Wood is undoubtedly the holy grail material that has been in use for years. However, over time, because of advancements in engineered products like metal and aluminum, there has been quite a decline in the use of wood as a construction material. As far as the environmental factors are concerned, the idea to not solely depend on trees as a main constructional material is morally the correct choice.
Whereas, the use of wood still exceeds the importance of other materials on the market.
Characteristics of Using Wood as a Construction Material
- Tensile Strength
- Electrical & Heat Resistance
- Sound Absorption
- Beauty & Looks
- Wood’s Green Advantage
“Wood is a fairly lightweight construction material with breaking length (or self-supporting length) that is much stronger than steel”, comment experts at Build Search. In short, it can easily carry its own weight, allowing for less support in some construction designs.
Electrical & Heat Resistance
Wood possesses resistance to electrical and heat conduction when left to dry to normal moisture content (MC) levels. If you’re unaware, typically, moisture content (MC) ranges between 7%-12% for most wood types. It’s important to note that the conductivity of wood is the basis for moisture measuring systems. Also, heat doesn’t influence the strength and proportions of the wood to a greater extent, which means it only offers stability to the completed building but also safety in fire hazards.
Wood has specific acoustic properties that make it an ideal choice for construction to minimize disturbance in office or regular households. This mainly happens as wood absorbs sound, instead of reflecting or amplifying it but if you want dB’s as low as possible, soundproofing a room does require a bit of extra hassle. As a result, it’s quite a perk to block out unnecessary noises with the help of specialized soundproofing materials.
Beauty & Looks
Besides all the practical traits, wood is known to amplify the looks of an entire building adding a dash of the luxurious and elegant character. Where there are countless species available, wood comes in an impeccable array of aesthetically appealing options, from colors to textures – you name it! Not just that, but depending on your constructional requirements, it also provides durability and resistance to acoustic and thermal properties. According to experts at Gwinnett real estate company Watkins Homes, you can browse through house listings in your area to not only admire beauty and looks, but learn more of how timber handles time in your specific area. Yes, wood not only increases tensile strength but gives a beautiful makeover to any new house or apartment!
Wood’s Green Advantage
From the past decade and up to date, there has been a drastic shift in construction trends of using wood as a constructional material. Along with many other factors, the primary motive for the trend was to manage deforestation and greenhouse gases. However, this is not the case this time. Wood has many advantages that not only help the builder but promote a sustainable design as well. According to Hardware & Construction experts, the use of recycled and engineered materials has shifted the battle to MDF over solid wood by bringing reuse of a wide range of leftovers from the industry of raw timber use.
Benefits of Wood
Here are some of the benefits to consider wood as a construction material:
- Wood Is Renewable
- Wood Is Readily Available for Use
- Wood Prevents Lower Volatile Organic Compounds
- Wood Enhances Energy Efficiency
- Wood Is Biodegradable
Wood is Renewable
Unlike other building materials such as concrete or metals, wood is a construction material that grows and regenerates through natural processes like replanting and/or forestry management programs. Selective harvesting and other practices allow steady growth. And when it comes to renovation and taking trash out, wood is among the types of construction leftovers safe for disposal rental dumpsters & bins.
Wood is Readily Available for Use
The life-cycle of wood has a smaller environmental effect on the atmosphere than its counterparts compared to other constructional materials such as steel or concrete, which as a result, often costs considerably less to produce. Wastewater production and the environmental impact in wood manufacturing processes are also significantly lower, especially when compared to steel. Lumber mills use a great deal of wood to make products like chips, bark, as biofuel for their facilities to minimize the manufacturing process’s fossil fuel burden, and moisture monitoring systems allow mills to optimize productivity and produce fewer subgrade and waste materials during the drying process. Not to mention, these benefits continue to multiply as forest conservation and replanting programs continue to thrive.
Wood Prevents Lower Volatile Organic Compounds
As a natural construction material, wood emits far fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and off-gas carbon dioxide than aluminum, steel, concrete, and plastics. However, when it comes to engineered or composite wood products, this couldn’t be far from the truth. According to The Home Guide, the lower influence of wood’s VOC is a particular benefit over daily use such as homes and offices. In fact, wood gives off a natural organic compound that relaxes people – it’s not just the warmth of the color of wood that produces such an enticing effect.
Wood Enhances Energy Efficiency
Wood has a higher level of insulation than any of the other materials, mainly because of its cellular structure. This ensures that homes and buildings need less energy to manage heating and cooling, plus wood certainly helps to control the levels of humidity to a slight degree.
Wood is Biodegradable
Constructional materials like concrete, aluminum, and plastics face countless challenges during the recycling process, as it takes ages to decompose. Whereas the wood can break down much faster if exposed to normal environmental conditions and gets replenished back to the soil.
Increase Wood Durability with MC Measurement
Remember, having the right knowledge about the relation between wood and moisture can maximize the performance and longevity of the wood. The primary step to avoid moisture-related damage to wood floors and constructional materials is to get each wood construction product to the appropriate MC standard. This cycle starts at the kilns of the sawmill and continues until the building is complete. To determine the performance and durability of the wood, it is important to perform a precise MC measurement at each stage.
Why Focus on Moisture Content (MC)
The moisture content of any piece of wood is a fundamental value for how machining, gluing, finishing, and long-term performance change under the influence of water. When it comes to quality and performance, nothing speaks louder than experts:
“Wood is a material of hygroscopic origin. It obviously has a give-and-take relationship with the humidity in the air around it and is always trying to find a balance between its internal MC and its external atmospheric conditions,” comments Terry Smith, professional landscape designer from Garden Tool Box.
“Moreover, the wood must be in harmony with its climate, a condition referred to as moisture content of equilibrium moisture content (EMC),” says Jimmy Morton, founder of Morton Plumbing. If builders or flooring installers start the project before the wood has adapted to the relative humidity level around it, they run the risk of wood warping, bending, splitting, buckling will grow. Also, using forms of timber in areas nearby source of water can end up as a ticking bomb for cost and renovation.” he adds. Therefore, it’s best to use a wood moisture meter to measure MC.
Wrap Up of Wood in Construction
All in all, using wood for construction material is definitely your best bet to go. With its “built-in” advantages over environmental and aesthetic aspects, it has significantly taken the lead. To sum up, with correct optimization, wood MC management, your wood can retain those properties for generations.