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New Model Building

An innovative approach to building multi-storey mass timber housing, pre-assessed by a UK warranty provider.

Andrew Waugh


Waugh Thistleton Architects in collaboration with expert fire engineers at University College London, structural engineers at Buro Happold and cost consultancy from Gardiner & Theobald has developed the New Model Building as a set of design principles and guidance for multistorey residential mass timber building in the UK, that have been pre-assessed by the national warranty provider NHBC. 

After a meticulous pre-assessment process by the national warranty provider, NHBC, the NMB provides a reference for organisations wanting to use mass timber for multistorey housing up to 18m, or 6 storeys. A suite of open-source easy-to-use documents produced by Waugh Thistleton explain the design principles and details of the New Model Building. The documents include:

  • An overview Guide describes why we need the New Model Building and what it includes.
  • A Detail handbook describes the technical standards on which the New Model Building is predicated, and contains a suite of details, checklists and performance specifications which describe how to design using the New Model Building principles.
  • The Evidence book contains all the pre-assessed documents submitted to NHBC by Waugh Thistleton Architects, UCL and Buro Happold.

As an invaluable and comprehensive suite of information, the New Model Building provides clarity and confidence among a diverse spectrum of stakeholders, such as designers, developers, housing providers, local authorities, insurers and investors, providing with the knowledge and know-how to seamlessly incorporate mass timber into multistorey residential projects.

The three books are available to download below, or from our Knowledge page.



Waugh Thistleton Architects

Waugh Thistleton Architects (WTA) is a Shoreditch based architectural practice producing thoughtful and sustainable projects in its own neighbourhood and beyond. The practice is a world leader in engineered timber and pioneer in the field of tall timber buildings. In their home city of London, WTA have designed and delivered exemplar timber residential and commercial buildings, including Dalston Lane, Murray Grove, Orsman Road with their most recent design, for The Office Group, being The Black & White Building, setting a new precedent for all-timber office construction in the UK. 

More broadly Waugh Thistleton has experience in delivering a wide range of building types in multiple geographies, including affordable housing, private residential projects, offices and commercial spaces, and mixed-use, cultural and leisure.

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Buro Happold

Buro Happold Limited is a British professional services firm that provides engineering consultancy, design, planning, project management, and consulting services for buildings, infrastructure, and the environment.

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Gardiner & Theobald

Gardiner & Theobald is an independent construction and property consultancy committed to providing world class service to our clients. We work across the private, public and social sectors to find solutions to complex construction, property and infrastructure challenges that create positive outcomes for our clients and their stakeholders.

We define our success by the value we create for our clients, the fulfilling careers we build for our people, our contribution to the communities we work in and our own long-term business performance. Our business with purpose mission provides a framework for action on the issues that matter. As we deliver on this mission, we take social and environmental responsibility for our actions, operating as one team across our network of UK and US offices.

Central to this mission is attracting, developing and retaining the best people. We do that by striving to create an inclusive and diverse meritocracy that rewards individuals based on their unique abilities, talent and hard work.

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Gardiner & Theobald LLP 10 South Crescent London WC1E 7BD
+44 (0) 20 7209 3000


University College London

Waugh Thistleton Architects in collaboration with expert fire engineers at University College London, structural engineers at Buro Happold and cost consultancy from Gardiner & Theobald has developed the New Model Building as a set of design principles and guidance for multistorey residential mass timber building in the UK, that have been pre-assessed by the national warranty provider NHBC. 

Latest solutions