Timber cladding satisfies the design desire of clients and customers for a more natural look, while locking away CO2 in the heart of its fibre for the lifetime of the building. From the builder’s perspective, there are a few things to double check with your architect or customer when timber cladding is being discussed.
Firstly make sure you thoroughly understand the intended method of application, as well as the wood species, its durability, and whether or not a flame-retardant treatment is needed. An example would be whether the timber cladding is to go up against a non-combustible surface such as a brick wall or whether there is any possibility of an air gap behind the cladding. An air gap could encourage the spread of fire: some cladding products permit an air gap but some don’t. You’ll find that level of detail on the Declaration of Performance (DoP) which should be available from the builders’ or timber merchant from whom you propose ordering the cladding.
Sometimes stock gets moved around in the merchant’s yard, and fire-retardant treated timber cladding may look the same as untreated material. Ask the merchant to demonstrate that the flame-retardant treated timber cladding you’re buying has both a DoP and a CE Mark, and that the scope of the DoP covers the end use or build situation in which it will be installed.