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In the Italian housing market are more and more present prefabricated wooden houses, this enables everyone to have more choice than in the past, when the only solution was to build new homes with only the construction system of reinforced concrete and brick. However, prefabricated systems are still poorly understood and this prevents more than make a truly free and conscious choice. Let’s learn together this way of building, clarifying the features, advantages and difficulties. Is well to specify that the prefabricated systems are not only of wood, but may also be made of reinforced concrete (heavy prefabricated) or in steel, aluminium and plastic materials (light prefabricated).Whereas the product that best is spreading in the Italian market at the moment is the prefabricated wood, in this case we will speak broadly of this type. Although in Italy it is considered a new construction system, prefabricated wood systems were a way of building typical of North American domestic architecture of the XIX century. He called ” “balloom frame” and had such a large and fast development to mark the advent of industrialization in the building sector. In Europe prefabricated building systems are developed starting from the beginning of the twentieth century in Germany, which is still one of the largest manufacturers in the industry. With the industrial development and the discovery of new materials posted, this building system is now considered very innovative, with high levels of performance and very long-lived, but not in Italy. It is a good investment if you do not believe that easy promises that the product is more affordable, which is manufactured is installed quickly without any waste of time and that is more sustainable. These are the very qualities often shouted by manufacturers or prefabricated wooden houses, supporting the idea that this method is the best to provide environmentally friendly and modern architecture for the masses. Unfortunately not all so simple. To make a good investment and living a quality home is important to check the construction companies of this system, the characteristics of wood and wood panels used, the skills of workers and technicians, timing and overall costs.
Really cheaper? yes, but….
Let’s start right from the cost. The consensus is that the prefabricated wooden houses, delivered at home, they cost less than the more traditional ones.This is not strictly true; indeed, often you reach a more higher construction cost.The reasons are many.The design and the installation of prefabricated structures are substantially different from those of reinforced concrete and brick, for this reason, both the professionals who deal with designing both the construction companies are very competitive when it comes to building homes with traditional systems. The design and the construction offer will therefore highest when it comes to building a prefabricated houses.Another determining factor in the cost of construction is the price of materials. The wood must be of good quality, as well as all components used in the cover panels.Low prices often mean poor quality wood, slightly seasoned or not-certified origin. with regard to the panels, instead, if the cost is modest means that could have been used very efficient insulating materials. Not to have excessive maintenance costs during the life span of the house is to verify the quality of the products and make the right choice, even if it means increasing the initial cost of construction. Despite this background, whether prefabricated homes are of good quality, long-term home so made may actually prove more economical. the gain is to be found throughout the lifespan of the home and is not only economic but also qualitative. the wooden houses have the great advantage of being built with natural materials and that means a better living quality. Also ensure high energy savings.Wood, in facts, is an evcellent natural insulator, which prevents heat loss in winter and keeps cool the environment during the summer. If this construction system is the combined use of renewable sources (now mandatory for new construction), the house requires almost no power consumption and extremely low-cost bill.
It is a truly ecological system? Yes,but…
In the 2014 the European Agency for the Environment has stated that it the building is one of the sectors with the highest environmental impact. The construction and subsequent management of a house are the main perpetrators of serious urban pollution. The buildings that were built in last decades are, in fact, often very inefficient from an energy point of view. And this applies to both traditional houses and those for prefabricated. It is important , in both cases, to use technologies and building quality components to avoid major problems of thermal bridges, heat loss, waste of energy and thus a high production of pollution.As for the cost, the true sustainability must be sought throughout the lifespan of a house. If, in fact, in the two construction systems the use of raw materials is high( in a case for the realization of the various part, in the other for the transport of special and often long pieces), the use of energy needed during the use of the house is less for prefabricated wooden houses.The insulation system which are installed are often better standards of traditional houses.
