040 RCI 0417

RCI April 2017

CLADDING & SHEETING The green light for timber cladding Danny Phelan, national sales manager at Panel Systems, looks at the growing demand for sustainable buildings and how specifiers are using innovative cladding materials, such as The number of ‘green’ buildings in the UK is on the rise and materials that support this construction trend are being widely specified. According to the World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, the shift towards green building developments in the UK has been dramatic, with a 14% increase in the number of UK developers expecting to complete over half (60%) of their projects using green materials by 2018. The report also demonstrates how global green building has continued to double every three years and more construction projects than ever are focusing upon sustainability of material and techniques. With the industry committed to building in a more sustainable way, this has led to increasing demand for construction materials that require much less energy to process, such as timber. Extremely versatile, durable and aesthetically pleasing, timber cladding has a number of environmental benefits when used as a building material. Popular for helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint of any development, timber is creating buildings that are not only aesthetically pleasing but that can meet thermal performance requirements. Timber is also 100% recyclable, meaning that it can be shredded or pulped at the end of its life and re-used in other industries as energy efficient fuel or packing material. Modern timber clad panels are regularly used on a range of construction projects and can be prefabricated into fully finished composite panels that include insulation, although timber is an excellent insulator in its own right, which enhances the thermal properties of a building. Aside from timber’s much desired sustainable properties it offers great aesthetics, to achieve a finish that enables a building to complement its surroundings. Another advantage of timber that lends itself to a sustainable build is its lightweight nature, which reduces the need for heavy masonry walls and, with it, deeper foundations. It is these masonry-based elements that tend to have the largest embodied energy and so any savings can make a huge difference to the overall footprint of the development. TePe project (right) With naturally appealing tones and the ability to reduce the overall carbon footprint of any 040 APRIL 2017 RCIMAG.COM timber, to reduce the carbon footprint development, it is no surprise that timber clad panels were chosen for a recent new build project in Somerset. The multi-million pound development in Wells, Somerset, is the new UK headquarters for oral hygiene manufacturer, TePe. The building has two floors of offices and a warehouse attached. For this project, we fabricated 37 insulated timber panels, which had a high performance insulation core, to achieve a Uvalue of 0.34 W/m²K. The square edge Larch boards were pre-fixed to the panel face in factory controlled conditions prior to delivery to minimise installation costs on site. The Siberian Larch panels were specified to ensure the building complemented its surroundings and were the perfect choice to ensure both thermal performance and aesthetic requirements were met. Timber cladding offers the best of both worlds and as its aesthetics and sustainability continue to be widely recognised, its usage is likely to increase. www.panelsystems.co.uk “Another advantage of timber that lends itself to a sustainable build is its lightweight nature, which reduces the need for heavy masonry walls and, with it, deeper foundations”


RCI April 2017
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