Friday, April 17, 2009

The Old Wooden House of Minahasa

by Charles Roring in Manokwari of West Papua - Indonesia

You might wonder how long a wooden house construction can stand. Wood is one of the most versatile construction materials for housing. It can withstand frequent stress and strain to the changing live loadings. The main factor that deteriorates its strength is weather. Water can trigger the growing of moulds on the surface of wood panel.


Besides water, termites coming from underground, can eat the wood and cause massive damage on pillars, beams and wall panels of the house.
If properly dried and constructed wooden house can stand on the ground for hundreds of years. One of the wooden house constructions which has stood for hundreds of years can be seen in Japan. Even in tropical region with frequent rain and high humidity, wooden house can have lifespan that is long. One of the good examples is the main building of Pinabetengan Resort in Minahasa regency. This multi storey wooden building was built several hundred years ago.
Wood as the raw material has to be mature enough and properly dried to be used for home building. The older the wood, the stronger will be its fiber in resisting loads, water or termites.


For generations to come, wooden houses of Minahasa will still play important roles in providing shelters to the people and will still be the only viable sustainable construction materials that are suitable and affordable for every body. Also read: Special treatment for wooden house construction and How to buy a good wooden house

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