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Wood Construction

Wood as a construction material has been in use from ancient times. Wood construction was preferred by early humans as wood was easily available and could be fashioned into useful shapes and sizes with the elaborate need for tools. The invention and the development of copper tools were instrumental in the rise of wood as the preferred construction material after 5000 BC.

Wood was primarily used as building material from the tenth to the eighteenth century. The style and the durability of wood based construction however depended on the type and quality of timber that was used and available in the region. In Neolithic Europe, logs were split and were set vertically on the ground or sill plates on the ground. In the mountains of north and central parts of Europe, log huts were made by placing logs of wood horizontally on the ground, and that method is still used today. But with the rising popularity of concrete and stone for construction, wood was predominantly used as supplementary structures.

There are several properties of wood that makes it fit for construction purposes. Wood is easily available, and its price is also less in comparison to other construction materials. Wood can also be easily fabricated, and its renewability is among the key properties that make wood a material of choice for construction. On the other hand wood can be infected by pests and insects and its combustibility often needs special protective measures while using wood in construction such that it does not break down or catches fire easily.

With the rising concern for renewable construction sources, the use of wood in construction has gained popularity in the construction industry. There are several advantages of using wood as the basic construction material. Being economical, easily available and renewable makes it a good choice. Wood also does not require extensive construction tools and can be shaped easily. Its insulating property and its strength in comparison to its weight are also advantages in its favor. Wood construction is also very fast, and buildings of wood can be constructed in very short period in comparison to other materials. However its combustibility and weakness to withstand very high winds as in hurricanes has made it somewhat unfavorable in certain areas.

The advent of construction materials like cement had reduced the use of wood. But in modern times, the concept of susceptible materials has again increased the importance of wood as a construction material.


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