Floors stabilised by SMARTPLY SURE STEP
- Wicklow, Ireland
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L&R Unique Joinery has just launched their latest high-quality, sustainable innovation: all-wood geodesic domes made of the ground-breaking MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME (MTX), weather resistant exterior MDF.
MTX is a pioneering construction material that takes exterior MDF to the next level. Resistant to fungal decay, MTX is guaranteed for up to 50 years outdoors above ground and up to 25 years in ground, meaning it can be used in applications once limited to products such as concrete, plastics or metals.
As a result, L&R has been able to create Unique Domes: beautiful working and social spaces, combining the complexities of mathematical design, quality craftmanship and the dream of making something truly unique. They are fully functioning dome living spaces and a unique answer to comfortable remote working.
Sustainability is as the forefront of everything created by L&R. Paul Rutter, creative director at L&R, and the mastermind behind the Unique Domes concept, explained: “The key idea behind using MTX is that it is a solution to weather resistance that is also a sustainable wood product that upholds our company ethos.
“We want to re-educate architects and design professionals on the products that are available now to create these amazing spaces with. The solution is now not always plastic, concrete or brick- it can be wood and wood alone.
“When managed properly, wood is the only material that is entirely sustainable, and further to this, L&R has, as a company, never used landfill.”
For every project embarked on by L&R, offcuts and wood waste all the way down to sawdust are turned into briquettes – bricks of composite wood product – that are used as fuel for fires, woodburning stoves, and more.
“Trees are one of the world’s most valuable assets. To create what we do, we are using nature’s beauty, so it’s especially important to respect that and only use sustainably produced timber,” said Paul.
We chose to use MTX to fabricate our domes’ triangular panels as it offered a fantastic, extremely durable solution that would allow us to guarantee our domes for a significant period, while still maintaining our stance on sustainability.”
MTX, just like every other product created by MEDITE SMARTPLY, is made from FSC® Certified timber. As a light weight and sustainable raw material, it has been manufactured to provide architects, specifiers and designers with an entirely new sustainable construction material, allowing great design flexibility and endless opportunities for creativity.
Each dome is designed and built bespoke to the client’s specifications, always using completely sustainable timber throughout. Their Accoya wood structural frame is overlaid with 94 triangular MTX panels in up to five different sizes, depending on the size and shape required, fully insulated and finally fitted out to meet whatever the need of whim of the client.
Importantly, MTX is made with no added formaldehyde, ensuring its suitability for environmentally sensitive areas. “It was very important to us that MTX is made with no added formaldehyde, for the health and wellbeing benefit to our customers,” Paul expanded.
“Unique Domes are not only tailored spaces to breathe, but unhampered getaways to allow creative thinking, productivity and wellbeing,” enthused Paul.
With each dome priced in the region of £55,000, they can be supplied and installed complete with electrical distribution board and earth, ventilation AC unit, side vents for incoming air in stainless steel, and even underfloor heating, connections for cold and hot water, a refrigerator, LED mood lighting and TV screens. Customers will also benefit from quality acoustics—crucial and decisive in what the dome will be used for.
Paul revealed: “We have had orders for domes destined to be personal recording studios, ‘wellness’ and yoga studios, offices, and many others. Where windows are included, we are able to incorporate ‘smart’ glass, that is able to change from clear to frosted at the touch of a button for ultimate privacy. We also have a contract with a special needs school to create safe, sensory spaces for their pupils.
Each dome is of course unique to the client, but the constant across all of them is that they are friendly places, safe, nurturing spaces with soft acoustics,” Paul explains.