A house made of wood concrete: the pros and cons of building from wood concrete blocks

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Arbolite has been used in the construction of buildings for both residential and commercial purposes since the 60s of the last century. Despite its widespread popularity, it has both advantages and disadvantages. We want to tell you about the pros and cons of wood concrete, as well as what this building material is..

A house made of wood concrete: the pros and cons of building from wood concrete blocks

Arbolit came to the domestic construction market back in the days of the USSR, in the 60s of the last century. Even then, it was widely used in the construction of canteens and industrial buildings. However, in the construction of private houses, the material was rarely used, preferring natural wood, brick and precast concrete structures. Currently, wood concrete is gaining more and more popularity in the construction of buildings for various purposes..

Building a house from wood concrete blocks

Let’s take a closer look at what kind of material it is, as well as the pros and cons of buildings made of wood concrete blocks.

What is arbolite

The name itself comes from the French word arbre, which means “tree”. It is also called “wood concrete” and is made from 3 main components:

  1. Filler in the form of chopped rice straw, flax fire, cotton stalks, needles, bark, but most often – wood chips (spruce, pine, beech), up to 25 cm long and 1 cm wide.
  2. Binder – cement grade not less than M300.
  3. Stabilizers that regulate the improved adhesion of components, as well as the degree of hardening of the material, its plasticity – additives of chemical origin, mainly aluminum sulfate, calcium chloride and nitrate, as well as water glass and so on.

Wood chips for wood concrete

The quality of the material obtained is regulated by the established standards of GOST or TU.

Types of wood concrete

Arbolite is produced in 2 main types:

  1. Thermal insulation – used as a partition wall, as well as a heat insulator, with a density of 400-500 kg / m3.
  2. Structural – intended for the construction of load-bearing surfaces, with a density of 500-850 kg / m3.

Wood concrete production

There are also 2 forms of material:

  1. Blocks – this option is very convenient for quick wall construction. Blocks can be common for straight walls, and with a U-cut when you need to create window or door lintels.

Arbolite block

U-shaped wood concrete block

  1. Monolithic – a cheaper version of wood concrete, which has a lower strength than block, since in the first version the products go to the dressing in the structure. To increase the strength, the monolith is made with a layer of heavy concrete.

Monolithic wood concrete


Arbolit is intended for:

  1. Erection of load-bearing walls of low-rise residential buildings.
  2. Construction of non-residential premises for economic purposes.
  3. Thermal insulation of existing building walls.

House of wood concrete blocks

Cons and pros of wood concrete

Any building material has its own advantages and disadvantages. The same applies to wood concrete.

The pluses include:

  1. Lightness of products, allowing self-assembly without the use of special equipment.
  2. High thermal insulation characteristics of the material intended for insulation. So its thermal conductivity is on average 0.08 W / (m · ° C), which is better than any type of concrete or brick. For example, a 30-centimeter-thick wood-concrete wall corresponds to 1.5 meter brickwork. At the same time, wood concrete is able to accumulate heat, without succumbing to sudden temperature fluctuations. The thermal conductivity of structural wood concrete is slightly higher, and can reach 0.17 W / (m ° C).
  3. Since the material has a woody structure, it could be assumed that it is combustible, however, wood concrete belongs to hardly flammable, and, moreover, does not form a large amount of smoke. Its fire resistance is equal to – 0.75-1.5.
  4. High vapor permeability allows you to build baths, saunas from wood concrete.
  5. The material is resistant to stretching, that is, it is susceptible to cracks and deformations when the foundation moves by only 0.4-0.5%.
  6. Wood concrete has group V according to the classification of biostability, which means its resistance to rot, mold, as well as the lack of interest in it from rodents and wood-eaters without additional impregnation.
  7. High frost resistance – from F25 to F50 cycles, but this indicator is significantly reduced in combination with dampness, if the wood concrete is not protected by an external insulator.
  8. The positive features also include ease of processing and, meanwhile, a good load-bearing strength – that is, it is easy to saw it if necessary, as well as fix any structures on it.
  9. In addition, wood concrete has excellent sound absorption parameters..

Easy processing of wood concrete blocks

The disadvantages of arbolite buildings include:

  1. High coefficient of water absorption – from 40 to 85%. Wood concrete, absorbing moisture, gives it away during drying. But this applies to random or irregular cases. It is not recommended to use it in unheated rooms with constantly high humidity, or it will have to be plastered with moisture-resistant mixtures and covered with appropriate insulators. In addition, for material saturated with moisture, the frost resistance coefficient is significantly reduced.
  2. Low strength parameters limit the use of wood concrete. Structural is suitable only for low-rise buildings with a low bearing load (that is, with a height of one floor, it will not work to combine it with heavy materials). The maximum height of wood concrete buildings should not exceed 3 floors.
  3. Many people believe that arbolite belongs to budget products in terms of cost. However, if you choose a material that meets all the parameters of GOST, then the prices for it exceed the cost of foam concrete. So, on average, a cube of wood concrete for structural purposes costs about 4000 rubles, and a foam block – 2500-3000 rubles.

Wood concrete plaster

Thus, wood concrete is an excellent material, with a number of positive features outweighing the disadvantages, but only if all the necessary operating conditions are met, as well as with the right choice of material.

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