Spotlight – Benefits Of Using Timber
Timber’s importance to construction can often be overlooked. It is a vital part of the building process that has many great advantages. Recent innovations have helped further its versatility as a construction material.
Timber is one of the world’s most renewable resources making it a very desirable construction material. As the world looks to become more eco-friendly, the desire to use wood and other more sustainable materials has never been higher. With the new innovations in wood, we are able to use it in ways that were never possible before at BD Building.
Advancements in wood technology have allowed timber to be engineered in ways that enhance its strength and flexibility. Making it a more dynamic building material.
The improvements allowing wood to be used more frequently allow builders and the community to experience the benefits of using wood. Timber is a renewable natural resource, and secondly is a reusable and reclaimable building material in many respects.
Recently BD Building VIC collaborated with Loewe Projects in Docklands, Victoria to construct Urban Alley Brewery. The design required the use of local reclaimed timber throughout the build. The timber still has the same reliability, but allowed a more cost effective alternative whilst giving the bar a rustic finish the client desired.
One locally grown timber we have loved working with is the Australian Black Butt. In 2018 BD Projects worked for Stephens Edwards Constructions to rebuild a marina located in Elizabeth Bay, Sydney. The local council proposed the build to include reclaimed black butt timber. The project required the installation of all of the cladding around the two stilted buildings with other works involved on many features. The Marina is another great example of how reclaimed and locally sourced timber has worked for us and our clients, with no compromises being made on appearances or reliability.
The construction industry has many benefits for using more timber now that new technology allows it to be used in countless new ways. A very notable advantage to using timber is the environmental impact it has. All other materials used in construction require a large amount of carbon to be released into the atmosphere to be created. Conversely, timber actually stores carbon and prevents it from being emitted into the air. This makes timber a greenhouse positive building material. Also, the use of timber reduces the amount of excess nutrients that go into water systems, making construction sites cleaner and less likely to accidentally pollute the environment around them.
Production Energy Comparison
A more internal benefit timber offers builders is the reduced cost. Generally, timber has a lower cost than the other primary construction materials. Timber provides many architects with a plethora of new design and style possibilities. Many designers love the inviting physical features of timber. Wood can give a space a very natural feel, making it a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment.
Many of these appealing aspects of using timber have already won over the hearts of some contractors in Australia. Projects that are primarily using timber have already started to become more popular.
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) seems to be growing a technique, and two of our carpenters had the pleasure of assembling on site with AJP Constructions in Sydney.
Made by bonding solid-sawn timber together, it is a practical and fairly quick way to assemble a structure with very little waste, noise or disruption to surrounding businesses and residents compared to more traditional techniques.
CLT has that much more added strength and stiffness it makes it suitable for floors walls and roofs which would normally be built using Ferroconcrete Slab and Panels.
Overall timber is a great environmentally friendly, cost effective and still a modern resource for any construction project. Timber still maintains its place in our constantly evolving industry and winning the hearts of everyone involved from architects to homeowners. We will continue to support these efforts with more challenging projects in the future. This year work by our Melbourne based projects team will end on a very cutting edge home in Toorak, Victoria.
“The design for this residence is the outcome of the Clients’ two passions: contemporary architecture and cutting edge sustainability.”
This energy efficient home will allow a healthier living environment compared to traditional homes. The building will be wrapped in Mt Gambier Limstone but BD Building’s involved runs throughout the entire structure. The timber used for the dining room pavilion and study will over time weather to a silver grey appearance. Both the timber and limestone will not require high maintenance over long periods of time. Recycled spotted gum and blackbutt timber flooring, cladding and interior linings from NSW and Queensland. All timber products are durable recycled Australian hardwoods.
Two chosen certifications to drive the environmental agenda on the project are:
Passivhaus – a German approach to home design that uses a combination of high-performance glazing, insulation and an airtight building envelope to regulate a home’s internal temperature without relying on artificial heating or cooling.
Living Building Challenge – is a green building certification program and sustainable building program that aims to achieve ideal environmental solutions for the built environment. The House will be self-sufficient in managing its water and waste water and has a photovoltaic cell system with battery storage to meet the house’s total energy needs. This project has been an amazing challenge to be part of with Sinjen for far.
Throughout the years along with this and the many other projects we have continued to support new innovating and challenging ideas within the industry. With all of new methods construction and government initiatives set to change the way builders construct across Australia and New Zealand in the near future requiring the use of more timber, we have high hopes for the timber industry.