Passive houses without insulation and complicated building technology built from natural wood was long considered a utopia. Today, such a house is available and affordable to everyone, thanks to the successful developments in the Thoma research center.
Thoma means energy self-sufficiency and the woodpecker in the forest shows us the way for the energy of the future: being surrounded by massive timber allows your home to be warm during winter and cool in the summer.
Erwin Thoma published with the medical professor Dr. Max Moser, the inventor of the health effects from wood to man, the book "Gentle Medicine of the Trees", Servus Publisher Erwin Thoma and Max Moser.
Other aspects such as the spiritual messages of different types of wood, expand the holistic handling of wood which flows into all of Thoma's products. It is always important to leave the wood as unadulterated and natural as possible.
Scientific investigations were hired to prove the effects - with amazing results. Reduced heartbeats, more restful sleep, increased concentration, as well as a strengthening of the immune system and the autonomic nervous system could be used for a wood environment was detected.
The Pillars of the Company Thoma
Thoma stands for a healthy living environment. The ideal to use wood and its health-promoting effect in the form of building materials accompanied Thoma since its founding in 1990.
- Holz100 is the first building material to be produced using solar energy.
- Thoma operates the world's first and largest moonwood sawmill as well as a saw casting plant.
- The Neo Ark in Kitzbuhel. From Holz100 the first large office (6,600 sq.m.) was built entirely of wood in which the heating and cooling costs are zero Euros.
- The Forsthofalm in Leogang: Holz100 became the first seven-storey wooden hotel with a pool built on the roof.
• Holz100 is the world's quietest wooden hotel. The Waldklause in Längenfeld.
• Holz100 became the first five-storey without insulation and heating technology made of wood. The residential and commercial building of N11 Architekten, Switzerland.
In light timber frame constructions the walls and floors are typically encased in non-combustible gypsum plasterboard to provide protection from fire. This provides the same level of fire resistance as a completely non-combustible material.
An additional benefit to heavy timber is the ease of repair after a fire. The charred sections can visually be assessed and evaluated for residual capacity, and the damaged timber can then be cut away and replaced. This is in contrast to steel, which buckles under extreme heat.
Charring creates a protective layer that acts as insulation and delays the onset of heating for the cold layer below. With continued exposure to fire the char layer grows, increasing the insulation and slowing down the burning rate, providing greater time for escape or intervention.
Heavy timber constructions have an inherent level of fire resistance. This resistance increases with the thickness of the wooden elements because when timber is exposed to fire the outer layer burns and turns to char.
Engineers and fire researchers today have a significant body of knowledge of how timber constructions perform in fire. The structural stability of timber is well understood and importantly it is predictable, allowing timber constructions to be created that meet the same fire safety codes as steel and concrete buildings.
A common concern raised in regard to the use of wood as a building material is whether or not there is an increased risk of fire.
The Martian Embassy was a runner up in the Interior Fitout category of the Australian Timber Design Awards.
Project partners Will O’Rourke and The Glue Society stated that the warm tones of wood transformed the previously long, dark and unloved shop into a source of inspiration that kids are excited to walk into.
Construction was simplified by the flexibility of plywood. Flat sheets were cut into 1068 ribs, which were then put together like a giant puzzle to create a three-dimensional space. The acoustic qualities of timber further enhanced the sounds, smell and lights of the red planet that animated the space.
The Martian Embassy in Redfern Sydney is a creative writing centre for young people. The Centre is designed to be a fusion between a whale, a rocket and a time tunnel, created by oscillating plywood ribs, red planet light and sound projections in order to provoke fun and unleash creativity.
Tye Farrow also specifically quoted that: ‘The scientific evidence is extraordinary that the built environment has a significant impact on people’s ability to heal as well as on hospital staff effectiveness.
The Farrow Partnership stated that when designing the facility they embraced humanism, with the complex design’s dramatic use of wood and multiple-height interior spaces flooded with natural light, creating dynamic, innovative and functional places for healing with a non-institutional character
The Centre was also the first cancer facility in Canada to incorporate direct natural light, skylights and wood panel interior finishes in the radiation treatment rooms to enhance the therapeutic experience for patients.
The promenade decking is made from local hardwood, recycled from an old wharf. The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre in Ontario Canada, designed by the Farrow Partnership, is ranked 6th on the list of the world’s 30 most architecturally impressive hospitals.
Bates Smart and the Irwin Allsop Group said that they specifically chose wood, both new and recycled, to provide warmth, texture, patterning, tactility and a non-institutional feel to the facility. In addition they stated that wood is durable, low maintenance and has already begun to age gracefully.
The judges specifically stated that: ‘The attention to detail is exceptional, clearly demonstrating an understanding of timber design’ and that: ‘The design team demonstrated an understanding of the health benefits of wood’