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Find out more about the work we do, our case studies and our features and benefits in this super blog section.
Alpha Panels by BCL Timber

At BCL our most advanced system is our Alpha acoustic panels. Designed specifically to achieve the highest acoustic performance whilst also providing complete design flexibility with a range of over 50 species, fabric colours and design options. This open configurable system displays a significant advancement that no other Class A panel can offer and is ideal for atriums, halls, or any capacity where sound absorption is required.

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Two of the most important factors when considering the Alpha system is the open area between each panel and insulation. As sound travels, it can be absorbed by the space between timber slats – meaning the larger the open area, the better the noise reduction, therefore providing a superior acoustic performance. Insulation thickness (50mm for Class A) and the material of choice will also have a direct effect on the acoustics. Generally, the denser the pad, the higher the level of performance. Timber species is also worth bearing in mind, with softwoods such as Western Red Cedar being a natural sound absorber, which in some cases may work slightly better than hardwoods such as Oak.

As with any BCL panel system, the timber can be treated with a fire resistant lacquer or impregnation to achieve up to Euro Class B. Our timber species range from European Softwoods to Tropical Hardwoods, which can then be placed on our recycled insulation options and beautiful Camira acoustic fabrics that come in over 40 colours.

 

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Red Grandis: The Oak Alternative

Oak is a very popular species choice for acoustic timber panels here at BCL. It is the most widely used internal timber in the UK due to its high quality, historic background and easy matching in the veneer market. However, in recent years this has led to an ‘over-demand’ pushing the price of solid Oak up further and further, making it one of the most expensive commercially available species on the market today.

The problem is that substituting alternate species for Oak is a tricky task – its fine, straight grain, rarely seen in other species makes matching to Oak veneers and other joinery components difficult. Thankfully there is a little known species that is almost identical in grain and texture, which can be stained to match Oak at a fraction of the cost.

 

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Also known as Eucalyptus Grandis and Rose Gum, Red Grandis grows between 40-70 metres high in just 20-30 years, making it a highly sustainable species, compared to Oak’s 50-75 years. It is durable (Class 2-3) and has a natural resistance to fungi meaning this timber can be used for both internal and external applications. Red Grandis’ low density makes it perfect for panel systems and maximising panel sizes.

Naturally a light red to pink, this straight grained hardwood is easy to treat and stain, allowing you to create a cost effective panel system identical to Oak. All Red Grandis is 100% FSC Certified, scoring you maximum BREEAM points with a complete chain of custody.

    

Species

Density (kg/m3)

Janka Hardness

FSC / PEFC Certified

Movement

Durability

Origin

Age of Full Maturity

EU Oak

725

1060

Yes

Medium

Very High

UK & EU

30-50 Years

American White Oak

670

1360

Yes

Small

Medium

USA

20-50 Years

Red Grandis

550

720

Yes

Small

High

South America

20-30 Years

Species

Cost per m2

% Difference

EU Oak

£264.44

+34% More Expensive

American White Oak

£224.20

+14% More Expensive

Red Grandis

£196.94

 

For more like this, take a look at our Projects Page.

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Repurposing Materials in Construction

When starting a new project, architects are met with a dilemma; to reuse and build upon what is already there, or to knock-down and begin from scratch. There are times where demolition may seem like the easier option, but reusing a building and / or the materials within is not only inherently “greener”, is also allows you to build on history.

The UK Construction industry and its related activities account for around 50% of the UK’s energy expenditure and around half of non-renewable resources globally consumed are used in construction, leaving it to be one of the least sustainable industries in the world. With increasing attention on the shifting climate crisis, designing building’s that allow the reusing and repurposing of materials at their end of life has become increasingly important.

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Throughout most construction cycles, especially when it comes to the end of a buildings life, a huge amount of waste is produced and then often left to go into landfill. This leaves commercial and industrial projects accounting for 37.9 million tons of waste in England in 2017. If the UK is to achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, the construction industry must first take steps to bring their carbon emissions down. Recycling materials not only reduces waste in landfills but also decreases the need for consumption of resources to create new materials, in turn saving energy.  

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The most effective way of tackling waste and encouraging the repurposing of materials is to design buildings whilst keeping in mind their end of life. At BCL our acoustic panel systems are pre-fabricated off-site and are fully demountable, meaning they can be taken down and fitted elsewhere without needing to be altered in any way. Due to our secret fixings, the timber has also not been damaged by visible screws and nails and therefore will avoid being compromised.

Reusing buildings and materials will also contribute to a higher BREEAM score - as how much waste is produced during construction and the amount of recycled material is a key part of the judging process. Repurposing resources not only saves time and cost, but contributes to an environmentally conscious project, lowering a building’s overall carbon footprint and its impact on the environment.

For more like this, take a look at our Projects Page.

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Progress Update on Warrington Square

Progress update from BCL on our work at Warrington Square. Led by Vinci Construction and Leach Rhodes Walker Architects, BCL are providing a supply and fix of FAS Grade American White Oak acoustic timber panels over black acoustic fabric for the external walls.

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All panels have been impregnated with fire protection to achieve class 1 SSF which will require no future maintenance and are being fitted using our secret fixing system, to achieve a smooth contemporary finish. As per every BCL system we work to ensure everything is completed to the highest standard.

We’re looking forward to seeing the finished result.

 

 

For more like this, take a look at our Projects Page.

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Can Timber Affect Your Wellbeing?

Timber is a practical, versatile material and has an impact on the wellbeing of those who occupy the space in which it is. Similarly to the theory that being near a body of water has an effect on a person’s happiness, research shows that employee wellbeing was 15% higher in office spaces that contained natural materials.

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People working in offices with wooden interiors reported increased feelings of innovation, energy and comfort as opposed to those who did not have timber felt their workspace was impersonal and uncomfortable. Research has shown cognitive abilities to increase by 61% in natural buildings, increasing to 101% when additional ventilation is involved.

Timber has also been found to reduce stress as it has been proven to lower the sympathetic nervous system, reducing blood pressure and heart rates as well as improving the air quality through humidity moderation. A study conducted in 2010 by Holzcluster Stelermark in Austria compared the behaviour of students in 4 classrooms; two built with timber that featured wooden interiors and two that were built with traditional methods such as concrete and steel. Over the course of one school year they found the pupils in the timber classrooms were more relaxed, had better sleeping patterns and also had lowered heart rates.

 

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Timber being used in construction provides benefits not only to the environment, but to the people who spend time in the spaces it’s in. Get in touch with BCL today to find out more on why you should consider acoustic timber panels for your next project.

 

 

For more like this, take a look at our Projects Page.

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