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A temporary project in a disused car park in North London has been developed to provide a range of new accommodation for small businesses which are facing rising rent costs and lack of suitable workspace. The disused car park is referred to locally as Blue House Yard because of the renovated, blue painted council office and a row of nine brightly coloured two storey timber micro-sheds, all of which are lined with SterlingOSB Zero. The site also includes a café located in a double decker bus and a minicab office.
Norbord, which is the UK’s number one manufacturer of wood panels, developed SterlingOSB Zero with sustainability in mind. It has zero-added formaldehyde which makes it more environmentally-friendly than its plywood counterparts and often, the preferred product amongst builders and architects. SterlingOSB Zero was chosen for its structural stability and urban aesthetic.
Gabriel Warshafsky, Director of Projects at Jan Kattien Architects, commented, “[the SterlingOSB Zero panels] give young businesses a space that looks finished and ready to move into in a rough and ready sort of way.” Tenants are able to paint over the SterlingOSB Zero panels. However most of the businesses seem to prefer the aesthetics of the raw panels and have left them as they are.
Norbord’s SterlingOSB Zero was the ideal panel for bringing the architects’ ideas to life. The panels are light and manoeuverable, easy to lift and fix into timber studs, and due to the size chosen, they required minimal cutting; resulting in a straightforward material to work with which doesn’t require any fancy details. Warshafsky commented, “[the material] fitted perfectly into [our build] strategy.”
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