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Frank Hovis

Got wood?

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What a pretty mess this is.

I have several times said how rubbish are modern timber framed buildings because the timber is very inferior to block construction and only used because it makes it quicker and therefore cheaper to build houses.

Only buy a timber framed house from 1980 onwards if you have a yen to spend £50k on remedial structural work.

In the wake of Grenfell there have been big restrictions on its use upon safety grounds: it catches fire.  Treat it with whichever retardent you wish you are still using a flammable material in the structure of a house or block of flats.  Demand for timber has gone "timber".

Well now the eco mob has weighed in saying that we need to use wood in construction because it locks up carbon.  Macron, Norway, Germany are are legislating for more timber to be used in construction because there is apparently no point in just planting a tree, letting it grow and then rot because it then releases the carbon back into the atmosphere.

No point in a tree except as a store of carbon? These people have no soul.

Now you have the position where the UK won't allow timber to be used in anything over four floors because of the fire risk whereas Norway is building tower blocks out of wood to lock up the carbon in that wood.

For once it's three cheers for our government and Health and Safety whilst the Norwegian, French and German government think that their citizens burning to death or their homes falling down is a risk worth taking for the "climate emergency".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52771270

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

What a pretty mess this is.

I have several times said how rubbish are modern timber framed buildings because the timber is very inferior to block construction and only used because it makes it quicker and therefore cheaper to build houses.

Only buy a timber framed house from 1980 onwards if you have a yen to spend £50k on remedial structural work.

In the wake of Grenfell there have been big restrictions on its use upon safety grounds: it catches fire.  Treat it with whichever retardent you wish you are still using a flammable material in the structure of a house or block of flats.  Demand for timber has gone "timber".

Well now the eco mob has weighed in saying that we need to use wood in construction because it locks up carbon.  Macron, Norway, Germany are are legislating for more timber to be used in construction because there is apparently no point in just planting a tree, letting it grow and then rot because it then releases the carbon back into the atmosphere.

No point in a tree except as a store of carbon? These people have no soul.

Now you have the position where the UK won't allow timber to be used in anything over four floors because of the fire risk whereas Norway is building tower blocks out of wood to lock up the carbon in that wood.

For once it's three cheers for our government and Health and Safety whilst the Norwegian, French and German government think that their citizens burning to death or their homes falling down is a risk worth taking for the "climate emergency".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52771270

 

Quite honestly, seeing a house as a sequesterd carbon store just shows how naive these people are, or how they will try to fool us.

How much of a lag does a house of Timber put in the carbon cycle - 100 years tops before it is returned to the atmosphere?

100 years is meaningless if we carry on carbon oxidatiion at present rates.

Bury the timber down a mine shaft and seal it off is perhaps more meaningful.

 

Yes, I know there are a few Elizabethan and Tudor timber houses, but without protection they would have been knocked or burned down accidentally or intentionally for being impractical, like the rest or them, which is why we have so few.

 

Edited by Hopeful

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7 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

Yes, I know there are a few Elizabethan and Tudor timber houses, but without protection they would have been knocked or burned down accidentally or intentionally for being impractical, like the rest or them, which is why we have so few.

I deliberately put in a date restriction because those older houses, and it is the rich people's houses that survive, use massive seasoned oak timbers and not the pine sticks that are used today.

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This is why great civilisations and empires fail, they start navel gazing up their own intellectual arseholes as a function of too many people on easy street with little common sense, logic or reason following the  fashionable cause of their peers from the comfort of their unproductive lives brought on by the efforts of their ancestors who generated the wealth they enjoy.

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I detest the approach taken, where the only aim considered is to maintain or even expand our lifestyles.

The best approach would be for everyone to dial back their lifestyles -- travel less and consume less.  It isn't as though these things actually make us happy (and probably contribute to unhappiness).

But travel and consumption are part of the modern mess where increasing GDP trumps all.

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I thought most Norwegian houses were wooden anyway. Wood houses are popular in America. Nothing wrong with it I guess, but I reckon brick lasts longer.

Maybe any "environmental" value is in the longevity?

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29 minutes ago, dgul said:

I detest the approach taken, where the only aim considered is to maintain or even expand our lifestyles.

The best approach would be for everyone to dial back their lifestyles -- travel less and consume less.  It isn't as though these things actually make us happy (and probably contribute to unhappiness).

But travel and consumption are part of the modern mess where increasing GDP trumps all.

