Protecting wood exterior infrastructures above ground in Spain. The importance of protection by design in the performance
D Lorenzo, M Touza, J Fernandez-Golfín, A Lozano, J Benito, M T Troya, L Robertson
Across Spain is very common to find wood exterior infrastructures build mainly in sawn and glue-laminated wood. Most of these exterior wood infrastructures use softwood wood species such as: fir, spruce, larch and pine. In Spain exterior wood infrastructures, became more and more popular since nineties, when sawn and glue-laminated wood were utilized for building exterior wood infrastructures in overall Spain. This paper shows the importance of protecting by design in wood exterior infrastructures above ground situation in the case of Spain. The importance of protection by design in the performance is in most cases fundamental, to avoid or reduce the magnitude and extent of the damages due to early decays and it is very important to prolong service life of wood exterior infrastructures above ground. In some cases, wood exterior infrastructures with an inappropriate protection by design, the magnitude and extent of the damage due to early decay is such that it has reduced the cross section and strength of wood components, affecting the safety of these infrastructures, with a destruction level that most of the times the substitution of the infrastructure is mandatory. The aim of this paper is to understand the importance of protection by design in the performance, in combination with the influence of the diversity of the natural durability of the wood species, preservative treatments and with the variability of environmental conditions (different climatic zones and exposure to weathering), use classes and position of wood elements in the performance wood exterior infrastructures, related with emergence of early pathological processes primarily with fungal decay (wood destroying fungi) and wood destroying insects in lesser extent. It is important to remark the importance of protection by design in the performance and protecting wood exterior infrastructures above ground in Spain, needs the collaboration among experts as architects, civil engineers, wood technologists, biologists, etc.