Alternatives to aluminium for high-rise buildings are developing too – one in particular called Innowood, an extruded wood product that’s new to the market, has proven extremely popular in the 12 months it has been available in New Zealand.
The desire for limited maintenance is a central factor in specifying products, and partially from this, Innowood was born. Because it’s an extruded timber product, it’s suitable for high-rise and commercial applications and requires less maintenance over its lifetime.
“Innowood was developed by an Australian company. It’s an amazing product, which is made from timber waste. Other timber mills send this company all their waste and offcuts from the manufacturing process and these are used to create the product,” Heald says.
“It looks and feels like natural timber but you can use it where you can’t use natural timber. What’s really exciting about it is that as far as detailing, it’s just like weatherboard, it’s the product that’s different.”
Heald says Innowood can be specified into almost any building, but importantly, it can be used in buildings over seven metres high, which often natural timber can’t. “People are specifying Innowood anywhere they want a natural timber look but don’t want the maintenance that comes with other natural timbers, which needs staining every year or two. This can be left unstained, or if it is stained, it only needs restaining every five or so years.”
Porcelain is another developing innovation in facade and cladding materials. Currently, Symonite distributes and installs the Spanish-designed Frontek product, cladding panels of extruded ceramics with 19 different textured finishes including wood-look, metal-look and natural options.
While architecture continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, developing and evolving with each new project, so too do the products, in this case, facade and cladding materials. Able now to achieve much more than has ever been possible, the options to create diverse and bespoke solutions are endless.
If you’re interested in what can be achieved with some of the cutting edge materials new to the New Zealand market, get in touch with Symonite on ArchiPro here to discuss your next project.