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Building with Timber

Why is timber is becoming so popular as a cladding material?

Because timber is;

 

Natural
Timber is one of the few natural building material. This has a lot of advantages. Generally, timber is not toxic, does not leak chemical vapour into the building and is safe to handle and touch. It also means that as timber ages, it does so naturally and doesn’t break down into environmentally damaging materials.


Renewable
People have been building with timber for thousands of years. Timber is continually being grown in our forests and plantations. As long as new trees are planted to replace those harvested, timber will continue to be available.


Low in production energy
It takes very little energy to convert the wood in trees to the timber used in building. This means that the embodied energy in timber is very low, the lowest of almost all common building materials.


A store for carbon
Timber is made from carbon drawn from the atmosphere. This carbon would otherwise be adding to the greenhouse effect. Using timber in buildings stores the carbon for as long as the building stands or the timber is used.


A very good insulator
In reducing the amount of energy used to heat and operate a building, insulation is very important. Timber is a natural insulator and can reduce energy needs especially when it is used in windows, doors and floors.


Readily available
Timber is milled all over Australia and is often used close to where it is produced. This promotes local economies and reduces the energy needed to transport materials long distances.


Easy to work
Timber is versatile and can be used in a wide variety of ways. Being light, it is easy to install and can be worked with simple equipment. This reduces the energy needed for construction.