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Timber Cladding Design Inspiration

Whether you’re looking to add the ‘wow factor’ to an already established structure, or ready to take on a new project, timber cladding is becoming an increasingly popular choice amongst builders, designers and architects alike. It’s no secret that here at NORclad, we are passionate about the use of timber; as one of the world’s truly natural and renewable resources, there many benefits it can bring to a whole host of projects.

With over 40 years’ experience, NORclad have supplied exceptional quality timber for a huge range of projects; from schools, to leisure centres, rugby clubs, medical centres, business parks, supermarkets and so much more.

Here, we take a look at some of our favourite case studies, which have been carefully selected to showcase the variety of cladding options available and packed with inspiration for your own project, however big or small!

NORclad Timber Inspiration


Described as a ‘unique collection of contemporary new homes in a prestigious waterfront setting’ (Braybeechhomes.co.uk), Wilstone Wharf selected Siberian Larch without any preservative treatment. This has allowed the timber to naturally weather down into a silver grey that blends perfectly with the beautiful surroundings and purposefully contrasts the other materials on the buildings. Grade B material was chosen offering a fair spread of knots and the distinctive grain of this specie adds to the charm of the wood as a natural material. Take a look at the pictures on our site to see for yourself the appeal of the silver grey over time.


Hoe Valley School in the South East requested untreated Canadian Western Red Cedar for their new build school. Left untreated, the timber weathers-off to a silver grey appearance, which was the desired look to settle into the surrounding area. It has minimal knot content and its natural durability make it a popular choice for projects requiring untreated softwood timber. Working closely with Noviun Architects allowed the vision for the school to be built in a full BIM 3D environment, utilising Revit as a software platform to deliver the scheme.

Hoe Valley Image 1

Gagle Brook Primary School, in Bicester opted for Oak timber cladding for their own smaller scale project, with NORclad supplying almost 200m² of FSC-certified oak for this BREEAM excellent project. When using oak, it is important to be aware of the likelihood of some tanning leaching/bleeding from the timber where wet – natural extractives which are present in hardwoods but do nothing detrimental. You can find out more about the lifespan of your project depending on the species chosen from our expert team at NORclad.


Leisure Centres

Completed in 2020, over 6000/LM of European Redwood was supplied to Market Rasen Leisure Centre, having been pre-cut to length to allow ease of installation. A combination of thickness allowed for a contrasting look, with deeper cladding used for the fins of the project as seen in the pictures. The structural battens were also supplied, pre-coated black to fit in with the open nature of the rainscreen. This particular site is surrounded by listed/heritage buildings, which meant the external appearance needed to be sympathetic to the area. The lighter colour, which enriches over time and holds for longer than other traditional species of timber, meant European Redwood ticked all the necessary boxes for approval to fit in with the surrounding area.


Working closely with Farrell and Clark Architects, in May 2017, NORclad provided the University of Leeds with Canadian Western Red Cedar to bring a natural aesthetic appeal to The Brownlee Centre. As the UK’s first purpose-build National Elite triathlon training base and a permanent home for the Leeds Triathlon Centre, the use of timber allows the building to fit in with the traffic-free environment surrounding the building thanks to the mile long cycle circuit. Incorporating the Brunnea high-pressure treatment not only gave the product 30 years warranty against rot and fungal decay, but also adds a good level of colour stability compared with traditional untreated species. NORclad worked closely with Sub Contractors to agree a length specification to try to keep wastage to a minimum on site adding to the eco-credentials of the build.

Brownlee Centre 4


Rushden Lakes, completed in 2019 was a multi-million pound mixed-use scheme, which called for an exceptional level of detail to create an end result that looks professional, modern and inviting to shoppers. Known for its excellent quality, over 16 000/LM of European Redwood, with NORclad Brunnea treatment was used including all structural battens for installation. The new retail park achieved a BREAAM very good rating as a destination for people to enjoy all it has to offer with its many restaurants and leisure facilities.

On a smaller scale, Southampton Pets at Home required a totally different species of timber for their cladding project opting for Air-Dried British Sweet Chestnut. Often chosen as an alternative to oak, sweet chestnut has a stronger and more pronounced grain and whilst it is a slightly lighter species, it still remains a very stable, hard wearing, durable timber. For this project, it was chosen to meet the specification of BS1186-3 Class 2 and better and they opted to supply the product finger jointed to create an almost entirely clear product despite the nature of sweet chestnut having large knots. Over time, the tannins will begin to exude from the sweet chestnut, which allows the timber to weather to a silver/grey.

Pets at Home 1

Learn More About NORclad

One of the beauties of using timber for any project, is that no two pieces of wood can ever be entirely the same, thanks to the individual grain and characteristics of this natural material. The result is a look with a warming charm and unique appeal that perfectly blends into natural surroundings.

The case studies mentioned here are merely a select few, chosen to showcase the variety of species and the differing end results depending on the choice of treatment. You can find even more, each with their own gallery on our website.

If you’re feeling inspired or want to find out more about the right species for your project, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our friendly, expert team today.

Learn More with NORclad

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If you’re stuck for inspiration and want to see working examples of our expertise, feel free to browse through our case studies.

Our Case Studies
2021-05-13T15:10:25+01:00April 14th, 2021|

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