Do you know what I’m looking for here?

So architects draw stuff and then get that stuff built. One of the key bits that some may not realise is that one of the biggest (and most important jobs) the architect does is in checking the building materials.

Below is a photograph from a site visit today of the stamp on a piece of structural timber (its from the roof rafter on a flat roof). Besides it being stamped (essential) and it being the right size (9″ x 2″ which it was); I also need to check the grade of wood is as specified which in this case was C16. I’m not going to go into massive detail regarding wood strength and grading, for that CLICK HERE for the excellent site ‘Wood Spec’ (the website managed by COFORD, the National Council for Forest Research and Development.)

Timber stamp

Structural timber stamp.

If you look carefully, you can see the C16 stamp on the right hand side. Pass.

This is one of the reasons to employ an architect. He/She are paid to firstly know what the specification should be and then secondly to check the right specification is being built.

4 thoughts on “Do you know what I’m looking for here?

  1. Likewise on the details, but 9 x 2 is such a robust size for domestic scale work that I wouldn’t normally be too worried about it. Architects tend to over specify specify timber it for other reasons than ultimate strength – depth of insulation plus 50mm vent for example. Engineers like the over specification to allow trades to take chunks out of it for concealed services.

    The marks look like old nails that were left in the timber when it was planed or cut down from a larger size – something that is not going to do the saw or planer any good! This suggests that the timber may have been salvaged and if that is the case there may be other hidden defects in the delivery.

    As for the stamp, anyone can forge a stamp. The real reason you bring an experienced building professional to a job is for their competence in overview, their ability to inspect a material visually, over and above any assertions or assurances based on paperwork or applied markings.

    There were a lot of cowboys around in the Tiger Years who were not above faking authentication for profit. Some are still around selling bits of timber and window frames…

    Keep the faith Mark, I enjoy reading your updates.

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