Architects who are trying to meet Architecture 2030 Challenge have the opportunity to design buildings with less carbon emissions but at the same time resilient against changing conditions. To create an energy efficient building, the best option is timber wall cladding that is a natural insulation material. Timber also requires less energy to produce than other construction materials.
Meanwhile, architects have various resources on hand to pursue their mission to save energy. A new wave of innovative materials and building systems are available in the marketplace to ensure an energy efficient design.
Cross laminated timber (CLT) is relatively new material that can help architects meet their design goals. CLT has several advantages in terms of energy efficiency compared to traditional wood materials. CLT can be found in dimensions of up to 10 feet wide, 40 feet long and more than a foot thick. Wood fibres reinforce the lumber so that it is significantly stronger than 100% recycled plastic. In solid lumber, 63% of the tree is used while in composite panels, more than 95% of the tree is used.
Another energy efficient option for architects is structural insulated panels (SIPs) that can enhance insulation throughout the building’s envelope. Lately, some manufacturers have started to produce panels with graphite polystyrene (GPS) insulation that can be easily recognized through its graycolour. GPS insulation boosts the R-values of panels by at least 20% higher. Building professionals can specify thinner panels that can satisfactorily energy code requirements including LEED Platinum Certification and Passive House Standards.
Since homes in the US are getting smaller, their best option is vacuum insulation panel (VIP) for space-saving insulation. VIP is a porous core material that is encased in an airtight envelope. Air that is trapped on the layers is evacuated and the envelope heat-sealed. More than 80% of its thermal performance is retained after 30 years.
The first thing you will notice with timber wall cladding is its beauty. The material is now popularly used for both traditional and contemporary homes. There are different finishes that allow the homeowner to choose which best meet the requirements. Timber can be used to clad the entire exterior or combined with other materials.