In 2006, the Woodward Place development of 23 social housing units in Manchester was designed to combine urban style with conventional build techniques. But with the balconies and gates showing signs of failure less than 10 years later – the new architects turned to the proven performance, Class 1 durability and stability of MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME and Accoya wood during a full scale refurbishment.
During the original development, the architect specified an array of softwood and plywood materials to reduce costs. As these didn’t offer the life expectancy required for the project, DJ Hughes construction was contracted by developer Great Places to carry out a complete refurbishment which included the replacement of all balconies and gates on the estate, as well as installing new doorsets. Project architects IGL required a higher specification product that would meet the demands of the project and turned to door and window specialists PDS. With whole life costs and product longevity taken into account, IGL and PDS specified MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME engineered wood panels for the stylish balcony screens, Accoya wood for the rails, and a combination of both products for a number of entrance gates. Manufactured using Accsys Technologies’ proprietary acetylation technology that increases the amount of 'acetyl' molecules in the wood elements to change the physical properties, both MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME and Accoya wood offer exceptional resistance to the effects of moisture, are dimensionally stable and are virtually rot-proof. Painted surfaces require minimal maintenance due to the stability of the substrate. Ideal for use as a façade, cladding or exterior applications, MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME panels are also designed to withstand humidity and varying weather conditions. Peter Clifton, Product Manager for MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME said: “MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME is a high performance and very durable solution for external applications. Due to its enhanced natural resistance to water absorption, there is also less need for costly maintenance works and the surface will remain attractive and functional for a longer period of time.” Used to create a series of gates, the sustainably-sourced Accoya wood matches or exceeds the durability, stability and beauty of the very best tropical hardwoods. Offering superior moisture resistance and longevity compared to solid timber, Accoya wood is ideal for outdoor use and challenging applications. PDS Sales Director Paul Goggins said: “We worked closely with distributor International Timber and both MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME and Accoya, to present the best solution to the client. Housing associations should look at the long term performance of the products rather than the initial cost. They have a long term responsibility for the estate and although incorporating sustainable, durable products like these in the original specification will increase the initial cost of the development, in the long term it will save the client a lot of money and time when it comes to refurbishing the site.” As high performance and very durable solutions for external applications, MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME and Accoya are ideal for challenging and aggressive environments. With softwood and plywood not up to the challenge at Woodward Place, the products’ enhanced natural resistance to water absorption will ensure the balcony screens and gates remain attractive, functional and stand the test of time.