New Swallow Thermowood Greenhouses (Thermally Modified Wood)

Robert Hall investigates how manufacturers like Swallow Greenhouses are beginning to invest in Thermowood (Thermally Modified Wood) and analyses what this might mean for the UK garden buildings market.

Created by Robert Hall on Tuesday, 28th of October, 2014.
Updated on Tuesday, 1st of September, 2015.


New Swallow Thermowood Greenhouses (Thermally Modified Wood)

It was on Monday the 27th October 2014 that I got an email out of the blue from Howard Roberts at Swallow Greenhouses GB saying

"We are introducing Thermally modified buildings. Called Thermowood. This product is excellent..."

So with great excitement, I called him to find out more about this product and what it will mean to the UK greenhouse and garden buildings market.

Swallow Greenhouses

Swallow are one of the leading independent garden building companies in the UK, specialising in the manufacture and installation of quality timber greenhouses, which are delivered and installed in the United Kingdom.

View the range of Swallow Thermally Modified Greenhouses  at GardenSite.co.uk.

Thermally Modified Wood

Howard described how thermally modified wood is wood that has been modified by a process of wood being heated (baked) to 250 degrees in a special oven with the doors closed and the air pumped out. According to Howard the process kills the proteins and resins and shrinks the capillaries. Howard then used the analogy of a piece of bread and a toaster, to describe how the wood is changed to become stronger, just like a piece of toast after it has been toasted.

Thermowood Benefits

According to Howard, thermowood:

  • Has high durability
  • Has excellent finish
  • Is insect and mould repellent (no chemical preservatives required)
  • Is environmentally friendly (no need to treat the product)
  • Has no resin bleed
  • Shrinking and swelling is reduced up to 90%
  • Warping is reduced to a minimum
  • Does not expand or contract
  • Makes painting easier (similar to painting metal)
  • Thermal qualities are improved

The Future For Wooden Garden Buildings

In the UK it is currently used for cladding large commercial buildings and commercial decking but Swallow Greenhouses are the first company to put it into the UK domestic greehouse market. It will be interesting to see if any other UK garden building manufactuers adopt this type of wood, I will keep you updated.

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