Accoya - Reflecting on our Experiences
It's been a while since we were first introduced to Accoya and it's proved itself to be a useful and versatile timber. We've worked with it on a diverse range of projects, from the contemporary style conservatory shown above along with cladding and general joinery. During this time we've learned a lot about how Accoya differs from other timbers and how to get the best out of it. Although we've found the wood very good in service, it's not yet become a default recommendation to our customers. With such a diverse amount of timber suitable for exterior joinery, Accoya finds itself in an already crowded marketplace, and with many of our suppliers now offering FSC certified, durable hardwoods it has to earn its keep.
The main benefit of the timber for our customers is its durability. If there is a job where the conditions are highly exposed and there have been rot issues before, Accoya is something we look to first. We've also found it works brilliantly with traditional linseed oil paints. With our experience I would look to Accoya first on authentic, single glazed heritage style work. Although single glazing has its issues, there are listed properties that do need to retain the single glazing detail. One issue with single glazing work in service is condensation, coupled with modern living it's not unusual to see windows "streaming" with water. The condensation then pools on glazing bars and rails and even with the best work, some of this pooling water can find its way behind glazing and start to become a catalyst for rot. Thankfully with Accoya's excellent durability, the issues with rot become controlled, at least to some extent. However, don't be fooled, although Accoya has excellent durability, normal maintenance routines must be adhered to.
The Medite Tricoya product, which is the sheet material product made from the same process as Accoya has been brilliant. The only barrier to using it more is its high cost relative to other solutions. But in a similar fashion to Accoya it's durability is a boon. We have been disappointed with the quality of ply for some time and Tricoya can be used in some situations to reduce these issue a great deal. Places like box ends on fascia boards, exposed panels on doors or similar situations have proved successful.
So for us, Accoya is firmly part of the picture for providing good quality joinery. It'll be interesting to see how this evolves over time, and as stated above, if rot is the overriding risk in your situation then Accoya could be an excellent choice.