Environmental studies at various universities across the globe clearly point to the fact that wood frame construction is the most energy efficient building system, both in terms of operational energy usage and the embodied energy that goes into manufacturing building materials.
In colder climates, the electric energy consumption of modern wood frame homes is:
While in more moderate climates, the electric energy consumption of wood frame houses is:
Wood itself is a natural thermal insulator due to the millions of tiny air pockets within its cellular structure. The thermal insulating ability of softwood is 10 times that of concrete and masonry, and 400 times that of solid steel.
While a contemporary home of steel, cement and concrete that takes in ideal conditions 12 months to make. We can do it in 15 days on site.
Wood frame buildings are truly “green” buildings as they reduce energy consumption and use wood materials from renewable, sustainable forestry resources. Furthermore, the production of wood building materials uses less energy and results in significantly less air, water and solid waste pollution than steel or concrete building materials. Wood structures present the least potential damage to the environment. When measured in monetary terms, the environmental impact of wood structures is less than half of that incurred by concrete structures and nearly one third less than steel structures.
More specifically, their results showed that the production of structural wood materials used in a wood frame buildings consumes:
Wood-frame construction incorporates wall, floor and roof assemblies that are strong, easy to insulate and quick and efficient to build. Using a combination of materials and modern engineering, wood frame homes are designed to meet the requirements of the environment for which they are built and can withstand conditions of high wind, heavy rain and even earthquakes. When properly built and termite treated cared for, these homes can easily have a life-span up to 50 years or more.
Woods immense flexibility makes it the best choice for creating customized structural or decorative designs. Walls that are up to 20% thinner than standard concrete walls, provide for greater internal floor space and the ability to embed infrastructure (electrical wiring, plumbing and ventilation ducts) in floor, ceiling and wall cavities, allowing architects and designers from having to design around these components.
Making changes is virtually impossible when walls are poured in concrete or when expensive and time consuming, reworking of the construction material is needed off site. However, wood buildings can be easily redesigned to suit changing needs, whether it be the addition of a new room or moving a window or door.
These houses are so solid that they can take the countless storms, and seismic performance. Thanks to recent innovations in wood engineering codes and standards, which have produced products like I-joists, trusses and structural composite lumber. Wood can withstand high wind and large earthquakes.
Maintenance is absolutely easy. Go back to the times when we saw wooden flooring first time and we refused to believe that it has a long life. Today in modern homes wooden floors are more prominent than the tile / mosaic flooring.
The wood retains humidity making the environment around the house less humid. Wood is a natural humidity regulator. Its moisture content always matches the ambient air, providing natural humidity stabilization and regulation.
Wood generates positive feelings because of its warm and natural attributes, and evidence suggests that this can contribute to an individual’s overall sense of well-being. It also helps make a building more comfortable by moderating indoor humidity. During times of high humidity, it absorbs moisture; during dry periods, it releases moisture into the air.
Research has found that interior wood paneling can reduce peak moisture loads in a typical home by 1025%, making it more comfortable and reducing the need for air conditioning and ventilation. Wood floors contribute to better air quality as the accumulation of dust and microbes can be reduced through regular sweeping, mopping and vacuuming.
Both research and experience confirm that fire safety in a house and apartment has little to do with the combustibility of the structural materials used in its construction. In fact, the occupants’ safety is far more dependent on their own awareness of fire hazards (open flames etc.), the contents of their home (furniture etc.) and the fire protection measures designed into the building.
When comparing the fire safety of wood versus concrete or steel, wood is stronger than you might think. Although wood is a combustible material, a layer of char is created when it burns, and this helps to protect the wood and maintain the strength and structural integrity of the wood inside. For this reason a heavy timber will stand longer than a comparable steel beam which will melt from the heat before the timber burns through.
Wood frame construction is a complete building system in which a combination of materials and design elements contribute to creating a durable, healthy and safe environment. Fire retardant materials such as gypsum board line the walls of the interior and ceiling, with additional layers used in higher risk areas such as the kitchen. Practices such as these ensure the modern wood frame building system meets and complies with Canadian National Building Codes covering structural and fire safety regulations.
Modern Wood Frame Construction incorporates a variety of materials and design features, which make it effective in handling sound transmission and privacy issues, even in commercial or multi-family residential dwellings where sound insulation is particularly important. In high traffic areas, natural cavities in wall and floor assemblies are filled with sound insulating materials.
In addition, layering materials of varying densities, incorporating new technology such as sound dispersing metal channels and using design features such as staggered walls studs, all help to significantly reduce sound transmission and create a peaceful and private environment.