Sustainable and Compliant Oiled Timber Flooring in Whitford

This recently completed a project in Whitford, showcases a rich dark oak flooring, named Pina (after the infamous cocktail) finished with hard wax oil. This case study delves into the technical aspects, sustainability, and compliance features of this installation, which makes it a notable reference for architectural and interior design professionals.  Pina is an option from The Distilled Collection, a range of timber floor options produced in Europe from slow-grown, FSC-certified Lithuanian Oak, finished to the highest standard.  The Distilled Collection carries a number of subtle superiorities such as dense, hard-wearing oak, longer-than-usual board lengths and unique grain patterns.

Product Overview
The selected oak flooring for the Whitford project is treated with hard-wax oil, enhancing the natural beauty and durability of the wood. Hard wax oils penetrate the wood, providing robust protection against wear and moisture, while maintaining the wood’s breathability. This treatment ensures a longer lifespan and easier maintenance compared to traditional finishes.

Benefits of an Oiled Floor
An oiled floor can offer a number of benefits over alternatives, but the main considerations for the client were:

  1. Option to “tint” the colour of the floor through the oil maintenance process.  If a darker hue is desired, a tint can be added to the maintenance oil.
  2. The enhanced natural beauty.  People generally sense the look and feel of naturally oiled timber if given the option.
  3. Improved durability and longevity.  With the correct maintenance, oiled floors are known to last…. well…. centuries, however most alternative require a sanding and refinishing coat to extend the life.
  4. Eco-friendly and safe.  Hard wax oils are derived from plant oils and in this case the oil carries a zero VOC certification.

Read about the differences between oiled and lacquered floors here.

 

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Compliance with E3 Building Standards
Contrary to common belief, oiled floors can comply with the E3 Building Standard, which focuses on interior moisture management and surface finishes. The Whitford project demonstrates that with the correct application and maintenance, oiled timber floors meet these standards effectively, offering an alternative to the more common lacquered finishes. The project used the Parabond Parquet 440 adhesive, which plays a crucial role in compliance by acting as a moisture vapour barrier when used with a suitable primer, even on damp substrates.

Technical Specifications of Parabond Parquet 440 Adhesive
Parabond Parquet 440 is a high-performance adhesive designed for wood floors, providing an excellent bond and flexibility that accommodates natural wood movement. Notable characteristics include:

  1. Composition: Solvent-free, isocyanate-free, and phthalate-free hybrid polymer.
  2. VOC Emissions: Rated EC1plus for very low emissions, ensuring indoor air quality and compliance with stringent environmental standards.
  3. Suitability as a Vapour Barrier: When applied correctly, it acts as an effective moisture barrier, crucial for installations over concrete or where moisture might be a concern.

Sustainability Considerations
Both the engineered oak flooring and the Parabond Parquet 440 adhesive contribute to the project’s sustainability profile:

  1. Engineered Oak Flooring: Features a no-added-formaldehyde construction and an FSC certification, ensuring the wood is sourced from responsibly managed forests.
  2. Parabond Parquet 440 Adhesive: Carries a zero VOC rating and does not contain any carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reprotoxic substances. It is compliant with GEV-EMICODE EC1 Plus, indicating the lowest possible emission levels.

The Whitford project by Vienna Woods exemplifies how sustainable practices can be seamlessly integrated with technical excellence in modern flooring installations. By using materials like the FSC-certified engineered oak and eco-friendly adhesives such as Parabond Parquet 440, Vienna Woods not only meets regulatory compliance but also addresses the growing demand for environmentally responsible building materials.

 

Images // Jo Currie

The environmental benefits of engineered timber flooring

Engineered timber flooring can be a more environmentally-friendly flooring option compared to some other types of flooring. Here are some of the environmental benefits of choosing engineered timber flooring for your home:

 

  1. Sustainable sourcing: Many engineered timber flooring products are made from wood that is sourced from sustainably-managed forests, which helps to preserve natural forests and promote responsible forestry practices.
  2. Recycled materials: Some engineered timber flooring products are made from recycled materials, such as sawdust or recycled wood fibers, which reduces waste and conserves resources.
  3. Long lifespan: Engineered timber flooring is a durable and long-lasting flooring option, which means it can be used for many years before needing to be replaced. This reduces the amount of flooring material that needs to be produced, transported, and disposed of over time.
  4. Low VOC emissions: Many engineered timber flooring products have low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, which means they release fewer harmful chemicals into the air when installed. This can improve indoor air quality and contribute to a healthier home environment.
  5. Can be recycled: When it comes time to replace your engineered timber flooring, the wood can be recycled or repurposed, further reducing its environmental impact.

