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Oregon's new factory is opened

Oregon sets up south of border
Published:  10 June, 2010

Growing demand for timber frame housing in England has led Scottish-based Oregon Timber Frame to invest £250,000 in a new factory in Burton-on-Trent.

The  plant was officially opened on May 28 by Burton and Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths and has already started production.

The 36,000ft2 facility currently employs 12 people, but by the time it reaches full production in 2012 this is likely to treble. Annual capacity will be 1,200 house kits, adding to the 6,000 Oregon already produces at its Selkirk factory.

Business development manager Richard Jarvis said the company had set up south of the border because of  the increasing penetration of timber frame in the English market.

“We’ve been operating in England successfully for 10 years but, for the first time, we’re seeing a significant increase in orders for houses in the private sector, in addition to orders for appartments, as more builders choose timber frame for units historically built in masonry,” he said.

Factors driving timber frame demand, he added, included the tougher energy performance requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

“While we’re cautiously optimistic about market recovery, we’re confident timber frame will continue to grow its market share [due to its] thermal performance and environmental credentials,” said Mr Jarvis. “Coupled with our strong financial position and  growing number of English customers, this leads us to believe it is a good time to expand our manufacturing capability.”

He also said that, as housing demand picks up in England and starts to outstrip supply, timber frame’s suitability for offsite manufacture and speed of construction would play in its favour.

Engineered floor cassettes being manufactured at the English factory