Are they built more quickly? Yes, but…
They are definitely faster to build, but the aggregate time for the realization could be very close to that of traditional housing.This is because when you consider the entire implementation process includes design, soil preparation and connections for utilities, times are getting longer. Especially the projection phase may be more extended. prefabricated systems have less flexibility than the traditional mills systems:the spaces, openings, heights, everything must be well defined at the design stage because once made parts make changes could be really costly.The comparison with the designer it is very important:the choices must be clear, precise and well all needs met. Obviously this time it retrieves the actual construction of housing for the quick assembly and installation of the structure. work on site is short due to pre-shipyard production of the parts.Business are able to respect the living product delivery times better than traditional homes, where under construction you can have mishaps of various kinds(late delivery of materials, adverse weather conditions). The preparation and final working of the soil those of connections of the loads more or less equivalent between the two types of construction.
Some myths to debunk.
Thanks to the low prevalence of prefabricated houses in our area,you would think that and these types of houses are not sufficiently solid and resistant over time as you would like and how you think they are houses built with traditional system. The most common fears are related to earthquake resistance, the fire and the house of life.
Earthquake resistance
Japanese right from antiquity, despite living in a highly seismic area, have always built their wooden structures, especially in bambù. This because the wood has a high elasticity and ability to absorb the movements. also prefabricated wooden buildings are much more lightweight than traditional ones, and this involves two important factors. buildings do not need deep foundations but rest on concrete platforms that float one the ground:this allows, in case of earthquake, not to report significant damage in the structure. the wooden structure is subjected to a lesser way to the destructive for of the earthquake. The forces acting on building in case of earthquake, in fact, are proportional to the mass of the building itself and the wood, being a building material much lighter than the other,undergoes less damage.Another important thing to know is that, in case of an earthquake, the wooden buildings can be easily repaired by replacing the damaged parts.
Fire resistant.
Although it is true that wood is a highly combustible material, the structural strength of wood constructed buildings is grater than those made of steel. There are two main reasons: the wood burns slowly and has low thermal conductivity that slows the collapse. The steel structures instead do not burn, but undergo a rapid decay in the pyshical structural characteristics as a function of temperature and this makes them at high risk of collapse. This means that the buildings in reinforced concrete, where fire resistance is determined by the thickness of the coating of metal armor,unlike the wooden structures are more sensitive to temperature and tend to give in suddently, without giving the occupants time to live the building.
Resistance in time.
The myth of eternal home to leave to their children and grandchildren belong to our culture and it is difficult to think that the needs can change over the years, that future generations will live more and more in the world and that everything, alas, is temporary.Eternal life of dwelling built with so much sacrifices necessary.Yet, as for prefabricated wooden houses, houses built with traditional systems to last must be built well. The traditional houses have to be periodically renewed (both external cladding in interior fittings)and structurally controlled. If they are built with poor quality materials are necessary frequent maintenance in time,both because of the vegetable organism(mold and fungi)is the deterioration caused by water, which causes various problems such as infiltrazioni and the rising damp. This type of maintenance is to be considered also for prefabricated wooden houses (where we add the problems arising from the aggression of animal organism:insects and termites).In both construction systems the water and the humidity are the most dangerous enemies and also come from the inside of housing (formation of steam generated aqueous from breathing, from daily use of showers and cooking purposes).The humidity favors the emergence of mold which in time lead wood and brick walls to deteriorate. The mechanical room ventilation controlled is a solution that is wrought in both construction systems, if you want to live in a healthy and long habitation. Of course, as regards the wood, to increase.Its defense from external atmospheric agents and thus to prolong its life, should be considered also a whole series of applications of chemicals or by appropriate coating of surface.
as often happens when it comes to complex systems, such as the construction, performance and a home life, the issues to be considered are many and arrive at an unequivocal and precise conclusion is impossible.If you talk to the two buildings of good quality construction systems, on balance, they are equivalent. If one side looks better a prefabricated house (for use of resources, thermal efficiency and lightness),on the other side a chance to take advantage of greater experience in the field of design and traditional construction, the well-established laws and modus operandi, the choice it moves to the traditional housing. Factors to consider when building a home are many and, once all taken under consideration, is possibile to make a choice. environmental conditions, characteristics of the area, the capacity of workers and quality materials are the key-elements that should be examined along with specialized and well-date professionals.

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