When designing our outdoor furniture, we seek to reach an optimal ratio
of design, functionality, durability, and ecology.
Wooden structures in the sea such as pontoons, piers, jetties and so on are living proof of the soundness of wood as a material for the structure and finishing of outdoor applications. Almost constantly in contact with salt water and subject to biting wind and high UV densities. The wood may well turn grey, but it lasts for decades, which makes it a super-material.
Extremis Hellwood is wood that has been through purgatory to steel it against all kinds of hellish ordeals. And there are more than enough of them out there: UV rays, rain and acid rain, fluctuating humidity levels, frost, extreme heat and so on.
Our preservation gives the fibres greater internal stability and increases their resistance to rotting. In this way, we obtain a type of wood that belongs in Durability Class I, just like the very best tropical wood. An attractive side-effect of the process, of course, is the wood’s dark colouring.
IROKO TROPICAL HARDWOOD
Our permanent attention to sustainable forest and nature management limits our choice of materials. For Gargantua and Abachus – products with wide boards – we deliberately use FSC-labelled Iroko. This yellow to medium brown tropical hardwood offers superior stability in the radial direction and has just the properties we are looking for. With regard to aesthetics and physical properties, Iroko most resembles the better known teak, whose origin is often dubious given the high demand. We seek to reduce our carbon footprint by exclusively using solar energy to produce electricity for our machines, lighting, etc. and also fight against deforestation by using FSC-certified wood. A growing market for FSC-certified wood means that a larger part of the world’s forests will be protected and that responsible forestry will definitely bring more benefit to the local communities than reckless deforestation.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR WOOD IN SHAPE?
When delivered, the wooden parts of our products are untreated. Exposure to sun and rain will gradually change their colour to silvery grey, and also roughen the surface. If you want to somewhat retain their original colour, you should oil them once a year. We recommend using RMC Hybrid Wood Protector. Wether you treat the table with oil or not, is a matter of taste, but the treatment will also reduce the wood’s proneness to splits, cracks, (grease) stain absorption, etc.
To clean the wood you can use special products or simply a stiff bristle brush and some water. Be careful not to irreparably damage the wood fibres. For this reason, never use a high pressure cleaner.
For the entire Extempore range and the Romeo&Juliet bench we have opted for the warm reddish-brown Jatoba. This tropical hardwood is also FSC-certified. It offers great strength and stability in the longitudinal direction. Jatoba and Iroko are both durability Class 1 species – timbers of the highest natural durability.
WHEN IS WOOD
Natural durability of wood is categorised in five durability classes, ranging from 1 (highly durable) to 5 (not durable). We exclusively use species meeting the requirements of durability Class I. This means that, when exposed to normal outdoor conditions, these last for at least 50 years! In principle, only tropical hardwoods such as Iroko and Jatoba fall into this category, but the thermal treatment process of our Hellwood upgrades it to durability Class I level.