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Accoya: Using sustainable wood22 Jun
We love building garden rooms because we love nature an the sense of wellbeing that inviting the great outdoors into your home can bring. So we’d be hypocrites if we didn’t consider the effect that the timber product manufacturing industry can have on the natural environment.
Westbury’s commitment to using sustainable wood
We are a conscious company and have introduced various efficiencies over our many years in business to reduce our carbon footprint. For example, during the winter our offices and workshop are heated by incinerating timber off-cuts collected all year round in order to eliminate wastage. One of the greatest ways we can improve our sustainability is through the materials we source.
Timber industry technologies have advanced to a point where there is very little need to use hardwoods sourced from the rainforests of South America or Africa, yet the associations between hardwood and durability, and softwood and poor quality still exist.
Here at Westbury, we’ve committed to being completely tropical hardwood-free by the end of 2016 whilst still building premium products from materials that perform as well as (if not better than) hardwood.
Our main timber of choice is Accoya® – a revolutionary sustainable wood created from only fast-growing, abundantly available, FSC®or PEFC™ certified tree species such as Radiata pine.
Before it reaches us, the pine goes through a (non-toxic, environmentally friendly) chemical process which makes it a super strength version of its original form – more durable and more stable. The acetylation process even improves its paint retention and in-ground conditions. Rated as a Class 1 timber, Accoya® is just about as durable as wood can be.
It‘s guaranteed to last 50 years above ground and 25 years in soil, is indigestible to insects and virtually rot-proof.
Swelling and shrinkage is massively reduced (even below ground or under water) which means it’s easier for us to machine and process, and for you to maintain.
Accoya® needs to be fully understood by those working with it and Westbury are ahead of the game on this. In fact we’d consider ourselves experts. Knowing how we can strengthen it even further or what materials can be detrimental to its longevity means that we are able provide sustainable buildings and joinery that will last a lifetime. And should you get bored of them before then, Accoya® is completely recyclable with no adverse effects on the environment.
All this from a “soft” sustainable wood!
Benefits to the customer
In terms of how this will affect you, the customer: despite being a softwood, the credentials of Accoya® mean that your doors and windows will continue to open effortlessly for many years, with no swelling or catching, even if you live by the coast or at a higher altitude (where they’re more vulnerable to the elements).
Last but not least there is less maintenance needed on paint coatings, and less need for preparation and sanding when you do have to re-paint (which is about once every ten years).
Paired with its better thermal insulation, thus the need for less energy to heat your home, Accoya® is better for your weekend plans, your bank balance and the environment. It’s a win win all round.