- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 19 Jun 2017
The use of wood in construction
Wood is favoured as a material because of the wide variety of properties depending on type. It is readily available and economically competitive, as well as being extremely strong in relation to its weight.
 Types and uses
Wood is generally classified as hardwood and softwood. Hardwood is typically heavier and denser than softwood and is usually utilised for construction of walls, ceilings and floors. The highest possible grade of hardwood contains 83% usable material on one face and is suitable for high-quality furnishings, solid wood mouldings and interior joinery.
The words ‘lumber’ and ‘timber’ are often used to refer to wood used specifically in construction work, however there is debate as to which terms should apply to different scenarios. As a rule of thumb, wood which is smaller than five inches wide by five inches thick is referred to as lumber. These pieces are usually machine-planed and sawn for certain dimensions primarily being used in residential construction.
Pieces of wood over the lumber dimensions, regardless of length are timber, although any timber pieces that are more than eight inches wide and eight inches thick are called beams. As timber is usually larger in dimension it is used for the frames of structures in buildings and bridges, as well as being used in railroad ties, mine shaft support and crossbeams on utility poles.
Wood is 'renewable' when responsibly sourced. It is durable, reusable and recyclable
Some other benefits include:
- Thermal insulation.
- Acoustic insulation.
- Health benefits due its subjective comfort.
- Structural stability.
- Easy of manufacturing.
- Strengthens rural development and industry.
- Better fire resistance due to low thermal conductivity
--Heritage Builders Ltd 11:13, 16 Jun 2017 (BST)
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 11 things you didn't know about wood.
- Birch wood.
- Chain of custody.
- European Union Timber Regulation.
- Forest Stewardship Council.
- Lime wood.
- Physical Properties of Wood.
- Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
- Properties of mahogany.
- Recognising wood rot and insect damage in buildings.
- Testing timber.
- The differences between hardwood and softwood.
- Timber vs wood.
- Types of timber.
Featured articles and news
Non-material amendments can sometimes be necessary after planning permission has been granted. Find out more here.
Six things civil engineers could do to ensure the success of projects.
Dublin housing crisis restricts employers' ability to recruit, according to new U+I research.
Intricate inlays and beautiful patterns can be created with waterjet cutting.
Two historic quarries in environmentally sensitive areas were reopened to repair Exeter Cathedral.
The phrase ‘time at large’ describes the situation where there is no date for completion, or it has become invalid.
The Maldives is under threat from climate change. Read this report from BRE on their potential involvement in the region.
MHCLG update states there are still 124 private high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding and no remediation plan.
Starting a new built environment degree? We have a wide range of resources aimed at students.
Former railway chief James Blake says trust and control are key to successful infrastructure projects.