Local authorities, architects and developers are specifying timber cladding more widely than ever before.

Across commercial and domestic settings, timber cladding is revitalising the look of buildings large and small, but the natural beauty of timber as a cladding material is not its only benefit.

To shed some light on why timber is rapidly earning a reputation for being the most attractive, durable and ecological cladding solution, here is a detailed look at some of its qualities.

The natural look

Timber cladding creates a beautiful, natural effect that is becoming more and more popular on commercial buildings, apartment blocks, and on domestic properties. Entire houses are being clad in timber to create chalet and lodge-style effects, and half or part-clad properties are using timber to provide a visual contrast to large areas of brick, block, render and composite cladding.

The potential to match the aesthetic effect of timber cladding with decking is helping to boost the popularity of timber as a cladding solution on domestic properties, and on commercial properties where outdoor leisure space is required. Thermally treated timber is particularly effective as a cladding and decking solution, and matching the material and colour of timber can give a property a greater sense of cohesion.

In rural areas, timber is proving to be a useful solution when selecting cladding that will match the existing features of both the natural and built environment, and minimise the visual disruption caused by new buildings. For example, at the RIBA Award-winning Rossall Point Observation Tower in Fleetwood, Howarth Timber supplied ArborClad Thermo-D Frake, which was specified by Studio Three architects to complement the materials that were already in place.

Environmental benefits

Timber’s environmental credentials are at the heart of its rapid growth as a cladding solution in recent years. Thermally treated timber replaces the use of chemicals with heat to modify the cell structure and make the timber more resistant to rot. The absence of chemicals during the production process gives thermally treated timber cladding products a real environmental premium over their competitors, which are often treated with harsh chemicals.

Timber cladding is 100 per cent recyclable, and can be invaluable to building projects that include firm targets relating to carbon neutrality. Projects that require temporary cladding can also turn to timber for a solution that can be demounted and reused.

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