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Oct 24, 2008

Alternative building methods create market for sustainable materials

© Reuse this Timber products supplier Interwil has provided the timber floor and roof-framing company Superjoist with the oriented strand board (OSB) for use in the construction of the five-star timber-frame Tinstwalo Atlantic Hotel in the Western Cape, Interwil group marketing manager Stuart Juds tells Engineering News.

Timber-frame construction was the preferred construction material used in the Tinstwalo Atlantic Hotel, located off Chapman's Peak in Cape Town, which opened this month, owing to its low environmental impact and ease of construction on difficult sites, explains Juds.

He says that OSB was used in the suspended timber floor construction, roof and wall sheathing part of the project, awarded to Superjoist and Keith Rudd Timber Homes at a value of about R25-million.

The OSB product supports a global trend towards environment-friendly practices and alternative building methods, such as tomber-frame construction light steel-frame building, which enables more efficient and timely execution of projects.

"The fibre for OSB is grown from sustainable forests. Because of the nature of the manufacturing process, it uses nearly 90% of the log and it eliminates panel imperfections such as delamination, which means less waste and improved profitability," states Juds.

OSB is the cost-effective structural material in standard and economic type housing, as well as light commercial constructions.

Juds says that OSB, because of its stability is the perfect material for structural cladding, sub-floors, roofing and sheathing.

He says that the physical properties and high-impact resistance of the product make it ideal for walls, floors and cladding in steel and timber framing.

The features of OSB include high-workability making it easy to saw, drill, nail and paint.

"From an architectural standpoint, the product offers flexibility and creative freedom in traditional design schemes and more modern and innovative projects," says Juds.

Industrial Applications
The product has been used widely in timber and steel frame residential housing construction around the country.

"The product provides an alternative to plywood, and although it is more costly, it adds value and is most suitable for timber frame housing. OSB has also been commonly used in the steel-frame market, which took off in this country about 18 months ago, where it is used for cladding and sheathing," explains Juds.

He says that the product is still in its burgeoning phase, and has a long way to go in the local market.

However, demand for the product in the past year has shown a steady increase.

Juds says that the product is primed for continued market growth, with the emergence of the light steel-frame and the current high timber-frame housing trend in South Africa.

He adds that the increase in local timber and steel frame projects will continue to provide a market for OSB.

The company offers the full range of OSB in South Africa in conjunction with particle-boards manufacturer Masisa.

OSB is a mat-formed panel product made of strands, flakes or wafers sliced from small diameter, roundwood logs and bonded with an exterior-type binder under heat and pressure.

Combined with waterproof and boilproof resin binders, the strands provide internal strength, rigidity and moisture resistance.

The structural engineering of OSB allows a wide variety of construction and industrial applications such as walls and ceilings, floor bases for wall-to-wall carpeting, beams, decorative shop fittings, container-type pallets, displays, furniture structures, decoration and design.


Edited by: Laura Tyrer
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
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