Case Studies on Timber Defects of Selected Traditional Houses in Malacca

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Nor Haniza Ishak
Zuraini Md Ali
Yacob Omar
Helena Aman Hashim


The effect of adverse environmental conditions on building materials and the extent of damage caused depends on both the materials used and the environmental conditions. Although timber is a diminishing resource, it is still widely used in today' s construction. In Malaysia, timber is one of the main components of many historic buildings. Appropriate maintenance of such buildings requires an understanding of timber defects and its related problems. Timber defects a reclassified into two major groups: non-biological and biological deteriorations. Non-biological deteriora tion consists of physical decay, excessive moisture content, dimensional instability and chemical deterioration. These defects are mainly caused by the timber in service being subjected to environmental exposure. The most common and destructive timber biological deteriorations are those due to dry rot , wet rot as well as insect attacks. A study based on seven selected houses was conducted to identify the most common building defects, specifically on timber components amongst traditional Malay houses in Malacca, Malaysia. A building condition survey was carried out to determine the effect of the environment towards timber buildings and their main components. Data collected were bas ed on the investigation and visual observation of the selected case studies. Findings of this research will serve as an indicator towards maintaining the buildings' timber components in good condition in order that the buildings' life span could be extended and primarily to conserve the valuable traditional timber houses in a historical city.

Keywords: Building Defect; Timber Deterioration; Environmental Effect; Building Component and Building Condition Survey.


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