Prefabricated houses are extremely resistant to earthquakes due to the following reasons:
- The wooden houses are several times lighter than the massive houses, which is a great advantage in earthquakes.
- Wood is flexible, unlike concrete, it bends and does not break. Structure assemblies and beams are not destroyed even with serious abnormalities. Moreover – in the earthquake subsides the joints and deformed part of the substructure recover their original shape.
- The nature of the construction of wall panels – a wooden frame lined with whole panels and strengthened with screws around the perimeter of the panel further enhances the elasticity and durability of the structure as a whole
For these reasons, in areas with high risk of earthquakes, it is recommended the construction of single-storey and two-storey residential and commercial buildings to be carried out with a wooden structure.
Although wood is combustible material, if not in direct contact with the flame, it cannot catch fire and start to burn before the surface temperature reaches 400 ° C. As in the past, and today there are reliable ways to protect wood from fire. On the recommendation of the designer or investor, modern wooden houses are treated with suitable chemicals, which greatly reduce the ability to light a wooden structure and prevent the spread of flame.
The wood has a low thermal conductivity and is not deformed by high temperatures in a fire.
Wall panels are lined on the inside with plasterboard, which is non-combustible material and protects the wood structure of the spread of fire inside the premises.
When using internal or external finishes of wood, specific chemicals that protect the tree from fire effectively without deteriorating the aesthetic appearance are applied.
The rock wool used as thermal insulation is also fire-resistant material which does not spread fire to the wooden structural elements.
Usually wooden structureinitially only chars and does not burn completely, which allows for timely intervention of the fire service and the fire to be extinguished without crashing the substructure. For comparison – the concrete structure is not normally used to insulate against fire.
Therefore, at high temperature, the steel may become deformed and this may cause a sudden collapse.
Fire protection of a house is much more complex depending on weather the construction materials used are combustible or not. You have to take into account the characteristics of the house as a whole, especially used interior elements, which are usually highly flammable – curtains, carpets, wallpaper, upholstered and leather furniture are the main materials that support combustion.
When burning the wooden structure does not flake, melt, split or explode. Wood burns evenly with predictable speed. Carbonized layer formed on the surface acts as an insulation and protection for the inside elements.
All wooden structural components are treated against water. This ensures that upon floods wooden items will only absorb a certain amount of water – up to a standard acceptable level. Even in the event that such treatment is omitted (to reduce costs) in brief floods dried wood absorbs water only up to the equilibrium saturation of the wood. Once the water evaporates, it does not affect the stability and properties of the building.
When using EPS or XPS insulation boards, the absorbed moisture is so insignificant (according to production standards) that can be considered zero.
Drying the premises is several times faster than drying premises under massive construction. After drying usually minimal changes to the interior finishes are needed.
Unlike conventional building materials – reinforced concrete, bricks, aerated concrete and other materials that are susceptible to corrosion, rot and swarming, the wood after drying regains its original properties.
The lifespan of wooden houses is highly dependent on the maintenance of the house, which is equally true of solid constructions.
Moisture is the biggest enemy of the structure. If water and moisture have permanent access to the walls and especially to the roof of the house, they fairly quickly destroy the affected areas. That the house starts crumbling from the roof is a well known maxim. In modern construction in the country, both in wood and in massive buildings, the roof structure is most often made of wood. In this respect, protection and maintenance are pretty much the same.
The materials used in wooden buildings have a long enough life without need of extra care. Interior and exterior finishes are the same as in the massive buildings.
A period of 80 to 100 years is assumed as a normal lifespan of modern wooden houses.
Wood is a natural material that lives after being cut, shaped and implanted in the wooden structure of the house. Therefore, its inherent flora and fauna also lives in it – fungi, mold, carpenter ants and other insects and rodents.
A major challenge in the maintenance of wooden houses is to fight these pests.
Modern wooden structures are impregnated with special chemicals – insecticides and fungicides to protect it from water and pests for a long period of time.
In England and North America there are many classic wooden houses over 100 years old that are still occupied.
In China, India, Norway, France and elsewhere to this day there are wooden temples built during VIII-XII centuries.
The wooden churches in Marmuresh, Romania are wonderful examples of folk-religious wooden architecture, which is a result of cultural exchange between Orthodox religious traditions and the influence of Gothic:
Japan has a rich history in the use of wood and is home to the oldest wooden structure in the world – Buddhist temple in the ancient capital of Nara. It is believed that the temple was built in the early eighth century
Tiered wooden church in Norway, built around 1190.