Forestry Commission logo

Commissioned Reports - Service Life Prediction

Date: 2008
Title: Service life prediction and performance of exterior wood above ground (CFS22/06, WA0011)
Authors: Report commissioned from BRE
Full Report: PDF

Service life prediction and modelling of durability and performance of exterior wood cladding and decking. The objective is to take the first steps towards introducing performance based engineering design in practice for wood and wood-based building components in outdoor above ground situations. This will enable capture of the benefits of  'design for durability' and deliver a practical engineering tool for service life estimation based on a novel methodology. The project will focus on cladding and decking as two test case products to rigorously assess this methodology.

The building sector in the UK is under strong pressure to move towards better cost effectiveness, improved quality, higher energy efficiency, improved environmental performance and reduced use of non-renewable resources. Today wood – even if commonly recognised as the most important renewable material in the construction sector – is often overlooked as a building material due to uncertainties associated with its long term performance and sensitivity to moisture.

The project aims are to:

  • Characterise the climatic influence in performance and preparation of statistical model
  • Characterise existing techniques and new methods for in-service indicators of performance prediction
  • Combine the above in a engineering based model
  • Calibrate the model and rigorously test the model for the selected Use Class 3 products cladding and decking
  • Transfer Knowledge to enable the confident specification of timber cladding and decking