Buildings and the built environment are a major contributor to global energy use and emissions, and the materials used in construction are a big part of this.
Accoya® wood combines the sustainability benefits of carbon sequestration and storage with durability, stability and performance. Accoya® modified wood transforms fast-growing FSC® certified wood into a building material with characteristics that match or better those of man-made, intensely resource depleting and heavily carbon-polluting alternatives. Accoya® is a modified wood that under goes a proprietary acetylation process that enhances the properties of the wood, making it more dimensionally stable and extremely durable without compromising its inherent benefits.
Accoya® wood supports customers and end-consumers in reducing embodied carbon, maximising carbon storage, and also reducing operational carbon costs for the end consumer with exemplary energy efficiency credentials for windows and doors. High durability and resistance to decay also means less frequent repair and replacement timings, reducing lifetime costs and environmental impacts. And, thanks to Accoya’s superior thermal insulation and minimal shrinking or swelling, heat lost through timber windows and external doors is reduced, which helps to keep homes warm and energy bills down.
Additional major product categories for Accoya use include decking and cladding, and it can be used in water – even for long term use. For example, it has been used in canal linings in the Netherlands and Accoya has also recently been used by the UK Environment Agency to replace one of their hardwood fenders in the Thames, showing how these important ecological support structures can be more sustainable without compromising quality or effectiveness. Accoya offer an unrivalled 50-year warranty for wood durability and a 25-year warranty in ground or freshwater.
What Accoya believe sets them apart is how it enhances the performance and durability characteristics of wood, multiplying the ‘green’ impacts of timber as a building material through longer product life, increased suitability for multiple applications, and circular economy credentials. Data, testing and certifications are available to confirm Accoya’s quality and sustainability credentials, including FSC®, LEED, BREEAM, Declare, Green Star, Green Label, Dubokeur, KOMO and more.
Accoya’s Cradle to Cradle (‘C2C’) Certified® Gold level is perhaps its most prestigious and differentiating accreditation. C2C assessment criteria include the circular properties, material health (toxicity), renewable energy use, water and waste impacts, and social factors of our product and its production. With the highest possible Platinum rating for Material Health, Accoya demonstrates its friendliness to people, pets and the planet: non-toxic with no risk of harmful chemicals leaching out, no contribution to microplastic waste, and it can be recycled or used as biofuel like any other wood at end of life. Responsible sourcing is also assured, with 100% of Accoya sourced from certified sustainable (FSC®) wood sources.
Since Accoya is a material that is used to make products for multiple applications, initial cost and ROI vary greatly. However, for a relatively small initial premium, the benefits offered in return are extended service life and reduced maintenance of coatings. For example, compared to hardwood, an Accoya sliding sash window would cost approximately 10% more, but last at least twice as long and require repainting 2-3 times less frequently. And compared to western red cedar cladding, Accoya cladding would cost approximately the same yet last twice as long.
Sustainability for Thames Estuary ecosystems with project partners, TEAM2100 and 540 WORLD
Accoya® wood was used by the Environment Agency to replace hardwood for assets that support biodiversity. Fenders in the Thames Estuary provide a unique micro-environment in the tidal waters, promoting healthy and diverse ecological development. Accoya® wood provided by Accsys is being used by the Environment Agency’s TEAM2100 to replace one of the deteriorating hardwood fenders, as proof of concept that these important ecological support structures can be more sustainable. The lack of toxic or plastic-based additives to Accoya® is vital to its use in these environments, eliminating the risk of potential leaching into the water and environmental or ecological harm.
Carbon-neutral house, by architect, Matthew Barnett Howland
A home in Berkshire, United Kingdom, was built to be completely carbon neutral, made of materials that can all be completely reused or recycled. Constructed with a material made from cork processing by-products and with Accoya® window and door frames, cladding, ground floor beams, eaves roof beams and lintels. Winner of several RIBA awards and the 2019 Stephen Lawrence Prize, which recognises experimental architecture, the house features not only innovative architecture, engineering and use of materials, but is also both a beautiful home and proof of concept for sustainable building and living.