Upper floor in timber cladded.jpg

Timber clad

Timber structures with cladding are among the most common construction methods for houses worldwide. Whereas in North America the main timber structure may be covered in a variety of materials, in Europe and Asia timber boards are seen more frequently.

Clad timber structures are inherently light which makes them attractive for earthquake-prone areas. What is more, a properly executed cladding does ensure a cohesion of all structural elements leading to a box-like behaviour of the building.

To avoid contact with rainwater timber structures should be placed on a masonry base. Whether

this base is only a plinth or a whole ground floor the problems remains the same when taking into account earthquakes forces: To make sure that the timber structure will not slide off it must be well anchored to the the masonry structure underneath.

In many earthquake affected countries people used to build the upper floor of their houses with timber. With the widespread availability of modern building materials this wise tradition is getting lost.


The manual presented in this chapter wants to re-vitalize this construction method while putting the accent on the importance of connecting all elements properly to ensure earthquake resistance.



Un segundo piso seguro: cómo construirlo con madera (a safe second floor: how to build it with timber), por COSUDE (SDC) y ECOSUR, Quito, Ecuador, 2018




Un 2° piso en madera (A second floor in timber),

This lesson shows all the steps and construction details required to build a well-anchored storey on top of a confined masonry house,  by Tom Schacher, SDC, Quito, Ecuador, 2018 



Edificios de madera en el mundo (Timber buidlings around the world). The idea of this lesson is to show students that timber has a long tradition but is not old fashioned and is used all over the world, including in "rich countries", by Tom Schacher, SDC, Quito, Ecudor, 2018




Information on timber in general

como construir casa de madera coverpage.
Timber Guidelines-EN coverpage.jpg
0. Front.jpg
13. Biodeterioration of wood.jpg
0. Front.jpg
14. Wood preservation.jpg

Cartilla de construcciôn con madera, proyectos andinos de desarrollo tecnológico en el área de los recursos forestales tropicales PADT-REFORT.JUNAC, Junta del acuerdo de Cartagena, Lima, Peru, 1980 (a very complete guidebook on nearly all aspects of timber)

Cómo hacer nuestra casa de madera, Fondo social para la vivienda (FOSOVI), PNUD - CNUAH - HABITAT, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 1992 (a simple manual for simple houses)

Manual de autoconstrucción de vivienda con madera,  Comisión nacional forestal CONAFOR, Mexico, ∼2000 (gives some insights into the North American construction system with 2"x4" studs without using Simpson strong ties)

Timber, a guide to the planning, use, procurement and logistics of timber as a construction material in humanitarian relief, IFRC, UN-OCHA and CARE International 2009

Manual para la protección contra el deterioro de la madera, , Comisión nacional forestal y Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, SEMARNAT, Gobierno Federal, Mexico, 2010

Non-poisonous timber protection, technical brief, Practical Action, Appropriate Technology Journal Vol. 18, No. 4, 1992

Biodeterioration of Wood, Chapter 13 of the Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material, USDA, Forest Service, Madison, Wisconsin, 1999

Wood preservation, Chapter 14 of the Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material, USDA, Forest Service, Madison, Wisconsin, 1999