Timber is a favorite construction material from the historic time and now, one of the favorite construction material of the future. Timber construction material when compared with other construction material gain:
- High Insulation property
- The carbon-dioxide emission is less
- Highly sustainable material
Sustainability is explained in terms of pollution and emission caused, which is less compared to other materials. If we consider the amount of trees used for this purpose, the sustainability is less.
Why is Timber Construction Popular in 21st Century?
There are many specific reasons inbuilt in timber material that made it to be demanded greatly in 21st century. It is studied from the research that a percentage of 70% of new houses are made out of timber. These records for 25% of total construction. This percentage is said to increase in the future.
Some of the root causes behind the regain of timber construction popularity are mentioned below:
1. The Invention of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)
The development of cross laminated timber has greatly influenced the popularity of timber for use in construction. This is not a material great enough to compete with concrete or steel, but this has taken some role in people’s mind to choose them over other construction material.
The CLT material is a combination of layered wood forms. These are combined together with the help of glue and finally pressed to become monolithic. All small forms of timber materials can be collected and combined together to form large construction material of required size.
The CLT material is light and highly stable in nature. This material strength is comparable with the strength of the steel and the brick. In London, the researchers name it as the “new concrete”.
2. Prefabricated Home Construction
Homes that are manufactured and modular in nature are categorized as prefabricated homes. The timber with its high insulating property and low energy consumption prove as a good prefabricated material.
Timber prefabricated homes are highly insulated for heat and sound with energy efficiency more than 50%. This efficiency is greater than that attained from a traditional house construction.
3. Speed of Timber Construction
As mentioned before, the CLT have brought a new picture for timber construction. The use of CLT increased the speed of construction. The time taken to construct the timber homes is very faster compared with the traditional house construction.
Initially timber frames are constructed in its dry state. The dry plasterboards can be used as walls which helps in the stabilization of moisture adaptation.
4. Cost of Timber Construction
Timber is less costly compared with steel frame construction but costlier than brick construction. Other benefits are that the timber is more durable and the maintenance required for the same is less.
5. Strength of Timber Construction
Steel when compared with timber is light and stronger in construction. But special studies on timber and the development of CLTs have proven this as a material with higher strength and stability. Its proven characteristics have made its application on high rise construction.
The Bridport House in London is an example of cross laminated timber high rise project. This is an eight-storey building and 5 storey building combination.
6. Insulation Properties of Timber Construction
Timber acts as an external cladding for preventing sound and heat with great thermal efficiency. The timber provided can be less than 5cm thick which is lesser than the thickness of the masonry provided. This low thickness is enough for providing the thermal efficiency as the insulation properties is derived from the interior of the wood.
The heat transfer in timber is very low when compared with other materials like steel. Timber homes save money in our energy bill.
7. Environmental Impact from Timber Construction
The timber construction has great importance for being environmental friendly as the material is a renewable source. The steel when compared with timber is a great source of pollution. Timber construction is hence a great promoter of zero carbon housing systems.