Eco-credentials and sustainability ratings are key to cladding success
Over the last 20 years, the dynamics of the construction industry have been revolutionised and the importance placed on the environment has seen an unprecedented upward turn.
Stuart Burns, Director of Dura Composites, looks at how investing heavily in the environmentally-friendly sourcing and the sustainability of materials at the outset has minimised the impact of the downturn over the past few years.
It is expensive and time-consuming to manufacture cladding and decking that is eco-friendly; In fact, the NPD process which resulted in the creation of Dura Cladding, our timber composite alternative to natural wood cladding, was elongated substantially by the need to create a sustainable and ‘green’ product. However, where manufacturers of cladding which can’t boast these credentials have suffered in the recession, those that spent the time and money have flourished.
There are cynics that said that a timber composite could not be as green as natural wood but this simply isn’t true.
An independent report from Ceram UK confirmed that our products meet the highest sustainability specifications. Not only is Dura Cladding made of 87% recycled materials, we achieved a world first earlier this year when we became the first timber composite supplier to become FSC ® 100% certified, guaranteeing the use of FSC ® certified forests in our production chain when specified.
And that’s not all when it comes to the environmental credentials of timber composite – products like ours are not only made from recycled materials, they can also be recycled themselves – although in practice their long life expectancy means this should rarely be necessary.
In terms of sustainability and cost-efficiency, a good quality timber composite cladding rates highly. Where hardwood cladding needs replacing after 15 years and softwood cladding every 10 years, a good quality timber composite should last over 25 years, even without painting or staining and just basic periodic cleaning.
The eco-credentials of Dura Cladding were a selling point for Darin Shaikly, Managing Director of Lanswood Ltd, when specifying products for his Lanswoodpark development in Essex: “The use of high-end, eco-friendly and sustainable building materials has been at the heart of this project right from the very beginning. That’s why we were so pleased to hear about Dura Composites and team up with a supplier with such world-leading sustainability credentials.
“We were originally planning to use wood cladding boards, but once we became aware of the benefits of Dura Cladding it was the obvious choice. Dura Cladding is an exceptional product that will serve Lanswoodpark well for many years to come.”
It’s easy to identify quality timber composite products on the market because the best manufacturers offer warranties of up to 25 years. If in doubt, ask for a list of results from their rigorous testing procedures.
It is likely that the popularity of eco-friendly cladding will grow even more over the next few years, with the roll-out of the governments’ ‘Green Deal’. A cladding range which has such a high recycled content and uses wood which is procured through sustainable forestry is the perfect finishing touch to an eco-friendly, low emission house or office.
As the UK benefits from the costs savings associated with insulating walls, timber composite cladding provides a cost-effective and easy-to-install solution for transforming the outside of any building.