The Larch House, The Works, Ebbw Vale
Siberian Larch Vertical Cladding
is often used in Contemporary architecture and to break up expanses of glass and white render. But the array of options in material, profile and colour means it can suit the aesthetics of many a scheme . Specification should be given a thought as timber absorbs moisture so detailing is important.
The cheapest end of the timbers are softwood such as Pine and European White wood which needs to be treated with a preservative. The low capital cost is offset by the high maintenance involved in re applying a protective coating every couple of years. At a higher price are the moderate softwoods and hardwoods (excluding sapwood) without the need for any chemical treatment and left to weather to a silvery grey with little or no maintenance required.
As a general rule the use of sawn-textured timber is recommended for cladding both aesthetically and because it will take and hold the penetrating stains better than finished timber
What makes timber cladding so popular in recent years. It is without a doubt the ideal sustainable construction material.
As trees grow they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it to build their woody tissue. When these tress are felled and processed into timber, the carbon is stored until the wood product eventually decays or is burnt. Providing that new trees are planted as replacements for those felled, the use of timber does not increase the amount of atmospheric carbon.
Help in Meeting the Code for Sustainable Homes.
The use in timber in construction can help in achieving many of the performance requirements within the code, including credits within Mat 1, 2 and 3. Typically the use of timber in a low energy building can provide 10% of the total weighted score.
Low Carbon in Use
Timber Frame buildings can provide a great solution for the construction of an energy efficient fabric. Via timber frame you can deliver buildings with large qualities of insulation, improved air tightness and minimised thermal bridging.
Conformity with the Green Guide
The Green Guide has become the most recognised procurement guide for materials and systems. Nearly all timber products are rated as A or A+ within the guide.
Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar
is among the popular softwoods used today which has a natural resistance to decay and moisture absorption. It can typically be installed without treatment if you wish to apply a finish, its low resin content can be stained or painted. One downside is that due to its low density it can be dented if knocked.
is another good softwood also grown locally but may require a coating to improve stability.
Home grown larch is denser than western red cedar makingit more resilient to knocks. Its availability in varying grades. Larch often requires pre-drilling for fixings so check with the supplier.
Oak and Sweet Chestnut
The temperate hardwoods, Oak and Sweet Chestnut are particularly hardy. Green Oak will weather with age to a silver-grey and no maintenance is usually required for 25-100 years. If however you want to keep the initial golden colour it will need regular treatment.
Both Oak and Sweet Chestnut contain high levels of Tannin which can leach out during exposure leading to dark streaks. The marks will however disappear after a couple of years weathering. Hardwood boards also need to be pre drilled before being installed.
Thermally Modified Timbers
In addition to the usual timber are an emerging group of Thermally Modified Timbers such as
The process typically involves heating lesser durable softwoods such as Pine at high temperatures in order to remove moisture and resin and permanently enhance them. The timber may also be injected with chemicals. The result is a very durable and stable product.
Kenony Scots Pine
Both the direction in which cladding is installed and the Profile specified will have a big impact on the overall aesthetic.
Horizontal cladding will accentuate the width and Vertical cladding will accentuate the height. Some profiles can only be installed horizontally
Board and Batten Vertical Cladding
Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine
Silva Timber.. www.silvatimber.co.uk
Vincent Timber www.vincenttimber.co.uk