Sustainable & environment-friendly Oak frames

Are you confused about what type of Oak you should be using in your project?

Seasoned - Air Dried - Green Oak

One of the most frequent question we get asked is: "What is the difference between Seasoned Oak, Green Oak & Air Dried Oak?"

sustainableWhy Oak?

Sustainable & environment-friendly Oak frames have been the choice of quality building for many centuries. When it comes to a choice between PVCu, metal, or wood, it’s clear which is more environment-friendly.

With wood there’s no industrial process, no harmful waste, no noxious fumes.

But even comparing the oak we choose with woods used by other conservatory companies, Richmond Oak offers further advantages. While we use only renewable sources of European Oak grown from well-managed woodlands, most other types of hardwood favoured by conservatory companies originate from either South America, Africa or Asia. The issue of FSC Forestry Management Certification in the Southern Hemisphere has been questionable for many years and a large proportion of timbers from these areas have no, or falsified certification.

These fluted oak posts illustrate the unique natural beauty of our seasoned oak frames

These fluted oak posts illustrate the unique natural beauty of our seasoned oak frames

Many of the timbers from these areas used in conservatory & window manufacture, such as Sapele and Idigbo are classified by Friends of the Earth as ‘VU’, Vulnerable and at risk of extinction.

Futhermore, while PVCu and aluminium conservatories are assembled on production lines, generally utilising low skilled labour, the use of timber in our hand-crafted conservatories, continues the development of traditional carpentry skills. Our craftsmen combine the skills of a bygone age with the technology to provide superior comfort and style.

Back to the specific subject of ‘Why Oak?’. Notwithstanding the fact that a conservatory can be manufactured from a number of other suitable timbers, Oak has several characteristics, not found in other timbers. First, it’s availability. Our Richmond Oak conservatories and orangeries have been manufactured in Family run, traditional joineries in Poland for over a decade. This has several advantages.

a) In addition to all their traditional joinery skills, we have trained the joineries all the unique skills necessary to build a totally bespoke conservatory or orangery, and we also benefit on price.

b) It’s normal for windows in Europe to have their glazing beads (which hold the glass in place) on the inside, which is not only more secure, but it means the slim strips of timber are not subject to distortion when fitted externally.

c) The Polish Oak comes from it’s large resources of oak forests and because of it’s climate, the trees grow tall and straight, suitable for the long lengths we require for rafters..

d) Lastly, and most significantly, as Poland grows it’s own oak, it pays no import duties. When combined with the fact that skilled labour wages in Poland are considerably less than in the UK the result is, if we purchased the same finished oak product manufactured in the UK, we would have to pay at least 20-30% more. (In the UK, we import ALL of our construction timber, as our climate makes it difficult to grow the knot free timber of the right quality.)

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