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Meet the Maker: Eco Timber

13 Aug 2022

There is just something universally appealing about timber cladding.  The Eco Timber charred timber cladding we used in our latest project The Barefoot Bay Villa in Byron Bay is quite stunning up close and personal,  which is why we would recommend using this in your next build if you are contemplating it. The textural effect is unbeatable and it will transform the feel of the home tenfold! We couldn't be more excited to introduce you to the team behind Eco Timber...Read on below.

Tell us how Eco Timber started: 

I (Josh) went out to the market and noticed that there was not a lot outside the square when it came to timber and its products – there seemed to be a lack of creativity and inspiration for unique timber products. So, on that basis - Eco Timber started. We decided to create a business that appealed for function, creativity, and design to gain great outcomes. We achieved this by capitalising on many of the existing attributes of a previous life – for example, Recycled Timber  – A lot of interest was shown in Princes Pier Timbers which were fashioned by the sea – the timber had already had an interesting past with a story to tell and an interesting appeal for people to look at and talk about.

Going back a step – I always had an infinity to the environment and the enjoyment I got from being a part of it.  I wanted a career in something I could connect with. That started out in Landscape Gardening – being a part of the earth and creating concepts through land whilst I was at still at University – rocks, soil, earth, timber, etc.  That then evolved or fueled my career choice to then wanting to create things with timber, it was so adaptable as to what you could make with it. Through my interest in the areas of the environment, recycling, sustainability and doing the right thing and not waste our resources - it was entrenched in my psyche. Coming from an era where people didn’t really value old timber, if it had a nail in it then it was no good  – everyone thought everything needed to be new.  I went and worked for a company for 14 years that did timber recycling, starting with de-nailing to ultimately running the company. It was at this point I realised I wanted and knew I could take my trade and knowledge and expand and develop my ideas into my own – which then birthed Eco Timber Group.

What does a general day look like?

Mornings are filled with running around trying to get three kids sorted and ready for school….percolated coffee off the stove to get the brain functioning and a lick and play with the dog and I am out the door.   With the travel time into work I process and plan the day ahead and what needs to be done often having it turned on its head even before I arrive some days. Things are always changing so you need to be adaptable when running a small business. Moving between the head office in Richmond or the timber mill at Bacchus Marsh the day could involve anything from navigating curve balls between sales, deliveries, sourcing timber and staff.

Tell us about the charred cladding?

Charred cladding came out of the need for people wanting a colorfast cladding that maintained its colour long term without long going maintenance that can be associated with normal oiled finishes.

Charring timber is a process borrowed from the traditional Japanese method known as Shousugiban. The process is applied to non-durable timbers as a preservation technique. By burning timber or charring the timber we are creating a carbon crust that is resistant to fading from sunlight.

Additionally, it also has benefits including creating a carbon armour that helps protect the timber from parasites and funguses that are often attributed to the degradation of timber, thus preserving the timber long term. All our charred timber products receive a BAL29 fire rating. We only use the best timber which is typically ironbark and or blackbutt.

What other options are there?

Other charred options include screen battens, joinery items such as benchtops, furniture, flooring, decking and timber posts.

What makes the Eco Timber products one-of-a-kind?

We love timber. Everyone loves timber in our company. When you love something so much that energy and passion transfers into the products you make. Creative passion fuelled by the need to address functional solutions to the everyday applications makes our products stand out.

How does Eco Timber maintain such a high standard of Eco-Friendly products?

By using recycled timber and certified timber products that have a full chain of custody. Sustainable practices are critical in all industries if you wish for those industries to be ongoing into the future – it’s just common sense.

How do you source the best and most interesting timbers in Australia?

30 years of working in the recycled and sustainable timber industry give you good insight and you create a network of contacts. Demolition through to forestry, that allows us to enjoy a complete range of products.  We can all enjoy recycled right through to new timbers.

What are the benefits of someone purchasing sustainable timber products in Australia?

It’s just like anything that sustainable it’s a market that needs to be managed so that it can be ongoing into the future. Sustainable by definition is: able to be maintained at a certain rate or level ……. so it can always be available today and for the future.

What are some good ways of incorporating timber into the home?

Timber can be used in any areas of the home. Flooring is an obvious one but many people now are using timber as feature walls throughout their homes, timber battens and even lining the ceiling with timber has come into play.

Joinery is very popular – bench tops, tables, shelving and bookcases, moving into stair-treads, timber posts and beams.

How is timber cladding a good choice as opposed to brick or metal cladding?

It's warm. It's organic! It's natural. Personally we think it looks better. It’s not a hard finish – it has life – it's formed naturally. Distinct from bricks and metal which are man-made. Each piece of timber has its own identity or character.

 You can explore more of Eco Timber's products on their website.
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