Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Timbercrete® made from?
A: Timbercrete® is a unique blend of cellulose, cement, sand, and binders to enhance block strength and stop excessive water penetration.
Q: Will Timbercrete be accepted by my local council?
A: Yes, because Timbercrete has been tested according to Australian building codes AS/NZ 3700. The method for building with Timbercrete is the same as other masonry products and conforms to the methodology taught in the BCA and is therefore “deemed to comply.”
Q: If I build my house out of Timbercrete how long will the bricks last?
A: In its typical application such as a house, we confidently expect that Timbercrete will last hundreds, if not thousands of years. Based on the evidence of ancient cement stabilised blocks with added straw, some of which exceed 1000 years old and many of which are still in excellent condition, there is no reason to expect that Timbercrete using 21st-century technology with sophisticated admixtures, will not outlast the more primitive counterpart, that used a cellulose product (straw). Straw is far more susceptible to breaking down then the type of cellulose product Timbercrete selects such as granulated timbers and the like. Timbercrete and its ancient counterpart encapsulate the cellulose product in a cementitious tomb mummifying and preserving the organic material which prevents it from breaking down.
Due to the fact that Timbercrete does not contain any steel reinforcing such as concrete, we expect our product to be around long after steel reinforced concrete structures fail as a result of ‘concrete cancer’.
Q: How much will it cost to build my home from Timbercrete?
A: Building with Timbercrete is usually similarly priced to building with brick veneer, yet more insulated, fire-proof, sound-proof and economically friendly. Savings will vary depending on the specifications of your home. For example, with Timbercrete "single skin" walls, skirtings, architraves, insulation, gyprock, paint etc are unnecessary extras.
Q: What style of house can I build with Timbercrete®?
A: With Timbercrete's unique qualities and the flexibility to design your own block, you can build any style, size and type of house, with any construction method. Timbercrete can also be used for commercial constructions - eg. motels, wineries, public buildings or basically anything you can think of.
While Timbercrete is particularly cost effective when used as a "single skin" wall construction, we also offer special block sizes that allow you to build a conventional "brick veneer" or "full brick" home, but substituting Timbercrete for the traditional bricks. Please visit our website Gallery for ideas.
Q: Can I lay the blocks myself?
A: Timbercrete® blocks are easy to lay and very forgiving compared to traditional mass produced (angular) bricks and blocks. In many cases a meticulous amateur will produce a better result than a sloppy professional.
Q: Will Timbercrete® fade?
A: Timbercrete® will not fade because the colour reflects the carefully selected raw ingredients.
Q: Will we need air-conditioning?
A: It is really up to you. Providing the house is sensibly designed with a passive solar aspect, the need for air-conditioning is dramatically reduced.
Q: Can any brick layer or builder construct with Timbercrete®?
A: Timbercrete is reportedly easy to build with. Extensive construction notes and tips are provided for use by your Architect, Engineer, Bricklayer, and Builder. We are also available to advise all the above should they have any special requirements or concerns.
Q: What is the availability of Timbercrete®?
A: Your nearest accredited Timbercrete representative will provide you with current cost and availability information. Please see the “Contact Us” section for a listing.
Q: Has Timbercrete received any 3rd party appraisals?
A: There are many third party appraisals on several aspects of Timbercrete®'s unique performance, please refer to the Test and Appraisal section on our website.
Q: Are there other products like Timbercrete®?
A: No. Timbercrete® is a unique product as evidenced by Patent PCT/AU01/00520.
Q: Do you build homes or recommend builders?
A: Our main business is supplying the Timbercrete® blocks, bricks and associated products. Your local representative may be able to recommend some Trades people in your area, however any competent builder should be able to quote you using Timbercrete® construction.
Q: Do you offer house plans and designs?
A: We offer plans for a four bedroom (2 bathrooms) double story loft-style Timbercrete® home, for $550 including GST. For further details on these plans please contact Peter Collier on telephone (02) 4567 1149. We also work with a company called Post & Beam Pty Ltd who have a host of designs that utilise Timbercrete blocks. Please have a look at www.postbeam.com.au for more information.
Q: Is Timbercrete® suitable for other applications?
A: Yes, Timbercrete® can be used for sheds, barns, garages, barbeques, front fences, garden borders, retaining walls and paving. It is also an effective sound barrier.
Q: Is Timbercrete® waterproof?
A: Timbercrete® is a closed-structure body and therefore is less porous than the average concrete block, but not waterproof in the sense that a rubber shield is waterproof. It certainly won't wash away or erode if exposed to the elements for long periods (like mud bricks). However after prolonged exposure to rain, water may penetrate a few millimeters into the surface of an unsealed Timbercrete® block. It is therefore recommended that a sealing solution be applied to external walls to stop this, and also stop the ingress of water through the mortar. (Tested and approved sealers are available from your Timbercrete Franchisee.)
Q: Is Timbercrete® fireproof?
A: Timbercrete® blocks are non flammable, and in fact about the most “bush fire proof” building product available in Australia (FRL 240-240-240). Please see the Fire Test details in the Technical Data section.
Q: Is Timbercrete® suitable for use in building indoor fireplaces?
A: Yes, providing the firebox is lined with a reflective material such as terracotta tiles, steel, cast iron, etc, as Timbercrete, being an effective insulator, will not reflect heat back into your house.
Q: What if I want a different size block?
A: Standard Timbercrete® blocks are made to the maximum size that most bricklayers can comfortably work with. However different block sizes can be produced upon request with the additional mould costs to the customer’s account.
Q: What block colours are available?
A: If you do not like the natural colour of Timbercrete blocks, we can produce ANY colour of your choice. Finished Timbercrete walls can also be rendered, bagged or painted.
Q: Do I need to use gyprock to line the internal side of my walls?
A: No, there is no need. Timbercrete® represents an attractive internal finish and it only adds cost to install gyprock as well.
Q: Does Timbercrete® give off any toxic “fumes” that would affect an allergy?
A: Timbercrete® has been tested by an approved laboratory (see test data) which clearly demonstrate that it is totally safe, clean, giving off no toxic fumes or any other fumes to affect people who are sensitive to allergens or people who suffer with the disease that causes them to be “allergic to the 21st century”
Q: I like the “cobblestone” look outside, but I want smooth walls inside my home.
A: You can either cement render or Gyprock the internal wall surfaces. Alternatively, you can build a brick veneer home using our blocks on the outside, with traditional smooth Gyprock inside.
Q: Can I use Timbercrete® to renovate and clad my exterior walls?
A: Yes, we offer a relatively thin block that mounts to existing timber, fibro, cement or brick veneer walls.
Do you have futher questions? Please visit the CONTACT US page to locate your nearest Timbercrete representative.