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Accoya wood wins R and D award from architect magazine

Architect magazine has recognized Accsys Technologies with a 2011 R+D Award Citation for Accoya® wood, a modified wood product that matches or exceeds the durability, stability and beauty of even the very best tropical hardwoods.

The prestigious R+D Award honors architectural systems technologies that exemplify innovation. Entries in the annual competition are judged on their potential or documented innovation in fabrication, assembly, installation and performance as well as their potential to advance the aesthetic, environmental, social and technological value of architecture.

Accoya wood involves a proprietary acetylation technology studied by scientists around the world for more than 80 years. The process alters the wood’s reaction with water by permanently replacing free hydroxyls within the wood with stable acetyl groups that will not bond with water. Acetyl groups are naturally present in all wood species, which means that nothing toxic is added into the wood. The altered cell structure of the wood makes it an unrecognizable food source, preventing fungal decay and insect attack, as well as increasing its strength and dimensional stability.

Accoya wood’s extraordinary performance advantages, where exposure to the elements is a concern, make it suitable for exterior applications including decking, windows, doors, cladding and structural components.

The R+D Awards jury, made up of architects Julie Eizenberg, AIA, William E. Massie, and Sylvia J. Smith, FAIA, selected 12 honorees that they say solve real-world problems. The judges particularly appreciated Accsys Technologies’ multifaceted investigation into wood’s chemical process when developing Accoya and the product’s ability to simulate tropical wood species.

The benefits of the technology have been well studied even though the product is relatively new. A six-year field test conducted by Scion (New Zealand Forest Research Institute) compared Accoya against naturally durable woods, including cypress, old-growth Western red cedar, kwila, teak, and CCA-treated pine, in accelerated decay chambers and exterior ground contact applications. Accoya wood received a score significantly better than the comparison timbers. Other and even longer tests have achieved similar results with regard to durability, dimensional stability, coatings life and other benefits.

"Extensive performance testing provides specifiers with an added level of confidence in Accoya wood’s durability, while the wood’s sustainable origins and absence of added toxins meet the requirements of sustainability-focused architects and consumers," said Bryan Crennell, head of marketing at Accsys Technologies. "We’re honored that the R+D Awards jury recognized Accoya wood’s leading-edge technology and its potential to shape the way the industry designs and specifies for typical exterior wood uses as well as many new applications where wood has never before been a practical choice."

Accoya comes with a 50-year above-ground and 25-year below-ground warranty against rot, decay and dimensional instability. Made with sustainably grown wood, Accoya also carries Cradle to Cradle Gold certification. Accoya wood is available throughout North America through a network of independent distributors.

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