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An increasing number of Architects are specifying timber cladding on both commercial and residential projects. The natural beauty of timber is undoubtedly a factor, but that’s not the only benefit to using this versatile material. Here we look at the aesthetic, practical and environmental benefits of using timber cladding on your next project.

TIMBER IS BEAUTIFUL

Whether your project is of a contemporary or traditional type, timber adds warmth and character, accentuating the aesthetic of any design. The natural origins of timber mean that each board comes with a subtly unique figuring and, depending on the species, different knot shapes and patterns. Current timber cladding design trends we are seeing include mixing up board widths as seen here on Crow’s Nest or horizontal and vertical layouts, used here at Pangbourne College, and using blackened timber cladding design.

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF USING TIMBER

Growing concerns about climate change and the urge to reduce CO2 emissions in the construction industry make timber the ideal material for environmentally conscious Architects and their Clients. CO2 emissions are one of the most significant contributors to global warming, therefore a key factor in addressing the issue is to find new ways to capture CO2 from the atmosphere. Timber products play a vital role in this as trees capture CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow which is then locked in and stored in the timber indefinitely. The amount of energy consumed in the production of timber materials is also a benefit with timber having the lowest embodied energy of any building material.

TIMBER IS SUSTAINABLE

Timber is the one truly sustainable building material as it is a fully renewable resource. Its light weight and versatile nature mean it can be designed to be disassembled and reused or recycled when fixed using advanced fixing systems. Russwood supply stainless steel screws with improved corrosion resistance (A2 and A4 grades available) and secret-fix options like FassadenClip® which enable an effortless removal of timber cladding without compromising appearance. All Russwood timber products are FSC® or PEFC® certified which ensures responsible management of the forests from where the timber is sourced and ensures the chain of custody of our timber is controlled from the forest through to final product use.

PRACTICAL BENEFITS OF USING TIMBER

Natural timber cladding can be extremely durable and long lasting when properly installed and correctly graded to remove non-durable sapwood. Timber will age or ‘weather’ over time, a process which changes the surface appearance of the boards and, potentially, the overall look of the building. In areas of high rainfall, some timber cladding installations can turn grey in just a few months, whilst in drier areas the process is likely to be slower. Similarly, south-west facing walls weather relatively fast, due to their exposure to sunlight, whereas north facing walls tend to weather more slowly, but uniformly. SiOO:X is a patented wood surface modification treatment which achieves a consistently weathered appearance at an accelerated rate. SiOO:X Original takes 3 to 4 months to begin curing and develop it’s silver grey appearance, while SiOO:X Mid Grey and Light Grey versions have been developed to give an immediate and long lasting uniform weathered look to the timber.

TIMBER IS VERSATILE

Exterior timber cladding and decking are not the only uses for timber. Timber flooring can add a natural charm to any interior space, and with Russwood’s extensive range of solid and engineered boards in a wide selection of colours and finishes we can find a unique floor solution to suit your interior design. Russwood floorboards are all selected and graded by hand, ensuring a high standard of quality. Our experienced flooring specialists will advise you on the most appropriate board structure – solid or engineered – and species for your project. Our range of Interior Wall Cladding has been developed to inspire interior designers: free flowing textures and sinuous grain in an earthy colour palette make use of form and contrast to enrich any living or retail space.

For more information on any of the products featured in this blog get in touch with one of our timber specialists.