Types of Wood and Their Uses in the Construction Industry | Graana.com Blog


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Wood was the first material ever used in construction and is known to be long-standing. However, wood has hundreds of varieties from which one can choose while constructing a home. Wood was the primary material of the houses built 10,000 years ago.

As a builder, it is crucial to understand the types of woods, their properties, how they can be utilized, etc. Once you have understood the main kinds of woods, learning how they are graded can assist you in choosing the right one for your project.

The components of woof strength such as density, hardness, bending strength, compression, and gravity will help you understand better the properties of wood. Moreover, the chemical properties of wood are complicated. However, human beings have managed to observe and comprehend the unique properties of wood to build an unlimited variety of structures.

This versatile material is used not just to build homes and shelter but for making furniture as well.

One of the significant pros of using wood as a construction material is that it is natural and economically affordable. It provides sound insulation from the cold and is vital concerning its weight. Wood can be fabricated into all sorts of shapes since it works well with machines. Moreover, wood is environmentally a sustainable product because it is biodegradable and renewable. It also contains the lowest carbon footprint as compared to any other building material.

Hardwood:

Hardwoods come from angiosperm trees or plants that produce seeds having a covering. They are fertilized by insects and birds that transfer pollen from other trees. Once fertilized, the trees form fruits, seeds and nuts.

Generally speaking, hardwood trees are deciduous. Meaning they lose their leaves annually. They grow slowly as compared to softwood which makes them denser. In the construction industry, hardwood is used for several projects exposed to the elements that need to last—for instance, decks, flooring, panelling, and high-quality furniture. Hardwood is also used to construct wooden panels, cupboards, door-frames, and window fittings. It is highly durable and reluctant to heat, the pressure making it the perfect product for adapting to changes in weather. In Pakistan, the most commonly used types of hardwood are Deodar, walnut tree wood, and teak.

1. Deodar

For construction purposes, deodar is the most commonly used wood in Pakistan. This wood is derived from the Cedrus deodara tree, native to the northern region of Pakistan. It is durable, strong, and rot-resistant. The grains on the deodar are refined and closely knitted. Due to this, it can withstand high polishing. Many architects prefer deodar for construction purposes.

2. Walnut tree wood

Walnut tree wood is derived from walnut trees. Walnut tree wood grows in the Northern areas such as Swat and Khyber Pakhtunkwa. There are several shades in walnut wood; however, it mostly comes in dark red and pinkish colours. Walnut wood is used to make furniture. But since it has a great rot-resistivity, it makes it a great flooring material as well. Due to modernization in the interior, there has been a trend of walnut wood walls as well.

3. Teak

The most popular type of hardwood is teak wood. It comes in yellow to dark brown shade and is extremely heavy, durable, and weather-resistant. Furthermore, its qualities consist of wrap-resistant and don’t decay. Teakwood shows a straight grain pattern. The natural oils present in teakwood make it termite and pest-resistant. In terms of pricing, teak is much expensive than other forms of wood.

Teakwood is highly durable. It has an aesthetic oriental look that makes it the perfect material for cabinets and furniture. This wood is resistant to moisture which is ideal for incorporating into making window frames. Architects in Lahore mostly prefer teakwood for window frames as it can bear moisture during the monsoon season.

Engineered Wood:

When people talk about woods, solid wood such as hardwood and softwood are often mentioned since they are naturally obtained. Engineered wood is man-made manufactured wood.

Engineered boards are built from waste wood of sawmills. They undergo a chemical or heat process to form wood that meets the requirement sizes that are impossible to find in nature. Moreover, they are made from the same hardwood and softwood, mixed with adhesives and other chemicals.

In other words, they are made from the same hardwood and softwood but mixed with additives like adhesives.

Engineered boards are used in several applications ranging from home construction to commercial buildings and industrial products.

Some features of engineered wood are:

  • Able to meet specific requirements
  • Multiplicity in thickness and length
  • Incorporating engineered wood for tasks like cutting and drilling is easier as compared to hardwood.
  • Low on cost as compared to hardwood and softwood.

Plywood is the most common type of engineered wood used in Pakistan. It is made by laminating veneer sheets and combining them under tremendous pressure and temperature, which makes it economical and withstands uniformed strength. It is a versatile form of wood and thus has several applications, such as designing structural frames and internal panelling.

Softwood:

Softwood is lighter and flexible however is more or less similar in strength. It is obtained from evergreen trees and can be used to construct wooden floors, walls, doors, panels, and furniture. However, softwood may not be an ideal choice for walls and ceilings in urban houses.

