Kieran Gaffney, of Edinburgh practice Konishi Gaffney, gives us three of his specification favourites

Fixed frameless glazing

We specify fixed frameless glazing because it’s cheap and easy to build. It also allows a satisfying contrast between windows/doors that open (with frames) and planes of glass that don’t. In our Bath Street project we also enjoyed the contrast between the frameless glass and the 600mm thick heavy stone walls. We use 25mm by 50mm by 5mm aluminium frames and insulate behind the metal to avoid a cold bridge. The glass is installed using structural glazing tape and Dow Corning 995 structural silicone. 


zinc cladding

We like the grain in zinc cladding, the pattern of standing seams and the fact that scratches self-heal. We are not confident that the seams work well at low level where dents can look ugly, but in our dormer project, 2 storeys up this wasn’t an issue. The material allows for crisp, sharp corners and we rolled the seams flat to emphasise the surface rather than joints. We worked with a brilliant local firm called Artisan Roofing and used Quartz-zinc, the pre-weathered mid-grey finish, as a colour match to the surrounding Scottish slate.


Black timber cladding

Having lived in Japan we were already sold on Shou Sugi Ban (burnt wood) finish to timber, but we found the process energy intensive, slow and destructive (one supplier reckoned he lost 20% of the boards through warp). We are working on an alternative by grit blasting the cladding to raise the grain and then washing with a transparent black timber stain, eponymously named by Bird Brand in Norfolk. Grit blasting blackens the timber and produces a raised grain texture which allows the grain to show through. We think this will be a simple low maintenance finish.