)

Taylor Lane Timber Frame has supplied and erected its 140mm pre-insulated timber frame kits for the first phase of Acorn Property Group’s landmark development, Cubis Bruton in Somerset, comprising three and four-bedroom houses and two-storey apartment blocks.

Devised by land artist Mark Merer, Cubis Bruton is striking and architecturally innovative.  Combining sustainability and environmentally aware technology with compelling design, the properties offer flexible, future-proof living.

Timber frame was specified because of its ability to achieve the complex design, meet the stringent thermo-performance criteria and speed of construction.

Robin Squire, Regional Managing Director of Acorn’s Bristol Region said: “Where possible, Acorn strive to use timber frame across all our developments.  We are aware of the environmental impact our industry has and try to design and build our schemes with sustainability very much at the forefront of our minds in order to limit this impact.

“We take a fabric-first approach to our developments meaning we look to ensure the envelope of the building is as energy efficient as possible by opting for methods like timber frame construction.”

Due to the demands and design complexity of Cubis Bruton, it is highly unlikely that this scheme could be achieved using traditional masonry construction.

The Hereford-based timber frame specialist also supplied and installed Posi-Joists, roof trusses, and structural and architectural steel.  The complete package was designed and manufactured in-house.

Thermo-Efficient New Housing

“Green features are employed throughout the development to ensure high-performing thermo-efficient new housing within a setting where enhanced biodiversity has been encouraged,” continues Robin for Acorn Property Group.  “Timber frame construction has contributed to the environmentally sensitive nature of the scheme.”

The Taylor Lane 140mm pre-insulated timber frame plus a continuous layer of 50mm insulation on the inside face achieves an exceptional U-value of 0.15W/m2K.  The added continuous layer prevents cold bridging and improves the U-value enormously.  This level of thermal performance could not be achieved with masonry construction without a negative impact on room size and build costs.

Design Challenges

Cubis Bruton is unique, requiring complex design and product engineering.  Large, open plan internal spaces with modern lines combine with a distinctive roofscape of geometric shapes, cantilevers and green roofs.  The number of variations (up to three) per house type (x 11), added to the timber frame design challenge.

While 80% of the properties featured flat roofs, several had sedum roofs.  The weight of these affected the centre and size of the joists required.  Taylor Lane utilised Posi-Joists as the engineered metal web joists can span further and bear additional load over standard timber joists whilst accommodating services.

The contract also included a penalty clause if a room size was reduced.  When a steel post encroached into the room on one unit where the first floor stepped back, Taylor Lane designed the steel post squarer so it would retreat into the wall structure.  Additional strength was then designed in elsewhere in the building e.g. sheathing walls etc.

Unprecedented Sales

Acorn Property Group has recently seen a previously unprecedented level of enquiries and sales for the contemporary development, with the ‘…ground-breaking design attracting a wide and diverse range of buyers, for whom the eco-chic and environmentally aware design and build are key points.’

Awards Finalist

Taylor Lane is pleased to announce that Cubis Bruton is a finalist in the Structural Timber Awards 2020, shortlisted in the Private Housing Project of the Year.  The winner will be announced in March 2021.


Taylor Lane Services

"We have had a very good experience with Taylor Lane, with great service from start to finish. We especially enjoyed the tour of the professional factory."

5/ 5 Stars

"Taylor Lane were key to the design process. They do all the engineering calculations...and tell you if something’s possible or not, calculate the truss requirements etc. "

5/ 5 Stars

"We have a long history with Taylor Lane. They have worked with Lovell and been part of our supply chain for well over 15 years, that I know to. When I have visited Hereford (on a number of occasions), it’s a welcoming business that’s open, honest and transparent on all matters commercial, design, technical. We quickly derived confidence that they were the right choice for us...and that’s been vindicated by performance onsite thereafter."

5/ 5 Stars

"We had worked with them [Taylor Lane] previously and were happy to continue that relationship knowing the quality of the frame and the service that we would receive."

5/ 5 Stars
TRA Catg Catg Chas PEFC Constructionline CE

Timber Frame STA catg STA Gold