We prefer to use wood as much as possible but the choice is with the client. All our designs can be built using “solid laminated Log”, “timber frame” or masonry. Clearly the foundations must be cement with the heavy clay land demanding special design, and by local dictate the roof must be covered in “Roman tiles”.
Solid Laminated Log.
This is an ideal building material which makes for excellent thermal efficiency and structural integrity.
Let’s start by explaining laminated wood is . Laminated wood is wood that has been cut into 40 millimetre planks, then dried, then glued together again into solid logs. The newly created solid logs can be anywhere between 80 and 200 millimetre
Laminated logs provide for virtually no shrinkage
Laminated logs are dryer than a solid log with an average 9% moisture content
Laminated logs have a more refined appearance - accepts stain and preservative the same as the conventional log and beams
Laminated logs are stronger - As an engineered product, the alternating grain of the individual plies provides significant strength and stability to each of the laminated elements, providing stronger and straighter logs than a solid log of the same species and dimensions.
So why is this better than old-fashioned massif wood? The answer is about drying and shrinking. A log shrinks when it dries. It becomes thinner (but not shorter). The drying process starts at the outside. Near the outside of the log the humidity drops rapidly, while on the inside the log still has its old original humidity. The result is that the heart of the log is too big, too swollen still in relation to the outside of the log. And the log cracks. Even when logs are not force-dried in an oven, they crack. Force-drying a log in an oven makes the problem worse. So when you build a house from solid logs, you will get cracks, there is no way around it. Cracks on the inside may look rustic, but cracks in outside walls are not good. Cracks reduce the insulation value of the outside walls, and dirt and humidity in cracks negatively affect the life expectancy of the log. So what to do? The answer is very simple: – cut the logs in 40 millimeter planks – dry the planks – glue the planks together into logs. The 40 millimetre planks can easily be dried without cracks. The result is massive wood, and no cracks. Laminated wood is very rigid. It doesn’t warp or bend, and it will stay straight forever. We use laminated wood not only for the walls, but also in the roof. That is unusual among house builders, but it shows our commitment to quality. Our roof rafters will not hang or sag, not even after 100 years.
Timber frame construction.
This is perhaps the quickest on site construction product because the wall sections are all made in the factory and can be lifted into place. By using the correct insulation materials it is still possible to build a very efficient house. It is also possible to have part solid log and part, perhaps upper floor as timber frame.
We are all familiar with masonry construction as it is the most common building material. Many thermal efficiencies have been developed so again a house complying with the latest regulations can be produced. the real down side is that it takes longer to build and has a greater adverse impact upon the environment