The most commonly used softwoods are Pine (chir pine), hemlock, and fir. Softwood is derived from coniferous trees, also known as evergreen trees since the leaves on such trees never fall until new ones grow. Evergreen trees grow faster; thus, they are cost-friendly in contrast with hardwood.

1. Chir pine

Chir pine is derived from Pinus roxburghii, a tree native in the Northern region of Pakistan. It can be used to construct houses in areas where it is native; however, it is not suitable for building homes in big cities. It is mainly used to make furniture or door panels.

2. Fir

Firwood is also termed Douglas Fir. Fir consists of a straight grain pattern and has a reddish-brown colour. It is non-resinous and uniform in texture, making it poor resistant to decay. It can be stained easily. Due to this, it is generally used in raw form or painted surfaces.  In Pakistan, the most commonly used firwood is silver fir and blue fir. It is used in windows, door panels, and furniture.

3. Hemlock

In Pakistan, hemlock is also known as shekran. It is used for installing door panels and planks. It is highly rot-resistant, which makes it an ideal product for using to make wooden floors. Hemlock is lightweight and comprises moderate strength. Found in United States, England, Alaska, Canada, and eastern Asia; it is non-resinous and has a low resistance to decay.

Conclusion

Out of many different materials used for construction, wood stands out as an outstanding, versatile product. It is aesthetically appealing and provides flexible strength, insulation qualities, and ease of fabrication that makes it the number one choice for everyone to use in a variety of construction appliances.

 




Self-healing concrete all set to transform construction industry | Graana.com Blog


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What is being termed as the latest revelation in science, the self–healing concrete is all set to transform the construction industry.

The self-healing concrete has the property of filling the cracks automatically.

After extensive research, scientists have been successful in creating self-healing concrete.

Carbonic anhydrase an enzyme found in human blood crystalises into Calcium Carbonate when reacts with CO2 in the air.  The Calcium Carbonate seals the crack in concrete thus increasing the life span of a structure from 20 to 80 years.

The self-healing concrete can be sprayed into cracks which can regenerate the concrete in less than 24hrs.

 

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How Robotics is Disrupting Construction Industry?

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Automation has almost taken over every industry, the phenomenon is changing the landscape of every economic sector and becoming a harbinger of efficiency. Owing to the advancement in technology, automation is seeping at a rapid pace thus changing the mode of operations of every industry. Against this backdrop, the construction industry is among the largest industries of the world however, it is still impervious to adopting new methods like robotics which can replace the role of human labour and opening the construction industry to new opportunities. To the extent the construction industry is adopting robotics, the conventional methods are being modified whereas at an advanced level even replacing manual labour.

Graana.com through this blog showcases how robots are transforming the construction industry.

 

Why Robotics?

It is estimated that by 2026, the automation of non-residential construction will ensure cost savings by 10 to 21%. Imagine, the volume of cost-saving if residential construction also adopts robotics. Robots in the construction industry are working on different levels and each robot has a different application of its own. For example, some robots are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) while some perform the function of 3D printing. Similarly, on-site robots are also transforming the landscape of the construction industry by introducing prefabricated structures.  

As every aspect of the world is transforming at a rapid pace the design and architecture industry is also undergoing rapid transformation. A report published by Microsoft highlighted that the operations of architecture organisations have altered over time due to the digitalisation of architecture. Furthermore, with the introduction of Building Information Modelling (BIM), the role of robotics in the construction industry is increasing day by day. BIM is a 3D digital representation of physical aspects of the building. This technology gives liberty to the architects to make amendments to their layouts, and reduce the construction costs before the initiation of a real estate project. Moreover, the evolution in architecture designs is leading to complex structures which either become time-consuming or difficult to be implemented by manual labour. As assistance, innovation, and the convenience of manual labour robots are emerging as a useful source.

 

Classification

Robotics in the construction industry is classified into hard and soft robots. Hard robots mostly pertain to those automated machines which are less autonomous and are employed in the creation of massive civil infrastructures and house construction. For example bricklaying automated machines, road pavers, and column welding machines.

On the other hand, soft robots are sensory data acquisition devices that are more sophisticated and are tools for Computer Integrated Construction (CIC). The soft robots involve software integration, Virtual Reality systems, and sensory data acquisition devices. Both hard and soft robots have their application in the construction industry and give a new meaning to on-site construction work.

Robotics are impacting the construction sector in the following ways

 

Reducing Cost

The foremost impact of robotics in the construction sector is observed in the form of cost reduction. Every builder or developer tries to bring about efficiency while managing the cost of real estate projects in a planned manner. Thus, on-site construction robots are replacing manual labour which is helping the project developers to channelise the budgets or wages on other aspects of construction. Similarly, the robots employed for the construction of buildings use fewer building materials as compared to the conventional techniques of construction. 

