[22 June 2023]: Kebony today celebrates World Rainforest Day 2023 and the architectural projects around the globe making use of sustainable wooden building products engineered to protect the planet’s precious eco-systems. Entering its seventh year, World Rainforest Day champions the importance of healthy and standing tropical climates for biodiversity, culture, and livelihoods, an important cause Kebony supports in the supply of a sustainable, long-lasting alternative to deforested hardwoods to architects worldwide.
Seamlessly nestled in the jungle overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the ‘Raintree House’ in Nosara, Costa Rica, is a beautiful example of how Kebony is helping to promote sustainable values in modern construction, showcasing the principles of bioclimatic design that first inspired the project. The vision of Raintree House was to create a residential building that incorporated and respected the surrounding environment, with architects Studio Saxe seeking to blend the house into the canopy that surrounds it by preserving all existing trees and lush vegetation on the site. This approach created a home that is almost symbiotic with its rainforest surroundings, utilising a dynamic habitat of recyclable resources that continuously circulate throughout the development.
Kebony wood was provided by local suppliers Bio-Tile Group to complete the exterior façade, providing a weather-resistant, rustic, and natural character to the second-floor siding, which fully embodies the commission to create healthy architecture by minimising the project’s environmental impact. Offering the structural durability to deal with the vagaries of the rainforest climate without impinging upon on the eco-conscious ethos of the project, the Kebony wood will require no maintenance during its extended lifetime, further reducing the long-term footprint of the building. As such, the ‘Raintree House’ project demonstrates that utilising Kebony in place of a traditional tropical hardwood does not require a compromise on premium construction standards; the environmental advantages are delivered alongside desirable structural and aesthetic qualities.
Underpinned by a patent-protected chemical technology, Kebony produces an enhanced dually modified™ wood that is environmentally friendly, durable, and beautiful, helping to revolutionise the construction industry and build a better future. Easing the global dependence on unsustainable construction materials is central to Kebony’s mission: by permanently transforming sustainable softwood species such as pine into Kebony wood, with features that are comparable, and in some cases superior, to those of tropical hardwoods, the company is successfully diverting the need for deforestation of precious and sanctioned hardwoods and is helping reduce global CO₂ emissions through the protection of vital rainforest carbon sinks like the Amazon.
The procurement of tropical hardwood species for the building and construction industries is a leading cause of rainforest deforestation. Indeed, following recent EU legislation banning the import or export of products linked to deforestation, the commitment by the United States to deliver $500m across five years to fight deforestation in the Amazon, and Brazil’s unveiling of a plan to end deforestation by 2030, the issue of sustainability within the timber industry is a fundamental focus globally now more than ever. Ipe and Cumaru, two of the most commonly used tropical hardwood building products, were also both recently added to the CITES Appendix II endangered species list, making the innovative solutions provided by Kebony’s technology crucial to meeting the demand for durable, environmentally friendly, and beautiful wood building products.
The rainforests that surround the Raintree House are part of a system of globally significant carbon sinks, which work to reduce atmospheric carbon through photosynthesis, as well as containing over 50% of our planet’s terrestrial biodiversity. Following the most recent annual report by the World Meteorological Organisation which highlights the continuous advance of climate change and the devastating impacts it has already registered, the importance of our rainforests has never been more evident. Kebony provides the best alternative to tropical hardwoods for the building and construction industry, thereby alleviating the need for the deforestation of precious and sanctioned hardwoods ultimately working to protect our vital rainforests.
Benjamin G. Saxe, Founder & Design Director for Studio Saxe, commented: “In the Raintree House, ancient and local techniques are combined with innovative technology to create a sustainable design that is both rooted in the past and looking to the future. In a tropical rainforest setting, designs need to adapt to strong rains during the green season and intense heat during the dry season. Kebony enabled this combination of sustainability and durability, helping to create a language of architecture that is honest, and reflects an understanding of local capabilities within international standards.”
Nina Landbø, International Sales Manager for Kebony, added: ‘’At Kebony, our unique technology has a proven track record of delivering important solutions to the global challenges of greenhouse gas emissions and the destruction of our world’s rainforests. Making a positive impact on the environment is a core value in our daily operations and organisation today, and will continue to drive our strategy, policy, and practices as we look to revolutionise a sustainable future for the global construction industry.’’