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Materials & Sustainability

ALONG WITH BEING RENOWNED FOR ITS STRENGTH AND AESTHETIC APPEAL, OAK IS INCREDIBLY SUSTAINABLE.

AT RICHOAK WE SELECT THE HIGHEST STANDARD MATERIALS TO ENSURE OUR CUSTOMERS RECEIVE EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY IN OUR PRODUCTS

We use both English and European oak in our frames, the only real difference being in the methods of cultivation. We prefer English oak, cultivated in local PEFC Accredited, mixed and deciduous woodland.

European oak, though genetically identical, to English oak, is cultivated in single species forests. This in turn creates competition between oak trees in growth, producing trees with much longer, straighter trunks ideal for use in the oak framing industry. English timbers seen in older oak framed buildings were traditional cultivated with this same method.

Green Oak

‘Green oak’ is oak in its most malleable form. It is recently felled and unseasoned so it retains moisture, it is this that results in it being more adaptable. Although being heavier than seasoned oak, green oak is regarded as being relatively easy to work with. As green oak dries over time, it strengthens and twists making the joints tighter and more robust.

Green oak is typically used in oak framed buildings for its strength and durability, but also for its attractiveness and fantastic weathering qualities. The timbers can be exposed both internally and externally and require no preservative treatment.

Steady Timber

After undergoing the initial drying out period, Green oak timbers become what’s regarded as “Steady timber”. Steady timber (due to its reduced moisture content) has been allowed to shrink, enabling cracks and defects in the timber to be identified. Detecting these areas enables us to eradicate unsuitable timbers, or incorporate them into the frame in a more convenient position.

Steady timber is used in areas where shrinkage and cracking could compromise the structural stability of a building, for example as lintels and where glazing is fitted. Where beams are to be internally exposed, steady timber is often used so as to provide an overall aesthetically pleasing appearance.

TILES & SLATES

We use both new, and reclaimed handmade clay roofing tiles and slates on all our buildings.

Handmade tiles add further beauty and character to any oak framed building giving an effect that cannot be replicated by any other roofing material.

Whether we’re restoring an existing roof, or installing a new one, the tiles we use are sure to improve the style and elegance of the building.

Depending on the character and application required, standing seam roof panels can also be incorporated as an attractive alternative to slates or tiles.

CLADDING

External cladding provides an ideal weather-sealant for any timber frame. It allows the frame to breathe, leaving ample room for insulation, and any movement or shrinkage of the timbers does not affect the weather-proof seal.

The cladding we use include seasoned oak, fresh oak butted boards and green English Douglas fir and cedar.

GLAZING

At RichOak we use certified triple glazed argon filled glazed units in all our buiildings.

We believe triple glazing is of higher quality than double glazing as it provides better thermal and sound insulation making it more energy efficient. Read on to explore options for glazing an oak frame..

DIRECT GLAZING (or ‘Over-clad‘) – BY FAR OUR TRIED, TESTED & PREFERRED OPTION

We have perfected our own version of this method over many years and stand by it as the best option for glazing your oak frame. Direct glazing does not require any rebating of the structural frame itself. The glazed units are fixed directly between the outside surface of the oak frame and solid oak coverboards that provide a neat finish for the exterior. This technique keeps the glazing independent from the structural frame, allowing the oak to move as it naturally does whilst it converts to steady timber once sealed within the building. Our over-clad system is a successful and modern solution to combat the effects of movement in an oak frame that can plague other methods such as rebated or beaded glazing.

FULLY BEDDED GLAZING (‘Rebated Frame’ or ‘Beaded System’)

Although a popular method, we try to discourage customers from choosing this solution as it does not cope well with the natural movement of the structural frame as it settles into steady timber. With this method the glazing is applied into rebates cut within the structural frame and sealed with oak beads externally. This method is often combined with air dried oak to try and lessen the extent of the movement of the frame as it settles. In our expereince even when specified with air dried oak this method is still far too often problematic over the lifetime of the building.

DOORS AND OPENING WINDOWS

Doors and opening windows are incorporated into our builds using a frame within a frame approach. All joinery elements are crafted from top quality kiln dried oak, this along with our extensive experience of installations has led us to develop our system to work with the natural tendencies of Oak to provide the highest standard of finish across all our builds that stand the test of time.

Sustainability

Timber is recognised as one of the only available renewable materials in construction. Along with being renowned for its strength and aesthetic appeal, oak is incredibly sustainable.

As trees grow, carbon dioxide is “locked up” in the wood, reducing atmospheric levels. This carbon dioxide remains in the timber until it is either released through combustion or returns to the natural carbon cycle.

At Richoak we are passionate about oak conservation and sustainability. We source the finest structural graded, green, English and/or European oak from our trusted suppliers.

All of our structural graded oak and softwood originates from sustainable and well-managed (certified) forests.

From Lynette
“Thank you RichOak, we adore our new building, totally ace and we have had many compliments. Just gorgeous xx”

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