A RUSTICASA® is a house entirely made of wood, with a high standard of quality. With our own manufacture for 40 years, we have been able to adapt different traditional wooden construction techniques to our climate.

At Rusticasa there are currently 4 differentiated construction techniques:

 

  • the house made of solid wood logs for those in love with the sturdy style, with the crossed corners, according to the ancestral technique, assembled piece by piece on site;

 

  • The light-timber house (Timber-Frame), for contemporary lines and a great diversity of interior and exterior finishes, mounted on site in large panels;

 

  • the house with a heavy gantry structure (Post & Beam), for a contemporary architecture of robust line, large glazed spans, large mezzanines and ample spaces, assembled piece-by-piece on site construction;

 

  • the ITS™ (Insulated Timber System) house, 100% created by Rusticasa, combining all previous techniques. With high thermal resistance, thanks to the cork inside these houses are entirely pre-fabricated in our premises for a very fast construction (2 days for walls and cover). Large ISOLAM® panels are used which follow strict quality control.

 

Whichever the chosen technique, the company strives to build according to the rules of the art. Form the materials used (wood, hardware, finishing products), sales, design, manufacturing, assembly to after-sales teams, all these services have been internal to Rusticasa for 40 years, allowing maximum efficiency in the extraordinary adventure of building a wooden house. With precision and quality!

To build a house of wood, whatever its origin, is already in itself to honour the environment, to be eco-friendly; building a RUSTICASA® is also a guarantee of quality and durability, backed by 40 years of experience of a team, passionate about their work.

 

A well-built and durable wooden house is undoubtedly an ecological building, because by taking advantage of a natural and renewable raw material (unlike other building materials), it is able to store a large amount of CO2 for a long time within its woody matter (thanks to photosynthesis in the growth phase of the tree, and then long-term in the construction itself). On top of that, the transformation of the wood spends very little energy, compared to other building materials; and since RUSTICASA® constructions are very insulated, the energy expenditure over the life of the house will also be reduced.

That is why scientists around the world, as well as a growing number of developed countries, promote effective forest management, with controlled tree-felling and mandatory plantings, for a sustainable forest economy. Striving for the use of wood to be more implemented in construction, for the good of our Planet!

 

To live in a RUSTICASA®, is to have the Forest in the house, to know the aroma that will enchant you at all times, to discover the poetry of the veins and knots of each piece of wood every day, to feel the soft walls that surround you, to breathe the purified air thanks to the constant filtration of the wood …

Each Rusticasa customer can choose finishes to their liking: interior walls with natural wood, painted white or even covered with plasterboard; exterior walls with various shades to choose from, with horizontal or rounded logs, with ventilated wall in horizontal or vertical lining and various shapes and sizes…

 

While a “traditional” concrete construction, with the typical “budgetary slippage”, takes at least a year to complete (and then another 2 years to dry completely!), The assembly of a RUSTICASA®, with the price set in contract, will take an average of 2 months to complete, with 100% dry materials (no drying time!).

 

A concrete wall, with equal thermal resistance, will always be at least 2 times thicker than a wooden wall, with the respective loss of interior useful space …

Because of the low thermal inertia of the wood, unlike concrete, a RUSTICASA® will always be very easy and quick to heat and cool.

 

The resistance to the earthquakes of the wooden constructions is unbeatable; in Japan, this solid yet flexible material has long been used in construction

And even in regard to fire resistance firefighters recognize that wood is a safe and reliable building material, as it burns slowly without losing its mechanical capabilities, unlike steel and concrete.

And all with a guarantee of durability above 50 years (as required by European standards)!

 

But it is in the comfort of the day-to-day that the wooden house surpasses any other type of building materials, provided it is well built and insulated like a RUSTICASA®: walls without thermal bridges and without humidity, well ventilated covers to avoid condensation in the winter and to cool down in the summer, high quality 68mm thick laminated glued wood joinery, double glazing and multi-point fasteners.

 

All the conditions come together for a stress free, relaxing home, thanks to the absence of static electricity and the soft acoustics provided by the wooden walls.

 

The real “home sweet home”.

Several types are used depending on the intrinsic characteristics of each one and its use in the work:

 

For the structural framing, the Northern Pine (Pinus sylvestris), will be the most commonly used wood. When applied outdoors, such as on decking for example, this wood will be treated in depth by autoclaving.

