Unit Overview
P1 - Factors that influence the Design Process
P2 - Communication
P2 - Design Team
P3 - Production Team
P4 - Legal Implications
P5 - Written Communication
P6 - Construction Methods
P7 - Specifications
P8 - Drawings
M2 - Communicating Design Changes
M3 - Terminology
D1 - Evaluate RIBA
D2 - Appraise Instructions

Construction Methods

When selection a method for construction the following needs to be taken into account

Traditional Construction

Building with a cavity wall is still the most common way to build in the UK, it is predominantly used for low rise residential. There is large skill base and supporting infrastructure for this style of construction. It can be held up by bad weather and materials shortages.


It is not suitable for buildings over 4 stories high as the lower walls need to be widened to support higher loads.









Timber Framed Construction

This was a common way of constructing houses roughly from the period 1970-80 but became associated with poorly built construction so declined in popularity, it is recently making a bit of a comeback as construction method.


It benefits from a quick on site erection as the main components are prefabricated in a factory, a higher level of accuracy for things like window openings can often be achieved due to working in factory conditions.


This form of construction is limited in height as the timber is load bearing element of the structure and therefore mainly suited to residential construction.


With an increasing variety of cladding options becoming available to appearance of timber clad buildings can vary greatly.


Concrete and Steel Construction

By using either pre cast or cast in situ concrete much larger structures can be achieved, this is an expensive method of construction and whilst it can be used on residential construction is generally too expensive.


Concrete offers much better sound proofing due to it's heavy and dense nature. It is most commonly poured between form work on site, but can be cast off site and transported to sites, building components such as concrete stairwells are often created this way.


Concrete is suitable for projects factory's and hospitals and large commercial centres, the building can be clad in anything from a facing brick, metal sheeting or timber creating a range of architectural styles.


Concrete can be poured into any form, so more adventurous designs can be achieved.


Steel Portal Framed

Steel portal frames are quick to erect and give wide open spaces, they are suitable for storage warehousing, indoors sports courts and factories. They can be hard to heat.






Prefabricated, Kit or SIPs Houses




There is growing number of prefabricated house companies on the market, they generally offer a very low impact housing solution. Like the timber frame construction the building is prefabricated in the factory and then quickly erected on site. Unlike timber framing the external walls are generally prefabricated as well.