North Woods Construction Ltd
Other Materials

materials strategy

In general terms North Woods attempts to use the more “natural” products with the least toxins and those most readily recyclable or with significant recycled content themselves. Plain galvanized steel and aluminium, although with relatively high embodied energies, fulfill this latter requirement for instance. We minimize use of PVC wherever possible due to its polluting nature both in manufacture and disposal. We also try to make our structures easily maintainable with separation of components and high quality fixings.

We use untreated timber wherever possible and favour stains and paints for external cladding to increase durability. Internally we use mostly Osmo polyx oil, a natural plant based oil on all timber surfaces. For internal decoration we sometimes use Keim silicate paint or Natural Building Technology emulsion.

sheeps wool insulation

For insulation we favour British sheep’s wool wherever possible but use air blown expanded polystyrene underground. We also use wood fibre boards from certified forest and timber manufacturing wastes.

We use concrete in foundations as at least the rock comes out of a very local quarry so transport emissions are quite small. In many buildings we have minimized its use by designing small cylindrical pad foundations and we would innovate more with timber foundations if the support from research and Building Control was there.

locally manufactured windows and doors

We purchase timber framed windows and doors from local manufacturer Treecraft when possible and site glaze directly onto our timber post and beam facades using an aluminium profile system from Germany. Treecraft also manufacture aluminium faced timber windows that integrate with this system.

Swedish steel roofs and raingear

Roofs are nearly always of profiled sheet steel for their clear lines, range of colours and exceptional resource efficiency - the material is just 0.7mm thick and the whole roof of a house will typically be transported on a trailer. Added to this they are durable, fast to install, relatively inexpensive and easily recyclable. Raingear is always plain galvanized steel from Lindab.