The most efficient way for timber wall frames to be manufactured is pre-fabricated in a factory. Waste is kept to a minimum, there are substantial time efficiencies due to no wet weather delays as well as cost efficiencies over frames fabricated on site. Pre-fab wall frames are made in full or part wall sections, bundled together and delivered to site as shown above. All that is left to do is erect them.
You will also note that the wall frames have a blu-ish colour. The colour indicates that the timber has been treated with Permethrin, which is an organic termiticide and provides 25 year protection against termite attack. Termites are are perpetual problem in Sydney and in our opinion you can not protect a timber structure enough from them. Generally we are not in favour of any form of chemical treatment of construction products. However, there is absolutely nothing sustainable about having a timber structure attacked by termites and a house requiring substantial repair before the end of its useful life. The permethrin does not leach from the timber and remains encapsulated in the structure of the wood, so in theory the environmental impact is minimal.
The key to using timber is for it to be either recycled or sustainably forested. In the case of the wall framing timber we are using, as you can see above, it is plantation pine which comes from Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified plantations.
The first wall frames go up. Standing and fixing the pre-fab Wall frames is a little bit like building a house of cards. Each frame is akin to one of the cards and as each additional frame is erected it adds to the overall structural integrity of the house.
In the background you can see the 24,000 litre rainwater storage tank for the house. The aim for the house is to be self sufficient for water, so potable water for bathing, cooking and drinking will come from this tank.
Having spent so much time and effort polishing the concrete it deserved to be protected. Being the great recyclers that we are we came across recycled carpet that had been put out for a Council kerbside clean up. Unfortunately carpet is one of those construction products that seems to always end up as landfill. It seems that no-one has found a way to recycled it. So if we can give it one more use before it ends up there, then all the better. So in the image above you can see part of the main living area floor protected with the carpet.