What is Accoya Wood and how is it used?

What is Accoya Wood and how is it used?

Accoya Wood is entering the construction lexicon at a blistering rate, gaining popularity across the board for its unique properties and environmentally friendly credentials. But what is Accoya Wood and what does it have to offer?  

Where does Accoya Wood come from?  

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Accoya Wood comes from the Accoya tree, but this isn’t the case. Accoya Wood comes from a type of fast-growing pine tree called Pinus radiata. So, it’s pine? Well, it is pine, but it’s not exactly, due to a process called acetylation that changes the properties of the wood itself (more on that later). The pine harvested for Accoya is grown in fully managed forests in lifecycles of 30 years and only extracted when they reach maturity. Once harvested they’re cut into planks or beams and are then put through the acetylation process. 

What is acetylation? 

Acetylation is the process of treating softwood using an acetic anhydride solution, or acetic acid. This chemical compound fundamentally changes the properties of the wood at a cellular level. These changes effectively serve to change the former softwood into a hardwood by altering the way that the cellular walls react in terms of creating hydrogen bonds. In English, this means that by undergoing an acetylation process the wood becomes water resistant or hydrophobic.  

What are the benefits of acetylated wood? 

Acetylated wood is great for those looking for wood with long-term waterproof capabilities. The added benefit is that due to the lack of water absorption, acetylated wood has the benefit of staying at full dry wood strength consistently. A further benefit is that the treatment process is entirely non-toxic, and it negates the need for any potentially toxic waterproofing treatments later in its life. The modification of the wood translates through to its very core, so no matter how the wood is worked on through sawing, chisel, or any other means, it’s always 100% protected by that acetylation process. 

The benefits of acetylated wood: 

  • Hydrophobic properties 
  • No chemical treatments necessary 
  • Contains no toxic substances 
  • Dimensionally stable 
  • Rot resistant 
  • Stable in both dry and humid climates 
  • Fungi and insect resistant 
  • Paint coatings last longer due to a lack of shrinkage 
  • Requires much less maintenance than other timber 


What does Accoya Wood look like? 

Accoya Wood starts off life with a more traditional pine colour, but over time it fades to a stunning silvery grey finish.  Due to the treatment process that Accoya Wood undergoes this natural process can be allowed to run wild with zero chance of structural issues due to weathering.  


What are the environmental plus points of Accoya Wood? 

Accoya wood doesn’t just boast credentials in terms of its durability like its Class 1 durability rating, it’s also recognised as a highly sustainable wood. It’s certified as Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified. Accoya is also FSC Certified, with the pine originating from sustainably managed forests, making it an environmentally ethical material.  

As far as being environmentally friendly, Accoya Wood goes above and beyond most timber on the market today, further enhanced by its acetylation treatment process and the lack of any need for further treatment.  

What is Accoya Wood used for? 

The applications for Accoya are near infinite, due to the excellent properties previously mentioned. Some of the most popular applications are:  

  • Façade Cladding 
  • Doors, Windows, and Shutter Systems 
  • Decking and Floorboards 
  • Street Furniture 
  • Garden Furniture 
  • Play Equipment