David McKenna, technical director at Sutherland Hussey Harris, gives us three of his specification favourites

White Painted Stock Brick

We often work with limited budgets so constantly look for ways to use low cost materials for the benefit of the architecture. Our new studios for Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop replaced those in a dilapidated brick railway shed. We drew from the construction of the original buildings, using a painted brick as the primary facade material. It is robust and easy to maintain and we liked the way that character and texture of the bricks seems to change in oblique light. We used cheap stock brick coated with Sto Lotusan self cleaning facade paint.




On Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop south facade 108 identical galvanised steel grilles form a secure but semi transparent screen between a covered working yard and tree-lined cycle path. The grille offers privacy to sculptors working in the yard but lets in sunlight. It also avoids having a security fence and allows the south elevation to address the second public edge to the cycle path directly. The grilles consist of very fine galvanised rods and plates that are electro-fused to bespoke spacings.



Thermally Modified Hardwood

Our house at Edge Hill consists of an internal solid volume wrapped in a veiled skin of timber battens. The length and close spacing of the battens required a highly dimensionally stable timber as most conventional hardwoods would warp along the length of the battens. Russwood Natural Cladding is a thermally modified hardwood with very few knots and a clean appearance. Heat treatment makes it extremely durable so we were able to use it untreated. Installed without additional finishes, the cladding will weather to a light grey tone over time.