Wood, a Human-friendly Material, with Multiple Uses

Wood Eco House


Wood is a hopeful ally of man, being used from ancient times in many fields and applications. When choosing wood to make a project, many things are considered, like: its hardness, colour, texture, essence - more exactly, hardwood (oak, beech, walnut, ash, maple, cherry, mahogany, teak), or softwood (fir, pine, spruce) - but also the budget.

Wood is one of the most important building material, being used since the beginnings of human civilization, for the construction of shelters, dwellings and boats. In the present, wood is equally appreciated in construction, being one of the most friendly materials for man, with unique features that ensure comfort and durability. A house made of wood is warm in the cold winter and cool in the summer, when the sensation of clogged air is removed. Being a flexible material, wood behaves well in case of vibrations and earthquakes, providing resistance to the whole. The wood is used as such, in rough form (hardwood), but also in engineered form (multilayer wood). In dwellings construction, wood is used in all its forms (timber, lumber, pillars, ladders, beams, rafters, planks) for roof structure, flooring and parquet, interior and exterior joinery (windows, doors, shutters, roller shutters), wood stairs and railings, wainscot. In the past, boats and ships were made almost entirely of wood, when the elm wood was especially used in such a case, considering its resistance in a wet environment. Also, for such a reason, the elm wood has been used for almost 500 years, until the 1800s, for the construction of water pipes, gutters and water mills.

Although not as obvious, the most common use of wood is that of fuel for fire, which is used as such mainly in the rural areas around the world. Also, in the urban areas, a fireplace is considered to add a touch of intimacy, elegance and refinement to housing. In terms of firewood, the hardwoods are better appreciated because they produce less smoke, burn more slowly and have a higher calorific power for heating the home during the cold season.

The furniture industry and other household items use wood as their main production material. A wide variety of types and items of furniture can be produced thanks to the durability and aesthetics of the wood: beds, tables, chairs, cabinets, shelves, libraries, dressings, hangings, wainscots. Furniture is an area that highlights the beauty and nobility of wood, especially in the case of hardwood furniture: floral and geometric or abstract ornaments and multiple decorations. Small wooden items are just as important and useful to the human being: writing and colouring pencils, kitchen utensils (wooden spoons, pallets, toothpicks, sticks, plates), walking sticks, clothes hangers, wooden tails for different gardening tools, packaging and wooden boxes.

In the food industry, wood is used for packing and storing food in boxes for long-term storage or transport. At the same time, wooden barrels of oak or walnut with metallic circles are used in the alcoholic beverage industry for the maturation of several types of beverages (wines and spirits: cognac, whiskey). Smoke obtained from burning certain woods is used to prepare several types of cheese and meat delicates, bringing a plus of flavour, tradition and originality of gastronomy around the world.

In sports, wood is used for certain sporting equipment such as baseball bats, skis and ski sticks, hockey sticks, archery bows, although lately there is a tendency to replace wood with other materials, like: fibreglass, carbon fibre or titanium.

In art, wood resonates distinctly to bring excitement and beauty in the life of man. Wooden art objects have been made since ancient times, beginning with the totem animals of the old Indian civilizations, but also more actual, classic or abstract sculptures. Musical instruments emphasize the unique acoustics of wood, highlighted by a multitude of strings, blowing or percussion instruments. Choosing the essence of wood is of particular importance in the acoustics and the tone of each musical instrument.