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Wood has always been an available resource in the United States. Not only
that, but if you search our Website for archived posts related to wood you
will see that it is a very forgiving and ductile material.
The wood you are refering to is manufactured structural wood members. The
trees do not grow faster, but are harvested while still young. This allows
the use of controled forests specifically created for this industry. Trees
are harvested in sections so that by the time the rounds are made, the
starting area has new mature (although young) trees. Because of this, no old
trees are necessary and our forests are protected.
These young trees are cut into small splintered sections - approximately 1"
wide by 6" long and about 1/4" to 1/2 inch thick (I'm not absolutly sure
about the dimensions). They are aligned and microwaved in an epoxy type
adhesive. The resulting proprietary member is both stronger than
conventional wood and more dimentionally stable.
You might try searching out the Trus-Joist MacMillian or Lousianna Pacific
websites to learn more about manufactured wood products. Search for terms
such as Parallam or Timber Strand or LVL or Microlam. You should find a lot
of information on these products.
Homes constructed on the east coast of the USA have lasted hundreds of
years - a far cry from 30 years. Brick is used on homes as a veneer in the
midwest. Brick is also undesirable as a building material in the West Coast
due to seismic activity. Brick buildings do not do well in earthquake -
however, I believe they perform better in high wind area's were the weight
of the brick is used to overcome the wind loads.
Possibly others can shed more light on this for you.
Hope this helps.
Dennis S. Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From: Juan Enrique Justo [mailto:jjusto(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 1998 6:41 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)

The several posts (and counter posts) I read about the use of wood in
houses construction moved me to ask you what follows.
Although I?m mechanical engineer, I do love wood, and my hobby is
But I am not convinced -so far- about the benefits of house contruction
from wood which seems to be the rule in USA. Here in south america we
still prefer bricks.
I was in Houston for 18 month, and I had the chance to see the progresive
construction of a condo nearby my place. I saw those tiny (o let?s say
slender) timber pieces to be put together to form the structure of walls,
frames, beams, etc. I also was told (pls tell me if this is true) that
these slim timbers came from very fast growing trees, specially developed
for construction. I also was told that unless termites choose the same
home as you do, this full wood houses can last up to 30 years.
All this introduction is just to ask to you fellows (ladys included) why
this wood based system was chosen. Are there some kind of historical
reasons?, or may be old traditions? A friend that lives in Tampa Fl, made
his house to be built up in our traditional way (bricks and more bricks)
and he had to pay 30% more that a fully wood house. So, Is it because of
By the way, how about New Zeland? What do you use there?

Finally, I would like to tell you that this query is just for the sake of