I'm just enjoying another season of Grand Designs, the UK TV show about unusual houses being built. (I just realized season five has sixteen episodes... sixteen full documentaries in one year! Kevin McCloud is a regular David Pogue.)
One issue I've not heard about: when they build of wood, either a log cabin or post/beam structures or whatever, how is the wood treated? What protects it against excessive drying and wood worms and so on?
I started thinking about it watching one episode about a young couple renovating a 400-year old house where big parts of the old oak beams were just rotted away due to death watch beetles. It was a classified building, so they could not just tear down the roof and start over, and it was very difficult and expensive to shore it up and replace parts.
So is anything being done to make new wooden buildings last four hundred years?