Plywood: A Sustainable Material with a Natural Look - Misc. NZ
Plywood: A Sustainable Material with a Natural Look

Plywood: A Sustainable Material with a Natural Look

Using Plywood Provides an Environmentally Sustainable Solution for Construction and Interior Design.

Words by Plymasters

Plywood has been a staple material in the design industry for decades. It is used for decorative or aesthetic purposes. However, its trendiness and application have varied throughout the years. It’s continued use and growing importance to sustainable design is a testament to how versatile and beautiful the material is.

The popular of plywood skyrocketed when the interior design industry fully realised its properties:

  • Strength: Plywood combines the structural strength of wood and the properties of its laminated design. As a result, plywood sheets provide uniform strength for increased stability and resistance to splitting.
  • Flexibility: The thickness of plywood can vary from a couple of millimetres to quite a few inches. Manufacturers can also layer plywood veneers based on the specifications of the client for increased strength.
  • Impact Resistance: Plywood undergoes a cross lamination process which gives the material high tensile strength. As a result, the material can withstand high impact, making it suitable for formwork and flooring.
  • Thermal and Sound Insulation: Plywood features thermal and sound insulation properties that reduce heating and cooling costs. For this reason, the material is suitable for ceilings, flooring and wall cladding.

These properties are not the only reasons behind the popularity of the engineered wood product. Today, plywood meets the initiative of architects, designers and homeowners who want to use environmentally sustainable construction materials. As such, more people are using plywood for interior design.

Sustainability Practices in New Zealand

The NZ government passed the Resource Management Act of 1991 to encourage the sustainable management of the country’s resources. It prioritised the management of natural resources sustainably so future generations can continue to benefit from them. The Act also focuses on the protection of ecosystems, including coastal areas, ancestral lands and forests.

The latest amendments to the Forests Act 1949, made in May 2017, indicate the need for forest management plans for logging to protect sustainable timber production practises. These plans promote sustainability with legislation reducing cuts on particular wood species, advocating low impact techniques for single tree and small group harvests, and implementing an accurate recording system for logging.

Other supplementary practises have followed suit; for example, the New Zealand Timber and Wood Products Procurement Policy (TWPP) strongly encourages government agencies to find sustainable sources when looking for timber and wood products.

Plywood Application in Interior Design

People might refer to plywood as the Swiss knife of interior design projects primarily because the material has varying degrees of strength and is suitable to a very wide variety of design applications.

Structural plywood is most suitable for full weather exposure. This is similar to exterior plywood which proves itself durable against harsh weather elements. There is also marine plywood which is used for areas that need major waterproofing. And many people who are looking for a sustainable material for interior cladding and indoor furniture turn to interior plywood that features both durability and aesthetics.

The use of plywood products is part of this year’s interior design trends, especially in floor areas and kitchen fittings. Ply and other wood material create a natural, organic look. Its natural patterns create a raw aesthetic look that makes homes look more welcoming, especially compared to steel and aluminium that create a more industrial look. It is ideal for cabinet doors, kitchen surfaces and other second fix applications.

Another creative use of ply is using it for a shelving cabinet that can serve as a room divider. In auditoriums and chapels, the ply is suitable for the construction of acoustic panels, deadening echo and outside sound, and providing the facility with a functional and stylish finish.

Sustainability of Plywood and Other Wood Products

Apart from its aesthetic appeal, using plywood for interior design provides a more sustainable option for builders and homeowners. Its sustainability goes beyond the reusability and recyclability of ply products. Using wood as material benefits the environment. Wood sourced from sustainable yield forests helps maintain the cycle of carbon release and storage, and wood takes less energy to manufacture compared to metals and plastics.

With the stricter regulations set by the government on plantation forestry, the sourcing of wood products like ply contributes to sustainability. Ply made from sustainable forest timber is increasingly popular and meets the demands of the construction industry and interior design contracts.

Trusted Plywood Suppliers

At Plymasters, we offer an expansive catalogue of plywood for residential and commercial applications, providing quality ply solutions for builders and architects in New Zealand. With over a decade of experience, we are a highly professional and trusted supplier of plywood suitable for construction and interior design needs. Our range of ply comes in different levels of strength and flexibility, making it adaptable to any situation that needs a ply fitting or finishing. With Plymasters, we can help you build better and smarter.

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