Timber has been used to construct homes for around 10,000 years—far before the use of concrete and steel. In the Faroe islands lies a wooden home that has been inhabited since the 11th century and still stands strong today. If used correctly, it's one of the most long-lasting and environmentally sound building materials available. In this blog we'll go through the various reasons you should consider wood as the primary building material for your next project.
Timber homes occasionally receive a bad rap for degrading prematurely, however, this is almost always due to a lack of basic care. It's a little like purchasing a car, never having it serviced and then being shocked and disappointed when the engine has a tantrum. Like all things, wood needs a little TLC every now and again to ensure it provides many years of reliable service. That being said, in the case of trusses and posi-joists, they can be left alone with no care whatsoever, provided the surrounding structure is doing its job at keeping out the elements.
Viewing the bigger picture, this should be the primary reason to opt for timber. Concrete, steel and brick are non-renewable; they'll all run out one day. Concrete is manufactured using fossil fuels and is itself a huge drain on the world's resources, using a colossal 40% of the total energy we produce annually. By comparison, timber is around 30% less environmentally damaging and, of course, renewable. It's in the best interest of timber suppliers to keep their stock topped up, meaning most have a standard policy in place to plant two trees for every one felled. After the tree has been felled, the 'waste' products are often used as biomass to power the manufacturing equipment and/or heating systems of the factories. If we skip ahead X amount of time to the end of the timber product's life, it can be deconstructed easily and will naturally biodegrade if left, or can be reused for a multitude of purposes. Concrete, on the other hand, becomes waste once broken down and, if not contained, can cover the soil in a layer of toxic dust that leaches into water sources.
Easy to Work With
Wood is comparatively lightweight (depending on the type of wood, of course) and can be installed by hand in many cases. If you're building a garage or car port, for example, you're going to find it much easier to lift a few softwood trusses above head height than steel rafters.
Wood is naturally insulative and has around 10x the insulating capabilities of concrete and masonry. Couple this with a high quality insulation between the timber structure and you're going to save a hefty amount on the heating bills. Although Posi-Joists are not totally made from timber, their open structure allows insulation to be placed in the joist itself to increase efficiency, making them a solid choice if you're looking to future-proof your home.
Faster to Build With
Trusses and posi-joists are constructed offsite and are ready to be erected once delivered. Installation of these products is also incredibly fast and efficient compared to other methods and greatly reduces labour costs.
Less Overall Mass
There will be areas of your project that'll still require some concrete; namely the foundations. Using timber reduces the overall mass of the structure, decreasing the amount of concrete needed for the same building size. Or, allows you to potentially construct an additional storey.
If you're considering trusses or posi-joists, you can either contact us and receive a custom design and quote (with no obligation to purchase if you're not happy) or buy straight from our website here.