 

Increasing Efficiency

The robots in the construction industry are minimizing human error and increasing efficiency on the construction sites. It is because the duration of robots is less than that of manual labour which increases efficiency without compromising on the quality. Different robot manufacturers are specifically developing robots for bricklaying, assembling of large components, and off-site development of building components for enhancing the quality and reducing the time duration.  Furthermore, some devices perform the function of 3D scanning which is used for validating construction designs.

 

3D Printing

Graana.com has dedicated a full blog on 3D printing and its impact on the construction sector. The construction sector across the globe has started to incorporate robots that can perform the function of 3D printing. Therefore, 3D printers using BIM as input is creating complex building designs with more efficiency and reduced construction costs. Similarly, complex architecture layouts are becoming a reality with the incorporation of 3D printers in the construction sector. It is estimated that 3D printing in the construction industry can reduce construction waste by 30-60%.

 

Exoskeletons

An exoskeleton is a robotic suit built to enhance the performance of labour. These exo-suits are developed to enhance the efficiency of labour by giving them robotic strength. Exoskeletons are developed with the motive of assisting the labour in tasks that cannot be performed by human strength. This technology is still in its initial phases and gives a labourer the robotic strength to perform strenuous functions.

 

Safe Environment

Similarly, robots in construction are also promoting a safe environment at construction sites. The construction sites involve manual labour and labour-intensive work; thus, making construction sites more prone to injuries and health-related issues. Such unforeseen circumstances cause the work to stop intermittently resulting in project delays. 

Another aspect of automation of the construction sector through robots is that it is also in line with the environment-friendly practice since vehicular moment at the construction site is reduced significantly which results in the reduction of environmental pollution.

 

For news and blog, visit Graana.com. 

 

 




Pakistan’s Progress on SDG Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

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Promoting inclusive and sustainable industries and continuing to invest in physical infrastructure, innovation and research are vital to long-term economic development.

 

Investments in research and development and economic infrastructure have also increased in developing countries. Global CO2 emissions are declining and impressive progress is being made in mobile connectivity. However, growth in manufacturing is declining in the least developed countries and the pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the manufacturing and transport industries. Pakistan committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in October 2015. In developing countries, manufacturing jobs are an essential source of income and are key to poverty reduction. The effects of COVID19 have been destabilizing for economies, threatening to halt or even reverse the progress made towards building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation. With over half the world population now living in cities, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming more and more important, as is the growth of new industries and information and communication technology. Pakistan has made progress in different indicators of SDG 9 with an increase in broadband subscriptions, population using the internet, and higher education index. There have also been interventions at the policy level. But besides all this progress, Pakistan seems to be stagnating in its journey towards implementing SDG goal 9.

 

How to Achieve SDG Goal 9

Developing quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure to support economic development and human well being is the first step towards achieving SDG goal 9 in Pakistan. This has to be done with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all. By doing so, Pakistan can promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and raise the industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product. Secondly, Pakistan should increase access to financial services and markets for small scale industrial and other enterprises including affordable credit and integration into value chains and markets. Enhancing scientific research, upgrading the technological capabilities of the industrial sector, and encouraging innovation will drastically increase the number of research papers published. Also, by supporting domestic technology, industrial diversification will add value to different commodities. Lastly, a significant increase in access to communication and information technology can provide internet access to the least developed areas of Pakistan.

 

Pakistan’s Progress on SDG 9

Pakistan has set its targets to increase value-added manufacturing from 13.56 per cent of GDP to 16 per cent of GDP, increase manufacturing employment from 15 to 18 per cent, increase small-scale industries in value from 8.4 to 12 per cent, and increase research and development expenditure from 0.2 to 2 per cent of GDP. Two laws have been enacted to achieve progress in SDG 9 namely, The National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2016 and The Balochistan Mass Transit Authority Act 2017. The former act provides for the establishment of institutions and enunciation of mechanisms and procedures so as to provide for effective conservation and efficient use of energy in Pakistan, while the latter is a project under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Another area is policy intervention. Pakistan has formulated three policies for successful implementation of SDG 9 namely, Digital Pakistan policy, National Transport Policy, and revamping the new special economic zones (SEZs) under the new industrial policy. Lastly, the most primary strategy for achieving targets under SDG 9 is to expand the freelancing industry. The industry has the potential to increase in size from the US $1 billion to US $5 billion by 2023.