Residential Homes | Wood Framed Homes
Wood Framed Construction
This is the most common above grade residential construction method in North America and some parts of Europe. The main reason that this method is so widely used is due to how economical it is to build. Wood structures have great energy qualities and are very efficient in heating and cooling. On top of this, wood construction can be used for modern, traditional, and contemporary building styles, allowing its architectural possibilities to be endless.
Comparing Wood to Masonry
The average time you can expect the frame of a wood home to be built is around 7-10 days. This is much quicker than a standard brick and block construction. Wood frame construction can be erected in very low temperatures and since this is a mainly dry process of construction, the limitations compared to blockwork are significantly lower.
This is a significant advantage of wood framed construction. When compared to masonry walls for example, it will take much less energy to warm a home built with wood. The reason behind this being that the masonry walls have an inner leaf that must be heated first, before the room itself will begin to see a change in temperature. However, a timber framed home will heat up and cool down much faster because of this. This can be considered a good or bad thing depending on the location of the home and the temperature changes it will face.
Because dense and heavy materials are the best way to defend against loud noises, your clear choice here would be masonry. However, a good amount of sound reduction can be achieved many different ways when building with wood. Filling the voids in between walls with a mineral wool or other sound absorbent material is a great way to cut down on noise. The same methods can be applied between the floor joists and floor boards.
It is obvious that wood framed homes can burn and will have the disadvantage when compared to a steel or masonry built home. However, steel does fail under high amounts of heat and it will fail catastrophically. When determining the fire safety of one construction method to the other, there is more to be considered, speak with your architect on what else you can do to prevent fire damage.
Timber has been considered renewable, because a similar tree must be planted to harvest one at any time. Compared to the industrial processes of concrete and other blocks that are produced in a factory out of raw materials that will run out eventually. Another large factor is that there is little to no waste in lumber production, as well as harmful CO2 production during its process. However, producing other materials such as steel and concrete will contribute to the amount of CO2 and other harmful elements released into the atmosphere.