The Blog

Next generation Timber

Timber is becoming one of the materials of the future. With more and more projects being built of timber it is clear to see why more designers are choosing timber. 

Timber is excellent for your low-budget garden projects but we are now starting to see it be used on a more industrial scale. 

Read on to learn about the latest timber projects and how timber could be used in your home.  

Timber construction 

Across the world, we are looking for faster, quieter and more sustainable ways to construct projects from housing and commercial offices to retail and outdoor development. Having a range of timber is important to creating the perfect area as projects become bigger and bigger with the expectation that we will have a 12-story wooden building in the near future.

You may be wondering why timber?  Well, it’s clear that in the current climate, the cost of everything is rising, meaning contractors need to find the next cheapest solution. Another factor in this is Climate change and its associated effects may be a global challenge, but there is a role for local contractors and suppliers to help. As more serious natural weather events occur wildfires, flooding or finding low carbon construction alternatives.

Wooden structures

In response to this states in America allowed mass timber construction up to 12 storeys for residential and commercial uses, doubling the current height allowance for wood from 6 storeys. As the City points out, this will make it easier to build with low carbon materials, support housing affordability, and remove barriers for the construction industry at a time of crisis and economic recovery. Many experts expect places around the world to follow suit.

Advantages of using timber  

Timber has 3 main advantages compared to other similar building materials it's easier to install, cheaper and lighter many contractors are in search of better ways to boost the quality of their projects and reduce carbon emissions while adding character. This also means they can install decor faster and with less noise and disruption.

Once considered the underdog by some, wood is proving it can more than compete with concrete and steel, offering an eco-friendly, alternative to heavier, carbon-intensive materials. Timber contractors continue to push the boundaries of what timber can do.

  1. Lighter yet strong 

Wood is lightweight but can withstand considerable force particularly when compression parallels the wood’s grain.

  1. Low carbon & renewable

When considered over its lifetime, wood reduces air and water pollution and is naturally renewable meaning it has a smaller carbon footprint.

  1. Prefab-advantage

Wood is well suited to efficient all-season prefabricated construction. Modular wood building systems can be easily put together.

  1. Energy-efficient

Wood’s low thermal conductivity compared to steel and concrete makes it well suited to high-performance Passive House and net-zero ready design.

  1. Fast quieter construction

As cities continue to grow exponentially, quieter prefab timber construction means less noise and disruption in dense urban settings.

  1. Flexible designs

Wood can be more easily assembled and disassembled, modified or relocated making it well-suited to the rising demand for a flexible architecture.

Wood is good for your well-being and health 

Recent studies have shown that integrating natural elements in interior spaces promotes health benefits that include stress reduction, improved cognitive performance, enhanced moods, and increased preference for spaces. 

timber stores

The physiological and psychological benefits of being in a space with wood are many: lowered blood pressure and heart rate, perception of warmth, and connection to living things to name a few. In addition, research continues to indicate that nature-made and human-made environments are processed differently in our brains, influencing which is the preferred experience. Which shows how important wood is becoming to the world and the use of natural materials is not only cheaper but better for you too. 

This applies to all wooden projects from large-scale interior design to smaller garden projects

Mass Timber projects 

A rising number of contractors are turning to innovative mass timber construction and design. Light and strong, it’s being used in everything from shopping centres and schools to bridges and residential towers. Read more about two of the biggest new timber projects.

Upper Skeena Recreation Centre in Canada

When the 44-year-old ice arena was condemned due to safety concerns, the construction of the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre, built of mass timber and wood-frame construction, delivered efficiency, innovation, and hope to this remote northern region. Drawing on local expertise and materials, the highly collaborative project provided jobs and a boost to the local economy. 

Choosing wood meant construction could continue through the cold winter months, unlike steel welding a method hampered in below-freezing temperatures. This all-wood solution delivers structural performance and ease of installation, with the added benefits of aesthetic warmth, natural insulation and carbon sequestration.

Brentwood Town Centre Station 

The first in a series of innovative transit station design to incorporate wood, is an iconic structure on Metro Vancouver’s Millennium Line, with its double-curved futuristic form levitating above Lougheed Highway. Its sleek, canoe-like design foreshadowed the thoroughly modern, state-of-the-art town centre rising above it. 

Nearly two decades later, the exposed wood shows little to no weathering, a statement on the durability of mass timber construction. More station designs followed this precedent-setting project, incorporating mass timber or other wood products in various architecturally expressive shapes and forms.

Wood buildings are safe

Today’s modern wood-frame and mass timber buildings have a proven fire safety record. Effective design and the use of state-of-the-art fire protection technologies in timber structures provide added assurance and help save lives. 

Although we have seen over recent years that certain types of cladding and wooden materials will burn extremely quickly and hot. Many new technologies are aiming to reduce the chances of this happening again. 

timber supplies

The risk of fire is a concern for all buildings and construction sites. Every building material can suffer damage from prolonged exposure to fire. 

 In response, the building industry has developed technologies and evolved building codes over the last half-century to dramatically reduce the negative impacts of fire and help ensure fire-safe construction. This includes taking full advantage of fire-retardant materials, sophisticated fire detection such as optical smoke sensors, advanced sprinkler and alarm systems and other smart building technologies. 

Light-frame wood buildings' proven safety record

Light-frame wood construction has a long-standing safety record. It is used in the vast majority of single-family homes and multi-family projects up to six storeys. 

While the structure may be made entirely of wood, protective materials such as gypsum wallboard can provide fire resistance as needed. Light-frame wood assemblies can resist the effects of a fire for up to two hours through design and fire-resistant materials. And research shows that light-frame wood construction is just as safe as other building types.

In this blog, we have shown you how timber is great for all types of projects and we hope you can bring some of these ideas into your home. Make sure to share your projects on social media. 

Back to Posts