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As far back as the Dark Ages cladding – then known as “weatherboarding”, using what were called clapboards – has been used in architecture to beautify building exteriors. Originally mostly made of split boards from oak or elm trees, cladding was soon in vogue across Europe and purpose-sawn cladding boards were being sold to create attractive natural aesthetic appeal for structures of all kinds.

While cladding was always intended to beautify exteriors rather than serving a structural purpose, the development of stronger and more durable building materials such as concrete and brick reduced the role of timber cladding in more modern construction methods.

Fast Forward To The Present Day

Fast-forward to the present day and timber has made a resurgence as the aesthetic choice of cladding materials for both residential and commercial applications, but wood materials struggle to cope with harsher climatic conditions, urban pollution and fire threats in many parts of the world.

Cladding in general has posed a raised fire threat, devastatingly illustrated in the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 2017, in London. In the years since the fire, which swept up an apartment complex at an accelerated pace due to highly flammable cladding materials, the UK government has estimated that 4 million households are currently affected by cladding which is unsafe and presents a severe safety risk.

Timber’s inherent need for regular maintenance and upkeep and dwindling hardwood resources have made natural wood a costly and challenging proposition as an aesthetic complement to decking and other decorative features. In response, the composite decking and cladding industry began developing alternatives to timber to provide comparable aesthetic benefits without the drawbacks of maintenance, weathering, staining and warping, but for years struggled to match the performance of timber.

Relentless Research And Design

Through relentless research and design, architectural material and component manufacturer Eva-Last developed market-leading patents which steadily reduced the weight of composite board products, while improving their strength and bringing their appearance ever closer to that of natural timber.

In countries like South Africa where the climate is well suited to an outdoor lifestyle, decorative features like cladding and decking can deteriorate quickly and require constant attention to maintain their original finishes. By blending recycled plastics with bamboo fibres, a product like VistaClad can provide a lightweight, wear-resistant and weather-resistant appearance that looks just like natural timber with none of its associated drawbacks.

One of the most common weaknesses of timber or composite cladding was water ingress, retention and rotting. Eva-Last’s R&D team overcame this problem through creating a patented clip system of installation, which leaves no gaps or spaces for water to penetrate or come to rest. VistaClad’s scratch and weather-resistant surface, which resembles real timber, conceals a highly engineered board designed for simplicity of installation on weatherproof galvanised frames – each board neatly clips into place with no need for screws, to provide a flawless finish – and incredible durability, with a warranty of up to 25 years for the Apex line of products.

Cladding For A Variety of Substrates And Frames

VistaClad can be applied to a wide variety of substrates and frames of all shapes and sizes, allowing for boards to be clipped into horizontal, vertical or even diagonal positions with a minimum of fuss and time. With the wide variety of colours and finishes available in the Apex and Infinity ranges, blending cladding with existing or new decking and other décor in renovation or installation projects is a breeze.

The versatility and convenience of VistaClad comes in addition to its market-leading BFL S1 fire resistance rating, which has seen Eva-Last’s products recommended for use not only for commercial buildings where this consideration is paramount, but in such high-risk areas as Australia’s bush fire zones because of its protective qualities.

VistaClad, like all Eva-Last products, also boasts impeccable green building credentials, through making use of recycled plastics and fast-growing, easily replenished bamboo fibres. The manufacturing facility which produces VistaClad is also powered by solar energy.

The result of decades of purpose-driven innovation and engineering, VistaClad provides the most natural-looking, lightest and most durable cladding product on the market today – with safety and environmental ratings that other products cannot match. Considering these benefits, VistaClad has become the most recommended cladding material by South African architects for all commercial and residential applications, backed up by the longest guarantees in the market.

Eva-Last® is a globally recognised and trusted brand that manufactures and distributes specialised bamboo-plastic composite building products.Together with a wide range of decking, cladding and flooring products, Eva-Last also offers specialised support systems and expert advice, ensuring each and every build is designed to last. Eva-Last® composite profiles and complimentary systems can be found in over 35 countries globally and have been an imperative part of some of the world’s largest building projects. As the leaders in composite building technology, Eva-Last® ensures product quality and customer satisfaction with industry and class leading warranties.

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