Seaside Shelters, Bexhill, Sussex

Project: Seaside Shelters, Bexhill, Sussex

Kebony, the Cleantech 100 company behind the award-winning sustainable substitute for tropical hardwood and preservative treated timber, is delighted to unveil their latest UK project – the Bexhill beach shelters.

The creative force behind the project, Millimetre, chose Kebony wood for this innovative seaside project in light of its excellent quality, durability, versatility, aesthetic beauty and exemplary green credentials. The product of a pioneering Norwegian company, Kebony is designed to withstand severe weathering, wear and decay, making it the perfect choice to provide shelter from the elements, whether its blissful sunshine or blowing gales!

Commissioned by Rother District Council and designed by Duggan Morris Architects, these four seafront shelters are a striking architectural addition to the Sussex coastline. Their steel frames ensure durability, whilst the Kebony Scots Pine cladding and Kebony Southern Yellow Pine bench furniture compliment the natural beauty of Bexhill, evolving over time with their surroundings to acquire a beautiful silver grey patina.

Rigorously tested in harsh Norwegian climates for its stability - where is has been installed in numerous coastal summerhouses and mountain builds - Kebony demonstrates comparable, and often superior, properties to tropical hardwood. Through an environmentally-friendly process of ‘Kebonization’ the wood is impregnated with a patented mixture based on furfuryl alcohol, a liquid produced from agricultural crop waste, which then reacts with the wood fibres and permanently strengthens the wood.

This inspiring project was selected from some 140 entries submitted for a recent RIBA design competition and is the flagship element of Rother District Council’s Next Wave Seafront Improvement Project - a wider £5m cultural regeneration programme. Jan Terje Nielsen, Director of Marketing for Kebony comments:”Millimetre has come up with a truly original and ground-breaking development at Bexhill, marrying cutting edge architecture with a careful consideration of the area’s traditional landscape and natural beauty. Kebony are thrilled to be involved in such a forward-thinking project, ensuring that our unique wood product is the talk of the town!”

Reflecting on working with Kebony, Ivan Clarke, Director of Millimetre comments: “We have found the product, the company and the UK supplier to be great - mindful of our needs and helpful. I particularly liked the Southern Yellow Pine boards that we used for the benches within the shelters as the timber has a great consistency of colour and feels like a furniture grade hardwood.”

Architects, contractors and developers alike are increasingly turning to high quality, durable and environmentally-friendly products such as Kebony. Kebony offers a revolutionary wood product that can be used for decking, cladding, roofing, windows, indoor and outdoor furniture, yacht decking and other construction materials. In the UK, Kebony are delighted to be working with Brooks Bros, the UK distributor of its innovative flooring product.

Most recently, Kebony was chosen by developers Bliss for their prestigious 25 Hurst Avenue, Highgate project - the first UK residential project for Kebony. Kebony was also used in the redevelopment of Yarmouth Harbour - a pioneering sustainable marine development and the first UK harbour installation to use Kebony’s innovative decking material. Kebony has also been used in several boardwalk projects both in Norway and the United States. Bethany Beach (Delaware, United States) installed Kebony boardwalk a year ago and have been so delighted with the results that a larger order has been placed to extend the boardwalk. Meanwhile, Kebony Maple decking has been used as a substitute for teak for a number of high-profile boats such as the Contessa 32, the Atlantis Verve and Elan, the Windy SR52 Blackbird, W40 Maestro boats.

Kebony has been recognised for its green credentials being named as one of the world’s most promising clean technology companies in the Global Cleantech 100. This Norwegian wood company was also cited as one of the top 50 companies that could change our world in 2010 and a top 25 creative European Company as well as receiving the Nordic region’s eco-label, the Swan, Glass Bear for sustainable consumption and production and the Norwegian Blue Ocean Award. Environmental studies also demonstrate that Kebony maple has a substantially lower carbon footprint than unsustainable logged Burmese teak.

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