Staff training WARM style 2: … What is a noggin?

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Staff training WARM style | Comments Off on Staff training WARM style 2: … What is a noggin?

Staff training WARM style 2: … What is a noggin?


  1. a person’s head.   “it hit him squarely on the noggin”
  2. a small quantity of alcoholic drink, typically a quarter of a pint
  3. the top ridge of a Devon Pasty

Any of the above definitions (one of them is made up) could have applied when Bill Butcher was talking about noggins in the Carbonlite structures training course I attended last year, but I am pretty sure another definition must exist…

 In the context of timber frames, it appears that a noggin is the horizontal bit between your vertical studs. But how many you need and at what spacing, seems to be a dark art.  My question is do I need them at all on my tiny little office?

 Word on the (virtual) street is you don’t need them to prevent racking (sideways wind load causing a square frame to turn into a parallelogram), the OSB board does that, but you might need them to stop the studs twisting as they mature… and if you live somewhere prone to earth quakes you need lots.   So to minimise timber I opted for zero noggins … I may regret this.

I opted for medium thick walls with around 100mm insulation. This was a compromise between performance and cost. With the walls this thick I decided that the i-beams didn’t give enough of a performance benefit over standard studs to warrant the additional expense. With the much thicker insulation that you would need to meet Passivhaus targets (say 200mm) i-beams would give a substantial performance benefit and are much more likely to be worth the extra investment.

As we wanted to make the office easy to dismantle I opted for panel construction even though this gives a higher timber fraction than stick frame (new lingo – stick frame means a frame built on site).


So panel build up is to be:

18mm OSB – 1220mm x 2440mm framed with 38mm x 89mm deep studs.

100mm sheeps wool compressed into 89mm deep panels

22mm sarking board screwed onto the outside

Blog written by Caroline Martin