Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on July 18, 2008
Can a building material help save the planet? The people behind Timbercrete seem to think so.
Designed in Australia, Timbercrete is a handmade building product that reduces building costs, simulating a sandstone/limestone finish. Made from recycled timber from plantation timbers and then combined with other raw materials like cellulose, cement and sand to enhance block strength and prevent excessive water penetration, it’s then produced as various shapes like brick, block or paneling and can be purchased in any texture or color.
Recycled materials? That’s always a good thing. But what else can it do?
According to Timbercrete’s website, a home using the product will use a lot less energy than those with standard building brick or concrete due to greater insulation qualities. It’s also said that Timbercrete provides a high a level of protection against fire related threats.
Timbercrete can be used in a wide range of domestic, commercial, industrial and public buildings and is apparently gaining credibility throughout the world. But while a search for homes and businesses using Timbercrete in the U.S. did not yield much, the Australian site has a gallery of interesting structures using the product.
While the simulated look of it doesn’t thrill me, it seems to work well for landscaping purposes, as well as on some exterior walls and inside when combined with other materials. But honestly, the most appealing house using Timbercrete that I could find was pictured in the Sydney Morning Herald and I think my eyes were drawn more to the landscaping around it.
Perhaps Timbercrete should just be surrounded by lots of trees. But if a tree were to catch on fire, would the home be protected? That’s the burning question.