Stokehouse Brisbane by ArkhefieldStokehouse Brisbane by Arkhefield

I have this project which has a lot of external timber, but the client is worried about maintenance. This is a phrase we are all too familiar with. One of the main concerns we encounter relates to the misconception that external timber finishes require a lot of ongoing maintenance. The process of weathering is inevitable in wood that is exposed to the elements. When making design choices that relate to timber finishes, one of the primary considerations should address the weathering issue: will the timber be allowed to grey or will the colour need to be maintained, preferably with minimal upkeep? With both aesthetic choices, there are ways to design for low maintenance timber finishes. NEED TIMBER ADVICE? Email  Weathered timber When designing for the silvered off finish, timber should be openly and evenly exposed to the sun. With weathered finishes the conditioning and rejuvenation of the timber need only take place every four years, a process which typically involves the application of a cleaning chemical which is washed off under high pressure, followed by the application of a clear coat of oil. Dandenong Mental HealthDandenong Mental Health by Bates Smart and Group GSA - The Blackbutt in this image was coated in a clear oil and then left to grey. This photo was taken approximately 2 years after installation. Mainridge by McAllister Allcock – Like Dandenong, this project they used a Spotted Gum with a clear oil and left it to grey. Exact time between completion and the photo is not known but would be at least 3 years.

Free Download: Expression Cladding Brochure

Click the following link to download free Expression Cladding Brochure with examples of Expression Cladding in action, full range of timbers available, and detailed information to help with your next design project. DOWNLOAD EXPRESSION CLADDING BROCHURE

Seaford Life Saving Club by Robert SimeoniSeaford Life Saving Club by Robert Simeoni – Seaford LSC was completed in 2008 and this photo taken by John Gollings a couple years after. Once again they just coated everything in clear oil and left it to grey. They did rejuvenate all the timber (except the decking) in about September 2013. RACV Torquay by Wood MarshRACV Torquay by Wood Marsh Wood Marsh selected Ironbark with the clear oil. This image was taken about 18 months after installation. For free consultations email The newly-finished look Although the silvered look is becoming more popular, most designers and clients are still after the newly-finished aesthetic. There are two ways to achieve the look of newly-installed timber with minimum maintenance: 1) Timber as an eave or soffit lining Timber used as an eave or soffit lining creates the required level of warmth and texture whilst minimising the effects of weathering. By mixing angles and materials it can create a unique visual interest that requires little in the way of upkeep.

Calgary's Central Library and Plaza by SnohettaCalgary's Central Library and Plaza by Snohetta

Ernest Cropley Sports Pavilion by Cox ArchitectureErnest Cropley Sports Pavilion by Cox Architecture

Kilden by ALAKilden by ALA

Madrid Barajas Airport by Rogers Stirk HarborMadrid Barajas Airport by Rogers Stirk Harbor

National Assembly for Wales by Rogers Stirk HarborNational Assembly for Wales by Rogers Stirk Harbor

2) Timber as an interior lining with glass facades An ingenious way to evoke the warmth of a timber as an external finish is to use it as an interior lining in a building that has a glass façade. The timber can still be viewed from the outside but is protected from weathering. Used in these ways, exposure to the elements is minimised while visual appeal is maximised; maintenance on this kind of application would only need to be performed every ten tears (if at all), a fantastic example of low maintenance design with high impact.

Student Pavilion by De Swarte HondStudent Pavilion by De Swarte Hond

Oslo Opera House by SnohettaOslo Opera House by Snohetta

This information is offered as a general guide, and some of the suggestions may not suit your project. For more details, contact one of our technical consultants for specific advice.