Wooden Houses at the beginning of the third Millennium
Wooden houses have been around for thousands of years.
As in any field of technology there has been little or no evolution for centuries and now, in the last 70 years, things have changed dramatically and a new era started, bringing improvements at a quick and steady pace.
Today the wooden house Industry represents the most advanced segment in the building sector and, as a matter of fact, wooden buildings are the only type of building that can be entirely made in a factory.
It’s Factory Made
Everything we own and use daily in our life is factory made: our phones, our cars, our clothes, our food. Why our houses should be done in a different way?
It is proven that factory production is the way to get products at the lowest cost and with the highest Quality. Products manufactured in a closed and monitored environment, where strict rules are followed and expert workforce is employed, are more reliable and durable… in one word: better.
Factory made products are also known to be always on the top edge of technology and this bring a clear benefit to the final Customer.
Among the types of wooden houses, “timber frame element houses” guarantee the most lightweight and Energy efficient solution. Element houses are also the most recent and most technical advanced kind of wooden building.
In the early days of wooden houses, evolution from tree houses to shelters, barns and log houses has been quite fast. Thousands of years went by with no considerable improvement in the technology used for construction and in the look of wooden buildings. Then came insulation.
The first glass fibers, called mineral wool, were invented in 1870. However, insulation as we know it today came only 68 years later in 1938 when the first fiberglass insulation was produced.
Availability of affordable and high quality insulation material allowed redefining wooden houses. Not only it made possible to build better insulated buildings, it also opened the way to a new – modern – way of thinking the wooden house.
With the introduction of insulation we began to separate walls into different functional components:
- the structural part
- the insulation part
- the interior/exterior finish
Main objectives that guided this transformation process were cost and Energy efficiency. The target for this new, composite, construction was to achieve the best Energy performance at the smallest possible cost.
The wooden housing Industry realized soon that the materials for interior/exterior finish did not necessarily need to be made out of wood… instead, using common construction materials, such as gypsum or other fibre boards, would guarantee good quality finish at a fraction of the cost.
This was the beginning of a new construction technology: quickly we set aside the “chalet” look of wooden houses and focused on new architectural solutions.Timber frame element houses take full advantage of insulation thanks to the particular structure of walls, roof and other elements, where a large amount of insulation material is packed into the elements.
Interior surfaces are strong and durable (here at Q-haus we use a double-layer interior finish: chipboard + gypsum) and exterior surfaces can be anything from traditional wood boards to plaster or even plastic or metal boards.
Estonia is today leader in the export of factory made wooden house and it has the best cost/quality ratio among the EU Countries.
Our products are exported mainly to Scandinavia, Germany and Denmark but with new Energy regulations in force in EU (i.e. TEK10 for Norway and RT2012, BBC for France), also southern Countries like France or Italy will soon be in need of better buildings.
Unlike in wooden building Industry, traditional brick/concrete construction sector did not bring considerable innovation from Energy saving point of view, not at least at an affordable price.
In order to reach the same Energy performance of an Element house, a traditional house would have a 20-30% higher price and offer smaller living area giving the thicker size of external walls.
Not only about Energy
As result of better insulated walls and better windows, the whole house becomes a more comfortable ambient. Modern wooden element houses are products of exquisite engineering and they also offer excellent sound-proof capabilities.
Living in one of our houses means being able to close a door on the busy and noisy outdoor, having a private and comfortable place where you can effectively enjoy your undisturbed privacy.
At the beginning of the third Millenium, building with prefabricated wooden elements is a smart, quick and ecological way to get a house that does not only look like the house of your dreams but is also energy efficient and affordable.
Buying your wooden element house in Estonia guarantees high quality and professional support before, during and after construction. Our long tradition and experience in the wooden housing Industry is our best reference and we always commit to offer the best possible Product and Service.
Author: Andrea Bronzini