Norway Grants „Green ICT“ programme
Overview of the project ‘Development of Resource-efficient and Fireproof Thermally Modified Wood Products’ conducted by Thermory AS.
Goal: This project is focused on the development of painted and fireproof thermally modified products for use on wooden façades. Thermory AS will make the following main investments to develop these solutions:
- Investments in product development and testing
- Acquisition of four new heating chambers
- Creation of a combined combustion system for gases from the heating chamber
- Acquisition of a painting line
Timeline: 01.05.2021 – 30.04.2024
Investment: 7,5 million euros, of which 700 000€ is financed in cooperation with Enterprise Estonia (EAS) and the Norway Grants „Green ICT“ program.
The solution to be developed in the course of the project is meant to increase the durability of thermally modified façade cladding boards and make them fire-resistant. It will become clear in the course of product development whether these goals can be achieved simultaneously (as one product) or whether two separate product lines will be created to carry out the project. To calculate the market potential of the solution, both goals are viewed separately, as different market segments will be opened/expanded as a result of achieving both targets (durability, fire-resistance).
Durability has always been the biggest shortcoming of wood as a façade material. The attractiveness of wood as a façade material is reduced by the warping and cracking of façade cladding boards, moisture damage and also the relatively short lifetime of the material and the need to maintain/paint it after a relatively short period of time to preserve its aesthetic appearance. The development and adoption of thermal modification technology has significantly lessened this problem but has not completely solved it. Nevertheless, besides the attractive appearance of the thermally modified wood, the market success of thermally modified façade cladding boards can so far be explained with its increased durability. This project helps achieve the next ‘leap’ towards ensuring the durability of wood as a façade material. If the desired parameters can be successfully achieved, the needs of even the most demanding consumers should be satisfied – the 70-year durability of the façade boards is equal to the human lifespan and the 15-year maintenance interval also gives no reason to reject a wooden façade.
Fire safety class
Fire safety (or rather the lack thereof) has affected the marketing of Thermory’s façade boards in two ways:
- Some buildings (mostly high-rise buildings) require a fire safety class for façade material that Thermory’s products have so far not been able to provide but will now be able to achieve as a result of this project.
- In the case of buildings not requiring a specific fire safety class, consumers may still express certain wishes concerning their façade material’s fire performance (e.g. in locations where wildfires are common). Certified fire resistance will also help improve the safety of the product in such cases.
The project is financed in cooperation with Enterprise Estonia (EAS) and the Norway Grants „Green ICT“ programme. The goal of the „Green ICT“ programme between Estonia and Norway is to support the sustainable development of Estonian entrepreneurs. The objective of granting support is to increase innovation-related business cooperation between Estonia and Norway and added value growth for companies via projects promoting resource-efficiency.