In a significant move for the construction industry, MEDITE SMARTPLY, producers of innovative timber panel products, has signed a commitment as part of a consortium planning the construction of the world’s first Tricoya® wood chip acetylation plant. To be built in Hull, the plant will produce the raw material for the manufacture of MEDITE® TRICOYA® EXTREME, the market leading high performance wood panel.

The consortium is between MEDITE SMARTPLY, chemical technology group Accsys, venture capitalists BP Ventures and Acetyl industry leader BP Chemicals. The plant, due to come on stream in 2019, will produce Tricoya Wood Elements using Accsys’ proprietary technology for the acetylation of wood chips and particles.

These acetylated elements are used to manufacture the high performance MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME Medium Density Fibre panels. The panels exhibit outstanding durability and dimensional stability which allow them to be used in exterior and wet area applications once limited to products such as concrete, plastics or metals. With the added benefits of light weight, sustainable raw materials and a guarantee of up to 50 years above ground and 25 years in ground, these revolutionary panels provide architects, specifiers and designers with an entirely new construction material, allowing great design flexibility and endless opportunities for creativity.

MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME was launched in 2012 and demand has outstripped supply consistently since that time. With a buoyant building market and huge demand for this product, the factory will not come on stream a moment too soon for the team at MEDITE SMARTPLY.

Neil Foot, MEDITE SMARTPLY CEO, is clearly delighted with this development: “The commitment to develop this facility is a huge step forward, providing the opportunity to significantly increase our manufacturing volume and unlock interesting new markets where wood-based products would not previously have been applicable. It’s a very exciting development for the company and the construction industry as a whole.”

Two years in the planning, the €68 million venture will see the construction of a new factory adjacent to BP’s existing acetyls facility and the place where much of the original research and development into wood acetylation was carried out. Anticipating an accelerating demand, the consortium envisages constructing the plant in such a way that further capacity can be added to the site as required.

For MEDITE SMARTPLY this is a game-changing development, enabling the rapid development of the market for MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME into a new era for the use of “high technology wood” in new applications.

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MEDITE SMARTPLY, leading supplier of sustainable OSB and MDF panel products, is partnering with award winning social enterprise Goldfinger Factory for its ground-breaking new stand at Ecobuild 2017.

The two companies are combining their core values to create a tribute to sustainable innovation. MEDITE SMARTPLY’s fully traceable supply chain boasts its own FSC certified forestry management programme, which means it can track its certified products from sapling to site.

Complementing this will be Goldfinger Factory’s own commitment to zero waste production, as Oliver Waddington-Ball, Founder of Goldfinger Factory, explains: “Goldfinger Factory is a design, build and teaching platform centred around upcycling. We create bespoke furniture and interiors, while helping artisans, trainees and young people become self-sustaining through craft, in turn saving materials from landfill.

“Our partnership with MEDITE SMARTPLY requires us to construct and design the coffee lounge section of its stand using SMARTPLY OSB3, FR OSB3, and PROPASSIV products. The focal point of the build is a fantastic table centrepiece that uses large sheets of board, made possible due to the new continuous production line at the SMARTPLY factory. The legs of the table will be particularly special, using board shaped into the MEDITE SMARTPLY tree logo.

“All of this has been designed and managed by our full-time staff and used as a training process for the young people that the organisation supports. Once the show is over the work doesn’t stop for us. The materials will be reused to complete a community centre refit in the Havelock estate, Ealing as part of our work for Catalyst housing association. We will also turn the panels into products, made by our trainees, to sell in our shop.”

The issues of sustainability and supply chain management remain priorities within the timber industry and are issues on which MEDITE SMARTPLY is keen to lead the discussion.

“This partnership for us is also about uniting two brands passionate about the environment and the people that we serve,” says Stuart Devoil, Head of Marketing and Brand at MEDITE SMARTPLY.

“Ecobuild also marks the start of our Wake up and Smell the Coffee project. This campaign is essentially a series of myth busting exercises. We want to educate customers, and the industry, on the advantages of timber with zero added formaldehyde, flame retardant timber, and sustainability. We will be looking to eliminate any rumours and uncertainties around these issues and report on the facts and figures with examples from our own expertise.

“All of the product that we are supplying to Goldfinger Factory is fully traceable and certified, which means that Oliver and his team are fully compliant with all required legislation and regulation for their Havelock estate project.”

