Silva Timber, one of the UK's leading importers of speciality timber products, has recently supplied over 1100 square metres of Western Red Cedar Cladding for the new Tesco Extra Superstore development on Lugsdale Road, Widnes, Cheshire. Gordon White & Hood architects used the material extensively on three elevations in order to create a landmark which provides a gateway feature to this prominent location.
The Tesco Extra Superstore in Widnes is a distinctive building that uses timber cladding in an innovative manner. When specifying exterior cladding, architects need to consider a number of performance criteria such as durability and stability, along with the resulting aesthetics. "In order to create an impact, we needed material that would be robust, able to withstand the elements and at the same time provided natural beauty and warmth that would reflect and provide an extension of the surrounding environment", comments Jon Sayers, architect at Gordon White & Hood.
Western Red Cedar No.2 Clear grade was the ideal solution for this project. Sourced from the coastal region of British Columbia, where growing conditions ensure a tighter grain and rich colour compared to forests further in-land, it is an aesthetically appealing material that allows architects and designers to develop eye-catching, cutting edge solutions. The beauty of the Western Red Cedar is in its appearance and warm colour tones; the inherent small variations between boards (given its organic origins) create a visually striking surface.
Nick Taylor, Managing Director at Silva Timber explains further why their product is popular in the retail sector: “Western Red Cedar can be used not only to clad the entire exterior of a building but also to accentuate elements when combined with other materials. The combination of timber and glass at this Tesco Extra Superstore creates elegant, clean lines that emphasise the contemporary design and give the building a light and fresh feel. We believe our particular grade of Western Red Cedar is the finest quality in the UK, which is evident from the results achieved in this project."
To protect the timber and enhance the appearance of the building, Silva Timber pre-finished the Western Red Cedar with three coats of a semi-transparent water based stain. Factory pre-finishing ensures the wood is coated on all sides in optimal conditions, as recommended by the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA). Pre-finishing the material keeps its natural, beautiful colour tones for longer and at the same time reduces installation time and labour cost.
Highly durable, with low shrinkage factor, naturally resistant to decay and easy to work with, Western Red Cedar is widely considered to be the ultimate natural cladding material. Low density and high proportion of air spaces make it the best thermal insulator among common softwood species. The use of cedar as a cladding material on modern buildings provides not only an environmentally friendly solution but also one that is attractive, durable and long lasting.
Silva Timber’s Western Red Cedar is sourced from the well managed forests of British Columbia, Canada and comes with full PEFC Chain of Custody Certification. Silva Timber only use suppliers who conform to the strictest environmental standards, sourcing timber harvested legally and sustainably from independently certified forests.
The use of Western Red Cedar at Tesco Extra Superstore, Widnes creates a warm and friendly welcome, providing the store's customers with a better shopping experience; a part of Tesco's 'Better Stores, Better Service' initiative. Opened in 2012, Tesco Widnes has also been part of the Tesco Regeneration Partnerships scheme aimed at revitalising the community.