Local authorities, architects and developers are specifying timber cladding more widely than ever before.
Across commercial and domestic settings, timber cladding is revitalising the look of buildings large and small, but the natural beauty of timber as a cladding material is not its only benefit.
To shed some light on why timber is rapidly earning a reputation for being the most attractive, durable and ecological cladding solution, here is a detailed look at some of its qualities.
The natural look
Timber cladding creates a beautiful, natural effect that is becoming more and more popular on commercial buildings, apartment blocks, and on domestic properties. Entire houses are being clad in timber to create chalet and lodge-style effects, and half or part-clad properties are using timber to provide a visual contrast to large areas of brick, block, render and composite cladding.
The potential to match the aesthetic effect of timber cladding with decking is helping to boost the popularity of timber as a cladding solution on domestic properties, and on commercial properties where outdoor leisure space is required. Thermally treated timber is particularly effective as a cladding and decking solution, and matching the material and colour of timber can give a property a greater sense of cohesion.
In rural areas, timber is proving to be a useful solution when selecting cladding that will match the existing features of both the natural and built environment, and minimise the visual disruption caused by new buildings. For example, at the RIBA Award-winning Rossall Point Observation Tower in Fleetwood, Howarth Timber supplied ArborClad Thermo-D Frake, which was specified by Studio Three architects to complement the materials that were already in place.
Howarth Timber supplied ArborClad Thermo-D Frake for Rossall Point Observation Tower in Fleetwood.
Timber’s environmental credentials are at the heart of its rapid growth as a cladding solution in recent years. Thermally treated timber replaces the use of chemicals with heat to modify the cell structure and make the timber more resistant to rot. The absence of chemicals during the production process gives thermally treated timber cladding products a real environmental premium over their competitors, which are often treated with harsh chemicals.
Timber cladding is 100 per cent recyclable, and can be invaluable to building projects that include firm targets relating to carbon neutrality. Projects that require temporary cladding can also turn to timber for a solution that can be demounted and reused.
Timber is a very strong material, and it has the natural defences to resist pollution, weathering and corrosion. All over the UK, you will see examples of timber cladding on houses and commercial buildings that are well over 100 years old, and in some cases many centuries old.
The rise of thermally treated timber cladding has led to the availability of more stable, durable products than ever before. Softwood cladding and decking products can be subjected to chemical treatment which may not always penetrate to the core of the material and therefore be more prone to rotting from the inside out, unlike thermally treated timber cladding and decking products.
The timber industry comes under closer scrutiny now than ever before, and information about the sustainability of any timber cladding products you purchase is readily available. Whether your timber is arriving from Scandinavia, the United States, or West Africa, UK suppliers like Howarth Timber carry out due diligence on all timber imports in order to remain compliant with EU trade regulations.
The vast majority of timber cladding products are certified by the FSC or the PEFC, and both of these bodies maintain comprehensive databases to ensure customers can access relevant information about the timber products they purchase.
Timber cladding and decking is growing in popularity, and the onus is on developers to provide information on the carbon footprint of building materials. Sustainability and a full Chain of Custody certification can be a strong selling point when discussing timber cladding.
Howarth Timber’s thermally treated Lunardeck redwood and ash decking, along with Arborclad Thermo-D Redwood, Thermo-D Spruce and Thermo-D Frake, are lightweight, making for fast and therefore cost-effective installation.
These products are also exceptionally durable, provide a long life expectancy, well in excess of 30 years, and are environmentally friendly, thereby making positive contributions to sustainability.
For more information please visit www.howarth-timber.co.uk/timber/cladding