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Timber Block Talks: Chapter 1: Diving Deep into the Panelized Home Building System

Updated: Jan 30

The off-site construction industry continues to be more in demand as sustainability, energy efficiency, fast assembly and less on-site construction time become not a "nice-to-have," but a necessity.


Timber Block has close to 50 years of construction history and has been delivering high quality engineered wood homes all over Canada and the USA since its inception. Today, we're taking you on a virtual in-depth tour of our Panelized Building System, how our cutting-edge technology has resulted in our process to be considered a leader in the industry, and why Timber Block is now considered one of the top manufacturers of panelized wood homes in North America.



Timber Block Homes Installation

Defining the "Panelized Bulding System"


The NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) defines Panelized Building Systems as "...a system that incorporates construction techniques that use advanced technology, quality materials and a controlled work environment to build energy-efficient homes in less time." 


To further explain, the Panelized Building System takes a flat surfaces of a structure (floor, walls, and/or roof) and creates easy quick to install components that eliminate variations in quality and reduce the time under construction. The panels are assembled off-site (which is why you will often hear us refer to 'off-site' construction)in a controlled environment, eliminating or reducing variables such as weather, weathering, labor skill, and human error. Of particular importance, off-site assembly allows normally sequential activities to occur simultaneously, again reducing total time under construction. Time is money. When assembled in series, panels replace the traditional method of assembling different loose pieces of lumber on site and the myriad challenges associated with the older technique without the need for a different labor force.



Timber Block Homes Wall Raising

To fully understand what makes the Timber Block Panelized Building System superior, it's a good idea to define the difference between our system and "SIPs" (Structural Insultated Panels) as the 2 are often mistaken as the same. SIPs are quite a common type of panel system used today - these panels are load bearing and come pre-insulated from the manufacturer.


SIPs can be distinguished from each other by the materials used, the type, properties, and thickness of the insulation materials, the structural strength of the panel, the level of pre-finishing, and the degree of design flexibility. Most SIPs are sandwich panels where two 4’ X 8’ OSB sheets “sandwich” a core of rigid sheet polystyrene, of varying thickness depending on desired R-value, fastened together by glue, heat, and pressure.


The Panelized Building System helps immensely with things like matching the build plans and specifications, In addition, panelized construction puts this burden of quality on a controlled engineered manufacturing process which greatly simplifies and accelerates the work of the field personnel. This works to eliminate hidden human error. Extremely high quality component construction is infinitely repeatable. Poor materials or sub-standard panels can be culled well before they are ever loaded onto a truck. Production waste can be minimized and what is left, recycled. Design can be adapted to meet increased structural loads, increased thermal efficiency, and various architectural themes. Off-site construction simply provides the new homeowner with shorter build times, higher quality construction and sustainability.


Defining the Timber Block Process


The Timber Block wall panels arrive at the site complete. They only require a final exterior finish coat at the end of construction. The minimum R-value offered is a R-30. Depending on where your site is located, this is roughly 30-50% greater than the building code requires. The insulation used is closed cell polyurethane foam which prevents moisture from permeating the wall and home. The interior and exterior are Eastern White Pine sourced from sustainable certified forests. The coatings are low volatile organic compounds (VOC) coatings, which when topped with the final field coating, produce a 15 year warranted finish.


Where the Timber Block product really shines is by the way the panels are assembled. The panels are composed of horizontal 7” tall sections (“blocks”) whose lengths vary depending on the plan and have a stud every 24 inches. The “blocks” are then stacked and joined with adhesives and wood joinery, then pre-stressed under 5000 lbs. of vertical hydraulic pressure, finally this constraint is captured by a series of threaded rods throughout the panel. This technique adds tremendous design flexibility and ensures the behavior of the wood remains as stable over time as it is in the factory.


The result is an incredibly stable, substantially stronger, sustainable, beautiful, wall that can be easily erected without special tools or special knowledge.



Timber Block Homes Construction

Overall, Timber Block’s system from the traditional and generic is a good foundation to begin building planning. Armed with as much information as possible, new homeowners can begin to make informed decisions about the type of construction and materials that make the most sense for their building project, and for new homeowners who want to save significant money on energy, maximize the value of their construction budgets, and/or just want a robust net-zero home platform, Timber Block’s system should be at the top of the list for consideration.



Timber Block Homes Eastman Model

La Eastman

Timber Block Homes Sedna Floor Plan

La Sedna


Timber Block Homes Charleston Floor Plan

La Charleston


Timber Block Homes Dakota Plan

La Dakota


Pour explorer l'ensemble de nos modèles, veuillez télécharger notre catalogue de plans : ICI.


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