Groundbreaking MDF, MEDITE TRICOYA from Coillte Panel Products, has recently been selected for the refurbishment of a south-facing beach hut in Thorpe Bay, Southend-on-Sea.
The hut, which looks out onto the river Thames estuary, utilised MEDITE TRICOYA to replace the original exterior soffit and to provide a stronger flooring element. Weather resistant MEDITE TRICOYA was specified due to its durability, longevity and weather resistant characteristics over other timber materials.
A well-loved traditional feature of Southend, beach huts have lined the seafront since the 1950s. With 500 huts in the borough, it is important that maintenance and upkeep is achieved by the lease holder, in keeping with council guidelines. With high moisture levels throughout the year, the original beach hut, which had incorporated particle board and strawboard panels for the roof and flooring, alongside solid Scandinavian redwood for the claddings, steps and balcony, required a complete refurbishment having battled beachfront conditions for a number of years.
MEDITE TRICOYA, an extreme durable MDF panel, offered the ideal solution for the beachfront conditions compared to traditional MDF and even other durable wood products – primarily for its excellent performance in wet conditions. The product benefits from the latest advancements in acetylation technology, which naturally alters the wood’s chemical structure so that water absorption does not affect it. The sustainable FSC certified MDF panel, which is assessed by the BBA for its suitability in outdoor applications and significantly wet environments, was secured with A4 stainless steel screws to prevent corrosion from the elements, as specified within the MEDITE TRICOYA technical guidelines. In addition, a water-based coating was applied to the MEDITE TRICOYA soffit panels, which will provide the beach hut with six years of protection before repainting becomes necessary.
With access to the site being tidal dependant, work had to be geared to low tide. The large panels were carried by hand from the road, having ensured that there was enough time before the tide came in. Furthermore, with no access to electrical power, the work was completed using hand tools, so ease of use and speed of working was of prime importance, With its highly beneficial weather resistant characteristics, MEDITE TRICOYA provided the ideal solution for the project as there was no need to spend time preparing the product for protection against the elements.
In addition, 18mm SMARTPLY OSB3 panels, also from Coillte Panel Products, were installed, replacing the flat roof elements of the hut. With its ease of application, SMARTPLY OSB3, which is manufactured in accordance with EN 300, was selected for its strength and versatility. The highly engineered, moisture resistant load-bearing panel is designed for use in structural and non-structural applications in both internal and external protected environments.
Peter Clifton, MEDITE TRICOYA Product Manager from Coillte Panel Products, commented “The qualities of both MEDITE TRICOYA and SMARTPLY OSB3 worked alongside each other to provide the ideal solution for the beach hut. Incorporating sustainable timber products into the refurbishment project offered an innovative timber-based solution for the structural application.”