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Timber construction industry stalwart Werner Slabbert has taken on ownership of Rustic Homes. Slabbert is the chairman of the working group of the SANS (South African National Standards) 10082 document at the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), lectures on the subject of timber frame construction at various universities and has presented numerous papers on the subject at various conferences.

Rustic home under new ownershipSince its inception in the 1980s, Rustic Homes has become known for providing high quality timber construction. Rustic Homes uses a unique bracing system that goes further than the requirements of current South African building regulations. All walls – including interior walls – are sheathed on both sides and densely packed with insulation, keeping the ambient temperature inside the house moderate, thereby saving heating and cooling costs.

The system renders the walls even more solid, dense and soundproof than conventional timber frame construction, making Rustic Homes’ method ideal for commercial buildings, such as hotels, as well as residential construction. Rustic Homes also uses a space-enhancing system of flitch beam construction, a combination of timber and steel, which affords longer spans without having to increase the depth of the beam. This makes wide open, voluminous spaces a possibility and is also ideal for large door openings.

Originally in broadcast engineering, Slabbert became involved in the timber construction industry after the building of his holiday home fell through as a result of unscrupulous timber frame builders. The result was a successful business: Eco Log Homes.

“Given that almost all my early commissions were from people who had been defrauded by unscrupulous builders, it was important to me to play my part in elevating the standing of the trade, not only from an ethical perspective, but in the line of good and legally compliant building practices as well,” Slabbert says.

“I felt I could use my passion for my trade to make a difference in the sector by promoting timber construction in South Africa. I continue to do this on a voluntary basis, because it is my belief that if an industry is elevated and promoted, all of its constituents will reap the rewards,” he adds.

Image: http://www.ecologhomes.co.za/gallery/

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