Timber is one of the most captivating building materials out there. Ensuring that our structures are more self-sufficient and less dependent on emission-intensive materials has become a priority.
The construction of infrastructure consumes quite a bit of energy and resources. Builders, engineers and researchers have made it a priority to create buildings of the future with more sustainable materials.
When it comes to sustainable building materials, look no further than timber. Timber is renewable and stores CO2, as well.
Check out the following timber technologies making waves among Australia’s builders:
1. Cross-laminated Timber
The concept of cross-laminated timber has been around for the better part of three decades, but it didn’t really take off until after the millennium.
CLT is made by placing layers of parallel beams above each other perpendicularly. Then, the layers are glued together to create a material with strength comparable to that of steel.
Buildings constructed with CLT are known for having a high load-bearing capacity, slender walls and surprisingly effective fire resistance. Buildings made of CLT are theoretically recyclable after use, as well.
2. Polyurethane Adhesive
Polyurethane is a polymer comprised of several organic units joined by urethane links.
Polyurethane is well known for being formaldehyde-free. Formaldehyde is a natural component of wood, so polyurethane adhesives contain minute quantities of formaldehyde.
Polyurethane adhesives are perfect for timber based constructions due to their heightened elongation and elasticity before a fracture occurs (up to 600 percent stronger than other adhesives).
The fact that polyurethane adhesives distribute weight over the length of a bond makes them perfect for buildings made of timber. These adhesives can also be mixed with sawdust and wood chips to create a fiberboard.
3. Capped Composite
Capped composite is made of a composite wood and recycled plastic core with a polymer protective shell.
The major selling point of capped composite is the fact that it emulates the look of traditional hardwoods.
It is engineered to require next to no maintenance while looking and feeling as much like wood as possible.
The fact that capped composite is made of recycled materials makes it a very sustainable construction material. In the higher-end composite board, the ratio of plastic to wood hovers around 50-50.
The PVC coating of capped composite prevents mould from infesting the organic fibre found within composite materials.
4. Mass Timber
Mass timber is a term used to describe any wood product that’s larger than conventional lumber. It is reinventing the way we view wood-based construction materials.
People are of the belief that timber and wood, in general, is only suitable for smaller-scale buildings Mass timber is the result of researchers seeking new ways to create structures with as little emissions-intensive materials as possible.
Mass timber has natural fire resistance. Tests have shown that mass timber structures resist fire better than steel-based structures.
The reasons for this is that wood exposed to fire naturally develops a layer of char with high insulating properties that can protect the bulk of a wood structure from heat and flames for up to two hours.
5. Tec Beam
Tec Beam is a new-age composite beam made of an interesting lightweight steel and timber composite.
The unique properties of Tecbeam joists have assisted in the development of roof framing systems and structural floors.