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Timber frames and concrete frames are viable materials for construction. They have different characteristics. These individual characteristics make these materials preferred in construction due to several aspects, among which affordability is the constant for preference, while quality is the source of preference when it comes to the nature and purpose of the construction structure. Timber frames and concrete frames differ in their durability, climatic resistance, and the ease of assembly, where timber frames are less durable, easily assembled, and less costly (Conway & Roenisch 2005, p. 27). On the other hand, the concrete frame is more durable, costly, and resistant to climatic conditions. The comparison and contrast of these building materials is the focus of this paper.
Comparison and contrast between timber frames and concrete frames
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With regards to building and construction, the timber frame serves the same purpose as the concrete frame since they are both applicable materials for joinery in construction of structures. The major advantage that the timber frame has over the concrete frame is the lower cost, which elucidates affordability. Wood is a material used in construction that is relatively cheap as compared to concrete, which is more expensive. Consequently, wood requires less expertise work for joinery activities as compared to concrete, which requires knowledge of proportions for mixing the constituents (Binggeli 2009, p. 35). For instance, wood is highly recommended for the DIY work, where efficiency results from the ease of work with the material as compared to the concrete frame that needs extra skilled labor for joinery activities.
The other advantage that the timber frame has over the concrete frame is the ease of molding it into different forms, in which timber frame can be made into a variety of shapes to suit the intended purpose as compared to the concrete frame, which cannot be molded into different shapes and sizes, but whose shape depends on the original construction. The essence of ease of conversion of wood into varied forms leads to the ability to achieve smooth curves and seasoned texture that elucidates the aesthetic value (Architects 2003, p. 255). Conversely, the seasoning of concrete frames into an intricately textured surface might prove to be tedious or expensive in other forms. This implies that wood is most preferred as compared to the concrete frame if the purpose is to increase aesthetic value for smoother surfaces (Madsen 2001, p. 503).
The characteristic comparison element that defines the barrier between the usage of timber frame and concrete frame lies in durability, where the latter is an advantage when working with the concrete frame. Conversely, lack of durability of the timber frame elucidates the disadvantage of working with such construction material. The timber frame is prone to influence of pesticides, which include fungi, while the concrete frame is more resistant to such influences making it more durable. The timber frame is also prone to atacks from climatic changes, while the concrete frame is more adaptable to changing climatic conditions. This gives it an upper hand in usage, especially in damp areas, where the timber frame could be infected by fungi due to moist conditions (Du Béton 2003).
Consequently, reinforced concrete is more resistant to compression and shear forces. Buildings made up of such materials can resist forces such as those of earthquakes and tremors. This is in contrast with timber frame, which is prone to warping and bending processes that are brought about by shear forces. Moreover, the timber frame is not resistant to forces of quakes and tremors, where it would be vastly affected by these natural forces leading to a collapse of the building or its weakening all together (Virdi 2012, p. 200).
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The factor of vulnerability also is a source for comparison between the workability of the concrete frame and the timber frame. The timber frame is more vulnerable to infestations by the boring insects and moisture. On the other hand, concrete frames are less vulnerable to infestations, where they do not harbor any form of pests that affect constructions. Consequently, concrete frames are impermeable to the influence of moisture. They are considered water proof due to the acquired characteristics of impermeability. Moreover, the concrete frame is highly adaptable to bad weather conditions caused by changes in temperature. Constructions made from these frames are less vulnerable to adverse weather conditions and temperature changes as compared to timber frames (Reid 1984, p. 14).
Additionally, the feature of climate control is more pronounced in constructions made from concrete frames as compared to timber frames, which lack the ability of climatic control (Du Béton 2003, p. 25). The concrete frame is made up of a big mass of dense concrete, which acts as an insulator that is essential for automated climate control. This implies that such constructions are not swayed easily by the change in climate as compared to the wooden frame, which is light and, therefore, not able to harbor characteristics of insulation. This implies that constructions made from the concrete frame are able to retain heat, which controls external climatic changes as compared to the timber frame that looses out heat easily and thus cannot retain climatic conditions once there are external changes (Conway & Roenisch 2005, p. 32).
Another element of comparison between the wood frame and the concrete frame is adaptability, where the concrete frame is more adaptable as compared to the wooden frame. This is due to the fact that the concrete frame is made up of materials that are compound and, therefore, not prone to reactive substances like water and air (Du Béton 2003, p. 28). Conversely, the timber frame does not have adaptability characteristics since it is reactive to both air and water and, therefore, easily affected by changing conditions. This makes the concrete frame more preferred than the timber frame, which can be easily swayed by changing weather conditions. By consideeration, the timber frame has been known to fault in changes in rain patterns that depict the resultant contact with acid rain. Conversely, the concrete frame is more adaptable when it comes to the conditions that lead to contact with acid rain, to which it is resistant (Architects 2003, p. 42).
In terms of similarities between the timber frame and the concrete frame, the two converge in the usage, where availability is the essence of necessity. In constructions where timber frames are easily available as compared to concrete frames, they are most preferred since they serve the same purpose as the concrete frames. This implies that the usage of both the timber frame and the concrete frame are similar, where the two act as a subsidy to each other in times of need. The most available tool for construction is highly recommended for use since the end result would be a construction structure. As much as the timber frame brings about beauty since it has the ability to be reformed into different forms and textures, the concrete frame also elucidates this aesthetic value since it can be molded into desired shapes and textures at the time of manufacture (Architects 2003, p. 59).
The other major similarity that both the timber frame and the concrete frame have is the subordination, where in some incidences the two are used in linearity. This implies that in the construction of timber frames buildings, there might appear a need for constructing support using the concrete frame. This means that the two would be used hand in hand in order to taking care of the consequences if the two were to be used as separate entities. This results from the availability of both materials, in which some parts of the construction in a timber framed house are substituted by the concrete frame or vice vasa. This brings about both advantages and disadvantages of the frames, which elucidate a common agreement for the construction (Madsen 2001, p. 45).
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Major differences between the timber frame and the concrete frame relate to durability, adaptability, and vulnerability, where the timber frame is less durable, more vulnerable to hazards like fire and moisture and is less adaptable to adverse weather conditions as compared to concrete framed constructions. On the other hand, the timber frame is of more aesthetic value than the concrete frame since it can be easily modified into desired textures and shapes. Consequently, the timber frame does not need expertise skill to work with compared to the concrete frame that leads to extra costs incurred due to hiring skilled labor during the entire construction practice. The major element that reflects similarity between the concrete frame and the timber frame relates to the usage, where they both can serve multiple purposes. This implies that functions that the timber frame can perform during construction are also similar to those of the concrete frame. This also means that the two can be used in construction together or in isolation, which depends on the availability of the two (Du Béton, 2003: 40).
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