Life cycle analysis

Precise transport distance for Kebony Character varies depending on which forest the timber originates from, but on average it is transported approximately 600 km by lorry. Kebony Clear is transported by ship from New Zealand, via Hong Kong and Rotterdam, to Kebony in Skien, which amounts to almost 28.000 km. When calculating the emissions using EcoInvent 3.1 datasets for lorry and sea transport, and assessing the emissions using the IPCC 2013 impact assessment method, we get approximately 0,2 kg CO2 equivalents per length metre decking for both materials.

Raw material

Kebony Character and Kebony Clear are made from FSC®-certified wood.  

Kebony Character and Kebony Clear are based on FSC®-certified wood.

Transport

Kebony Character is made from Pinus Sylvestris from Sweden, Kebony Clear is made from Pinus Radiata from New Zealand. Due to reduced emissions as a result of sea transportation (per ton-kilometre), the global warming potential of transporting two different wood types is almost identical. 

The precise distance for transporting Kebony Character varies on which forest the timber originates from, although on average it is transported approximately 600 km by lorry. Kebony Clear is shipped to Kebony’s factory in Skien from New Zealand, via Hong Kong and Rotterdam, amounting to almost 28.000 km in total. When calculating the emissions using EcoInvent version 3.1 datasets for both lorry and sea transportation and assessing the emissions using the IPCC 2013 impact assessment method, it equates to approximately 0.2 kg CO2 equivalent per metre for both decking materials.

 Kebony Character is based on Pinus Sylvestris from Sweden, whereas Kebony Clear is based on Pinus Radiata from New Zealand. Due to the lower emissions from sea transport per ton-kilometre, the global warming potential from transport of the two different wood types is almost identical.

Processing

Kebony is processed by impregnating the wood with 100% bio-based liquid, primarily based on furfuryl alcohol, which is a bi-product from sugar cane production. This makes the wood non-toxic and thus completely safe; as a result, Kebony has received the Nordic Swan eco-label (the pendent to the Flower label in the EU). The technical characteristics of Kebony are comparable to other types of durable wood. In addition, Kebony is completely maintenance free, meaning that is does not require any additional treatment beyond normal cleaning. 

In comparison, conventionally treated wood is normally impregnated with copper compounds. These are not particularly dangerous to humans; however, they can be extremely toxic to aquatic organisms. Many copper impregnated products are treated with biocides, primarily to improve their resistance against fungus. Examples of such biocides are chlorinated triazoles, which are acutely poisonous and dangerous to aquatic organisms, often causing allergies and harm to reproduction. Impregnated wood treated with this type of substance must not be used to collect drinking water or make contact with food and animal feed. Additionally, this type of treated wood must not be burned anywhere but certified treatment facilities. 

Kebony is processed by saturating the wood with 100 % bio-based impregnation, primarily based on furfuryl alcohol, which is a bi-product from sugar cane production. This makes Kebony non-toxic and completely safe, has qualified Kebony to the Nordic eco-label Swan, and even makes it suitable for making eating utensils. The technical functions of Kebony is comparable with other types of durable wood, and is maintenance free.

Use

Kebony is maintenance free (cleaning only) and very durable. The installation cost may be somewhat higher than some of the alternatives; however, this can often be saved throughout the products lifespan of the product. The following example compares Kebony Character cladding with conventional painted wood panel on a house with 200m2 cladding over a 60-year period. This is the period which cladding is expected to last.

We base our calculation on a Kebony Character Cladding price of € 42.00/m2, and pre-primed conventional cladding of € 20.00/m2. As a result, the material cost will be approximately € 8,400.00 for Kebony, and € 4,000.00, for the conventional cladding. Nevertheless, the pre-primed cladding also needs to be painted after installation; making the total cost of installation the same if professional painters are used.
 
From time to time, both cladding types will benefit from being cleaned, although the conventional panel will still require regular painting, whereas Kebony is maintenance free. The amount of times conventional cladding needs to be painted depends on a number of factors for example; the type of paint, weather, etc. although according to common recommendations, it is normal to repaint approximately every 10th year. 

One may choose to hire professional painters or do the job themselves. A professional painter might charge about € 5,600.00, inclusive of VAT, however, if the decision is made to paint yourself, paint and equipment will cost in the region of € 900.00. Based on these figures, conventional cladding will cost between € 9,500.00 and € 37,000.00 over a 60 year period, compared to € 8,400.00 for Kebony cladding. If the decision is made to paint the cladding yourself, you should expect to spend approximately 500 hours painting throughout the cladding’s lifespan.

  Kebony is maintenance free and durable. The installation cost may be a somewhat higher than some of the alternatives, but often this may be saved during the lifespan of the product. The following example compares Kebony Character Cladding with conventional painted wood panel on a house with 200m2 cladding over a 60-year period.

Disposal

Kebony is a non-toxic material which does not need to be painted or treated with chemicals. Throughout its lifespan Kebony is as clean and safe as a natural wood, which may be used as firewood after disposal. In comparison, copper-impregnated and painted wood must be disposed of in specialised recycling plants after disposal which may cause environmental problems if it is disposed of amongst nature.  

Because Kebony is non-toxic and does not need to be painted or treated with chemicals, it is as clean and safe as natural wood during its entire lifespan. One may even use it as firewood after disposal, if one chooses. In comparison, copper-impregnated and painted wood must be disposed of in specialized recycling plants after disposal, and may cause environmental problems if it is disposed of in nature.