Advantages Of Using Wood In Architecture

By Bob Gorman posted 05-09-2017 01:42

Modern architecture seems to automatically dismiss wood but this may be a mistake in various cases. Different types of wood have different advantages, like the benefits of Western Red Cedar. You would need to take a look at individual wood properties but generally speaking, wood is anisotropic, hygroscopic and organic. It has electrical, working, aesthetic, mechanical, acoustic and thermal benefits that can be considered. The important things are mentioned below. 

Thermal Properties

When temperature changes most materials will end up with different volume and size, usually expanding when the temperature increases. The expansion will cause material strength decrease. Steel will be non-combustible but can expand due to heat increase. Wood is not going to expand when faced with heat exposure. The only situation when this happens is when we have a humidity level that is under 0%. Something like this is only significant in a scientific setting. Practice says that humidity will never go under 5% even if the climate is really dry.

Thermal conductivity for wood is quite low. Aluminum, for instance, transmits heat at a 7000 times rating, marble at 90 times, steal at 1650 times and glass at 23 times faster when compared with wood. We can so easily understand why wood is the preferred material to make hardware equipment, wall coverings, and ceilings. Wood specific heat is high so the energy required to decrease and increase temperature is higher.

Acoustic Properties

Sound isolation is highly connected to surface mass. Wood is light so it is not that great for sound isolation. However, it is pretty good to absorb sound. When you use wood you have noise and echo prevention. That is why you so often see it used in the world’s largest concert halls. We have higher sound velocity than with liquids and gasses, one that is quite close to metals. Friction led energy loss is lower with wood because of structure and lightness.

Electrical Properties

Electrical current resistance when the wood is dry is the same as with phenol formaldehyde. Oven dried wood will be really great as an electric insulator. Air dried wood can be similar but if moisture content is increased the electrical resistance is lower. Another great thing is that you do not get static electricity present in wood, as opposed to plastic, metal and various other materials.

Mechanical Properties

Wood is not a heavy material but it does have really high strength. Tensile wood strength is lower than steel at a glance but the truth is that it is overall suitable for various situations. Laminated wood and wood will be great for wide-gap constructions like sports halls and health centers.

Aesthetic Properties

Obviously, wood is great as a decorative material. Every single tree type has its own design, smell and color. This means that you can end up with so many interesting designs when you choose a specific type of wood. If you want to, you can simply paint the wood to some extent. Wood is not going to oxidize as much as with other materials, which is definitely something you will love seeing.

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