There is a growing interest amongst architects, developers, councils and self-builders in the use of timber for cladding; not only for domestic construction but also for much larger and more prestigious buildings. A prime reason for this interest is a recognition of the green? qualities of timber as a building material.
Converting a log to boards generally uses little energy and produces less toxic pollution to the environment than the production of other materials. The cladding wood can be used green ie undried, which reduces both the energy required and cost of drying, but careful detailing is necessary in order to ensure that sufficient allowance is made for drying shrinkage after the boards are erected on the building.
Timber cladding is a dry process which not only reduces construction time and we can also offer cladding which is made up into prefabricated panels, further reducing construction time on site. The renewed interest in using wood to clad timber buildings has also extended to the use of wood to clad blockwork, concrete or steel framed buildings. Although usually chosen for visual reasons and used as a rain screen? to the wall behind, there is an additional advantage in that it allows extra insulation to be located outside a masonry wall behind the boarding. This insulation may provide the full thermal performance of the building or contribute to improving the insulation of existing buildings.
Some imported timber frame buildings were erected in the British Isles in the 1930s and these were generally clad with unfinished cedar boards or shingles. These have generally lasted well with little physical deterioration, but in some cases the buildings have been subsequently coated with unsuitable paints. These finishes either trapped moisture in the wood, causing decay, or were not maintained adequately which resulted in a poor overall appearance. Correctly designed rainscreen cladding with modern stains or paint will avoid such problems. Benfield ATT are experienced specifiers of imported Canadian cladding, which is colour-matched to your exact preference. This comes pre-treated, with pre-coloured nails and edging and comes complete with a renewable 15-year guarantee.
External timber cladding provides an attractive, economic and environmentally friendly way for designers and specifiers to complete buildings. As the type and form of construction in the UK changes to embrace the concepts of sustainable Timber Frame development, improved energy efficiency and increased fabrication, timber cladding's popularity is set to rise even further.