So much curiosity, questions and answers, myths and legends to debunk about the most noble material in the world!
Do wooden houses burn easily?
It is a widespread belief that wooden houses built with a panel system do not comply with the stringent fire regulations, however it is an intrinsic characteristic of laminated wood that it burns more slowly than does the iron of reinforced concrete. Normally a wooden building resists fire for a period longer than 60 minutes (REI 60, REI 90), not allowing it to propagate in adjacent rooms. In the laminated wood the combustion takes place slowly thanks to the good thermal insulation realized by the carbonized surface layer. A very slow increase in temperature corresponds to an almost negligible variation in the mechanical strength of the wood fibers of the non-carbonized section.
Moreover, the fumes deriving from the combustion of the wooden walls are less toxic than those deriving from the combustion of mortars and metals in reinforced concrete, fumes which, among other things, pass less easily from one room to another, precisely because of the greater insulation .
Finally, the wooden structure of the houses built with the same material is entirely load-bearing and therefore the fire of a wall does not cause the collapse of the structure, which instead normally occurs when a fire attacks a load-bearing pillar of a concrete building.
Are the walls not attacked by insects?
Laminated wood, used for this type of construction, is a structural material produced by bonding dried wooden boards already classified for structural use. It is therefore a composite material, essentially consisting of natural wood of which it retains its merits but it is also a new product which, realized on an industrial scale through a technological process of dehydration and pressure bonding, reduces the defects of solid wood between which the attack by insects. The development of larvae of xylophagous insects depends on the characteristics of the wood, in particular temperature and humidity: in a dehydrated wood the larvae do not have favorable living conditions and therefore do not develop.
This is why no maintenance is required for laminated wood that maintains its organoleptic characteristics unchanged over time.
How many trees have been cut to make a wooden house?
To build a house of 150 square meters, about 50 cubic meters of timber are needed. In the woods of the Alpine arc this amount of wood grows naturally in a time of 28 seconds. The timber used for the construction of the buildings comes from certified forests where careful and controlled management is carried out. This means that the trees are immediately replanted to avoid interruption of the natural reproduction cycle. Furthermore, we must not forget that wood is a natural and renewable raw material, as opposed to cement or steel, which require large quantities of energy in the production phase, causing large polluting emissions into the atmosphere.
But is it true that wooden houses are cold in winter and hot in summer?
The insulation of wooden buildings is made with rock wool, a very high performance natural material: it allows such a thermal displacement that the house is pleasantly livable both in summer and winter. Class A houses with 12 cm of rock wool insulation ensure a thermal offset of about 16 hours; our homes in energy class A + with 14 cm of rock wool guarantee 18 hours of thermal lag. The thermal phase shift is the time frame that the thermal wave takes to flow from the outside to the inside through a building material.
The greater the phase shift, the longer the passage of heat or cold inside the building will be: in essence this means that neither heat nor cold can enter the house as the day changes with the night (cycle that takes less than 14 hours) the absorbed heat or cold starts to come out of the wall before it can enter the house.
In the same way the heat produced by heating in winter inside the home does not disperse and remains in the house, guaranteeing a considerable reduction in heating costs.
The same thermal performance that can be obtained with a 30 cm wooden wall can be obtained with traditional bricks, but with 65 cm, thus considerably affecting the width of the living spaces, as well as the construction costs. The resulting savings are very high. In the same way this perfect insulation can be analyzed also from the acoustic point of view: with the outside, between one floor and another or between different environments, thanks both to the intrinsic characteristics of the wood and to the sound-proofing gaskets applied precisely to further increase isolation.
In the event of an earthquake, how does a wooden house behave?
The wooden structures weigh one third compared to those in concrete and are based on the principle of flexibility of the knot, not of rigidity; this means that in the event of a seismic event the wooden structure dissipates the energy produced by the earth, flexing without deforming or collapsing: the greater flexibility guarantees safety both for the building and for the people inside it.
Do not underestimate the fact that the wooden house, due to the above characteristics, in the event of an earthquake not only does not collapse, does not even suffer aesthetic damage to the finishes (cracks in the plaster, falling eaves, sheet metal pieces that come off etc.) .
What are the differences between a traditional architectural design and a wooden one?
The differences are substantial. It literally passes from centimeters to millimeters. There is an intense synergy between all the technicians belonging to the design team: structural engineers, installers and architects work side by side for as long as necessary to draw up the executive project. The executive planning times are expanding compared to the design of a building in traditional construction, but this timing is significantly compensated in the construction phase.
Each pipe is identified and precisely located on each wall: it is unthinkable to postpone the distribution of both plant and architectural distribution, during construction (as often happens in traditional construction sites).
This precision is not, as is often believed, a sign of a lack of flexibility in the system. The internal partitions, if reasoned before, can be changed also during the assembly operations (except for the supporting partitions). The customer can always, as far as possible, customize the premises and plant equipment present. The important thing is to do it with policy.
What led to choosing this type of technology?
Today the theme of “intelligent building” is considered fundamental and necessary. In past years, the senseless construction and construction of buildings that are not very thermally efficient has caused and is causing unparalleled energy consumption.
The text of the revision of the European Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings (Directive 2002/91 / EC) provides for the obligation to comply with high energy standards (“nearly zero” energy consumption) operational from December 2018 for new public buildings and after 31 December 2020 for private buildings and new offices.
The theme that every professional will have to begin to face in the coming years will be to design buildings that are energy efficient.
What are the differences in execution times?
If the part concerning the executive project was highlighted as complicated and difficult, the part dedicated to the construction is all in all fun and fast.
The schedule of the works provides, from the beginning of the assembly operations, the delivery of the turnkey houses in about 6 months. The only supporting structure of the building is assembled in about 40 days. From that moment, the works related to the plants can start (which, having already defined passages and related forometries, do not need long and useless wall assistance).
Unforeseen events are reduced to a minimum, every aspect and problem has already been highlighted and resolved during the executive design phase.
For a private client who needs to expand, perhaps with a top up, their home, the execution times become very important.
Do wooden houses perish over time?
Let’s debunk a false myth that sends a negative message like “after years the wood could deteriorate”. The wooden supporting structure is made of layers of dried laminated wood crossed and glued together. Laminated wood has been used in the roofing system for decades: there are no reported cases of collapse or deterioration of the structures.
For the X-LAM structures the concept is identical: clearly the wood must be protected from the weather and from the humidity present in everyday environments.
The external façade is then covered with an insulating and plastered coat (if desired, the treated wood can still be left exposed), while inside the bearing wall is protected by a mineral wool insulation and a double paneling of plasterboard slabs . The humidity normally present inside the houses (deriving from the normal activities of daily life such as washing, cooking, sweating, etc.), instead of being eliminated by opening the windows of the houses, can be disposed of through a controlled mechanical ventilation system that in addition to eliminating the humidity present, improves the quality of the air inside the houses.