In many suburban residential homes, one would find the streets lined with many timber-framed houses. The use of timber in the construction of dwellings has become a norm. This stems down to wood’s material properties and the many benefits it brings such as insulation, durability, lightweight and structural strength. It is also worthwhile to point out that using timber as a construction material, the builders would also check the tick-box for sustainability. Mankind has been using timber for thousands of years, and it is proven to be reliable, stable and in some ways renewable.
1. Quick and Simple
It’s official – building with timber is just that much quicker. A timber frame can be prefabricated, modified, and built to accuracy so it makes construction time faster than for say a brick build. One should take note that time is also saved since less building debris is around to clear.
Due to the lightweight nature of timber members, timber-framed buildings are far quicker to erect and install than brick or concrete buildings. A quicker build time clearly saves time and money for both domestic and commercial property owners. Building with timber is also a less specialised and expensive skill.
We all know that timber is a highly durable material. Some well-built timber structures has last for centuries. It is also easy and cheap to maintain compared to other materials.
Because of its material properties, wood is a natural insulator and can help reduce energy requirements when it is used in housing components such as windows, doors and floors. A timber-framed building allows more room for insulation than a brick building, and timber itself also has thermally insulating properties. And it’s without a doubt that a better insulated home requires less energy to heat, as well as cool.
Compared to steel, wood has better insulating properties. At a micro-level, wood’s configuration is such that it contains small air pockets, which limit its ability to conduct heat.
Last time I checked, people have been building with timber for thousands of years. Timber is sustainable and is a truly renewable building material. One of the key things here to understand is that timber is grown quicker than it is used. Most of the main timber supplying countries have long-standing policies to re-grow more timber than is consumed. If new trees are planted to replace those harvested, timber will continue to be available. Timber is milled all over the world and is often used close to where it is produced. This promotes local economies and reduces the energy needed to transport materials long distances.
Wood comes from trees, so timber is one of the few natural building materials, which has a lot of advantages. For example, timber is non-toxic, does not leak chemical vapour into the building and is safe to handle and touch. It also means that as timber ages, it does so naturally.