We recently talked about how to best preserve and maintain the wood within you home. For a quick reminder, here is the relevant article. That may have got you thinking… What are the benefits of wood over other materials and is it still something that is widely used in the construction of homes and their constituent parts? So we are taking a step back this month and looking at this a little more closely: what are the benefits – and disadvantages – of wood as a construction material?
Strength and durability
First and foremost, wood is a natural material with an embedded high tensile strength. What does this mean? At its most basic level, it means that wood can support its own weight better than other materials so it allows you to use less of it with the same benefits for many uses in a variety of spaces when compared to other materials. Additionally, wood is a lightweight material so it can outperform steel in many instances when it comes to tensile strength.
Wood is also a highly durable material. Maintained properly it can last for hundreds of years and with the latest technology in wood preservation that natural durability is even further enhanced.
Wood has natural insulation properties. The pockets of air within its cellular structure provide an insulation capacity that exceeds that of most other most commonly used building materials, including concrete, steel, and aluminium. These natural properties allow for greater cooling and a reduced need for heating, saving you money on your energy bills all year round.
These insulating properties also include improved sound absorption. Wood will absorb sound, reducing echo which is especially useful in offices as well as homes, providing greater comfort whether you are working or relaxing.
A greener alternative
Managed and sourced properly wood is a renewable resource, making it a greener, more environmentally friendly alternative to other construction materials. The processing and production of wood as a construction material also require less energy than materials such as concrete, aluminium, or steel. This means that its embodied carbon and carbon footprint are lower. Any by-products from the production of timber for construction can be used in other processes – for example as wood chip biofuel for electricity and heating.
As a natural product there are fewer chemicals involved in certain types of timber production. Volatile organic compounds, for example, will be emitted on a much lower scale than other materials, making it a great alternative to spaces that are occupied for long periods of time such as homes and offices. However, it is worth noting that this does not necessarily apply to engineered or composite wood products which by their nature will go through a greater chemical process during manufacturing.
For more details on wood products, their benefits, and applicability to your home as a building material, just talk to us at Parson’s Joinery. We have been working with wood for a long time and can help you determine whether it is right for you and your home or office. You can find us on 01273 814870 or by dropping us a line at for a chat or to make an appointment.