Why Do Architects Use Wood?
Alongside stone, timber is one of the oldest construction materials in the world. Renowned for its strength and durability, using timber can also reduce the environmental impact of a building project. And it looks great too!
Architects are increasingly choosing building materials with Intentional Design in mind. This means considering how people will interact with the building at every stage of the design and build process. Wood is tactile and multisensory – unlike modern materials – and allows a deeper relationship between users and environment and a true sense of ‘matter’. Architects relate the experience of wood in buildings to the Japanese word shitsukan, meaning material perception, or a sense of material quality.
At NORclad, we’ve been championing the use of sustainable wood in construction for years. We supply high quality FSC and PEFC certified cladding for residential and commercial projects. Whether you’re developing a hospital, a retail park or a modern new home, cladding can take your design to the next level.
In this guide, our timber experts outline why architects are increasingly being drawn towards wood as a construction material and why you should consider it for your next building.
Architects Are Prioritising Sustainability
Now more than ever, the environmental impact of a project is a key concern for any good architect. That’s why more and more are choosing timber as a key part of their design. Timber, when managed correctly, is totally renewable and results in quieter, cleaner construction sites that produce far less waste.
A tonne of timber will have removed up to two tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. This is because trees naturally absorb CO2 during photosynthesis and store it unless the wood biodegrades or is burned. More than that, demand for timber products will necessarily increase forest cover for supply. More forests = more carbon stored.
Find out more: Eco-Friendly Timber Cladding – Our Aim and Mission >
Trend for Biophilic Design
Biophilic design is a new trend in architecture all about aligning our innate need to be close to nature with modern, built environments. Timber can do a lot to help achieve this, its tactile qualities instantly evoking a real sense of nature even in urban spaces. Studies have shown that buildings with timber elements result in reduced stress and anxiety, lowered blood pressure and heart rates, and more positive social interactions.
Wood also has good acoustic properties. Preventing echoes and reducing overall noise pollution from inside and outside can provide additional audio comfort to users of the building, which dramatically improves wellbeing.
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Timber Fulfils Safety Requirements
It may come as a surprise, but timber actually has great credentials when it comes to fire resistance. Large masses of wood are difficult to ignite quickly. This is because the exterior chars, forming a layer that shields the core from the flame. As a result, a wooden building can maintain its structural integrity for several hours in the case of a fire. By contrast, steel is highly unpredictable when it reaches its ‘yielding temperature’.
With a special fire protection coating, timber’s safety is underscored, making it the ideal choice for any architect. NORclad can supply timber cladding treated with a reliable fire protection coating to provide you with greater peace of mind.
See more: The Importance of Correctly Specifying Euroclass B Fire Treatment on Timber Cladding >
Architects Recognise Practical Benefits of Wood
Architecture often involves consolidating aesthetic ambitions with practical compromises. Luckily, timber doesn’t just look pretty, it also has a host of advantages on the ground. First and foremost, it’s strong, able to outperform steel when it comes to supporting its own weight. This makes it possible to create larger structures with fewer supports.
Timber is also incredibly lightweight and can be used in locations where heavier materials would be out of the question. This increases the efficiency of the project as it is cheaper and quicker to go up, with elements often prefabricated off-site. Last but not least, the air parcels in wood’s cellular structure mean it has highly efficient insulating properties. Not only does this save energy, but money down the line too!
Durability of Timber in Construction
Timber is a natural material with great eco-credentials, but does it last? Actually, yes. Timber is highly resistant to heat, frost, corrosion, and pollution. The only element that may require some management is how it weathers, but this can be kept in check with regular maintenance and the correct treatment.
See more: How Timber Cladding Weathers – All You Need to Know >
Architects Value Aesthetic of Timber
Wood is an incredible versatile material which can satisfy the trend for inside/outside architecture that blends sympathetically with its environment. As well as this, it can be used to create striking façades and other superficial elements and treated to modify the colour for a variety of modern design styles. The possibilities are endless!
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Find High Quality, Sustainable Timber with NORclad
Plenty of architects have already discovered the potential of timber cladding. If you want to join them, the team at NORclad are on hand to advise you. Timber cladding is economical, attractive, and highly durable, making it the ideal choice for many building projects. Our specialist team have been manufacturing wood cladding sourced from sustainable forests in the UK and Switzerland for over 40 years. In this time, we’ve seen projects large and small transformed by the incorporation of wood in their design.
To find out what cladding could add to your project, get in touch with our team today or request a quote.
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