Ecological design with wood cement

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By designing a structure in concrete wood, we mean to guarantee to the future construction high thermal, acoustic and seismic performance, giving benefits to the environment.

Ecological design with wood cement
Erika Casali
Erika Casali The construction process, as well known, begins with a proper architectural design.

The materials available for us designers, today more than ever, are as diverse as the solutions that can be sent.

For all of us, it is desirable to get to design eco-friendly products, now somewhat overused term, but it helps to understand the need to be able to abandon traditional techniques for the benefit of methods more efficient.

This is the case of the use of the wood cement, concrete wood also called mineralized wood, a material that, thanks to the high performance characteristics, appears to be a material extremely versatile and suitable for a contemporary design.

Why choose wood cement When designing, opt for the use of wood cement, it can be an excellent choice, especially if the product to be designed must meet certain requirements.

The wooden concrete blocks in fact, represent a perfect combination of two excellent building materials, wood and concrete.

But what is mineralized wood

It is a material consisting essentially of completely natural raw materials: 80% recycled and selected wood shavings;

20% inorganic binder.

In the present case, the wood shavings are processed, and then they are mineralyzed with the addition of a natural mineral.

The mixture obtained is worked with a block machine, that creates the blocks of wood cement.

The union of these two materials provides to the producted material the characteristic of being resistant, flame retardant, and imputrescente with capacity of acoustic standoff.

It is also a real humidity controller, thanks to the presence of the open pore.

Of significant importance, is the presence of pores that ensures the total breathability of the structure, thereby preventing the occurrence of problems related to condensation. The concrete wood, unifies thermal capacities to acoustic capacities, proper of wood, side by side with the typical strength of the concrete.

For these reasons, when you are about to define the materials in the metric calculation and you need to give to the material specifications, the inclusion of this type of material can resolve various issues related to the subsequent construction of the building.

There are many manufacturers who have perfected, over the years, this type of product and, in almost all cases, it is chosen not to employ at any stage of production, chemicals, highly harmful to the eco-system.

When designing with mineralized wood It is convenient to resort to a design that covers, between the various materials to be used, the wood cement, when the intrinsic characteristics of the article to be implemented require at the same time a material absolutely resistant and that has a high sound absorption and thermal capacity.

It also has excellent capacity for seismic resistance.

For this reason, mineralized wood, is a material that lends itself well to being used for the realization of all types of construction, from residential ones to those for mixed use and/ or public, such as schools, hospitals and so on.

Properties of cement wood

The concrete wood, highly resistant, insulating and bio-compatible, presents excellent performance characteristics.

Let's take a look at them in detail:

1) it has a production process with low environmental impact

2) it has better insulation than traditional blocks

3) it is an excellent acoustic insulation

4) it comes in blocks light and easy to handle

5) the blocks are lighter, two to four times, compared to traditional blocks

6) it is an easy material to engrave and cut

7) it is not crumbly or pulverizable

8) it is an excellent steam diffuser

9) it is a fireproof material

10) it is suitable and effective against seismic actions.

From these numerous features, great benefits emerge from the concrete building with wooden blocks, such as:

- The availability of an eco-friendly and low environmental impact;

- The possibility of living in isolated environments both acoustically and thermally;

- A faster building process of the architectural work;

- To produce a construction with anti-seismic characteristics;

- To have a wall structure completely permeable to water vapor. Among the manufacturers, we can name Legnobloc Group, a company specialized in the production of thermal blocks and other products of mineralized wood.

Among the many products we can name the superblock Legnobloc 50, with which it is possible, for example, designing load-bearing external walls with a thickness of 50 cm.

How to lay down formwork blocks in mineralized wood

The particularity of the blocks in cement wood, lies in the method of laying that, unlike the more traditional methods, does not require the use of bedding mortar. The blocks, ie, are dry-laid and, only then, filled with concrete, which confers to the wall structure, a certain carrying capacity.

The rapidity with which it is possible to realize a wall, lies in the fact that the manufacturers also commercialize special parts for the floor and for lintels, able to eliminate thermal transfer from the structure, for insulation benefit.

This results in excellent performance capabilities, a worthy living confort and significant energy savings.

The extraordinary workability allows to create buildings of any kind.

In 2011, the Board of Public Works, has published guidelines for the requirements which must be held by the manufacturer of cement wood formworks, to protect designers and consumers.

Specifically, the manufacturer shall make a sort of identity card of the product, which is highlighting the following features:

- Technical

- Construction details

- Certification tests

- Interpretative report

- Examples of calculation

- Manual design, construction and assembly. Among the manufacturers, we can name C & P Costruzioni that, together with Isotex, has developed a new product, able to ensure the best performing sound and thermal performances, and ensuring, at the same time, anti-seismic ability.

The DIII Block 44/18, concrete wood formwork block, with insulating insert in polystyrene with graphite, has in fact, two ribs.

With this product it is easy to make external load-bearing walls.

The blocks are provided with horizontal and vertical joints.

To ensure the bearing capacity of the structure, each meter and a half, vertical and horizontal reinforcements are included, to proceed then with the casting of concrete. The Thermibloc, another leader industry, is on the market with the Thermibloc system with double insulation where, in addition to the presence of wood and concrete, you can enter another material performance, chosen according to project needs.

The Thermibloc system provides indoor thermal comfort.

As regards the type of insulation for Thermibloc, it can range from rock wool, polystyrene at up to be able to resort to the use of natural materials, such as hemp, wood wool or cellulose.

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