It would take a while to find my previous lengthy post but IMO achieving this is the hidden agenda and lockdown has been a nice dry run.

Most new cars in the UK must be EVs by 2030.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42709763

And all by 2035.

That's nine and a half years until most new cars must be EVs; I've owned my current car longer than that. It's not long at all.

But look at what hasn't been done.

There are no plans to build a whole new generation of power stations to fuel these cars.

There are no plans to provide the necessary charging infrastructure for the vast numbers of people who do not have a garage or a drive.

 

The only reason I can arrive at for why there are no such plans, and why there is nobody in the media questioning why there are no such plans instead of banging on about Dominic Cummings walking in a bluebell wood, is that the government is instead planning upon a massive collapse in car ownership to meet its eco targets.

 

The mug young followers of Professor Greta applaud the rise of EVs and think that's what they'll be driving.

It hasn't crossed their credulous minds that the reality is that they won't be driving anything.

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6 minutes ago, MrPin said:

I thought most Norwegian houses were wooden anyway. Wood houses are popular in America. Nothing wrong with it I guess, but I reckon brick lasts longer.

Maybe any "environmental" value is in the longevity?

Brick and blocks last longer by a factor of ten.

In the south east US, the area I know, land is cheap so people are able to buy a decent sized plot on a modest budget.

When the existing wooden home or mobile home starts collapsing they simply buy or build another one elsewhere on the plot.

If you drive around the area you see these abandoned homes being reclaimed by nature.

You can't generally do that here as the plots are much smaller; so you have all the cost of demolishing or repairing your existing house rather than just leaving it to rot away.

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These things should be decided by the consumer, after all it's their money, and the manufacturers should build what sells.

There was no "incentive" to buy flat TVs, but we wanted them, and they consume much less.

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16 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Brick and blocks last longer by a factor of ten.

In the south east US, the area I know, land is cheap so people are able to buy a decent sized plot on a modest budget.

When the existing wooden home or mobile home starts collapsing gets blown away every couple of years they simply buy or build another one elsewhere on the plot.

If you drive around the area you see these abandoned homes being reclaimed by nature.

You can't generally do that here as the plots are much smaller; so you have all the cost of demolishing or repairing your existing house rather than just leaving it to rot away.

FTFY. You have to respect nature. How long before building houses in Brisbane or Christchurch becomes economically unviable due to floods/earthquakes?

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4 minutes ago, The Generation Game said:

FTFY. You have to respect nature. How long before building houses in Brisbane or Christchurch becomes economically unviable due to floods/earthquakes?

It's so much cheaper to build out of wood that a twenty year lifespan is fine.

The beach houses on the Atlantic coast of the US go literally onto the beach on stilts and in the flesh are far more ramshackle than the designer one below.

There's little point in building them more solidly because storm or hurricane will inevitably sweep them away or earthquakes in your example.

I think they are usually second or summer homes that are abandoned to the storm when it strikes.

23612efaee67c8a031a956c07927609b.jpg

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28 minutes ago, MrPin said:

These things should be decided by the consumer, after all it's their money, and the manufacturers should build what sells.

There was no "incentive" to buy flat TVs, but we wanted them, and they consume much less.

I disagree with regard to houses owing to their immense cost and the lack of understanding of construction techniques by the general public.

Most people's knowledge of houses is similar to Scots people's knowledge of fish: it comes in batter and is eaten with chips.

There is therefore a strong case for government regulation in building standards. Which there is to a degree.

 

(Apologies to @Carl Fimble and @ccc for the stereotyping)

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2 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I disagree with regard to houses owing to their immense cost and the lack of understanding of construction techniques by the general public.

The EA will tell you, and you have a survey. And also personally I have a look. I think a lot of modern houses are a bit poor, and won't last.

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15 minutes ago, MrPin said:

The EA will tell you, and you have a survey. And also personally I have a look. I think a lot of modern houses are a bit poor, and won't last.

I think you may be overtrusting EAs there!

The survey will only give you a report upon the particular house that you have already selected.

What is needed is something similar to the global energy efficiency certificate.

A measure of robustness and expected future life based upon construction technique so that you can compare "build quality" of houses in exactly the same way as you do with cars.

Which house type is the "built like a tank" 1980s Mercedes; and which the "built like a plastic fork" 2010s Mercedes?  Which will last for two hundred years and which will be lucky to make it to forty?

Most people have no idea when they are making their choice of house for which they will be paying for twenty five years.

