Using fire as a tool for construction seems counterintuitive. But burning lumber being used in a project (just a little bit) can boost the end result structurally, as well as aesthetically
The process is fairly simple. Burn the planks on both sides to the desired amount of char. The carbon exterior will release the moisture inside the board as gas and steam. (Think of it as turning the wood’s surface into a chemical compound similar to the pure carbon a diamond.) After cooling the boards, brush and wash them to your aesthetic liking—the amount of char cleaned off changes the look of the wood. Finally, you can seal the board with a natural oil of your choice, or leave it unvarnished.
This method of burning the surface of wood building materials began in Japan during the 1700s. Since Japanese builders traditionally used cedar, as well as cypress, the process is called shou sugi ban, or “burnt cedar.” In more recent years, Japanese have opted for plastic and other materials for their buildings, causing the shou sugi ban to wane.
Read the complete article on Architizer here.