Demand from builders has grown worldwide for a natural wood cladding system that will continue to look good and perform for years and years even under the harshest climatic test conditions. Suppliers have responded with a wide range of systems but the Canadians have gone the extra mile with a product that is taking the building industry by storm. The system is marketed as Cape Cod and is now available in the UK exclusively from Birmingham-based Vincent Timber who says it’s a phenomenon that has taken natural timber cladding into the 21st century.

The Cape Cod factory-finished wood cladding system is incredibly durable and requires very little maintenance. It is achieving a firm foothold across the UK with housing associations, local authorities and housebuilders looking for an authentic ‘New England’ look, combined with a high performance product at a cost-effective price.

Cape Cod is already well established across Canada and the US from where it originated over a decade ago and where the ‘New England’ style of architecture remains strong. The system was therefore put through a rigorous schedule of climatic performance testing prior to its launch in the UK where it now carries a 15-year performance warranty which gives users added assurance that it is designed to last. A simple maintenance programme enables the warranty to be extended even further.

Cape Cod is offered in a huge range of colours, making it exceptionally easy to combine creativity with the specification of a natural product, with a proven track record – designed to give long-term good looks and performance.

Engineered product

Manufactured from natural, sustainable western Canadian lodgepole pine – chosen for its technical properties because it is the least resinous and most stable of the pines with small live knots – Cape Cod is finished to exacting standards that will not lose its looks and will retain its high levels of performance for at least 15 years.

Strict manufacturing conditions give a finely engineered product, which is painted under highly controlled factory conditions with Olympic’s breathable water-based paint. It is specially designed to incorporate UV inhibitors to slow down the fading and ageing process – to ensure the building receives the ultimate in timber protection.

The use of timber as a protective and aesthetic building envelope can be traced back to medieval times and the methodology and the material itself has largely remained unchanged – except for the general protection and therefore life expectancy of the wood used.

More recent research over the past five years shows a dramatic increase in the use of natural timber cladding, perhaps driven by the trend to specify sustainable building materials, with many designers agreeing on its sensuous, tactile properties.

The need for designers to create originality and innovation within their projects has also resulted in demand for natural timber cladding – it can have a bright vibrant finish or a natural appearance that complements other building materials. It offers considerable design flexibility that can easily accommodate both traditional and contemporary styles.

However, the demand for such an aesthetically versatile material must be complemented by exceptional long-term performance and this is where considerable research, testing and hi-tech manufacturing procedures have led to the development of Cape Cod which comes complete with colour-matched nails and installation instructions. Boards are manufactured in six standard profiles, which are complemented with fascias and trims to complete each project to perfection.

Vincent Timber is responsible for supplying a wide choice of natural timber cladding products, including its Cape Cod system, to timber and builders merchants nationwide. The range includes ThermoWood, a highly durable, natural, sustainable and environmentally-friendly timber cladding material said to offer considerable cost savings when compared with more traditional timber cladding materials. Also western red cedar, light in weight and easy with work with on site, it is ideal for fast track building schemes, be it traditional block or where a frame of timber or metal is used. It is more resistant to warping, twisting and shrinking than any other softwood and therefore perfect for any building environment where good looks and tough weather resistance are imperative.

Siberian larch

Siberian larch is the most recent addition to the range – a beautiful, natural timber cladding product as tough as hardwood such as oak, with a life expectancy of up to 150 years but with the aesthetic appeal of cedar. Western red cedar shingles bring an attractive, natural, long-lasting timber roof finish to almost any building. Their insulation properties and light weight make them the ideal choice for sustainable industrial, commercial or housing projects.

Vincent Timber Ltd is one of the UK’s most experienced timber specialists and has been responsible for supplying natural timber cladding products for some of the most prestigious building projects in the UK.

The company is responsible for setting up a UK network of highly successful relationships with merchant distributors who are adding a new generation of timber products like Cape Cod to their portfolios. Vincent Timber says opportunities exist to develop its merchant and distributor based business in Scotland and Ireland as well as parts of England, ensuring that anticipated demand for high performance sustainable building materials can be met effectively.