Oak trees, timber conversion and the structure of traditional timber-frame buildings

Charles Hippisley-Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the climate of Northern Europe keeping warm and dry during the long winters is a key priority reflected in the form and materials of our traditional buildings. Builders have always been pragmatic when sourcing materials especially within the vernacular traditions and although large parts of the British Isles have used stone and cob, timber-frame buildings have always been the best response to the weather. A steep roof pitch and a dry building platform enabled the creation space with potentially very satisfactory comfort levels especially if a fire can be safely deployed. Of all the trees available, it is the oak that has lent itself to providing the most suitable material to create such frames. Like all timber, oak has the ability to function within a frame structure in both compression and tension. Pegs, ties and braces combine to create stable structures capable of transferring all loads effectively and efficiently to the ground.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-12
Number of pages3
JournalBuilding Engineer
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Oak trees, timber conversion and the structure of traditional timber-frame buildings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this