MEDITE SMARTPLY will be at Ecobuild, Excel centre, London from 7th to the 9th March on stand D115. For more information or to book your ticket to the event please visit the website here.

Names from left to right: Pat Beardmore, Operations Director at MEDITE, Pat Breen, Engineering Manager at MEDITE, James Ryan, Maintenance Supervisor at MEDITE

MEDITE SMARTPLY has been highly commended at the Sustainable Energy Awards 2016 in the large energy category.

The event, which took place on the 3rd November 2016, brings together leading innovators and companies that demonstrate a proven track record of going beyond best practice in integrated energy management.

This award, in part, is a result of the MEDITE SMARTPLY Operation Excellence programme that began in 2014.

The programme initiatives consisted of product and process flow optimisation, variable speed drive monitoring, controls, lighting, ISO 50001 certification, electric transport, and a steam turbine generating onsite electricity driven by their own biomass steam boiler.

The company has also undertaken employee awareness initiatives including displaying energy targets in real time at operator stations, children’s Energy Calendar competition and an Energy Fun Day.

The company has systematically and effectively focused resources on opportunities for energy reduction saving the company in excess of €250,000/per annum in energy costs.

“This award is an independent external acknowledgement of the hard work and efforts that all of our teams across Europe have put in from day one. From our new technologies, such as our Mat Preheater, compressed air energy reduction and process pumps upgrades, to our engineering works on LED lighting and airflow optimisation, everyone has had a part to play,” comments Pat Beardmore, Operations Director.

“The innovation and passion shown by all members of MEDITE SMARTPLY reflects what a truly energetic place it is to work and grow. We will continue our work and chase the top award next year.”

The company has set its sights on achieving an energy reduction in excess of 10% in the coming years. With five projects already in planning in order to achieve these ambitious goals MEDITE SMARTPLY will continue to lead the way in energy management in its sector.

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SmartPly is set to revolutionise the way timber frame structures are designed and built with its latest technological innovation – the SmartPly VapAirTight structural OSB panel. With integrated vapour control properties and airtightness engineered into each panel, SmartPly VapAirTight has performed six times better than PassivHaus standard for air leakage, making it the ideal panel system for ultra-low energy buildings.

The result of three years of rigorous development by SmartPly and extensive testing at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, SmartPly VapAirTight is recommended by the Passive House Institute as a product for providing airtightness. Each panel features alternating layers of wood strands coated with a high quality formaldehyde-free resin and wax to deliver outstanding levels of airtightness. A specialist coating is then applied to add vapour resistance and provide a premium performance OSB solution for super-insulated and passive buildings.

“OSB is assumed to be airtight, but tests prove a huge variation in performance, between manufacturers and even between different production cycles,” explains David Murray, Innovation Manager at SmartPly. “Developed from our OSB3 system, SmartPly VapAirTight has integrated vapour control and unrivalled air barrier properties and will help to close the gap between design and as-built performance.”

Available in a standard 2397mm x 1197mm size, the panel uses a newly developed high performance coating to ensure consistently high vapour resistance across its entire surface. The smooth and durable surface has also been developed to provide superior bonding of airtight tape at panel joints. Where air and vapour control layer (AVCL) membranes are notoriously difficult to seal, SmartPly VapAirTight offers excellent seal adherence to prevent air leaks, condensation and structural damage.

Manufactured from FSC-certified timber to the specification detailed in BS EN 300:2006, the rigid panel is a sustainable, robust and cost-effective alternative to specialist AVCL membranes. With minimal risk of damage during assembly, transport and installation, airtightness should not be compromised thereby ensuring the panel performs as well on the construction site as in factory controlled conditions.

By the very nature of the product, SmartPly VapAirTight can also reduce waste and man hours, as site applied, or factory applied, air and vapour control layers are not required. The panels can be readily cut and fixed using standard timber frame fixings, removing the need for additional membranes, sealants and foams.

Suitable for both new build and renovation projects, SmartPly VapAirTight is a versatile, strong and cost-effective OSB panel system. If the UK is to meet its target of an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050 with all new homes built to be ‘zero carbon’, SmartPly’s latest innovation could play a vital role as part of a highly sustainable and fabric first approach.

For more information on the new SmartPly VapAirTight panel system, go to