• Kelly Fountain

Architectural Woodwork

Residential home design in Portland Oregon by Black Sheep Design Team using architectural woodwork

What is architectural woodwork?

Architectural woodworking is the process of making wooden products for the purpose of the design and function of buildings and structures. This process usually involves the creation of sturdy and attractive pieces which will be seen by the homeowner. Beams and structural supports are considered as architectural woodworking but often fall under the category of general carpentry or framing. Specifically, furniture, flooring, cabinets, doors, stairways, and many more structures found in the home or in a building can be considered architectural woodworking.

Architectural woodworking often involves working with a variety of fine woods, depending on the intended purpose of the structure, and it also often involves shaping those woods into intricate designs. An architectural woodworker must have extensive knowledge of different furniture styles, design practices and woodworking techniques in order to create a piece suitable for the space, using both manual and powered techniques and tools.

Why do architects use wood?

Wood is an incredibly versatile and cost-effective material which can be used in a variety of applications and situations. Many different types of wood can be used in construction and architecture, however, there are some types that have proved to be more popular for their beneficial properties. There are several benefits to architects using wood, and so there are many different varieties of the material used in many structures; timber is a durable and hard-wearing wood which is easy to work with. Cedar is a dense and lightweight wood which is resistant to decay. Pine is an attractive wood which is also inexpensive, and oak is a durable wood which is resistant to insect damage.

Architectural woodwork by The Wood and Iron Factory featured by Black Sheep Design Team

Some wooden home manufacturers can construct a 100m² wooden house, on site within 7 days. When compared with brick, stone or concrete, wood constructions save time and therefore save on labour costs. Wooden constructs are especially ideal when dealing with harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow and ice where wood construction can continue without hindrance. Wood framed houses also enable easy modifications during and after the building process. Insulated concrete form homes, on the other hand, can be costly, troublesome and time consuming to alter post-build.

One of the many reasons why architects use wood today is its durability, weight and safety. Wood has a little bit of give in it which means it can bend slightly, unlike bricks. When the foundations of a home shift, a wooden frame can move with the change rather than crack and crumble, and even the smallest shift in the foundations of a brick house will cause cracks to appear. Additionally, when building on weak soil, heavy brick can cause the ground to sink and therefore light wooden houses are preferred.

Architectural woodworking is utilised in order to put the finishing touches on a home. The aesthetic of a space can be altered significantly by hiring an architectural woodworking company to build structures both inside and outside of a building to create a pleasing aesthetic. Wood can be whittled in beautiful and creative ways which can make for magical designs. The accuracy and finish that can be achieved with wood can help carve an ordinary design into something extraordinary.

Wine cellar with hand crafted woodwork by Black Sheep Design Team

What are the benefits of wood houses?

Wood has been a popular construction material for thousands of years. Recently it has gained even more popularity as a result of social consciousness and becoming aware of the impact that building materials have on the environment.

Awareness has grown of the importance of using renewable materials in all areas of life, including construction and architecture. Wood is a renewable material and uses less energy and resources to process compared to many other building materials. As wood has the capacity to store and remove CO2 from the atmosphere, it can have a particularly beneficial impact on the environment. Due to the kind of material used in their construction, wooden structures help keep the environment clean and safe. Regarding the sustainability of wood, the material is very energy efficient. Due to their natural insulating properties, wooden structures require less dependency on high energy consuming equipment such as heaters or air conditioners. Less consumption of energy means that wooden houses have low carbon emission levels. During winter they offer warmer interiors and in summer the internal temperature is relatively cool. Sudden dips in the temperature do not have an equal impact on the temperature of the interiors of a wooden building. In contrast, the internal temperature of concrete structures fluctuates immediately when the external weather changes. It makes a wooden house building, like a residential log cabin, a comfortable and cosy place to live. Those living in a wooden house have better physical and mental health as they live in an environment with stable temperature.

Wood is also resistant to electricity which makes wooden houses and buildings a safer option to live in when compared to other types of structures. Wood provides a safer option by protecting against any untoward instances of electrical faults, short-circuiting and even lightning strikes due to its resistance to electricity.

Other materials used in the constructions such as concrete, cement and metals are affected by the increase or the decrease in the heat. Most of these materials that are generally used in constructions of a building expand when the temperatures rise. It affects their structural cohesion resulting in damages. Wood, on the other hand, does not expand even in intense heat. Even when the temperature is too low, wood is not affected and this helps preserve the integrity of the structure, giving it a long lifespan. Oxidation is the reason for rust and consequent damages in metals. As wood is protected from any oxidation, wooden buildings can expect a longer life, reducing the requirements for maintenance and repair activities.

Wooden houses buildings such as the residential log cabins offer several benefits due to their inherent traits mentioned in this article. Such structures are more resilient to weather and other natural elements, have longer life, energy efficient, cost effective and environment friendly.

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