 

For the exterior and interior walls, we will have the choice between the Nordic Wild Pine, the Nordic Spruce (Picea abies), or the Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica).

 

While the pine and spruce are native to the Nordic countries, the Cryptomeria is the national tree of Japan. In the Azores (mainly on the island of São Miguel) this species is largely planted since the 19th century and that is where Rusticasa buys its main raw material. The Cryptomeria has very favorable characteristics for the constructions in wood: lightness, dimensional stability, resistance to biotic attacks, aroma, softness to touch and aesthetics.

 

For indoor flooring, we have a choice of Wild Pine (Pinus pinaster) or Eucalyptus (Eucaliptus globulus).

 

Of course, all the wood used in Rusticasa comes from durable forest management, much of it with PEFC and/or FSC forest certification label.

By European standards, nowadays any new construction must last at least 50 years, without the need for any restoration work.

 

RUSTICASA® constructions, in addition to following Eurocódigo 5 and the methods and techniques meticulously documented by officially recognized French organizations (such as CSTB, FCBA, CNDB), rely on a 40-year experience to better adapt the wood to our climate.

 

The structures of our homes, regardless of the construction system chosen, exceed the minimum required by European standards, and can last much longer depending on environmental conditions such as exposure to the weather, shading of the façades exposed to the sun, cleaning of the roof, care on periodic maintenance of exterior woods, etc …

 

As proof of this statement, it is possible to see some of our oldest houses in the Minho region, so well preserved that it is easy to predict that they will last more than 100 years!

A RUSTICASA® is an exclusive product whose characteristics meet the requirements of the Customer. Many factors are taken into account to determine their selling price: the construction system, the thickness of the wood chosen, the geometry and size of the construction, the geographical location of the work, the conditions of access to the land, and many more …

 

Contrary to popular belief, a well-constructed, quality wooden house can never be priced lower than a traditional high-quality building that meets the requirements of today’s thermal regulation.

To get an idea, the cost per square meter of RUSTICASA®houses ranges from €750 to €1,000.

 

Wood is a noble material which originates from a tree that grows slowly (at least 30 years), so every cut tree is guaranteed to be replaced by a new plant, thus allowing a permanent renewal of stock of raw material (with the respective benefits for our Planet!).

 

The woodworking process requires specialized care and manpower, usually more expensive than in the world of concrete.

 

A quality wooden house is not bought for its price (because it is not cheaper than the others), but for the choice of a healthy and environmentally conscious home.

Of all the building materials, wood is the only one that is natural and renewable. The wooden house is born from the forest, the Earth’s lung that generates oxygen, absorbs carbon dioxide and reduces the greenhouse effect.

 

The ecology and the safeguarding of the environment today concern an increasing percentage of citizens. But, contrary to common belief, the forest needs to be maintained and cut in an orderly and rational way, so that its natural cycle continues. In abandoned forests, trees die old, victims of mutual competition, from parasitic attacks and decompose, failing to produce oxygen and releasing CO2, thus altering their ecological role. In forests with sustained development, the masses have a constant or increasing production and their standing volume never diminishes. The principle is simple: only the volume of wood that the forest mass produced in a year is cut down.

 

The wood used in RUSTICASA® is exclusively derived from sustainable forests, so its use promotes the renewal of forests.

Yes, it is perfectly possible to integrate any other material into RUSTICASA®constructions: large glass façades, stone fireplaces, floor tiles, steel beams for large slit spans, vegetal cover, and a thousand others …

 

On the walls, it is possible to combine stone, glass or masonry with wood. The most frequent cases are in the fireplaces or in old façades that are intended to be recovered and integrated in the new construction.

 

Likewise, flooring can be done with ceramic tiles, slate, cork, etc. The combination of materials is also possible depending on the use of each room, for example: wooden floor in the living room and bedrooms and tiled floor in the kitchen and bathroom.

 

In order to integrate the construction with the environment and local architectural features, it is possible to use different types of roofing, such as traditional ceramic tile, soil with vegetation (ecological roofs), slate, wood or others.

The wooden house is well known for its thermal-acoustic comfort, as long as its well constructed. Rusticasa strives to comply with the national regulations on thermal insulation in its buildings. This thermal regulation, with increasing requirements, tends to make buildings in general spend less energy on heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. All countries in the European Union follow the same path to reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.

