Find products

Use our product finder to search for products and materials

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive news about events and exhibitions, innovation and materials on the latest building product innovations, case studies and more.
I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of usage and The Building Centre's Privacy Policy.

Foresso: a reimagining of terrazzo

20 Feb 2020

Birmingham-based manufacturer, Foresso, presents a new reimagining of traditional terrazzo —  a sustainable material that recycles raw waste from the construction industry. Their material, also called Foresso, is crafted from high-quality waste timber which is unusable for manufacturing — such as joinery — due to its irregular sizing.

Originating in Italy in the 16th-Century as a means to recycle stone waste, terrazzo is a composite material traditionally crafted by adding marble chippings to cement.  Inspired by the material’s graphic appearance and detailing, the Foresso team recreated it using wood instead of marble. The result is a warm-coloured material with timber grains running throughout its composite structure.

The Foresso team uses a unique process in the construction of their material, and due to the material’s irregularity each piece differs.  “The wood and minerals have to be processed very specifically to be reused and achieve the aesthetic of our products.” says Foresso’s Director, Conor Taylor. After this the materials are mixed with a bio-based resin and pigment before being cast on the plywood substrate. “The sheets are then left to cure until ready for finishing,” Taylor explains.

Once fully cured the sheets are sanded to expose the wood chips so the team can begin the finishing process. “The final surface is finished by hand and sealed with a hard-wax oil, or sometimes lacquered for high traffic environments.” The result is a smooth and polished material resembling terrazzo yet uses chippings up that would otherwise become a waste product. Taylor and his team also make their own tongue and groove flooring, cut wall paneling and tabletops using their CNC machine. “By keeping it in house we can drive down waste and make sure that every bit of each sheet gets used,” says Taylor.