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Building with Timber Frame in WA

There are so many benefits of building in timber here in Perth, let’s talk about the big four:

1. Thermal Performance

Timber itself is a naturally insulating material - tiny air pockets within it’s cellular structure create a barrier to heat and cold. However it performs even better when gaps in between the timber framing can be filled with insulation without increasing the width of the wall.

Timber’s low thermal conductivity means that it does not become cold nor dissipate heat, so less energy is required in order to regulate a building’s temperature.

 

2. Quick To Build

Pre-fabricated timber wall, ceiling and roof framing are manufactured off-site under controlled conditions, so when they arrive on site, much of the work is already done - and to a higher level of precision than can be achieved on site.

This means that one trade can assemble the entire envelope without interruption – no more trying to interpret details , they simply install the panels in sequential order. No more waiting for other trades to complete their work may continue, no more days lost due to poor weather conditions (or sometimes the threat of poor weather), nor delays waiting for wet trades’ work to dry and cure.

It’s also easier to run services through the timber frame as opposed to chasing cables into freshly laid brick walls, significantly less messy too!

 

3. Design Flexibility

On the whole, brickwork offers one of two finishes – either face brickwork or painted render.

Timber framed construction projects are able to offer so much more variety for clients, including;

  • fibre cement cladding 

  • timber weatherboards 

  • stone

  • metal cladding 

  • brick cladding

These are continually evolving too, so there’s so much more scope something that not only looks great but is unique too. Timber framing is flexible – it’s so much easier to modify, whether during the construction or afterwards, than say, brickwork for example.

 

4. Environmentally Responsible / Sustainable (compared to brick)

We’ve spoken already about timber’s thermal properties, which mean that less non-renewable energy is required to control the internal environment.

But when you consider that around 50% of timber’s dry weight is carbon, the use of sustainably grown timber actually makes a positive contribution to the environment. A steel frame home produces approximately 2.9 tonnes to be fabricated  The cement industry contributes approximately 5% of global emissions

There’s minimal wastage in comparison to traditional forms of construction, meaning less landfill. Being a natural resource, it ages naturally and does not break down into environmentally damaging material.

Construction design with a focus on energy efficiency through lightweight timber can greatly contribute to maximising comfort and minimising non renewable energy use. In addition, timber framed buildings can allow for extra insulation materials to be placed in spaces between framing members without increasing wall, ceiling, roof or floor thickness.

The natural thermal properties of timber also maximise the efficiency of insulation materials as wood will not become cold or dissipate heat, therefore requiring less energy to maintain warmth throughout a building.

 

ADDITIONAL - Physiological Benefits

World studies have shown that being surrounded by wood in your home, work or school has positive effects our health. A recent report commissioned by Planet Ark has found that exposure to wood products and interiors created similar health benefits to those created by spending time in nature. The report also including survey findings that reflected Australians are "innately drawn towards wood".

Biophilic design recognises this innate attraction.  Numerous studies conducted over the years, conclude that providing that greater connection can improve productivity in offices, results in education spaces, increase post-operative recovery times in health care. Some of the reported health benefits include:

  • Improved emotional state, and self-expression

  • Improved air quality by moderating humidity, encouraging easier breathing

  • Feelings of warmth and comfort

  • Lower blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels

  • Australians spend over 90% of their time indoors; bringing nature inside is a positive step to a healthier future, for you and the environment.

Check out the 'House, Health, Humanity' report from Planet Ark to get a more in depth understanding of the health and wellbeing benefits of wooden interiors in homes, businesses, places of learning and places for healing. It also includes the results of an independent survey which identifies the attitudes and opinions of Australians on wood.

Some of the findings include:

  • Residents in aged care facilities interact more with each other when surrounded by wood.

  • Students in classrooms that feature more wood have lower heart rates and stress responses than students in classrooms featuring plastic and metal.

  • Two out of three workers prefer offices with wooden chairs, desks and blinds over the same office with those items made from plastic.)

 

And that's that! Thanks for reading, let me know if you need any more information about building with timber frame - meirion@indianoceanbuilding.com.au