 

A well-insulated wooden house not only saves energy costs, but also contributes to better the health of its inhabitants, reducing rheumatic and respiratory diseases.

 

The thermal inertia of a wooden house is low; just laying your hand on the wood is enough to prove that the walls are neither cold in the winter nor hot in the summer; that means that, unlike concrete or stone houses, a RUSTICASA® will be very easy and quick to warm up when, for example, you arrive home after a period of absence during a cold season. No humidity. No bad odors. Just the good smell of wood. Similarly, a RUSTICASA® is easily cooled when, for example, you let the sun in through the living room stained-glass window without closing the blinds, by simply opening the windows at night to quickly lower the temperature inside the room. You can hardly do this in a conventional house with high thermal inertia …

 

The coefficient of thermal insulation of the wood is 6 times higher than that of the brick, 15 times higher than that of concrete, 400 times higher than steel, and 1770 times that of aluminium. It is easy to understand why a wooden house has such low thermal bridges, and how it is possible to keep the indoor environment of a RUSTICASA® warm in the winter and cool in the summer, with energy savings that can exceed 50% in relation to masonry or stone buildings.

 

On the other hand, the acoustic properties of wood are widely recognized; it absorbs an important part of the energy of the sound waves that it receives, with the consequent reduction of acoustic pollution.

 

The wooden house is a quiet house and reduces the stress of its inhabitants.

Due to the mechanical properties of the wood and the constructive technique, the wooden constructions are extremely solid and resistant to earthquakes and cyclonic winds.

 

In Japan, where earthquakes are very common, wooden houses are highly requested.

 

Wood has unique mechanical properties, being flexible, light and solid at the same time. The pieces joined by suitable fittings, certified according to the Eurocode, give the whole of the “puzzle house” excellent mechanical properties.

 

The tests carried out on a natural scale by the LNEC (National Civil Engineering Laboratory), under project 227887 – FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES  of the pan-European study SERIES (Seismic Engineering Research Infrastructures for European Synergies), sponsored by the European Commission, on a Rusticasa, construction, among others, reveal the high antiseismic performances of wooden constructions.

 

At Rusticasa, there are no standard models, all constructions are customized. The plans we present in our catalogues are only ideas and possible starting points to create your own plan …

 

You can rely on the company’s 40-year experience to develop your Dream House together with our commercial and design teams!

Many of our customers consider a fireplace fundamental equipment in a RUSTICASA®, house and an essential contribution to the rustic, warm and comfortable environment.

 

The incorporation of a stone or concrete mass for the fireplace, a stove or salamander simply protected with a beautiful decorative and fire-retardant panel, convection radiators, underfloor heating… Everything is possible in a RUSTICASA®. Always with the support of our experienced technical team.

The wood undoubtedly burns, but it guarantees unique benefits as a structural material against the fire. In the event of a fire, the surface carbonization makes it difficult for heat to penetrate the wood due to its lower thermal conductivity in addition to hindering the exit of gases (which are non-toxic), the spread of the fire into the depth of the wood thus becomes very slow.

 

Many structural materials are non-combustible; however, none is fireproof. In a fire, the metal structures dilate and twist, vertiginously decreasing their mechanical resistance with the rise in temperature. Under the same circumstances, the reinforced concrete will break. In the case of wood, since its thermal expansion, is negligible, it does not suffer dangerous deformations nor danger of crumbling. This saves precious time for the evacuation of the building.

 

It is recognized by firefighters around the world that the fire behaviour of wooden structures is safer than with any other building material. In other words: iron and reinforced concrete do not burn, but quickly crumble in a fire, while wood burns but does not fall so quickly. It is the difference between “fire reaction” and “fire resistance“, The wood has poor reaction to fire, but high fire resistance, unlike iron and concrete.

 

It has long been known that the risk of fire is not higher in a wooden house than in a brick house. Insurance companies know this. The risk of fire is more associated with the decoration materials (curtains, furniture, …) than the composition of the walls of the house.

 

For all intents and purposes, Rusticasa calculates its wood structures according to Eurocode 5, with the respective fire resistance safety parameters.

