When Mother Nature unleashes some of her worst; landslides, cyclones, fire, floods and earthquakes. our Solid Timber homes are ready to stand up to the challenge. Our Solid Timber homes have been through them all and come out the other side intact, the occupants singing their praises. Our Solid Timber homes go well beyond the minimum baseline of saving lives – they save livelihoods plain and simple because they seldom take the type of damage a conventional home does. Meaning they can be lived in following the even. While conventional homeowners are sadly bogged down in insurance claims, repairs and added stress for years to come.
If you’ve not yet visited any of our nationwide Solid Timber show homes and given their thick timber walls a good knock with your knuckles, we would highly recommend you do. It’s the best way to comprehend how impenetrably tough they are. Being as thick and as strong as they are, nothing is going through them – it’s hard enough to even mark them. Which is one of the reasons they’re a favourite in areas prone to tropical cyclones like Fiji and the Pacific Islands, where our Solid Timber homes are a popular choice as cyclone proof homes, hotels and resorts.
In a voracious cyclone it’s not uncommon to see massive objects flying through the air, deadly projectiles easily capable of breaching the walls of a conventional home. In a home of Solid Timber though objects simply aren’t getting through the thick timber walls – they’re too thick, too strong. In the video below some senior members of our team recount a recent event in which a silage bale escaped a North Island farmer’s tractor, rolled down a long steep hill smack into the side of a Solid Timber home with its inhabitants on just the other side of the wall. Needless to say the wall barely even had a mark on it.
Solid Timber is one of the safest building materials for fire safety. Which might sound counterintuitive initially – afterall, timber burns right? In practice though if a fire were to break out in your timber home you would be very grateful to have built with timber because it’s slower to burn than conventional materials which means a longer time to escape, and more time for first responders to enter the building.
In a conventional home made of man-made building materials like plasterboard, batts and other layers of insulation there is a lot of oxygen for a fire to thrive. So it gets hotter, faster. First responders have just a small window of time to enter a burning building made of conventional materials before the risk of the roof collapsing is too high and they have to stand down.
Solid Timber homes are fundamentally different. First, they are made of a single material – timber – thick and impenetrable with no significant air pockets for a fire to get into in search of oxygen in its demolition conquest. It’s also about 15% water which retards the fire. If you’ve ever tried burning timber with a high moisture content you’ll be familiar with the hissing sound it makes, the superficial charring and the fire’s inability to really get started. In the context of a Solid Timber home this means more time to escape, and more time for first responders to enter the building. It also means a higher chance of the building itself being saved.
Inexplicable strength, incredible flexibility. This unique combination of features in our Solid Timber homes is the defining factor in a range of extreme weather events and natural disaster performance. The same strength which stops silage bales in their tracks, and any number of deadly airborne objects hurling around in a cyclone is what stopped a huge landslide from bowling through an older model Fraemohs recently during the Auckland Anniversary floods:
When the landslide hit our Fraemohs home, it was terrifying. A big crash, and the whole house shook. But that was it. The house remained intact, even our power was uninterrupted. We never felt like the house was going to break apart, and the engineers who visited afterwards commented on how sturdy and safe it is. More than one remarked that other homes might have come apart, but not ours. My children are eager to return to the house (once the council permits it) as it still is a safe space for us. It’s the hill and the landslide that scared them, but we all feel safe and protected in our home. When I see the devastating effects of landslides on other homes, I am very grateful that our home survived with only a few scratches on the exterior wall!
-Kira, Auckland landslide survivor and owner of a classic Fraemohs
The above story was covered in Stuff and features some pretty confronting footage taken right in the midst of the landslide.
For a pretty incredible illustration of how a Solid Timber design was able to be built on slowly moving land where no other home could, see the clip below. The inherent flexibility and versatility of the Solid Timber system saved the landowners the heartache of having to abandon their dream of building on their beautiful plot of land just outside of Dunedin:
Our Solid Timber homes are highly-regarded for their performance during the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes. We have also had their walls tested in the earthquake simulation machinery at SCION in Rotorua which was unable to break them – even at the maximum setting. For a fuller summary of how and why the interlocking timber design of our Solid Timber homes perform so well in earthquakes, as well as loads of testimonials from Solid Timber homeowners who experienced major earthquakes in them, see the earthquake proof homes web page.
I live in a Fraemohs home in Spencerville and after 3 major earthquakes we have had no damage. Thanks Fraemohs for keeping my family safe.
The best earthquake proof house – it handled the 7.8 no problems. I’d recommend to anyone going to build. Cheers Fraemohs
Building a home from our Solid Timber or Transportables range could be the best decision you ever make