Filled with detailed colour photographs and drawings, this unique and practical 'how to' book will unquestionably be a benchmark for sustainable building. It will encourage communication between woodsmen, planners, architects and builders and help close the loop between environmental conservation, use of renewable local resources and the regeneration and evolution of traditional skills to create durable, ecological and beautiful buildings.
|Author||Ben Law, Lloyd Kahn (Foreword)|
|Short title||Roundwood Timber Framing|
|Long title||Roundwood Timber Framing - Building Naturally Using Local Resources|
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- Highly recommended Review by Martin Crawford, Agroforestry Research Trust
An initial chapter looks at using roundwood in building, frame types and basic terminology used in a timber framed building.
A couple of chapters then concentrate of the trees themselves. The first looks at how to manage woodlands for suitable roundwood production – which basically divides into coppice systems (with sweet chestnut, ash and hazel); and plantation systems, mainly for conifers such as larch, Douglas fir and Western red cedar. It is good to see a note emphasising thinking for the future, and interesting to contrast Ben’s (justified) enthusiasm for black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) with Natural England’s virtual terror of this species due to its suckering habit.
The next chapter looks at the tree species themselves, both conifers and hardwoods, with descriptions of the silvicultural characteristics, timber characteristics, strength, durability, working qualities and uses in roundwood timber framing. Trees described include Western red cedar, Scots pine, Larch, Douglas fir, Ash, Sweet chestnut, Oak , Black locust and Lawson cypress. Swamp cypress (Taxodium distichum) also gets a mention.
Description of the timber framing process is preceeded by a chapter on tools, with excellent photos of the tools and details of their uses.
The next two chapters tackle the nitty gritty of roundwood frame construction. The first looks at the main frame itself, starting with foundations and laying out, then continuing with the step by step procedure of building and erecting the frame, with a lot of detail on roundwood framing joints. The second of these two chapters looks at the next steps in construction – cutting a roof, roofing materials (with an emphasis on shingles), wall materials, and floors.
Finally, there are a number of roundwood timber frame builds ‘described ‘in the form of photo diaries, showing construction at different points in time.
The book has excellent colour photos throughout, illustrating every aspect of the process from tree to building and is highly recommended. (Posted on 05/10/2010)
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