In 1978 the first RUSTICASA®. house was built. More than 40 years have gone by! Since then, more than 1,600 works have been carried out, mainly in Portugal, Spain and France.

 

But it is not enough to have many years and many houses made … The important thing is to commit to a process of continuous improvement so that the construction in wood is always placed in its right place: an ecological and future oriented construction.

Rusticasa bets on a maximum pre-fabrication inside the factory, in order to achieve two capital points in product quality: control and manufacturing precision + quick assembly on site.

 

Depending on the construction system chosen and the size of the work, the factory pre-fabrication takes an average of two weeks, followed by about six weeks at the construction site, where the customer’s cement base must exist in advance.

 

In addition, due to its fast execution and its non-water-based form of construction (therefore no drying time), a wooden house is habitable much faster than any other house (immediately after the assembly is completed). In this way it is possible to save considerable sums in rent or monthly credit payments.

Most banks have already financed Rusticasa’s housing, even if sometimes unfamiliarity leads to misinformation being obtained.

 

Being a house that complies with all the norms and regulations in force in Europe, the classic mortgage credit is the most usual financial product.

 

A Rusticasa can direct you to banking institutions that are more aware of our buildings.

The procedure for the construction of a RUSTICASA® house is identical to that of a masonry house: presentation of an architectural project in the town hall; they issue a construction permit and at the end of the work a license of use; the construction is then registered as property in the land registry office and may be mortgaged as any other property.

No. National and European standards must be applied so that the consumer can be assured of living in a safe, sustainable, isolated (etc.) building.

 

It is not enough for a company to declare compliance; it is the responsibility of the licensing authorities to verify that the standards are actually met. Moreover, if by being wooden the construction was exempt from permits, it would encourage disordered constructions having the same effect as illegal constructions: a house would appear anywhere.

 

As Rusticasa defends the exact opposite, namely the application of standards of construction and application of planning standards, each RUSTICASA® construction is subject to a license.

Infrastructures, usually on behalf of the client, are all the preparatory works such as: access road to the house, cement base (with or without basement) to receive the wooden house, retaining wall, masonry wall or stone integrated in the construction of the house, septic tank, cesspit, respective plumbing, electrical energy forwarding from the electricity meter to the general electric panel, etc …

 

A Rusticasa is limited exclusively to the perimeter of the construction of wood, including eventual supply of the sanitary and electrical installations.

Like any housing construction, regardless of the materials concerned, a wooden house should also receive the following care:

 

  •  Annual inspection/cleaning of the roof, especially if the house is in a wooded area.
  •  Biannual cleaning and lubrication of the external frame fittings.
  •  Biannual cleaning of water drainage channels in the outer frame carpentry.
  •  Distance Control of at least 20cm between the ground and the first wooden base.
  •  Control and cleaning (annual or biannual, depending on the intensity of use) of fire appliances (salamander, stove, …), the safety distance to the wood, and the respective smoke pipes.
  •  Control of the sanitary installation, water leaks and fences in the shower and bath areas.
  •  Exterior wood repainting with periodic application of microporous impregnation (non-film-forming). The customer will be able to buy the paint product directly from the market, acquire it from Rusticasa or contract Rusticasa’s overcoating service.

 

Because it is permeating, the repainting is carried out in a very simple way, by simply passing a medium / fine sandpaper on the surface of the wood, removing the dust and applying a coat of wood stain.

 

There are several shades to choose from.

 

The regularity of the repainting is very dependent on the exposure of the house (and each façade) to the sun and the rain. In general, it is recommended to carry out the first repainting maintenance throughout the house at the end of the second year after the delivery of the work, with special reinforcement (2 coats) in the areas most exposed to the sun (South and West). After 5 years of the construction, it is recommended to execute the second overpainting maintenance, acting in the same way as the first one. The following repainting should be evaluated according to the condition of the wood. Usually repeated every 3 to 5 years. The North and East façades will not need as much repainting as the South and West façades. Certain wood applications, such as the roof edging, porch posts, and handrails, will most certainly require repeated maintenance.

Existing national legislation obliges builders, whatever their method of construction, to provide a 5 year guarantee on their construction.

 

Rusticasa offers a 10 year guarantee on the structural and fixed elements of the building simply because it trusts the quality of its product and wants to reassure its customers of the rational and well-founded choice in the purchase of a RUSTICASA® house.

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