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The perfect choice for architects who desire a flawless look combined with excellent durability and dimensional stability.

Russwood re-saw and grade all boards to produce a vertical grain, virtually knot-free, Architect Select® grade of Western Red Cedar (WRC). The colour variations and optimal grain structure, combined with the species’ inherent stability, ensure that this product is a popular choice for a wide range of cladding projects.

“Vertical grain and semi vertical grain” refers to the way in which the WRC is sawn perpendicular to the trees annual growth rings, in order to create a highly dimensionally stable product whilst also achieving a remarkably clean look. On Russwood’s behalf, The Centre for Wood Science and Technology at Napier University tested the dimensional stability - comparing the vertical grain WRC against non-vertical grain - and concluded that up to 50% improved stability could be expected with Vertical Grain WRC.


Russwood only uses the heartwood when producing Architect Select® WRC. This heartwood provides a delightful variety of colour, ranging from cream, to chocolate brown, to salmon pink. In ideal conditions, it is a product that weathers to a silver/grey and is therefore a popular choice for projects where untreated cladding is desired.

Over time, the flawless surface finish will remain as WRC will not develop surface checks (small splits in the exposed face). Growth rings are tight, figuring is regular due to the vertical grain and knots are very few and small. This means that the overall look is clean, providing a product which is equally suited to projects requiring either a classic or contemporary finish.

Grades and specification

At Russwood we re-saw and then grade every Architect Select® WRC board that we produce, in order to ensure that our stringent in-house grading criteria are met.

Russwood’s Architect Select® Western Red Cedar

  • Graded to BS1186-3 Part 4 Class CSH
  • To produce our Architect Select® grade the timber is re-graded by hand in-house from  No. 2 Clear and Better (as classified by the Export R List 401)
  • Straight grained timber which is virtually knot free (sound, tight knots up to 13mm in diameter)
  • Sawn to produce vertical grain (the most visually refined and dimensionally stable cut)
  • Naturally durable heartwood is highly resistant to decay
  • Large variation in colour tones, ranging from cream to chocolate brown to salmon pink
  • Boards are machined from 25mm to a finished thickness of 20mm (above the TRADA recommended minimum of 19mm)
  • Kiln-dried to moisture content of approximately 16-18% (+/- 2%)

For advice on completing the NBS H21 for Architect Select® Western Red Cedar please get in touch with our technical team.


For external cladding purposes, Architect Select® WRC is one of the world’s most naturally durable softwood cladding species (Class 2 according to BS EN 350-2). As such, it does not require any treatment due to its inherent natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage.

With a lifespan of 50 -100 years and longer, when subject to general outdoor exposure, this is on par with Russwood’s Sila grade of Siberian Larch

The way a façade is fixed and detailed can have a major effect on its lifespan. Our range of fixings and systems are designed by Austrian Timber Engineers to make cladding look better and last longer.


Russwood’s Architect Select® Western Red Cedar offers a high level of dimensional stability as a result of its vertical grain, low density, and shrinkage factors. Consequently, it resists the forces which create warping, twisting and checking.

Russwood dry the product to approximately 16 – 18%; the optimal moisture content for this species of external cladding. This ensures that the timber dries uniformly and, subsequently, its stability is greatly enhanced. Once Architect Select® WRC is dried, it enables the machining of the product to achieve a superior finish. By adhering to our ISO 9001 quality control process, the optimal moisture level is retained until delivery to site; the cladding can then be installed immediately upon delivery.


Architect Select® WRC is one of the lightest commercial softwoods available and, if kiln-dried to a moisture content of 16%, is classified by BS EN 350-2 as having a density of approximately 370 kg/m3. As a result of this low density, the product is very easy to handle and work with.

Coating suitability

Western Red Cedar can be factory coated in SiOO:X, a breakthrough silicone technology, to provide a genuine silver lustre. In effect, SiOO:X creates a weathered appearance at an accelerated rate. Following application, all areas, regardless of protection and exposure, take on a consistent tone which provides a solution to differential weathering. For further information about SiOO:X click here.

Also, due to the infrequent knots, straight grain and inherent dimensional stability, optimal paint performance can be achieved. Consequently, Architect Select® Western Red Cedar is an ideal timber for factory coating with Russwood’s Teknos range, especially with a translucent coating, which would highlight the beautiful natural figuring of the timber.

Architect Select® Western Red Cedar can be fire-retardant treated by using an impregnation process.


How timber is fixed is fundamental to it’s long term performance in terms of both appearance and durability. We offer a range of fixings and systems to make cladding look better and last longer. These systems can be written into the NBS H21 specification. For more information on our recommended fixings, click here.

Surface Finishes

We can produce Architect Select®  Western Red Cedar in two different surface finishes to suit your specific project requirements and vision;

  • Planed - Boards are run through our planing mill to create a smooth, dressed finish.
  • Microtex® - Is a uniform, consistently fibrous surface finish. This provides enhanced coating performance as the increased surface area of the cladding face enables enhanced adhesion properties. 


Russwood’s Architect Select® WRC is PEFC-certified, meaning that it is sourced from well-managed forests.


Architect Select® WRC is available from stock in standard lengths of 1.2 – 5.7m and in widths of 100 or 150mm, with the sawn board thickness being 25mm (finished to 20mm). Please note that cladding is supplied as a linear meterage based on random stock lengths at time of picking order. Other sizes may be available on request.

Specified lengths can be supplied; but will most likely incur a surcharge. This will vary on a case by case basis and we therefore recommend speaking to one of our cladding advisors for further guidance.


We can advise you on the most suitable species and profile for your project. Visit our profiles section to view some of our most popular profiles, or speak to us to discuss further options.


Please see our cladding comparison table for price range.


  • Excellent dimensional stability
  • Stringent in-house re-sawing and grading
  • Clean look which weathers beautifully
  • One of the most durable species available worldwide
  • Sustainable
  • Suitable for all types of cladding application

For a printable summary of the above information, click here to download our Architect Select® Western Red Cedar Cladding Factsheet.

Alec French Architects
Russwood quickly provided samples of different types of FSC certified timber that we could present to the client. The samples were of a decent size, which on a large scheme is important to understand the natural variation of the timber has. By narrowing the samples down to Siberian Larch and Western Red cedar, Russwood were then able to offer us advice on the various profiles which were able to meet the cost budget, without detracting from the overall appearance. Furthermore their technical advice allowed us to test some of TRADA's principals embedded in the external cladding guidance which was invaluable.

Nick Vaughan, Alec French Architects