Green Timber Treatment (2001)

These houses were built by
the third little pig. No huffing or puffing is going to blow
them down. However without constant attention,
parts of them could just slowly rot away. Damian Scown – “The water accesses the timber
because there’s no paint on the end grain “and so you can see the decay has started
here and run all the way down.” Wooden window and door frames are more energy
efficient than other materials and come from a renewable source. However in most modern houses
they’re made from young timber, which is not as durable as older wood. Damian Scown – “But using a
younger resource of timber “is much better than cutting down
old growth forests.” So Damian Scown of Australia’s
science agency CSIRO is finding new environmentally friendly,
treatment processes for the young timber. Damian Scown – “So we would treat timber
with a preservative that we think may work. “We will then grow a fungus that
we know is an active wood degrader. “We’ll get it grown up to a certain level “then we’ll introduce our
treated piece of timber “and we’ll leave it for 12 weeks. “After that time we come back “and assess how much damage has happened
to the wood.” Damian has a nursery of over 140 miniature
windows, made from different timbers, coated with different paints or preservatives, then left in a simulated humid atmosphere
for varying lengths of time. Each window is then taken
apart to see how it’s fared. And this one is fine. Once the damp gets into window frames and
they buckle and bend, they have to be replaced. CSIRO is working to provide builders
and home owners with an environmentally safe timber treatment.


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