Construction materials have changed considerably over the years, as new material innovations breed new designs and new possibilities for construction and architecture. Today, our skylines are defined by these innovations, as shimmering skyscrapers of glass, metal and concrete rise up above their brick-and-mortar predecessors.
But for all the new materials and design capabilities of the contemporary construction industry, there are still some evergreen materials that find regular usage today – and form a central part of even modern builds. One such material is timber, with treated timber forming a key constituent part of builds and projects both domestic and commercial. But why, in a world of new fabrication and designer materials, does treated wood still hold so much importance to the industry?
Why Should You Use Treated Timber?
Durability and Longevity
Firstly, treated timbers are incredibly durable materials, on account of the chemical treatments they receive that prevent rot and decay. Timbers can stand the test of time for decades if used properly and with intent, where other common materials can weaken over time. Hardwood timbers are naturally hardwearing and do not suffer deformation easily. As such, they are the perfect material for creating structures with staying power. Some timbers have different properties with regard to flexibility, which can be used to their own strengths in specific circumstances.
Part of this longevity can be attributed to the natural resistance many woods have to fungal or other organic growth. Chemical treatment boosts this resistance, and also provides water resistance where wood is used in panel form. Treated timbers also enjoy fire retardance, limiting risk when it comes to environmental hazards.
Timber is, simply put, an incredibly versatile material. It has been an effective building block for a wide variety of purposes, and for millennia. Its versatility makes project planning and supply extremely simple; the same supply of timber can be used for everything from fencing to structures and roofing. Different timber products lend themselves to decking and flooring, while sheet materials can be used to manufacture built-in storage and furniture with ease.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly of all, treated timbers are a much more sustainable material to use than other common building materials. Concrete, to name just one material on which many contractors rely for inexpensive and structurally sound builds, has an unfathomably high carbon cost; globally, the cement industry (cement being the core ingredient of concrete) is responsible for as much as 8% of all carbon emissions.
By centering new builds and projects around timber frame constructions, and by using structural plywood to form load-bearing external panels, you can greatly reduce the carbon cost of a given project – while also reducing the environmental impacts of the building after it has served its purpose. By adopting modular approaches to construction that forefront sustainable timbers, you increase your business’s overall sustainability too.