The recent fad of using wood cladding, louvers, and filigree as sun shading for buildings has left architects scrambling for a substitute material that’s beautiful, structurally stable, durable, and sustainable – - – oh, and reasonably priced.
Two manufacturers, Kliptech & Richlite have brought to market resin-impregnated paper building products that can not only be used for a resilient building skin, but have also been used as countertops, cutting boards, and skateboard ramps.
The two products vary in their aesthetic quality, environmental claims, and price. We’ve also recently covered ShetkaStone which is similar in composition, but has a more terrazo like appearance. If you’re looking for an alternative to teak, redwood, cedar or Parklex, read on….
Both products exhibit superior durability and are available in thicknesses from ¼” to +1″. These “resin paperboards” can be worked by standard wood workers’ tools, but because they produce very fine particulate dust, respiratory protection is highly recommended.
- The better looking of the two product samples we’ve received.
- Uses wood pulp from only certified forests.
- Available in a beautiful range of colors!
- Also available in every skateboarder’s favorite sustainable crop – hemp!
- The more affordable of the two products – in the range of $10 to $15 per square foot for the raw material
- Supergreen Paperstone Certified product uses 100% post-consumer paper
- Water-based resin is made from the poisonous skins of cashew nuts, not petroleum
- Can be veneered with sheets of wood from certified forests
- EcoRamp product has been used for 15 years on the West coast without any degradation
- Can be made UV stable
- Environmental properties of resin are undefined
- The use of Richlite on a project does not currently count toward that project’s LEED certification.*
- To keep aesthetic quality control, Richlite only uses a fraction of post-consumer recycled paper
- Some colors may not be UV stable
- Requires a certified installer for warranty to be valid
- High recycled content evidently creates a surface that needs to have a false finish applied
- Prices vary, but it appears to be more expensive that Richlite – especially the Paperstone Certified product*.
- No installer requirement information is provided
Image from Richlite’s website.
We’ve researched these products based on the information from each manufacturer’s website and their standard architectural samples. We respect both company’s innovation and environmental dedication; if we are inaccurate in our assessment, we encourage company representatives to comment below.
*- above content was amended on 10/02/06.