February 26th 2024

The launch of FastBuild: A Q&A with Malcolm Thomson, Managing Director

The launch of FastBuild: A Q&A with Malcolm Thomson, Managing Director

We are excited to announce the launch of our new modern manufacturing build methodology, FastBuild, following significant investment in state-of-the-art technology at our factory in Scotland. Encompassing our new OpenPanel and ClosedPanel systems, our strategic combination of innovative technology and precise engineering is unlocking a faster, more efficient and highly sustainable way to build with timber frame.

To uncover why FastBuild has been developed, the benefits it can unlock for builders and developers, and its potential to enhance the construction sector across the UK, we sat down with Malcolm Thomson, Managing Director, for an in-depth interview…

How would you describe FastBuild in one sentence?

“FastBuild is our all-encompassing timber frame system that includes all our core components, including wall panels, floors, roofs, windows and insulation, and is designed to unlock significant time and cost savings, enhance safety and improve sustainability - all while guaranteeing the highest quality build.”

Why has FastBuild been developed by Kirkwood Timber Frame?

“Having worked in the construction sector our entire careers, we fully understand the challenges in the market across both Scotland and England, as well as the urgent need to scale up the build of new homes across the UK. However the drive to supply quality housing at a fast pace collides with the skills shortage our sector is facing, caused by the financial crash and pandemic, meaning people need to do more with less.

“Developing FastBuild was in response to this, as we were determined to develop a simple yet highly effective solution that would deliver significant benefits to builders and developers, primarily speeding up the build process without compromising on quality or sustainability. By creating larger, longer panels, conducting a higher volume off-site manufacturing, and investing in industry-leading technology, we are able to offer an attractive solution to builders and developers across the UK that we believe will ultimately help tackle the challenges currently being faced.”

How can builders and developers benefit from FastBuild?

“Everything built into FastBuild is driven by pain points we know our customers and the wider industry are facing, and there are universal benefits that can be gained - from faster build programmes and higher quality timber frame kits, to improved site safety and enhanced sustainability.

“For affordable or private housing developers in particular, using the FastBuild methodology can lead to quicker occupancy or sales opportunities, and therefore a faster return on investment.

“From a sustainability perspective, building with timber frame is a key way to support the government’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050 - and a methodology like FastBuild can accelerate that even further through precise engineering, reduction of traffic, packaging and waste, and our fully insulated, air tight closed-panel solution.”

What was important to you when developing FastBuild?

“We wanted our solution to go beyond the wall. The industry has developed open and closed-panel systems that simply centre around this one single component, but there’s so much more value that can be added to the process by taking this concept to the next level.

“By encompassing all individual components like we have done with FastBuild - the floors, roofs, windows and insulation - so much more efficiency can be gained with off-site manufacturing.”

What are you personally most excited about in relation to the launch of FastBuild?

“Firstly, to introduce our ClosedPanel system under the FastBuild banner, thereby bringing our timber frame solution to the English market to support the transition to increased timber frame usage in house building and construction, aligning with the UK Government’s Road Map to Net Zero. The investment in our technology, factory, and the rigorous testing our systems have undergone enable us to offer these solutions at scale, both now and into the future.

“Secondly, to see how FastBuild enhances the overall awareness and perception of Kirkwood Timber Frame. We launched the business over 3 years ago, following 35 years of delivering timber frame kits via our sister company Kirkwood Homes, and have grown at pace since then. The launch of this methodology will showcase everything we’re doing as a business. This is a pivotal moment for the team, and one I am extremely excited and passionate to be a part of."

If you’re interested in FastBuild or want to learn more, you can speak to the Kirkwood Timber Frame team.

Ready to get started with FastBuild?

If you're a builder or developer looking for a faster, more efficient, and highly sustainable way to build with timber frame, reach out to our business development team today to get started.

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