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Build safely with timber

Timber stands up to every challenge, no matter how great

What are the advantages?

What are the advantages?

  • Balanced carbon footprint
    through the use of environmentally-friendly materials
  • Increased seismic resistance
    because of a slightly ductile construction
  • Very short execution times
    with the resulting financial benefits
  • Economic benefits of simple construction methods
    in load-bearing structures and foundations
  • Excellent insulation against cold and heat
    Comfort in summer and winter
  • Healthy living: optimum indoor environment quality
    through vapour-permeable construction methods and bio-construction concepts
  • Increase in the net living space
    by up to 4% for the same heat insulation compared to traditionally-constructed buildings


1. Are timber-constructed buildings really habitable over centuries?

That which seems to be a human gut-feeling, is disproved by nature and history with hard facts. From block-construction massive farmsteads in inhospitable mountain areas through sophisticated half-timbered houses in major German trading cities up to historic church buildings in Russia, buildings constructed in timber have survived, many of them for centuries. There was not sufficient timber in every region to use as the sole building material, but there was stone.

2. Can simple timber walls really give protection from cold and heat?

There is no better protection: In comparison to the basic building materials, brick, concrete and steel, wood has the best thermal insulation properties of all natural construction materials. This means in real terms that a building constructed by Rubner helps to save up to 80% of heating energy requirements.

3. Are construction times for timber houses shorter or longer than for other methods of construction?

Our reference gallery makes the point very convincingly – building in timber makes it possible to reduce construction times by 50 % in comparison with solid, massive construction methods.
And here is another considerable advantage: With Rubner Objektbau you are working with one single highly specialised partner, who takes care of all the aspects of your construction project.
An indispensable service, especially in major projects, to guarantee quality, price and even shorter construction periods.

4. Are timber-constructed buildings really safer in an earthquake?

Wood is a ductile construction material and timber constructions offer the optimum ratio between construction statics and the weight of a structure. Therefore, timber-built buildings are conceived considerably better than other construction methods to withstand relatively strong earthquakes without sustaining permanent damage. Rubner itself is also active in research and conducts earthquake simulation tests.

5. Does it cost more or less, in comparison with massive construction and taking all key factors into account, to construct a building in timber?

A timber-constructed building costs on average about the same as a comparable massive construction, even when it seems in the first instance that the forecast construction costs will be higher.
The price of a Rubner construction is guaranteed to remain stable over all the construction phases, whereas in general the costs for construction projects with massive construction methods tend to increase during the course of implementing the project, without any possibility of having estimated these increases in advance. The shorter construction phase and the considerably reduced energy requirement result in quickly perceptible savings and not least, bring interesting financial benefits because the building is available for use earlier and requires reduced management costs.

6. Do buildings constructed in timber also offer protection and safety in case of fire?

The popularly-held opinion that timber constructions are particularly susceptible to building fires has been irrefutably disproved in comprehensive series of tests. Certification from the independent CSI test authority certifies timber’s best static properties even in the case of fire.
It has been proved under strictly monitored test conditions that the timber used by Rubner has excellent high temperature stability.

7. Are timber-built buildings reliable as far as acoustics are concerned?

In recent years, timber construction has developed enormously and Rubner has been closely involved and has influenced this process in detail. Our many years of experience in constructing with timber have led us to construct only tested and certificated buildings. The results of noise pollution tests in installations have proved this beyond doubt.
Since its business was set up, Rubner Objektbau has been particularly sensitive to the topic of acoustics and considers it right from the planning phase. Interfaces between the different trades involved have therefore been recognised in time and the solutions applied deliver results, which are many times superior to similar situations in massive construction.

8. Energy-saving construction – can timber keep up with demand?

Energy-saving construction is in the interests of each one of us. It makes sense in every respect to protect the climate and the environment and at the same time to save money. In the construction industry a distinction is generally made between two different types of energy-saving.
Firstly in the area of erecting the building – this starts with the raw materials and covers “grey energy”, which is required for the manufacture and transport of the construction materials, up to construction methods, planning, space requirements and, coupled with this, the sealed space required for a house.
Secondly in the area of operation and maintenance of a building, in other words, the energy requirement for heating and cooling, for electric power and for maintenance of the building, together with its durability and functionality.
With regard to these maxims timber is a modern construction material, which meets these contemporary challenges with flexibility.
We have no raw material, the production of which requires less energy. That applies also to its storage and processing. For, although timber processing naturally requires electric power, the total energy balance is smaller in the production of timber for construction purposes than for any other construction material. As regards transport, also, timber comes out better, especially as less fossil fuels are used; timber is lighter and therefore more can be included in each load. Timber is worked in the main in regional industries and the routes are therefore shorter.

9. What effect does building with timber have on our environment and climate?

Timber is immensely important for our air and our climate. One cubic metre of wood stores the carbon from one tonne of CO2. Building with timber thus means that we are protecting the climate!
It is particularly interesting that, in contrast to other construction materials, timber is a recycling product. If it is used, the total quantity available is not reduced. A study from Austria shows that in Austria’s forests enough timber grows every 40 seconds to construct an average detached house. Thirty million cubic metres of timber are available every year as replacement growth of young trees. Only two thirds of this is harvested.
A further result from this study is, if annual use of timber were to double, the amount of CO2 removed from the atmosphere would rise to more than 6 million tonnes. That is equivalent to the annual emissions of four million vehicles.

10. Everyone is talking about sustainability. What is the position as far as this is concerned for buildings constructed from timbers?

The carbon stored in the living tree remains trapped in the timber used in construction, which has extremely positive effects on the environment and on the climate.
But that is not all. Timber used in construction makes room in the forests for new tree growth and thus produces new carbon storage reservoirs in a young, strong forest. Because a timber-construction building is durable, this ensures equally durable climate protection through the storage and therefore the reduction of CO2.
At the end of the life cycle of construction materials timber can be completely recycled in processes for the recovery of materials and thermal energy.
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