In summary, choosing engineered timber flooring for your home can offer a range of environmental benefits, including sustainable sourcing, the use of recycled materials, a long lifespan, low VOC emissions, and the ability to be recycled.

At Vienna Woods we committed to continually improving our commitment to sustainability. This is an ever evolving promise to source and work with suppliers who are committed to developing and delivering more sustainable products. We are proud to share some of the certificates our products have received as a part of this process.

Sustainable Timber

Choosing the right flooring can play a significant role in shaping the environmental impact of your home. In New Zealand, engineered timber flooring has emerged as a sustainable and eco-friendly option, offering a myriad of benefits over traditional flooring materials. But not all timber flooring is sourced from sustainable forests or made using sustainable practices.  Let’s explore the various ways in which the right choice in engineered timber can contribute to a more sustainable future.

 

Sustainable Sourcing

Engineered timber flooring derives its environmental credibility from the wood used in its construction. Many manufacturers source their wood from sustainably-managed forests, adhering to responsible forestry practices that ensure a healthy ecosystem. By choosing flooring that is sourced sustainably, you are contributing to the preservation of natural forests.  Be sure to check the credentials of your supplier and the certification of their timber.

Vienna Woods, a leading New Zealand importer of quality timber flooring, sources its products from suppliers committed to sustainability. This dedication is reflected in the certifications they hold, demonstrating compliance with rigorous standards that support forest conservation.

 

Recycled Materials

There are now many choices for reclaimed and recylced timber floors, which is fantastic way to use a product displaying rich character and reducing our impact.

Long Lifespan

Durability is another sustainability hallmark of engineered timber. With a longer lifespan than many other flooring options, engineered timber reduces the need for frequent replacements. This longevity translates into fewer resources used for manufacturing, transportation, and disposal over time, lessening the environmental footprint.

Understanding FSC Certification

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a globally recognised certification body that promotes responsible forest management. FSC certification ensures that wood products come from forests that meet strict environmental, social, and economic standards. It helps consumers make informed choices about the sustainability of their purchases.

Vienna Woods’ suppliers hold several FSC certifications, including the FSC Single Chain of Custody and Controlled Wood. These certifications indicate that the wood used in their flooring comes from responsibly managed sources, providing peace of mind to eco-conscious consumers.

Other Sustainability Certifications

Europe is home to various sustainability certifications that guide the construction industry toward greener practices. Beyond FSC, other notable certifications include:

  • Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC): This is another international certification that promotes sustainable forest management. It is similar to FSC but has different criteria and processes, providing additional options for ensuring sustainable sourcing.
  • European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR): This regulation aims to combat illegal logging by requiring companies to ensure their timber is legally sourced. It is a legal framework that underpins sustainability certifications.

Each certification has a unique focus, but all work toward the common goal of promoting sustainability in forestry and construction. By choosing products with these certifications, you are supporting a more environmentally responsible industry.

The Broader Scope of Sustainability in Construction

Sustainability in construction encompasses more than just materials—it also involves energy efficiency, waste reduction, and reducing carbon emissions. Using sustainable timber contributes to this broader scope by providing a renewable resource that can be managed to support ecosystem health.

In New Zealand, where natural beauty is a significant part of the national identity, the construction industry’s move toward sustainability aligns with the country’s values. Specifying the right  timber flooring, with environmentally friendly sourcing and durability plays a role in reducing the carbon footprint of buildings and promoting a greener future.

By choosing Vienna Woods for your timber flooring needs, you are supporting a business committed to sustainability and responsible sourcing.

Sustainability Certifications from some of our producers: