House of wood and clay: woodpile or clay – technologies that are popular again

Our article will tell you how to make load-bearing walls from logs, chocks and a simple natural mortar. You will learn about some of the tricks and tricks for hemp masonry, as well as the basic requirements for the quality of wood and tips for harvesting it yourself.

House of wood and clay

A wooden house is a classic approach to home design. Logs, timber, board – any lengthy lumber is used, which can be stacked on top of each other in the form of a vertical plane (wall) or assemble a frame. However, the walls can be folded from simple firewood, sawn in one size.

Chock– a piece of a log. When splitting the chocks along, logs are obtained.

House of wood and clay

This technology in different countries is called differently: in Canada – cordwood (cordwood), in Ukraine and Belarus – “clay”, In Russia it is often called simply woodpile. It is distributed wherever trees grow and it is possible to harvest them. It owes its popularity to the simplicity of construction and the low cost of material – there are no problems with wood in a wooded area.

Log walls video

The type of wood in this case does not matter – along the fibers, the thermal conductivity of wood is 50–70% lower than across. The material (whole chocks and logs) must be prepared accordingly:

  1. Inspection and rejection of wood infested with insects.
  2. Cut to size – the length of the block is equal to the thickness of the wall.
  3. The bark is completely removed while the fibers are preserved.
  4. Antiseptic treatment.

House on cordwood technology, video

Such a house can be built right in the forest – this is how this technology was born, which is returning along with the fashion for green building..

A solution for a house made of logs is a know-how that ensures the safety of wood and the absence of delights, condensation and rot. It consists of natural materials related to wood, but the composition may vary depending on local conditions.

The main requirement for the mortar is that it should not be rigid, like traditional masonry, but rather, on the contrary, maintain plasticity, “breathe” with the tree. This does not mean that the filling between the logs will be soft, but it is also not worth dowelling it for furniture..

House of wood and clay

Options for the composition of the solution for hemp masonry:

  1. Initial – 2 parts of clay, 1 part of sand, 3-4 parts of fine straw or reeds.
  2. On sawdust – 2 parts of clay, 1 part of sand, 3 parts of sawdust (pre-soak in water).
  3. On cement – 1 part of cement, 3 parts of sand, 4–5 parts of sawdust, straw, reeds, chips.
  4. On hard cement – 1 part of cement, 3 parts of sand, 3-4 parts of slag, 0.5 parts of lime.
  5. On slag (for upper floors, top of walls) – 1 part of cement, 4–5 parts of slag, 0.5 part of lime.

Ultimately, each master (especially when building for himself) selects proportions according to his recipe. The result – the work of the material in the structure – largely depends on the climate. The finished solution should be dry, but keep its shape.

Wall masonry using clay chuck technology, video

Another option for a combination of materials in a solution is laying logs on wood concrete, prepared on site. Arbolite itself has very good bearing capacity and thermal conductivity. At the same time, its resistance to decay and excellent load distribution properties make this material ideal for laying clay.

One of the important points in the process of laying logs is the hygroscopicity of the tree (one-sided moisture permeability). Since the fibers in such a laying are horizontal, the “entrance” and “exit” are on opposite sides of the wall. There is a high probability that wood, due to natural reasons, will draw moisture into the room, instead of removing it from there. This can happen if you put the chock with the butt out.

How to determine the direction of growth of fibers in a tree

The safest way is bitch. The branch always grows upward from the trunk (even in a spruce) – this is the law of nature. Accordingly, in the direction of the knot rod, you can “finish building” the branch and determine where the top was and where the butt was. The fibers are usually tighter above the knot and more loosely at the bottom..

There is a more reliable way. If you are planning to build a house using cordwood technology, you cannot get by with random low-quality material – just ordering a couple of firewood machines will be inappropriate. For comfortable and fast work, the wood must be clean and even. Of course, there can be no question of the presence of insects, fungus and other deep lesions..

House of wood and clay

For the construction of the walls of a house with an area of ​​70 m2 with a wall thickness of 500 mm, you will need about 20 m3 wall material, of which 15 m3 – logs. Therefore, it is best to make them specifically for construction. You can buy or rent sawing equipment, or you can simply order this work at a sawmill. The butt should be marked immediately after cutting.

Such walls can be left open, with a visible part of the cut of the tree, or they can be revetted with any “breathing” material – stone wool, ventilated facade (with lathing) or heat-insulating plaster on a grid. The material must be vapor-permeable, otherwise the tree will begin to “suffocate” – to accumulate condensate and rot.

House of wood and clay

In conclusion, it should be noted that modern technologies for the production of wall materials demonstrate a return to the natural properties of the material and some almost forgotten, outdated techniques. Engineers put this knowledge at the fore when designing materials and technologies. As a result, once again we get “well forgotten old”.

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