Exploring Accoya: sustainable projects from around the world19 Nov
Accoya ticks all the right boxes for us, which is why we use it in all of our garden room and orangery projects. We are not the only ones who have discovered its many benefits – see how architects from across the globe have used it in a range of innovative design projects…
We want to bust some myths when it comes to timber. Wood is a splendid, natural material that allows for flush joints, sharp edges, and traditional mouldings that make an elegant, superior orangery or garden room. Unfortunately, there can be some issues when it comes to the stability and durability of hardwoods.
Timber joints can move together, causing outer layers of paint to peel that allows water to seep into the structure and cause swelling. Choosing the wrong material can result in a troublesome extension that requires a lot of maintenance and may need replacing before long. To save themselves from costly paint jobs further down the line, most homeowners reject the timeless elegance and charm of beautifully crafted timber by opting for a uPVC extension instead.
The eco-conscious homeowner
Homeowners are becoming more aware of the environmental implications of extending their home, and it is all about being as eco-friendly as possible. It can take up to 100 years for a hardwood tree such as Oak or pine to grow, and hardwood produces high wastage during manufacturing. Only a small percentage of these materials like uPVC are ever recycled. When they are, the process produces excessive emissions into our atmosphere.
Instead of hardwoods or uPVC, engineered timber is by far the superior product on the market for garden rooms and orangeries. Made by layering timber sections against one another, engineered wood is compressed, bonded, and laminated. The direction of the grain in each section alternates with each other, making the layers stronger and more dimensionally stable than solid wood. We use Accoya® for the outward-facing part of our engineered timber, and particularly vulnerable elements of our projects such as the ridge cap of a roof lantern or the external window cill. We also use Tricoya® (a version of MDF made from Accoya®) to manufacture our door panels.
What is Accoya?
Accoya© is a revolutionary, sustainable material made from Radiata pine. This material will not move, meaning that your garden room’s joints, doors and windows have a 50-year guarantee above ground. We then use Teknos, a water-based paint explicitly formulated for external use on timber, to create a smart-looking and protective layer over the wood. This high-quality paint system is resistant to bacteria, mould, and UV attack.
Accoya® and Tricoya® have achieved the most upper durability class possible (Class 1 – EN 350). The longer lifespan enables fewer replacements over the same period compared to most other materials, while having more substantial carbon sequestration benefits. Secondly, the superior dimensional stability of Accoya® and Tricoya® means structures need fewer paint coatings, further contributing to a lower environmental impact. Finally, compared to other durable wood species, Accoya® offers superior thermal insulation, which yields energy conservation advantages in applications such as window frames.
Do not just take our word for it, however. Architects across the world are falling in love with this revolutionary material and are using Accoya in building projects around the globe, like decking, cladding and structural designs.
Our favourite Accoya projects from around the world.
Based by the waters at Sjursholmen in Søgne, Norway, this private cabin (also shown in the main image) was designed by architect Tommie Wilhelmsen. The entire exterior, including the façade, roof, outside deck and dock, is all made from uncoated Accoya. The material is ideal for withstanding the tough coastal weather conditions, and due to its stability allows for the sharp, contemporary edges.
London Cross Pavilion, New Bedford, New York
To complement the dark grey steel in the main structure, the exterior façade of this London Cross Pavilion gallery in New Bedford, New York is made entirely from Accoya. The modern, minimalist building is wrapped entirely in Accoya cladding, which has been charred to give it a deep charcoal-black shade.
Darling Exchange, Sydney
20 km of Accoya wraps the exterior of this 6-storey ‘hive’ to achieve a truly spectacular piece of architecture. The structure was designed by the Japanese architecture firm Kengo Juma & Associates, who are known across the world for their signature aesthetics. Built-in the heart of Sydney’s Darling Square District, the building contains a library, a childcare centre spanning across two levels, a market hall as well as a rooftop bar and restaurant.
Westbury Orangery, UK
With classic lines and an airy interior, this finely crafted Orangery extension has transformed the rear of this family property. Designed to create more space, this beautiful orangery has been made with Accoya, ensuring a strong and stable living area for the family to enjoy for years to come.
Cigar-lounge at the Quirk & Associates HQ in Malaysia
This opulent and refined lounge features roughly sawn Accoya wood which is charred to give it a dark, dramatic shade. The architectural firm chose this material because of it’s striking, textured appearance and its stable qualities.
Boardwalk on Australia’s Sunshine Coast
This astounding 400-meter long boardwalk is made entirely of Accoya, and features seating, viewing points and sensory LED lighting. The Noosa Shire Council placed great importance on sourcing quality materials with a low carbon footprint, so Accoya was an ideal choice. The design perfectly blends in with the surrounding natural environment, and won the Regional Green Space Award from the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
L’Arbre Blanc in Montpellier
Commissioned for the city of Montpellier’s contest for “Folies architecturales”, at 56 metres this design was intended to add interest to the Mediterranean city. Accoya is used for the building’s rooftop and decking on the 193 extended terraces.
Bird watcher Hide in Stellendam, The Netherlands
This unique hideaway helps bird lovers to get back to nature and look out over the tranquil Haringvliet estuary. Built on the side of a dyke, Accoya makes up the whole lower section of the egg to protect it from rot as the area is prone to flooding.
Image source: All images have been provided by Accoya