Structural house framing methods
The building structure has the important task of holding up the walls and the roof while keeping the building standing in strong weather conditions and transferring the loads onto the foundation.
Traditional Maori houses had already used timber for posts, weaving together different natural materials to protect each other from the elements (1). While many more building materials are available today, the basic principle of the structural walls remains the same.
In New Zealand, structural walls tend to be made out of the following options: timber or steel framing, structural insulated panels (SIPs), timber logs, masonry, earth walls or straw walls. We will examine the differences so you can make a choice that fits in with your values.
Earth walls are a mixture of clay, sand and water (often also straw) that can be made into walls in several ways. Earth walls last, can often be sourced locally and are fully able to be recycled.