Composite Exterior Cladding: a townhouse project


Sometimes a new material can provide the perfect complement to your project – in this case some clever composite exterior cladding, which provides both a stylish and cost-saving solution

When the architects were choosing a cladding material for this luxury townhouse development in the Melbourne suburb of Kew, an exotic rainforest timber was originally specified. When the cost of ongoing maintenance was discussed, however, reality hit home: the body corporate would have to foot the bill. Clearly, an alternative was required and after an extensive review process, Futurewood’s low-maintenance wood-plastic (WPC) composite exterior cladding proved the obvious choice.

“If these townhouses had been built using timber for the external cladding around the windows and for the balconies and fences, the regular maintenance would become an annual headache for the body corporate,” says David Elms, director of Futurewood. “The maintenance cost of timber in this situation would be extreme due to the complexity involved in safely preparing and recoating each area at height, not to mention the disruption to the residents while this work was carried out.”

The look of the material was also an important consideration and any concerns about using “fake wood” were soon dispelled when samples of Futurewood’s EnviroSlat were presented for review. The colour is evenly spread throughout the product and each board boasts a natural-looking, coarse-sanded finish. So not only is no oiling, painting or staining required, the cladding looks amazing.

In the photos shown here, Futurewood’s EnviroSlat was used in three different profiles: 104mm x 19mm, 125mm x 19mm shiplap and 70mm x 15mm. The colour is simply called Wood.

The Futurewood product range includes weatherproof cladding, decorative cladding, decking, fencing and slatting, all of which are made from a solid WPC material comprised of up to 90 per cent recycled or reclaimed material. This means you can rest assured that no trees were felled and no animals displaced — as is the case when harvesting rainforest trees — to make any Futurewood product.

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Photography by Patrick Redmond

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