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Procurement tips from practical experience

Words:
Sash Scott

THISS Studio co-founder Sash Scott on why the practice has used expanded cork, composite timber joists and acoustic panels on some of its recent projects

Credit: Henry Woide

Expanded cork

We use expanded cork on various projects, as a natural floor finish, acoustic wall panels and even furniture in our new project Common Knowledge. Versatile, natural and renewable, the cork comes in sheets and blocks of varying densities, which are suitable for different uses – denser blocks are great for furniture as they can withstand a lot of impact; less dense sheets make good acoustic and thermal insulation. To make the material raw bark is granulated, then heat and pressure is applied, releasing natural resins which bind the granules. Different levels of pressure create different densities.

 

Credit: Daniel Pope

Steico joists

Our six-bedroom Passivhaus in Redbridge uses composite timber Steico I-Joists made from LVL flanges and natural fibre board. Lightweight and inherently load-bearing, they can be used in wall, roof and floor construction. Their slim profile reduces thermal bridging while freeing up space for more insulation so we can improve the U-value of a building by up to 15 per cent. On this project, each joist was designed in a 3D model before being CNC-cut for assembly. Every component is made to measure, reducing assembly time and minimising waste.

 

Credit: Sash Scott

Troldtekt acoustic panels

We are using wood-fibre acoustic panels as a wall finish in a renovation project in east London. The panels are made from natural wood fibres bonded together in 25mm-thick panels which are then mechanically fixed to timber battens. They have excellent fire and acoustic properties, and a high-quality natural finish, making cementitious or oil-based finishes unnecessary. This saves time and is environmentally friendly. While they may look fragile, their inherent density means that, if applied correctly, they are as resilient as any other wall finish. Easily repaired, they can be sanded and stained to create different finishes.

 

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