Durability and Fire Safety

There exist conclusive scientific facts and results of experiments, which prove that timber frame houses demonstrate very good safety characteristics in fire and other tests.

Timber frame buildings are not just „wooden houses”, but these are houses built from special panels, construction of which obstructs the access of oxygen, that means - prevents the spreading of fire. The materials used in the finishing of these houses prevent fire access to wood inside the panels. Several experiments have been carried out, which found that in the cases of shorter fire (that is, when fire-brigade arrived in short time) fire can possibly manage to destroy only the protective layer of the walls without touching the wooden construction itself. In such case, the house is quite easy and cheap to renovate.

Timber frame house in New Orleans vicinity was the only one surviving after the hurricane „Katrina”

Modern technologies have found ways to overcome the usual „heavier=more durable” formula. A timber frame house is lighter than a brick or block house. However, its construction is a fine and precise invention, which ensures excellent sustainability during severe earthquakes as well as hurricanes. A well-known example is a timber frame house in New Orleans, which became popular as the only surviving building from thousands in the neighbourhood after the hurricane „Katrina”.
Different researches have studied the endurance of a timber frame house against different impacts of environmental factors (in other words – against „ravages of time”) during a long period of time. The conclusion was that at the impact of different aggressive environmental factors the sustainability of timber frame houses is very high, but on condition that the house is correctly and accurately built. This is why it is important to pay extra attention to the professionalism and competence of the builder team you choose for the construction of your timber frame house.
In a research commissioned by the government of Great Britain, one of the leading British companies in construction fire safety „Chiltern International Fire”, which has more than 75 years experience, found out that there are no safer or less safe methods of house construction. The professionalism of the builders is the essence of the quality, and even the most careful risk evaluators – creditors and insurers – nowadays admit that correctly built timber frame house is not less safe investment than a brick wall or concrete block house.

In 1996 British “Building Research Establishment” published a report, which had studied the sustainability of wooden houses built in the period from 1920 till 1975. The findings were favourable to wooden houses – the research showed that putrefaction of wood in these houses was of rare occurrence and with very few exceptions, most cases putrefaction was of localized character affecting only wooden surface, besides, the reason of its appearance was the result of a careless work of builders or inadequate exploitation of the house. Overall, in this research the durability of timber frame houses was evaluated as being equal to the durability of houses built from other material.