- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 25 Oct 2020
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.
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
Resource addresses pandemic-related NEC4 contract issues.
Incorporating EDI into the provision of fair access.
Government announces global innovation strategy.
An architectural biography. Book review.
The house where the future king of France lived.
The teacher, architectural technologist and mum offers her insights.
Careful planning needed as supply chain issues continue.
The sensitive conversion of a neglected Cornwall structure.
Plan stresses local involvement in city, town and village development.
Environment Agency publishes BAT guidance.
CLC guidance outlines carbon reduction priorities.
Making the most of a staycation.