Solid wooden system - Laminated timber beams
Laminated timber beams

Laminated timber beams

Laminated timber beams represent the ideal basis for low-energy and warm houses.

Laminated timber beams

In 2010, after extensive research and tests, Mi Casa inaugurated a new system of laminated timber beams. From then on, wood contraction has been unimportant.

No wood contraction
Wood is a natural material and thus will always be used. Wood works continuously because its humidity varies with changes in the atmospheric humidity. Wood contracts or swells in the direction of rings, the concentric circles. However, wood never works lengthwise.

Mi Casa exploited this feature for the conception of their new laminated timber beams which do not retract any more. Then, wood shrinkage becomes unimportant thanks to the process of glueing. From now on, these assembled beams, in tongues and grooves, include three elements made of red pine of Norway whose quality is consistent and impeccable (5FIN).

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Technical production

Between both outer edges, wood planks are perpendicularly glued (in the vertical sense). Since wood is a natural product, quality will never be uniform. Due to the fact that the central heart is not visible and that there is some glue in both senses, wood can be sorted out so that the best quality is used for the outer sides (which, ultimately, represent the aesthetical aspect of the house). So eventually, we obtain a plank whose outer edges are only covered with the best wood quality. This solid wooden plank, constituted of three layers, is then cut into beams and profiled in double tongues and grooves.

This exhaustive process – from glueing to cutting through profiling – is submitted to the most rigorous quality requirements and is ensured by a highly qualified staff. All the products are of higher quality, eco-friendly and not harmful to health. Quality is thus guaranteed is this new process.

Mi Casa uses only dry wood, whose humidity rate rises only from 10 to 11%. The noise of crackle emitted by wooden furniture is practically inexistent. Moreover Mi Casa is very attentive to a fast placement of masonry, windows and glazing so that structure is kept dry even in bad weather.

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Wood, raw material

If people do not build their house in the same way all over the world, it is not only due to weather conditions and to building traditions, it is also due to raw materials availability and to building materials. In Northern Europe, for instance, wood is an abundant raw material and is a traditional building material. Over there, almost all houses are solid wood constructions or timber. In our countries, the most popular material is cooked clay or brick, but solid wood material is getting more and more successful.

Solid wood construction
Mi Casa is a company specialised in solid wood constructions. In order to build houses, Mi Casa uses dovetailed metallic fixings. This is a patented technique thanks to which massive wood beams are stacked and assembled by means of tongues and grooves and jointed in angles. Since beams do not overlap, the internal surface of walls is uniform. From then on, a continuous external insulation can be laid. Consequently, you do not see any crossed walls on internal walls. On the contrary, timber frames re constituted of wood stiles and rails, dressed with and consolidated by a panelling cover. Insulating materials fill the gaps. This type of construction can be found mainly in the United States and in Canada.

Figures speak for themselves
When the lambda value (the amount of energy transmitted by the material by unit of volume and by unit of time) of wood (0,14W/mK) is compared with stone (1W/mK), it appears that wood is seven times as insulating as stone. In other words, a wall made of stones should be 44cm thicker in order to reach the same insulation value as a Mi Casa solid wood wall of 6.2 cm thick. This can be explained by the high percentage of pores (70%) as well as a low volume weight (450 kg/m³). The same reasoning does not apply to timber frames because that structure has a lower insulating capacity.

Ultimate home comfort
Whenever you enter a Mi Casa house, you never have a cold sensation. Why ? The human body loses rapidly its heat when it is in contact with a cold surface, even if the room temperature is high enough. Wood walls are never cold. For instance, sunbathing at negative temperature is perfectly possible. However, in the middle of the summer, you will feel cold in caves, churches and palaces

A reinforced insulation, associated with the absence of heat storage in the wood contribute to warm up the atmosphere in winter but also keeps freshness in warm weather. You will gain comfort and energy saving. Experience every day in theirMi Casa house.

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Esthetic and timeless

Walls – with the horizontal lines of beams – and the ceiling structure – with its support system – create a timeless interior with character which offers numerous ornamental possibilities. Going back to a traditional house is not an option any more for them. For those who do not wish to see wooden beams everywhere in the house they can decide to put a finishing plaster on. Furthermore, walls are made of «red pine of Norway». A bigger feeling of heat and charm is released by this tree species compared with an indigenous wood, such as pine.

Bring nature into your house

High natural resistance
Wood natural resistance is very high. This is evidenced by the aged wooden houses which are hundreds of years old. Besides, the increasingly sophisticated technologies developed for wood treatment and more effective protection products strengthen natural resistance of solid wood. Furthermore, Mi Casa outer walls made of solid wood are protected with covers such as stone or cedar wood. Regarding solid wall beams, Mi Casa uses only “Red Pine of Norway” from the most northern regions of Europe. The harsh climate slows down trees growth and so grants its exceptional natural qualities to wood. After the wood cutting operation, logs are carried by waterways to sawmills. Their long stay in fresh water washes wood from its harmful saps, without eliminating its valuable resin. Natural durability becomes even higher. Fluctuations in ambient humidity make wood more resistant to contraction and swelling. Besides, artificial drying at high temperature (80°) destroys possible rests of harmful organisms in wood, which ensures wood an exceptional longevity and allows no room for fungi spread.

Healthy house
Exceptional technical performances, the absence of cold radiation and hygrometric regulation are the basic requirements that a wooden house must meet in order to be certified as a “Healthy House”. Inhabitants of a wooden house suffer less from rheumatism and asthma. Mi Casa selects only materials corresponding to this philosophy of a healthy house : roof insulation without asbestos, panels made of natural plaster and chipboards without harmful glue. For the followers of a completely “organic” house, Mi Casa is an ideal partner. According to your budget, the company has the possibility to adapt each heading of the specifications to your criteria of an organic construction.

No wood deterioration
Lumber is kiln-dried during 3 to 4 weeks at a temperature of 80° and at a moisture content of 10 to 11%. High temperature kills all organisms in wood. As soon as the wooden structure is risen and the house is inhabited, moisture content sill varies between 10 and 13%. These values are far below the limit of 20%.

Other advantages

Less expensive foundations
A solid wood house weighs approximately the third of a stone-built house. Consequently foundations require less implementation. Quality of land plots can be lower so that the contractor makes significant savings. Quality of building lands being often random, soil tests are always included in the estimate proposed by Mi Casa. Thus the contractor knows in advance the exact price of the foundations.

No increase in the fire risk
An ordinary fire insurance is enough. The building process of Mi Casa is approved by the Belgian Union for Technical Approval in the Construction Industry (UBAtc in Belgium) and meets Belgian standards regarding fire protection. Besides the building process of Mi Casa is approved by insurance companies because this process perfectly meets the requirements of fire resistance.
According to you, a wooden house could burst into flames faster than a stone house? Please think about this comparison : a sheet of paper immediately bursts into flames whereas it is almost impossible to burn a big telephone directory in the fire place. This principle is the same regarding wood. Before wood ignites, it becomes charred and forms a protection layer which prevents from spread of fire and increase in temperature.
Consequently, wood is sometimes used as protection against the fire of steel structures. Steel and concrete do not burn. However, under the influence of heat, they lose their mechanical properties by distortion, expansion and fissuring.

The added value of a Mi Casa house
Thanks to their warm and comfortable atmosphere and thanks to a high quality of production, Mi Casa solid wood houses have a high resale value. Real estate agencies often mention the name “Mi Casa” in their advertisements to enhance the quality and the price of constructions. This manner of doing is certainly due to the image of Mi Casa and to the good reputation of their excellent after-sales service.