Thermowood/Iroko Project

International Timber makes a splash at River Quarter, Sunderland

When specifying timber for the prestigious River Quarter development, Sunderland-based contractor Gentoo Construction needed a product that would stay looking good for years to come, with no danger of shrinking, cracking or warping. 

Built on a former brownfield site, the impressive River Quarter city centre development is a vibrant mix of commercial and residential units.  The two lower levels feature a retail and leisure area, including a 28 lane bowling emporium.  At second floor level is a resident’s car park, with the remaining space comprising eight floors of one and two bedroom apartments. 

International Timber, part of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution’s Timber Group, supplied over £120,000 worth of red pine Stellac Thermowood® D2 cladding and louvres, along with Iroko decking for the project.  Stellac Thermowood® cladding was used on various levels of the development to create a striking contrast with the blue, white and yellow rendered walls, while Iroko provided a durable, low maintenance solution for the walkways and decking in the landscaped gardens. 

Red pine Stellac Thermowood® is produced by steam heating premium quality pine, sourced from Finland, to temperatures in excess of 212 degrees centigrade.  The heat penetrates to the core of the wood, driving out moisture and resin and eliminating leakage through knots.  The resulting product is more stable and durable with high resistance to moisture or decay caused by fungi, making it ideally suited for use as an external cladding material. 

Manufactured from timber sourced from sustainable forests, Stellac Thermowood® is PEFC certified, offering a sustainable alternative to tropical hardwoods.  When left untreated and exposed to the elements it will silver down to give a beautiful, natural finish.  The product lifetime is thirty years as assessed by the BRE and, for additional peace of mind; International Timber is the only company in the UK to offer a ten year underwritten guarantee against rot.  

Alan Brooksbank, special projects manager for Gentoo Construction, comments: “River Quarter is a luxurious development so we needed an aesthetically pleasing timber cladding 

product that would not shrink, warp or twist, even when exposed to the elements. Stellac Thermowood® offered an ideal solution as it is durable, sustainable and will stay looking good for years to come without the need for chemical preservatives.  It was also lightweight and easy to work with during the construction process, which was a real advantage when working at height.” 

Steve Rogers, product and market director at International Timber, adds: “We are delighted that Gentoo Construction selected International Timber products for this development.  Thanks to our expertise in global sourcing we can provide an extensive selection of timber and cladding products, offering exceptional quality for prestigious projects such as the River Quarter development.” 

With over 80 years experience in timber and timber development, International Timber is a leading supplier of timber solutions, providing a superior range of products in hardwoods, softwoods, clear softwoods and treated products, as well as standard and bespoke machined profiles.