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Silva Timber's Pre-finishing service helps keep Supermarket build on track

With a quick turnaround and specific design requirements, Silva Timber, has recently supplied over 440 square metres of pre-finished Western Red Cedar Cladding for a new Sainsbury's Superstore development in Sedgefield, County Durham. 

The 30,000 square foot Sainsbury's Sedgefield store has created 212 jobs, with 39 per cent of the new employees previously unemployed and 57 per cent from within the local area.

Western Red Cedar Cladding Self Build

The Supermarket design utilised timber cladding to contribute a natural texture to the overall building, applied to the underpass canopy protecting customers walking in and out of the store. 


Western Red Cedar No.2 Clear & Better grade was the ideal solution for this project. Sourced from the coastal region of British Columbia, where growing conditions ensure a tighter grain and rich colour compared to forests further in-land, it is an aesthetically appealing material that allows architects and designers to develop eye-catching, cutting edge solutions. The beauty of the Western Red Cedar is in its appearance and warm colour tones; the inherent small variations between boards (given its organic origins) create a visually striking surface. 


A unique design element to the project was created by pre-finishing the timber with Sansin SDF. The client wanted a dark-brown, chocolate tone for the timber clad exterior - with over 80 colour tones, Sansin SDF gave the client a breadth of choice. To assist the client in their decision making, Silva Timber worked alongside Barr by providing a range of finished sample boards. Following consultation the client liked the appearance of Cocoa, a semi-translucent tone which allowed the natural beauty of the underlying Western Red Cedar grain patterns to shine through.

Western Red Cedar Cladding Prefinished with Sansin SDF

Contractors Barr Construction, worked on the project over a period of 8 weeks through some difficult conditions. Jim Harkness, project manager for Barr Construction, said: “We experienced some challenging weather during the project, with frequent freezing temperatures between November and March, but the team worked hard to keep the project on schedule."


With harsh weather conditions and a strict deadline to adhere to, applying a finish on-site would have provided further challenges for Barr. By utilising Silva's in-house pre-finishing services, Barr were able to stay on track with the project, providing a consistent finish in factory conditions and allowing for immediate onsite installation.


To protect timber from the outset it is always recommended to apply to finish before installing. Factory pre-finishing ensures the wood is coated on all sides in optimal conditions, as recommended by the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA). Pre-finishing the material keeps its natural, beautiful colour tones for longer and at the same time reduces installation time and labour cost. 


Relatively new to the UK market, Sansin SDF is the ideal product for pre-finishing timber. Pre-finishing cladding coatings are historically ‘high-build’ in nature, forming a thick layer across the surface. Such a layer can easily crack, peel or blister when faced with expansion or contraction of the underlying timber due to changes in moisture or temperature. Sansin’s professional coatings provide a low build formula for an attractive, natural looking finish which will stand the test of weathering and the elements. 

Western Red Cedar Cladding Prefinished with Sansin SDF

As both the factory finishing and onsite application products are compatible with one another, professional users can see real benefits with Sansin SDF, providing consistency and continuity when it comes to maintenance, with a simple one-coat process using exactly the same colour, tone and product as first applied. 


Silva Timber have been specified on a number of commercial buildings such as Supermarkets and Retail outlets, working with architects, contractors and sub-contractors every step of the way. Silva's commitment to service is demonstrated in a wide range of aspects such as providing technical information, pre-finishing advice, BIM objects and expert knowledge. 

  • FSC
  • PEFC
  • Trada member
  • Responsible purchaser
  • Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau
  • nbs plus
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