Designing for durability | Part 2: Principles of design

Designing for durability | Part 2: Principles of design

Date Published

15 August 2022

Document Type

Author

TRADA
Summary

Attention to detail enables designers to considerably extend the life of timber components. Timber’s resistance to weathering, adverse atmospheric conditions and fungal and insect attack can all be influenced by detailing. Following some simple design principles for protecting timber can make a significant difference to the life expectancy of components at relatively little additional cost.

Key Information

Some of the simple design principles for protecting timber are: Protect the top horizontal members, protect exposed end grain, avoid water traps and capillary, ensure surfaces are well ventilated and provide effective drainage from timber.

Case studies

In 2019 an explosion of colour appeared on the sedate lawn of Dulwich Picture Gallery. It was the Colour Palace, a timber pavilion painted in exuberant geometric patterns and stripes in a kaleidoscope of zinging neon colours.

Cavendish Avenue is a tree-lined suburban enclave rich in architectural character and domestic diversity. The houses are large yet individual, creating an interestingly disjointed street frontage.