ECOply helps achieve maximum impact with minimum impact

News /
13 May 2013
ECOply helps achieve maximum impact with minimum impact

Architect Rory Toomey loves ECOply, he’s a ’big fan of the product’. And in one of his latest projects as Project Architect at Environa Studio, a multi-disciplinary Architecture practice in Sydney, it shows.

The client’s brief called for timber finishes – in fact they referenced Mad Men for inspiration. Their budget however suggested the use of more economical materials. The client is Sound Alliance, a fresh, dynamic business specialising in marketing and publishing to 18 to 29 year olds. They needed an appropriate fit-out for their new offices and put the challenge to Toomey to create ‘impact on a budget,’ without having a negative environmental impact.

Toomey had used ECOply extensively in fit-out projects before such as the Detour Café in Sydney. He suggested the use of ECOply as a single feature material using it to wrap the floors, walls, ceiling and joinery creating that immediate impact. The meeting room wall is almost an artwork in itself with multi layered, plywood panels incorporating lighting that looks great day and night. Throughout the fit-out highlight colours add interest and punch and tie-in with the colours of the Sound Alliance brand.

Sound Alliance are a low carbon footprint business representing the next generation, so sustainability plays a big part in any decisions they make. The new offices had previously housed the MySpace business so a lot could be re-used in terms of layout and wiring. The philosophy of long life, loose fit was core to the refurb or as the team at Environa like to put it, ‘Use a spanner, not a hammer.’ All the ECOply sheets were screwed in place so in the future they can be easily removed and re-used.

Environa’s choice of ECOply for this project, was also driven by other features of the product. Plywood is strong and durable, has a relatively low carbon footprint and creates little wastage. ‘We specified Carter Holt Harvey ECOply for the peace of mind – you can trust the product,’ says Toomey. And Carter Holt Harvey’s Australasian production and sustainability track record tipped the balance.

The carpenters from Hobbs and Blair Constructions were also impressed with ECOply. Which was just as well as everything including all the joinery was constructed on-site. And as Toomey said, ‘The builders actually said it was the easiest floor they had ever laid. It was really quick once the structure was prepared, 20 – 30 square metres an hour.’ CD structural grade was specified throughout and the finish is of a high quality without the need for planing of boards – only a coat of clear finish was required.

The Sound Alliance team are over the moon with the sophisticated yet playful result. The synergy between the Architect and client is clearly evident in the project and has been celebrated with a Sydney Design Award. How’s that for impact?

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