Is building with wood "inferior" than building with stone?

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,726
Las Vegas, NV USA
Well if it would be more complex, we would have a secret freewoodcutter society
There is one. It's called the Holy Wood Society. It's so secrete, hardly anyone has ever heard of it. (Not to be confused with Hollywood):upsidedown:
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,623
Sydney
The French and Germanic Masons learned wood as well as stone , as part of their grand initiation tour
 
Jul 2019
193
Ghana
Just chiming in to share the pagoda of Hōryū-ji, Nara, Japan, considered the oldest wooden building in the world.
The five-story pagoda, located in Sai-in area, stands at 32.45 meters in height (122 feet) and is one of the oldest extant wooden buildings in the world. The wood used in the central pillar or axis mundi of the pagoda is estimated through a dendrochronological analysis to have been felled in 594.
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Construction materials are very important, and I'm a big fan of stone architecture, but construction methods are far more important, and when wood construction can be perfected to survive more than a millennium (Hōryū-ji isn't the only example), then even the notion of an inherent durability advantage of one material over the other can become questionable. It's more about technique and maintenance. I'm not saying millennium old wooden architecture is common, but there are clearly examples that have outlived even well built stone constructions by centuries.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,956
San Antonio, Tx
I agree, but there were a couple of members on some past threads said that Chinese and Indians started using stone in later dynasties because "they lacked the skill", and the Romans built incredible feats of architecture because they used stone and concrete, which suggests that you can't build incredible feats of architecture with wood and it takes "more skill" to use stone. Chinese build more complex architectures using wood, and I don't recall anywhere in Europe having wood architecture as complex as those the Chinese built. The only con I see with wood is that it doesn't last very long unless maintained while stone tends to be long-lasting (at least compared to wood).
Which is nonsense. The Great Wall wasn't made of wood, neither was the Taj Mahal.
I don't see how this has anything to do with "European trajectories".

Let me put it like this. Any idiot can create a "house" by putting four poles into the ground and have the "walls" and "roof" made of spanned hides. An advanced idiot could replace the hides with wood with the use of pins, nails or screws. An overtly advanced idiot would add extra poles to allow for doors.
And yes, starting from scratch (with an axe in the forest), would take me quite a bit more of time. But that time is mainly spent on making proper poles and planks. The construction itself is relatively easy.

Like I said, even with prefabricated stone it isn't easy. Trust me, I lived near the brick factory where they convert clay into bricks.
Whereas with wood it is much easier.

Look, building a house with wood, doesn't require any special skill. Building a house from stone does. Likewise building a ship from wood does as well.

Let’s all bear in mind that many, if not most, contemporary stone buildings’ are clad in relatively thin stone veneer with stone ties, then backed up by a metal stud wall (filled with insulation) with one or more layers of gypsum drywall. Then paint or wall covering. Real stone “bearing walls“ are going to be very thick at the base, less thick the higher they go.
 
Feb 2017
526
Latin America
Not quite what the OP is discussing, but wood did conquer the world after all. The wooden galleon is the instrument of European colonialism. In all honesty, rather than talking about Iron and Steel Ages, we should talk about the Wood Age of the first wave of European colonialism.
 
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Oct 2017
383
America ??
Not quite what the OP is discussing, but wood did conquer the world after all. The wooden galleon is the instrument of European colonialism. In all honesty, rather than talking about Iron and Steel Ages, we should talk about the Wood Age of the first wave of European colonialism.
‘Wood Age’ refers to just about all history prior to the Industrial Revolution.
 
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Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,808
Planet Nine, Oregon
Typically across the board the use of stone for architecture was used either for religious buildings or constructions including mortuary purposes, to create lasting monuments or inscriptions, or for palaces and military fortifications. If they had the technology and materials and social structure, then stone would be used for these purposes, though there certain!y are exceptions. Much vernacular architecture relied on wood or mud brick, sod, etc. Most ancient cultures thought stone was superior to wood for many architectural and epigraphic purposes. Ramses II raved on about it, Egyptians being an extreme example of lithophilia.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,685
Netherlands
Let’s all bear in mind that many, if not most, contemporary stone buildings’ are clad in relatively thin stone veneer with stone ties, then backed up by a metal stud wall (filled with insulation) with one or more layers of gypsum drywall. Then paint or wall covering. Real stone “bearing walls“ are going to be very thick at the base, less thick the higher they go.
Hmmm
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