Timber as building material
Can timber reduce energy consumption?
Wood is a material with ingenious features. The pore structure of timber generates a countless number of tiny air spaces. And you guessed it, one of the best insulation substances at all is dry air if it is separated in very small spaces to prevent air from circulating. This allows to build energy-efficient structures while having slender designs. The thermal insulating effect of a 10 cm thin solid timber wall is equal to a 160 cm thick concrete wall!
Wood is a material that requires no external energy for its production and comparably little energy is necessary for processing timber. That puts timber in front of energy-intensive building materials like concrete, steel and brick.
To build energy efficient is in the interest of everyone who values life and cares about children’s future. In relation to energy consumption of industrial countries it is often referred to the carbon footprint of each individual. What that means is that the lifestyle of high industrialised countries has reached such a high level of environmental impact, in terms of energy consumption, that our planet (the nature) will basically retain a wound (footprint) from each of us. Whatever we do, we stress the environment more than it is able to recover itself but by saving energy we can try to harm the environment as little as possible.
Wood saves energy in every aspect. During the construction of a building, timber products consume less fabrication energy and by choosing local wood species, the energy consumption for transport is also kept low. Timber also saves energy during the operation and maintenance of a building. It can keep the energy consumption low used for heating and cooling, wood is easy to maintain, it is persistent and functional.
Is timber a tough building material?
Innovative wood construction techniques, based on the tradition and the experience of centuries, combined with brilliant material properties, create safe and stable buildings. Wood is characterised by a high structural quality. Therefore, the strong material can be used for a variety of designs - from wide-span structures to multi-storey buildings.
Responsible for the high strength is the fantastic micro-structure of wood, which keeps the weight low and generates a surprisingly high load capacity. In terms of its weight, timber is able to carry 14 times more load than steel. Its compressive resistance is equivalent to reinforced concrete.
Proper designed timber structures are very durable and require little maintenance. The natural resistance of wood ensures the longevity of timber structures. Houses build of timber meet the same high safety standards as houses build of other building materials.
Timber is predictable. Well-designed timber structures outlast fires without collapsing. As soon as the outside of a timber bearer is burned, the generated charcoal isolates the fire from the core of the bearer and keeps the structure stable. Well-designed timber structures outlast earthquakes. The natural flexibility of wood allows movements without causing the collapse of the building.
Can timber be used for alfresco areas?
Whether as facade, window or structure of a house - the building material wood has proven itself for centuries. Wood is durable and robust, varied and used individually.
Timber can not only be used inside the house but also outside, and there is a range of possibilities to use it. Whether as outdoor timber decking, patios, a pergola, for privacy or noise control, as carports, playground equipment, planters or seating - wood makes each garden and each patio unique.
Wood is a natural product. If some basic rules are followed, it can become a very durable material for outdoor structures. Wood smells good, sounds good and feels good. It is warm and comfortable to walk barefoot on it, sustainable, environmentally compatible and hygienic. It is CO2-neutral, making it one of the most environment-friendly materials available to us.
Wood is suitable to shape private and public areas. The diversity of timber species, the colour and different textures make each floor and each garden deck unique.