Homes in Manchester are benefiting from Envirowood fencing, an environmentally friendly alternative to timber. The material, supplied by Octaveward, is made from high density recycled styrene. The new fencing provides an attractive, sustainable alternative to timber and promises a long-term zero maintenance life for picket fences, gates and yard enclosures.
The scheme is part of a 13,000 property estate managed by Northwards Housing. In addition to routine maintenance, they also run programmes for wholesale external refurbishment to revitalise whole neighbourhoods.
Wear and tear, weathering and occasional vandalism had taken their toll on the old softwood fences. This diminished the appearance of the properties and the security of gardens and yards. In some cases, warping of yard gates meant that they could not be closed properly, and this was a great concern to residents. The on-going need for painting and running repairs was also an issue for Northwards Housing.
Octaveward provided the perfect replacement. The extruded sections replicate standard wood sections and contain up to 70 percent recycled styrene from sources such as waste packaging. The sections share many similarities with hardwood. A hard and dense material, Envirowood can be sawn, drilled and will take screws and fittings in exactly the same way as wood.
Self-coloured and unaffected by sunlight, the material can simulate the rich and distinctive appearance of oak, ash, teak, cedar or any hardwood. The material does not require periodic treatment; saving time and expense and avoiding the release to the environment from preservatives of volatile organic compounds (a contributor to global warming).
Significantly, Envirowood is stable over the whole range of temperatures and humidity found in the UK. It does not rot, warp, delaminate, discolour or harbour insects as timber does. In both private and public sector housing, time and cost of installation is always a concern. To speed site work, many of the elements were fabricated off site by Octaveward.
The completed scheme meets the needs of householders and Northwards Housing. Private space is properly defined and householders can secure their yards with gates that fit properly and feel secure. Though slightly more expensive than direct softwood replacement, Northwards Housing will benefit from lower lifetime cost when reduced maintenance and longer lifespan is taken into account.
Even at the end of an extended working life, the Octaveward material can be granulated and reused as filler in new Envirowood sections. It is therefore a sustainable product that addresses the need to respect the environment. In addition to fences and gates, Envirowood can be used for bin shelters, garden furniture, planters and any applications where softwood or hardwood is normally used.