When considering thermal performance issues, timber, a naturally insulating material, makes for an excellent choice. Air pockets within timber's cellular structure create a natural barrier to heat and cold.
Of all the timber options in construction, lightweight timber is the best insulator overall as thermal conductivity increases with density. In addition, thermal conductivity will vary slighty with moisture content, residual deposits in the timber such as the extractives, and natural characteristics such as checks, knots and grain direction.
Construction design with a focus on energy efficiency through lightweight timber can greatly contribute to maximising comfort and minimising non renewable energy use. In addition, timber framed buildings can allow for extra insulation materials to be placed in spaces between framing members without increasing wall, ceiling, roof or floor thickness. The natural thermal properties of timber also maximise the efficiency of insulation materials as wood will not become cold or dissipate heat, therefore requiring less energy to maintain warmth throughout a building.
To learn more about timber's strong thermal performing properties see the reports available for download below:
In addition to the files below, Design Guide 22 Thermal Performance for Timber-framed Residential Construction, Design Guide 23 Using Thermal Mass in Timber-framed Buildings and Design Guide 24 Thermal Performance Timber-framed Residential are available here.