London and Dallas-based Accsys Technologies recently announced a new variant of the modified wood product Accoya, but this one is made with North American red alder. The company puts wood through a proprietary acetylation process in whichwood molecules that want to bond with water are replaced with more stable acetyl groups. This improves durability, hardness, water absorption, and dimensional stability.
It seems like manufacturers are turning to third parties to validate environmental claims with increasing frequency lately. For example, I just learned that DuPont expanded their Corian Terra line of solid surfaces and five colors have at least 20% pre-consumer recycled resin content, according to Scientific Certification Systems. Several other colors have at least 13% and the rest have a minimum of 6% pre-consumer recycled resin content. In addition, all colors are GREENGUARD certified; they’re non-porous and do not promote the growth of mold, mildew, or bacteria, according to DuPont.
Wood is a desirable construction material for many reasons including its low embodied energy. But, until recently, it has not been possible to build tall wooden structures because of the relative weakness of conventional wood stud construction methods. This is starting to change as a new method of fabricating wood panels, called cross-laminated timber, or CLT, is making “massive wood” construction a possibility for mid-rise construction, as well as for other construction uses.