Timber is gaining more and more importance in the construction of houses. The progress made in research and technical development, added to the drive of new architects and designers, has led this traditional material to experience a period of splendor, adapting to all kinds of environments, including those close to the sea.
Timber structures are no longer marginal in the construction industry. The trend toward their use, whether in high-rise buildings or single-family dwellings, is already a reality, driven primarily by increased environmental awareness that is supplanting other materials such as concrete.
The fact that timber is a natural and recyclable material, coupled with its renewable nature when good logging practices are followed with their corresponding certificates, has an undeniable weight in this change of trend. However, this greater respect for the environment is not the only advantage offered by this raw material:
- Natural insulation. The insulating capacity of timber, both from a thermal and acoustic perspective, subsequently favors the reduction of energy consumption in tasks such as air conditioning.
- Its useful life is very long, provided that the necessary maintenance is performed, for which services such as Blue Arrow Team can always be used. This will prevent moisture or fungal and insect attacks.
- Compared to other materials, timber offers a wide range of possibilities, being able to adapt to multiple uses, combining high mechanical strength and flexibility to withstand compression and tensile loads while being very easy to work with.
- Time saving. The reduction of the construction time required is more than notable because, unlike concrete, it does not require drying and resting times. In addition, it also generally requires less labor.
- Less foundation. Despite its high resistance, timber is a lighter material than others, so the necessary foundation is lower than in other types of construction.
Timber structures in housing can be built as light- or heavy-framed elements, depending on the type of project. Trusses, posts, interlocking beams… are construction elements that are combined in the new building models. The possibilities offered, taking advantage of the different types of vertical and horizontal assemblies, favor different use cases.
Different methods go beyond the idyllic image of stacked logs in huts or classic trusses. Thus, cross-laminated timber panels have found their way into high-rise buildings. In essence, they are large pieces made of slats joined in alternating directions. These panels can be used for floors, walls, and ceilings, manufactured in the workshop, and assembled on-site.
This CLT, as it is known by its acronym in English (Cross-Laminated Timber), is one of the culprits of the revolution of timber in construction, as it can reduce construction times by up to 60%, even in five-story buildings, as demonstrated by the recent construction in Paris of the latest building of the French architectural firm Mobile Architectural Office (MAO).
In Europe, the Nordic countries are ahead of the rest of the world in this new, more sustainable, and, in many ways, more efficient approach. Spain has taken up the baton, and from now on we are sure to see more homes where timber plays a predominant role.