Timber clad buildings can increasingly be seen within our towns and cities, where they create a striking aesthetic. Timber, with its naturally appealing tones, visually softens the stark appearance of large expanses of glass and concrete. Architects appreciate the aesthetics of the material, its ability to bring natural warmth and comfort to a project and enable a building to complement its surroundings.
Timber has many performance benefits, too. As a lightweight façade material, it offers protective and decorative design advantages, for example, eliminating the need for heavy masonry walls, which reduces cost and overall carbon footprint of the development. Modern timber cladding panels can be pre-fabricated in a factory to incorporate insulation which will enhance the thermal properties of a building. The performance of the timber panels can be enhanced by preservative treatments, including flame retardant coatings to add to its properties. They can also be dry installed, when inclement weather would stop ‘wet’ trades such as cement render systems and brickwork, which makes the external envelope quicker to complete. In addition, there are a wide range of softwoods, hardwoods and modified timbers available on the market to meet aesthetic requirements and budget.
As well as its aesthetic and performance benefits, timber is a popular choice for its low environmental impact. As a renewable resource, timber has a reduced carbon footprint, which requires less energy to process than other similar construction materials. As is widely understood, growing trees removes Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to lessen this ‘greenhouse gas’. There is also huge potential for re-use and recycling of materials at the end of its life.
Building designers are often tasked with ensuring a building complements and enhances its surroundings. With this in mind, we have developed our expertise in timber cladding to be able to supply insulated composite panels that have the aesthetics of timber, combined with all the performance benefits of a modern, energy efficient panel.
A great example of this was when we supplied cedar-clad panels for Taylors of Harrogate’s head office, which provided the building with striking aesthetics that complemented its local surroundings, whilst offering a high level of thermal performance. More recently, we manufactured panels clad with Siberian Larch for a major new health centre in Glasgow. On this project, the timber cladding was fixed to the aluminium faced panels in the factory prior to delivery on site. The architect required a protruding wedge shaped tray for which we used our CNC expertise to shape insulation to fit perfectly, offering a high level of thermal performance.
We predict that timber will continue its rise in popularity as an external cladding material. This can be easily incorporated onto the face of panels fixed into aluminium curtain walling and glazing systems. With our extensive 3 and 5-axis CNC equipment and our expertise in manufacturing panels, we will continue to offer an effective timber clad solution to suit different requirements.