Type to search

Doors & Windows Products

Westgate Joinery and ‘The House that Kevin Built 2013’


Sussex based Westgate Joinery has made a commitment to supply high tech energy efficient timber windows and doors for the U.K.’s first sustainable and social innovation building to be built largely out of waste to be constructed in the coastal town of Brighton. Designed by Brighton-based architect Duncan Baker-Brown, it will be built on the University of Brighton’s campus in the city centre largely from waste and surplus materials sourced locally. Baker-Brown, co-founder of BBM Sustainable Design and a senior lecturer at Brighton’s arts faculty, says, “There is a huge pile of construction waste that’s building up in this country and to ignore is quite frankly sinful. Through this project we are going to show that there is no such thing as waste.”

The building is known as ‘The House That Kevin Built’ (THTKB) and named after Europe’s first prefabricated house made out of waste and organic material, which was also designed by Baker-Brown and built in 2008 in London. The team behind this current social innovation building have decided on this project for a number of reasons; the main one is that it is incredibly important to reuse and recycle because of the environment. Finding ways to build and live sustainably is a social imperative in our contemporary lives. The university aims to exceed EU targets for a 30 percent reduction in CO2emissions and become an exemplar for the city and the region in sustainable design and practice.  In the UK, 45 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions come from architectural structures. In addition, the construction of a traditional house produces considerable waste.

Following discussions between Brighton University, Duncan Baker-Brown and Westgate Joinery it has been agreed to use a combination the revolutionary timber ‘species’ Accoya® together with Medite Tricoya® for the windows in ‘THTKB’ and for some elements of the building’s cladding.

The walls of this current building will be made of waste timber products. Ply “cassettes” containing waste material will be slotted in between the timber structure. These cassettes will be removable so that new building social innovation technologies can be easily added and updated. The design team will set up a production line centrally in the town so that local people from students, apprentices to local builders and school children can all get involved with the making of the structure.

The building will feature the latest eco social innovation technologies such as fully integrated solar panels, whole-house ventilation and a heat recovery system. It will be used throughout its lifespan as a pilot for prototype construction systems, components and technologies. Once completed, it will contain an exhibition and workshop space for use by local community groups. The upstairs will be the university’s headquarters for sustainable design.

In addition to using high tech windows manufactured by Westgate Joinery and solar panels the project will use locally sourced waste material from building sites, recycling centres and including Freegle (British organisation with free-of-charge membership that aims to increase reuse and reduce landfill via web forums where people can give away, and ask for, things that would otherwise be thrown away), making it a hugely ambitious initiative, which will really test the idea that ” there is no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place!” Work hopes to be completed by May 2013.

Westgate Joinery, part of timber manufacturing group Specialist Joinery (South) Ltd have championed the use of Accoya® and Medite Tricoya as an innovative alternative to using UPVC, Aluminium, Hardwood or preservative treated softwood for the fabrication windows, doors and other Fenestration products. The company has been working closely with Accsys Technologies and Medite to introduce the material to the UK marketplace and have now completed a large number of successful and high profile contracts throughout the South of England since 2007 using Accoya® and Medite Trcioya.

Westgate Joinery’s Managing Director, David Pattenden explains that Accoya® and Medite Tricoya uses uniform, plantation grown FSC certified timber which undergoes a proprietary chemical modification process known as acetylation using non-toxic acetic anhydride to change the cell structure throughout the timber. Invisible to the naked eye, the change creates the most stable and durable timber available for joinery and window production.  It comes with a minimum service life of 60 years according to the Building Research Establishment (BRE), which combined with extended maintenance cycles gives significantly lower whole life cost. It also offers class one durability together with exceptional coatings performance and stability through changes in moisture content throughout the climatic seasons.

The launch of Accoya® in 2007 and Medite Tricoya in 2011 was the culmination of many years of extensive engineering, product testing, field testing and market review by leading scientists whose aim was to create a more robust and sustainable material than other timber species in use. The material is produced from Accsys Technologies’ plant in  Arnhem, Netherlands. The plant is the first of its type and represents a multi-million pound investment in capital, research & development.

Mr Pattenden considers Accoya®  and Medite Tricoya will have a great potential impact in the future of the UK joinery industry and will revolutionise commercial production because of its properties. The result of more than 80 years’ development work, it is the Gold standard in wood modification and is increasingly attracting major interest from architects, specifiers and other manufacturers.

The fact that Accoya® and Medite Tricoya demonstrates only negligible changes in sectional dimensions when exposed to variations in moisture content is a major advantage. There is no need to design around movement in the way that solid timber demands.

Furthermore, said Mr Pattenden the use of Accoya® and Medite Tricoya enables us to offer joinery with durability at least equal to that of products manufactured from species such as European oak whilst offering stability and other performance credentials which outperform all other species.

That Medite is the leading brand of MDF can be attributed to two vital factors. Consistent high quality and a large range of variants. Medite’s ever-growing number of specialty panels is unique and the ground-breaking Medite Tricoya® with exceptional durability and dimensional stability in wet environments is no exception.

Medite Tricoya is the first major innovation in the wood composites industry in more than 30 years. This panel has an expected service life of 60 years when used in exterior applications. Medite Tricoya proves a point. Medite is geared to pioneering new products, new ideas and industry standards.

Medite Tricoya® is an extremely durable MDF made using acetylated wood fibres offering all the benefits of Accoya® with infinite new design possibilities and solutions gained from an extremely durable but highly sustainable sheet material.

Westgate Joinery have now used both Accoya® and Medite Tricoya® in numerous diverse and successful projects across the UK.

For more information contact


or visit https://www.westgatejoinery.co.uk/Accoya.htm