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1 hour ago, Frank Hovis said:

 

When the existing wooden home or mobile home starts collapsing they simply buy or build another one elsewhere on the plot.

 

It is worth pointing out that this approach can be quite energy efficient.

Eg, after 25 years you start again -- and in the process build from scratch a building designed for modern tastes and with new technology.  Eg, new insulation, more power sockets, networking, open plan, new heating, etc.  And if things change (eg, open plan -> lots of rooms) then it is resolved at the next rebuild.

In the UK we build houses designed to last 150 years (say) and put in the necessary resources to give this longevity -- but then spend lots of 'energy' remodelling/modernising/extending them every 25 years or so.  Sure, there is less in the way of 'obvious work' (the shell remains 'similar'), but nevertheless involves vast effort and resources that often don't work that well or have unintended long term consequences (eg, cavity wall insulation).

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3 minutes ago, dgul said:

It is worth pointing out that this approach can be quite energy efficient.

Eg, after 25 years you start again -- and in the process build from scratch a building designed for modern tastes and with new technology.  Eg, new insulation, more power sockets, networking, open plan, new heating, etc.  And if things change (eg, open plan -> lots of rooms) then it is resolved at the next rebuild.

In the UK we build houses designed to last 150 years (say) and put in the necessary resources to give this longevity -- but then spend lots of 'energy' remodelling/modernising/extending them every 25 years or so.  Sure, there is less in the way of 'obvious work' (the shell remains 'similar'), but nevertheless involves vast effort and resources that often don't work that well or have unintended long term consequences (eg, cavity wall insulation).

I agree.  It's not what I'm used to but I see the benefit of it.

I do however think that the prerequisite for this is to be able to buy land sufficient for multiple successive home sites for a reasonable price.

That way you are buying the land as a permanent home but the houses / mobile homes that will sit upon it are temporary with their cost being analogous to paying a twenty year rental up front.

Without that reasonably priced large plot it doesn't work.  Owing to land prices here if you bought a similar land plot in the UK then the common response is to build four houses on it and sell them.

It's too crowded here for people, including people on low wages, to be able to buy a cheap land plot and build wooden homes upon it.

Though this has been suggested for the off grid model but then you are doing it illicitly by buying a field and trying to hide a caravan on it away from the eyes of the planning department.

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2 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

I deliberately put in a date restriction because those older houses, and it is the rich people's houses that survive, use massive seasoned oak timbers and not the pine sticks that are used today.

Theres wood n theres 'wood'

E23189A5E2A2F0ADFAA199AFEF0B884039AFEC20

Coming to 700 years old.

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Just now, spygirl said:

Theres wood n theres 'wood'

E23189A5E2A2F0ADFAA199AFEF0B884039AFEC20

Coming to 700 years old.

Exactly.

I have had people defend modern timber framing by reference to medieval tithe barns because they're also timber.

The difference is that old timber is massive, heavy, and fully seasoned.

Take a blow torch to it and you might manage to scorch it after a few minutes.

Take that to the pine plank that serves as timber framing today and it will ignite within seconds.

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2 minutes ago, The XYY Man said:

I woke up with wood, but this thread has sharp made it go away...

 

XYY

Good.

We are not the beasts of the field rutting within our own excrement; instead we live on a higher plane of idea and truth.

Well we do down here anyway  B|

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MrPin said:

I thought most Norwegian houses were wooden anyway. Wood houses are popular in America. Nothing wrong with it I guess, but I reckon brick lasts longer.

Maybe any "environmental" value is in the longevity?

Wood has far superior thermal properties to brick/stone so will use a lot less energy to heat/cool. A wooden house would also be much easier to repair/customise/modify/extend. Dont know why we fetishise brinks and mortar in this country.

Edited by goldbug9999

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Just now, goldbug9999 said:

Wood has far superior thermal properties to brick/stone so will use a lot less energy to heat/cool. A wooden house would also be much easier to consistent/modify/extend. Dont know why we fetishise brinks and mortar in this country.

Because I have no connection with the brick industry, despite being CEO of the "Brick Quango for More Bricks".

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2 minutes ago, goldbug9999 said:

Wood has far superior thermal properties to brick/stone so will use a lot less energy to heat/cool. A wooden house would also be much easier to repair/customise/modify/extend. Dont know why we fetishise brinks and mortar in this country.

We "fetishise" them because they do not catch fire and we live in a maritime climate so that anything bar the heaviest most seasoned wood gets damp and rots away without active heating and dehumidifying.

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