Module: Timber as a material Unit: Why choose timber?

Module: Timber as a material Unit: Why choose timber?

Date Published

28 August 2022

Document Type




Wood has a unique quality in that it has visual and tactile appeal to almost everyone and freshly worked wood often smells good too. It may evoke childhood memories of playing in woodland, climbing trees, building simple shelters or making wooden play things. Everyone, even in this age of metals and plastics, understands where it comes from and believes, rightly or wrongly, that they could make something with it if they had to. This is because it is easy to work with simple tools and for this reason wood has been used in building and making a wide variety of products for a very long time.

Key Information

Wood as a natural resource has several uses and qualities that are not easy to replicate, some of them are visual and tactile qualities, insulating properties, thermal stability, resistance to chemicals, acoustic absorption and resistance to fire, to mention a few.

Case studies

Pocket House is an award-winning family house, distinguished by its character, the quality of its detailing – much of it in timber
– and by the skill with which the architect has made use of a dauntingly restricted site.

The buildings, which have been developed at CAT over the last 40 years, illustrate a miniature history of green building, demonstrating changing priorities and possibilities.