A look back at 2019
As 2019 draws to a close, we’ve taken some time to reflect and we’re clad to say it has been a treemendous year (sorry). Our timber products have been featured on some amazing commercial and domestic projects, we’ve launched a new cladding species, surface finish and flooring range, published 2 Profile newsletters and produced 14 case studies. We’ve welcomed 10 new team members and twin babies. We’ve celebrated 2 weddings, an engagement, a 30th, 40th and two 50th birthdays (we won’t say who)… here’s a roundup of our 2019 highlights!
New faces & celebrations
We have welcomed a number of new team members in 2019, all of whom have settled in well and contributed greatly to this years’ growth. New roles have been created with Fiona, Angie, Morgan, Lynsey and Jamie. Judy, Andy, Calum, Conner and Robert have each replaced someone from the Office and Production Teams. We’ve had a lot to celebrate this year with several ‘big birthdays’ in the team as well as the birth of Paint Line Supervisor, George’s twin babies Jack and Abbie. Flooring Manager, Naomi got married in October, a stone’s throw from the Russwood office in a beautiful ceremony conducted by our Operations Assistant Jenny (a Humanist Celebrant in her spare time) and walked down the aisle by her proud dad (who just happens to be Managing Director, John). Paint Line Operative, Jack also got married this year and Flooring Sales Advisor, Thea got engaged in September while on holiday in Cyprus.
We’re constantly carrying out research and testing so we can offer architects, interior designers and self-builders trusted and innovative products and solutions. This year we launched Thermopine®, a thermally modified Scots Pine with enhanced stability and durability. Thermopine® has been well received with our customers and due to its superior coating performance, cladding boards are most commonly supplied pre-treated using our in-house Teknos® factory coating system with black being the most popular colour choice. With the popularity of coated timber, we have extended our paint line by 25% this year.
After much testing and experimenting, we have introduced a new cladding surface finish, Microtex®. Microtex® is a fibrous surface finish designed to provide optimal performance of SiOO:X coatings when applied to profiled SILA Select® Siberian Larch. Small incisions are applied to all four sides of the board, creating the fibrous appearance; this increases the surface area, providing superior coating adhesion to the whole board.
We also launched a new flooring range, Express Oak Flooring. Our flooring team carefully selected this range of sanded and pre-finished engineered oak flooring, which comes in a versatile colour palette spanning grey, natural and original. We’re delighted with the response to our new flooring range which has been specified for lots of projects already, including the lovely Anta showroom in Croy.
Mud, sweat & gears
With a number of keen cyclists at Russwood, we were delighted to have the opportunity to support the Aviemore 100 event for the 2nd year running, working with both Mikes Bikes Aviemore and Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland. The multi-discipline cycling challenge involved 100 km’s of cycling across a road bike section followed by an off-road mountain bike stage. Two Russwood teams entered with Managing Director, John teamed up with Liz, and Sales and Marketing Director, Claire teamed up with George, our Supervisor in the paint line. During the summer, the team took advantage of the light nights and our beautiful Highland surroundings, heading out on regular after work rides together. However, it was our sawmill operative, Christian who took on the biggest cycling challenge of the year. Christian Humphries and his teammates completed a ‘Cycle Across Britain’ challenge, cycling from Pontypridd in Wales to Kincraig in the Scottish Highlands over 9 days, raising an astounding £14,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young.
There’s always a buzz of excitement in the office when photos of completed projects land in the marketing team’s inbox, we love seeing the interesting and innovative ways our timber is used! There have been so many amazing projects this year – self-build homes, hospitals, schools, offices, visitor attractions – it’s difficult to choose just a few favourites, but here’s some standout projects which it has been a pleasure to be involved with. A newly renovated flat in Glasgow, which features Grande Parquet Oak Flooring – something we’ve seen a real trend for this year. Brodie Castle in Forres, built with our most popular cladding species, SILA Select® and designed by Hoskins Architects. Strone Cottage, just up the road from our office in Newtonmore, designed by Loader Monteith Architects using black stained Wire Brushed Thermopine® cladding.
Another very exciting project which we have been involved with this year is Build It magazine’s Self Build Education House at Graven Hill. Russwood are official partners of the house which features our SILA Select® cladding. Graven Hill is the UK’s largest self-build and custom-build estate, and will eventually have up to 1,900 unique homes, which are due to be built over the next ten years. We don’t have the official pictures yet but here’s a sneak peek! You can read more about the cladding installation here.
We’re lucky that we work with a product which is truly renewable resource. Timber is recyclable, has low embodied energy and excellent carbon storage properties. As a company we’re committed to reducing our impact on the environment – it’s something we’ve been working on for a while. For example, we already sell on our sawdust for pet bedding, waste wood is chipped onsite and used in two biomass boilers to heat our production and office areas – we are continually looking at ways we can improve. This year, we invested in a 50Kw solar PV energy system to reduce our sawmill’s electricity consumption from the grid, we’ve reduced the amount of paper we send out in our sample boxes, we’re currently investigating a more environmentally friendly alternative to the packaging our Profile newsletter is sent out in and we’re in the process of replacing all our diesel forklifts with electric ones – there’s still a long way to go but we’re trying to be the best we can be.
The twenty twenties
2020 is going to be an exciting year for Russwood as we celebrate 30 years in business. Thanks to all our staff, customers, suppliers, and friends of Russwood for helping us reach this milestone.
Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2020 to all.