Wood remains a prominent choice in modern architecture and design, and stands out as a leading building material. Given its natural and biodegradable characteristics, debates frequently arise regarding its longevity. As a result, manufacturers of building materials are continually engaging in exploration and innovation to meet evolving demands and preferences. They strive to enhance and discover sustainable solutions, with modified wood emerging as a forefront choice in this endeavor. reSAWN TIMBER co.’s Sylva™ product line is designed with functional and sustainable attributes in mind. This article explores the unique qualities and benefits that make this material a standout choice for various architectural projects.
Lower Embodied Carbon: Domestic Species & Sustainably Sourced
Currently, Sylva consists of locally harvested, FSC®-Certified North American Red Oak. FSC certification ensures that the Sylva product line comes from forests where responsible and sustainable forest management practices are implemented. This includes considerations for biodiversity, ecosystem health, and the rights of local communities. The distance between its harvesting and manufacturing locations is less than three hours, leading to a significant reduction in carbon emissions. Harvesting wood locally reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation, contributing to an eco-friendly building process. By sourcing materials regionally, builders and architects can support local economies and reduce the environmental impact of their projects.
One of the most striking features of North American Red Oak is its gorgeous red undertone that delivers a rich and distinctive appearance. The thermal modification process enhances the coloration and boosts the wood’s natural beauty, giving it a warm and elegant aesthetic. One notable aspect of Red Oak is its variability in color, even timber sourced from the same tree can showcase varying shades. This inherent diversity in color lends itself to creating a versatile design, imbuing surfaces with visual depth, complexity, and an added touch of sophistication. The material can be used to seamlessly blend with a variety of design styles, from traditional to modern, making it a multifaceted choice for architects and designers seeking a timeless and visually appealing solution.
Thermally Modified Process
The thermal modification process involves exposing the Red Oak to high temperatures in a controlled environment, altering its chemical composition. This process enhances the wood’s durability, stability, and resistance to decay. As a result, thermally modified Red Oak cladding offers a longer lifespan and requires less maintenance when compared to unfinished wood.
Resistance to Decay
One of the primary concerns with wood cladding is its susceptibility to rot and decay. Thermally modified Red Oak addresses these concerns by becoming highly resistant to decay through the thermal modification process. The high temperatures cause chemical changes in the wood, leading to the modification of its cellular structure. Hemicellulose, one of the wood’s components, is permanently affected. The breakdown of hemicellulose reduces the wood’s ability to absorb and retain water, making it less susceptible to decay. This resistance ensures that the cladding remains durable and maintains its original quality, even in challenging outdoor environments.
Stability and Dimensional Consistency
The thermal modification process not only enhances the wood’s visual appeal but also improves its stability. The timber experiences chemical modification during the process that significantly reduces the timber’s susceptibility to absorb moisture and swell, resulting in a more dimensionally stable material. This stability is crucial in ensuring that the cladding maintains its structural integrity over time, even in varying environmental conditions.
Ease of Maintenance
Sylva requires minimal maintenance when compared to unfinished wood cladding. Its enhanced durability and resistance to decay means that it can withstand the elements without deteriorating. This not only saves time and effort for property owners but also contributes to the material’s longevity and cost-effectiveness.
Wide Range of Color Selection
The Sylva product line includes 13 products, with 5 featuring the Shou Sugi Ban technique during manufacturing. The base color of thermally modified red oak provides a versatile foundation for creating finishes in a wide range of rich tones. The colors range from browns to greys, to Shou Sugi Ban black. These products are suitable for both exterior and interior applications. The carefully chosen color palette was designed with precision to effortlessly blend the wood aesthetics both inside and outside, cultivating an environment that promotes a consistent and harmonious wood-themed aesthetic throughout the entire space.
The versatility and benefits of locally harvested thermally modified wood cladding make Sylva a compelling choice for architects, designers, builders, and even homeowners committed to sustainability and quality. From its sustainable sourcing practices, meticulously managed thermal modification process, and enhanced aesthetic appeal and durability, this material offers a harmonious blend of form and function. As the construction industry continues to prioritize eco-friendly and resilient solutions, Sylva cladding stands out as a reliable and aesthetically pleasing option for various architectural applications.
Contact us to connect with a reSAWN TIMBER co. specification consultant and explore the opportunities for incorporating Sylva™ Thermally Modified Red Oak into your next project.