Publish Date: 18.11.2020

Category: News from the University

Wood is the only raw material in relative abundance in Slovenia. In recent years, wood construction has been growing in importance. However, the wide adoption of wood is mainly hindered by the fact that it decomposes. In nature, these processes are desirable, but when wood is used in construction we want to slow them down as much as possible. The key piece of information for designers and architects is the durability of wood left outdoors, which depends on the type of wood, the protective treatment and the microclimate. Since these variables cannot be determined from the literature, we will obtain them in field tests conducted in key Slovenian regions.

To this end, we set up wooden benches at five Slovenian (Seča, Bilje, Ljubljana, Velika planina, Pesnica) and one cross-border location (Doberdob). The project in Slovenia is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Miha Humar from Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana. The benches are designed to model a wood façade and a terrace. They are made of spruce, red pine, and larch – Slovenia’s main coniferous trees. The spruce wood components are partially treated with a copper-based biocide or thermally modified. Both treatment processes have been developed at the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana. Individual components are fitted with wood moisture sensors. Our models show that decomposition of spruce wood occurs after about 300 days when the wood moisture content exceeds 25%. Based on moisture measurements, we can thus estimate the lifespan of wood at each of the locations after only a few years.

More info in our Research News.