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In point92, a boutique office development that was recently completed for OBYU, we managed to use marine plywood which is (a material very underrated by the industry players) and not often used in buildings for some years now. It is possible this is due to architects hesitation to convince or encourage clients to adopt a maintenance regime or in their mainstream industry, to embrace natural materials for a building envelope. We have a popular culture that which looks down upon wood as a bad choice for external surfaces, especially in tropical countries. It is widely known and publicized as a disaster material to use in building external facades, and let alone ceiling panels exposed to the rain. Yes, we are aware of these concerns and there are always challenges when using a organically sustainable product, but plywood, like all building materials, needs good protection from weather and UV light. Furthermore, plywood, unlike solid timber, has the added problem of its unprotected laminated edges. If not well detailed, or given adequate protection (or sealed properly) the edges of marine plywood can be susceptible to mould and water penetration. In point92 the edges have remained exposed, unprotected and without any framing, and also in the external ceilings, and the decorative lobby walls and outdoor furniture and benches. We have instead applied a dory paint system which is and will be relied upon to give the protection. In our travels to zurich and later to vals, we spotted tables and outdoor furniture as benches in the ski resorts, and they have exposed plywood tops and seating, and we wonder if these have been well maintained throughout the winters, and that a similar product is used to seal the edges. They look good and we are certain the winters have been harsh and wet, and surviving the weather was not that much of an issue.


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