Timber has been a material of choice for New Zealand homes since the arrival of the first European settlers, with many nineteenth century homes constructed in timber still in use today.
Robert Grimmer, chairman of the Frame and Truss Manufacturers’ Association says the benefits of timber are widely known, and with today’s focus on sustainability and high performance eco-homes, the material is as popular as ever.
“Timber is a renewable raw material, resulting in far less carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere than competing building products. It is a sustainable, naturally attractive product.”
For a warm, dry, comfortable home, you can’t go past timber, he adds.
“It is a proven thermal insulator, retaining heat from the day and releasing it at night. Timber also acts as a humidity regulator, absorbing moisture when humid and desorbing it when the air is dry.”
Fast and flexible timber has long been the choice of builders, who are familiar with the product and understand how to get the best out of it.
“It is very easy to meet the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code standards as timber buildings designed and constructed using NZS3604:2011 automatically comply. There is no equivalent for concrete block or steel, resulting in a much more complicated and time consuming design and consenting process with those materials.”
Versatility is another key attribute of timber, as it provides flexibility of design and allows modifications and tweaks to layout during the construction process.
“Builders can do all sorts of things with timber, a handsaw, hammer and a box of nails. At the other end of the scale are the engineered laminated timbers on the market, which are extremely strong and can even be curved or shaped to create a stunning aesthetic.”