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Timber Homes - VALIZ Magazine

Timber Homes

Green Homes, courtesy and copyright Ales Krivec
Most mid-century rural homes in South East Asia have been founded in timber. This accounts for about seventy percent prior the urbanisation of rural towns.

Detached timber homes often with indoor gardens or stairwell, have an advantage over link houses, which are often built without any stairwell or any form of ventilation.

Timber not often the choice of modern day architecting thanks to mindset foreplay in its reference to poverty, has been given way to materials such as inexpensive cinder blocks for cheaper homes catering to destitute homeless owners.

However most of these houses are not often structured with ventilation flow, thus becoming hazards when built massively for the poor.

Timber is the only material to naturally store and lock away carbon.

Every year the world’s forests deliver up over 1,5 billion cubic metres of timber for milling and industrial processing, as well as supplying fuel for about half the world’s population.

This timber can come from forests that grow naturally or from plantations. Forests are a major store of carbon when properly managed and can significantly contribute to reducing of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The production of derivatives from timber generates less pollutants to the environment as compared to other building products ⎯⎯⎯ A study has indicated that timber can store up to fifteen times the amount of carbon that is released during its manufacture.

A plantation forest offers a much richer eco-system than pastureland. A square kilometre of a typical pine forest will lock up 12 to 20 thousand tonnes of carbon per year ⎯⎯⎯ ten times as much as pastureland.

Timber plantations often generate large volumes of residues which have the potential to replace fossil fuel as an energy source, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions; burning clean sustainably sourced wood from such plantations in chips, sawdusts etcetera, is cleaner than other fuels such as sulphur and nitrogen, as compared to coal or gas.

Through research, a 1,3M tonnes per annum of sawmill residue can produce 1,15M MWh electricity supporting up to 150K average households saving about 1M tonnes of CO2 emissions.

It takes eight times less energy to produce a tonne of timber than it does a tonne of steel and a staggering 46 times less energy than a tonne of aluminium. It takes an extra fifteen tonnes of CO2 to lay a concrete floor as compared to a timber floor in the construction of an average family house.

Modern contemporary living is doing the opposite of what it ought to in regards climate change, when it comes to developing for home owners.

More than twenty tonnes of CO2 would be saved if timber products were used to build a single storey house as compared to constructing the same house using alternative materials.

If half of South East Asia’s new housing development were built using mainly timber products, more than three million tonnes of CO2 emissions could be saved per annum.

A wood beam requires ten times less energy to make than the equivalent steel beam. Wood window frames use fifty times less energy to make than aluminium window frames, whilst wood cladding for houses requires significantly less energy than brick cladding.

Modular, prefabricated timber derivatives in these Czech designed homes by architect Marek Štěpán ⎯ these homes are readily built within three months and what modern urban housing development ought consider. An inspiration for designing cost-effective homes for the smaller family, reducing wastage in a contemporary world slanting towards simplicity and minimalism.


Saul Zaik House
Jessica Helgerson Interior Design
112 SW 1st Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
T 503 548 4984

Connecticut Home
Crisp Architect
3788 Route 44
Millbrook, NY 12545
T 845 677 8256

Atelier Štěpán
Konečného náměstí 3
Brno 602 00
Česká Republika
T 420 541 245 109

Mýto 57
347 01 Tachov

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