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Belief in the brick does timber trade a disservice


There may be some merit in the Traditional Housing Bureau's warnings about adopting untried lightweight constructional systems (AJ 20.11.03), but the argument that such construction is a threat to family inheritance I believe to be relevant to a different century.

And if true, why do the majority of Americans and Scandinavians live in timber-frame houses?

Those of us who do own property will probably need to sell it to pay for care in our old age. Our sons and daughters will need to save up for their own pensions as well as pay for their parents', and in the south of England they will need at least two incomes to set foot on the property ladder.

Let's hope this is not the start of the sort of campaign that damaged the timber-frame housing industry in the UK a few decades ago.

That industry offers huge advantages of timing, sustainability, efficiency and quality in a century that is experiencing severe shortages of traditional skills and, in my part of the world, a supply of 'affordable' housing exactly one-eighth of that required according to government guidelines.

Not a problem that will be wholly solved by brick and block, I believe.

Colin James, Witney, Oxon

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