A common criticism aimed at lightweight timber frame housing is that they are prone to overheating due to a lack of thermal mass. Eco2build claims to have developed a mould-breaking solution to the potential problem in its Eco2h2ouse – incorporating water tanks into the building’s timber-based ceiling panels.

“These can be positioned for optimal performance according to the building’s orientation and design,” said executive Andy Wilcock.

“They absorb heat during the hottest weather and then release it gradually when the temperature drops and, in the winter, they also cut heating bills by absorbing passive solar gain.”

The building, which attracted so many people at Ecobuild, they had to queue to go upstairs, also boasts a very high insulation performance, featuring triple glazed windows and mechanical heat recovery ventilation. “And a continuous vapour barrier in the internal wall panels maximises airtightness,” said Mr Wilcock.

Based on an LVL frame, the Eco2ho2use is also claimed to be highly cost-effective, achieving Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes at £1,900/m², compared with £2,100 for “conventional timber frame”.

Mr Wilcock added that a number of housing associations were about to start construction of developments using the system.