Brimstone timber cladding is used on the first ‘net zero’ McDonalds restaurant in the UK.
McDonalds says it is their most sustainable restaurant, and it was designed to demonstrate how the business can achieve net zero emissions. The Market Drayton McDonalds is set to become the first restaurant in the UK to be verified as ‘net-zero emissions for construction and daily operations’ by the UK Green Building Council.
A UKGBC spokesman said “The challenge of decarbonising the construction industry is a complex one, but McDonald’s commitment to building the first restaurant in the UK in line with UKGBC’s net-zero carbon buildings framework is a critical first step.”
“McDonald’s and other fast food firms have previously come under fire for their carbon footprints” according to the local BBC report, noting the public pressure on businesses to respond to the climate crisis.
While views on the overall sustainability of multinational fast food chains may vary, at Vastern we think it’s encouraging to see a McDonald’s restaurant built that meets the net zero carbon buildings framework. That’s why we are proud to have supplied the timber cladding for this building. But we need all buildings to meet this standard to address the climate crisis.
Vastern Timber supplied Brimstone poplar, a locally grown timber cladding, to the ‘net zero’ McDonalds. The wood was responsibly harvested and is certified ‘Grown in Britain.’ The clever bit is how we used the ‘magic’ of thermal modification to make this local timber into a durable cladding.
Thermal modification is a simple but effective process that changes the cell structure of the wood by heating it up to 210°C. This natural, toxin-free method removes moisture, resin and other extractives. The result is a more durable, stable and consistent material that’s ideal for cladding – with less risk of bending, warping or decay.
Perhaps most importantly, to make Brimstone we use the UK’s own fast-growing hardwood species, increasing the demand for locally grown wood and helping to regenerate the woodlands we know and love.
Making fully informed purchase decisions is one way to help our planet. The Environmental Product Declaration, (EPD) for Brimstone enables customers and contractors to analyse the carbon footprint of this cladding material, and compare it to other options.
From harvesting the tree to finally disposing of the cladding at the end of its useful life, 1m² of Brimstone cladding creates 8 Kg of CO2e. To put that into context, 1m² of brick-faced Precast Concrete Cladding creates 122 kg of CO2e. (CO2e is Carbon dioxide plus other greenhouse gases).