Wood vs. Water

We’ve all heard about the problems that can arise when wood and water make contact. If you’ve ever had to fix your wood flooring or work in a renovation site, you know what we mean. Here’s the good news: Innovation is finally here to prove that not all interactions between water and wood are harmful.

Capture Accoya Wood Bath

Accoya project in a bathroom in Sao Paulo, Brazil – Source of the picture – click here

Leading institutes around the world (including in New Zealand, Sweden Malaysia, Indonesia, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, and Japan) have conducted extensive laboratory and fields tests which have resulted in showing that acetylated Accoya® wood performance is strong and reliable, especially when it comes to water resistance.

What is the meaning of acetylated wood? Acetylation chemically modifies wood, making it stronger, more durable,  and far less susceptible to shrinking and swelling in various atmospheric conditions. All the chemicals used in acetylation are  found naturally in wood, making the process ‘green’ and eco-friendly.

Unmodified wood contains ‘free hydroxyl groups’ which absorb and release water as weather conditions change. It’s this quality that makes standard wood susceptible to shrinking and swelling, especially when used for outdoor purposes, such as cladding, window frames, and door frames. It’s this movement of wood leads to splitting and rotting.

Treated Accoya® wood has been thoroughly tested for dimensional stability, durability, paint retention, and in-ground conditions to ensure optimal performance. It’s so reliable that for years scientists have been using it as the benchmark with which other wood treatments and modifiers are measured and compared.  Accoya® producers ensure that every batch of wood is consistent in quality and reaches the highest of performance standards. With such strong scientific credentials, Accoya® is guaranteed for 50 years when used above ground and 25 years for below ground applications.

Explore more of the beauty behind Accoya® wood applications around the world, here.

Home innovations improving life quality

This is really amazing. Many people with disabilities have a lot of difficulties to independently move from one place to another. Mainly inside their houses. Now this company is advertising some products that can be a game changing in the mobility for these people.

In USA the company has the name of Sure Hands and you can find more info in their website. It can be used for bath, bed and toilet use, to access the tub, to get in and out of a swimming pool and also be used in some treatments like horseback riding.

All installations of the track for ceiling lifts, wall lifts, and pool lifts, are done by a Sure Hands authorized and experienced installer. They ensure the proper and safe placement of the lift system. Through rigorous planning and preparation the installation is done with minimal disruption. The contact for more information is +1 (800) 724-5305

You can check more info about this product also in the Handi-Move (the original company that developed this system) clicking HERE

Engineered Wood Products: the new normal

Engineered wood products includes a range of derivative wood products which are manufactured by binding or fixing the strands, particles, fibers, or veneers together with adhesives or other fixation methods.

They can be divided in a lot of categories:

  1. Plywood: one of the most recognized and trusted wood building products for decades. Manufactured from thin sheets of cross-laminated veneer and bonded under heat and pressure with strong adhesives, plywood panels have superior dimensional stability and an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and are highly resistant to impacts, chemicals, and changes in environmental temperature and humidity. Suitable for a variety of end uses including subflooring, single-layer flooring, wall and roof sheathing, sheathing ceiling/deck, structural insulated panels, marine applications, siding, webs of wood I-joists, concrete forming, pallets, industrial containers, mezzanine decks, and furniture.
  2. Oriented Strand Board (OSB): widely used, versatile structural wood panel. Manufactured from waterproof heat-cured adhesives and rectangularly shaped wood strands that are arranged in cross-oriented layers, OSB is an engineered wood panel that shares many of the strength and performance characteristics of plywood. OSB’s combination of wood and adhesives creates a strong, dimensionally stable panel that resists deflection, delamination, and warping; likewise, panels resist racking and shape distortion when subjected to demanding wind and seismic conditions. Relative to their strength, OSB panels are light in weight and easy to handle and install. Also suitable for a variety of end uses (similar to plywood)
  3. Glulam: Glued laminated timber, or glulam, is a highly innovative construction material. Pound for pound, glulam is stronger than steel and has greater strength and stiffness than comparably sized dimensional lumber. Increased design values, improved product performance, and cost competitiveness make glulam the superior choice for projects from simple beams and headers in residential construction to soaring arches for domed roofs spanning more than 500 feet. Glulam has a reputation for being used in striking, exposed applications such as vaulted ceilings and other designs with soaring open spaces. In homes, churches, public buildings, and other light commercial structures, glulam is often specified for its beauty as well as its strength
  4. I-Joists: I-joists are strong, lightweight, “I” shaped engineered wood structural members that meet demanding performance standards. I-joists are comprised of top and bottom flanges, which resist bending, united with webs, which provide outstanding shear resistance. The flange material is typically laminated veneer lumber (LVL) or solid sawn lumber, and the web is made with plywood or OSB. The robust combination of structural characteristics results in a versatile, economical framing member that is easy to install in residential and light commercial projects. I-joists are used extensively in residential floor and roof framing. They are ideal for long spans, including continuous spans over intermediate supports. Because I-joists are straight and true, it’s easier for builders to avoid crowning and maintain a level framing surface.
  5. Structural composite lumber (SCL):  includes laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL), laminated strand lumber (LSL) and oriented strand lumber (OSL). They represent a family of engineered wood products created by layering dried and graded wood veneers, strands or flakes with moisture resistant adhesive into blocks of material known as billets, which are subsequently resawn into specified sizes. Typical uses for SCL include rafters, headers, beams, joists, studs, columns, and I-joist flange material. Two or three sections of SCL can be joined together to form 3-1/2-inch or 5-1/4-inch members. These thicker sections readily nest into 2×4 or 2×6 framed walls as headers or columns

Source: APA website

Dawn to Dusk Foundation

For most new homeowners, it’s within the first week of the home building process that excavation and pouring the foundation begins. Imagine if your foundation could be ready and installed in just 1 day – indeed we recently had one of our projects completed within a 6-hour period (check the time lapse video clicking here)

With precast products it’s a doable, fast process few people know about. A partner of ours, Superior Walls, works in this segment and makes building the foundation of your new home, of your new life, a faster and more enjoyable experience all around.

Image result for superior wall photos

We all know that a good, strong foundation is the secret to a stable home. If special attention is not given to your foundation then it’s safe to say there will be complications down the road.

Superior Walls’ foundations are dry, using a special low water/cement ratio concrete that requires no additional damp proofing (US Markets; see ESR-1662). They’re warm with full-length insulation built in to increase energy efficiency. They also provide high strength 5000+psi concrete that is reinforced with steel rebar and polypropylene fibers for added strength and performance.

The product features patented, insulated, precast concrete wall panels that are formed in a factory-controlled setting and delivered to the site of your new home. Panels are lifted into position with a crane and carefully bolted together and sealed. Walls are custom designed and can be built to virtually any architectural style, complete with window and door openings. This system uses a footing of crushed stone along with a steel reinforced footer beam. The purpose of any wall footing is to distribute the wall’s load over a sufficiently large area of soil to ensure that the soil bearing capacity isn’t exceeded.

The best news about this system, however, is that for an average 2,200 sq ft house the foundation can be installed in just 1 day (6-8 hours). As far as foundations go, that’s impressive. It saves time and shortens the length you have to wait before moving into your new home without compromising in the strength, solidity, or energy efficiency of your foundation.

For more photos, documents, and information about Superior Walls, click here.

For a video showing their process, click here.

Interactive intelligent house

Creative Home Building Boutique

Imagine something like that: your house warms before you rise, your favorite song fades in early in the morning, and the shades go up to let in the morning light. No, it is not a movie, nor the new TV series remembering that billionaires are there to show how difficult it is to belong to their world.

smarthome Aria SystemsIllustration from Arya Systems webpage (https://www.ariasystems.com)

Of course all of these new technologies are not cheap, but innovation and technology are here to stay. New home owners can dream about and depending on the systems they would like to use the prices can be attractive. If you want all the luxury behind the idea, you have to pay the price though.
Intelligent homes can do a lot of thinks:
1. You can turn off the lights of the house using your Apple Watch of Samsung G3
2. From your mobile you can start…

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