A natural material harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree is creating interest within the architecture and design community for its sustainable properties.

Havwoods presents the new 3D cork cladding collection made from the same material used to manufacture wine stoppers. A relatively unknown material, cork is highly versatile in application and is used to create furniture, stationery, kitchenware, yoga mats and even bathroom washbasins.

As a cladding material, cork delivers important sustainability benefits. 

Native to Portugal, the cork oak tree plays an important role in balancing the biodiversity of the Mediterranean region. The actual cork material is harvested from the outer bark of the tree. The bark’s regenerative qualities allow harvesting approximately every 7 to 10 years – the cork oak is one of the few trees to actively renew its bark.

Harvesting cork

The entire cork harvesting process is strictly regulated to minimise damage to the tree as well as ensure the trees are not unduly cut down. Harvesting requires a particular skillset and the workers are specially trained to complete the process without any machinery. A small hatchet is used to remove the outer layer of skin.

The ecological footprint of cork production is relatively low when compared to other industries such as plastic. Additionally, employment is generated in these locations, helping to support local communities. 

Cork in design

For the architecture and design community that’s constantly looking for sustainable building solutions, cork cladding is an exciting innovation that allows savvy architects and designers to create a point of difference through bespoke combinations.

Cork’s physical properties deliver several advantages to the end application. The material does not absorb dust, is resistant to bacteria and fungus, and will not cause allergies or present a risk to asthma sufferers. Adhesives and finishing products used in the manufacturing of cork covering do not use heavy metal compounds, and are formaldehyde-free and low in VOC emissions.

Havwoods’ cork cladding

A unique concept in wall coverings, Havwoods’ Cork Cladding Collection is available in various stunning designs. A highly textured, raised-pattern finish on the surface of the cork wall cladding tiles adds interest to vertical surfaces, either as an accent panel or across a full wall scheme.