June 11, 2014

By Stephen Wright, Managing Director of George Barnsdale

At the end of last year I was asked to contribute to a project which was formed to develop and establish European Standards for the wood coatings sector. The project is under the umbrella name SERVOWOOD and is made up of CEPE (the European Coatings Federation, representing the European paint manufacturers) and trade associations and consultancies from Denmark, Germany, Spain and the UK.

Having been involved in previous research projects encompassing timber species, preservation, joint designs and coatings, I accepted the opportunity without hesitation. Within the UK construction industry there are still many misconceptions regarding the use of timber as a sustainable resource, mainly due to presumed low service life and high maintenance costs. By being part of such an innovative project like SERVWOOD I can contribute to the cause of getting the construction industry to take timber seriously.

The project started on the 1st January and will run for three years. During this period we will expose a wide range of wood panels to natural weathering and a range of accelerated tests, to determine which tests best predict natural degradation. From these test results, we hope to develop an improved European Standard to benefit everyone involved in timber construction.

Through SERVOWOOD we can begin to dispel some of the associated myths and install confidence in those who have so far been reluctant to use timber building components, such as timber windows and doors and timber cladding. Timber is so versatile and sustainable and once we can disprove the myths, the industry and the environment, will be the better for it.

To find out more about the research visit www.servowood.eu