Timber framing has been with us for many centuries and traditionally used whole limbs of the tree. This form of construction became post and beam.
With our modern light timber frame method emerging with our emigrant forebear’s immediate need of sound shelter and having such an abundance of great trees to clear before farming could commence.
So being savvy folk they cut the trees into lumber to make a light timber frame with timber weatherboards on the outside and rough lining inside, this made the trees go further, and the construction faster also nearly all parts of the home could be fashioned from timber (including kitchen and laundry tubs!)
Light Timber Framing
Light timber framing is a much used technique (about 95% of NZ homes are built this way), where the earlier villas had timber weatherboards and rough lining has now given way to a wide variety of cladding and lining materials used today.
The use of light timber framing is best seen on any new subdivision where houses are being built – often factory built sections (pre-nail frames and trusses) are quickly assembled on site to frame the home. Then and roofing and cladding operations speedily close in the home to make it weathertight and reduce the likelihood of decay.
Damage from insect attack or fungal decay (rotting) is prevented through the use of chemicals toxic to those agents (borer and rot).
Adobe South prefers to used naturally durable timber species over treated timber where ever possible.
Recent concerns over durability issues highlight the need for sound building design fundamentals to be followed i.e. good primary weather protection (roof overhangs) of the walls, separation of the walls from ground wetness (step up to the floor) and the recognition of the need to use durable timbers in places that may be occasionally wet.
Post and Beams
Post and beam may use heavy sectioned timbers, typically 200 x 200, or our lighter 200 x 50 as the frame of widely spaced posts with cross beams that are bolted together. These posts are well secured to the foundation and braced with steel straps to counter horizontal forces of wind or earthquake – as determined by the structural engineer.
Adobe South chooses timbers that have a proven natural durability to reduce the chemical load on the environment (preservation of the lumber at the sawmill, in service in the home, and at demolition where re-use or burning is limited) or exposure to the building crew.