The technology behind beautiful natural-looking cladding materials has evolved quickly in the last five years thanks to a series of patents from global building materials group Eva-Last®.
Though timber has been a preferred aesthetic choice for cladding for centuries, wood materials struggle to cope with harsher climatic conditions, urban pollution and strict fire prevention standards in many parts of the world. The Grenfell Tower fire of 2017 in London demonstrated in tragic fashion just how dangerous flammable cladding can be.
Finding ways to balance longevity, structural performance, aesthetic appeal, safety and cost effectiveness has been the challenge of Eva-Last®, which manufactures wood-plastic composite (WPC) decking and cladding products from recycled cellulose polymers and easily replenished bamboo fibres.
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, Eva-Last® began developing alternatives to timber to provide comparable aesthetic benefits and structural performance without the drawbacks of maintenance, weathering, staining and warping.
Through relentless research and design, the company 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. The two most significant series of products were released in 2016 and 2018 with the introduction of the Infinity I-Series™ and the Apex® line respectively.
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 taking advantage of technological innovation which has been patented worldwide, Eva-Last®’s VistaClad™ cladding product line provides a lightweight, wear-resistant and weather-resistant appearance that looks just like natural timber with none of the 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 board profile with the Infinity I-Series™, which resembles timber on the outside thanks to an advanced polymer cap, but hides a highly engineered profile design which allows for boards to clip neatly into place with no visible screws to create a flawless, durable finish.
Infinity’s 25-year warranty demonstrated Eva-Last®’s confidence in its hard-wearing longevity, which required little to no maintenance apart from an occasional sweep or light scrub. Infinity™’s structural strength allowed it to compete directly with the best qualities of timber, spanning a variety of substrates and frames of all shapes and sizes, in any orientation with a minimum of fuss and installation time.
Ease of installation of fascias, trims, decking, cladding, stair tread boards and railings – all with interchangeable textural options and reduced substructure requirements – made life for contractors a breeze while eliminating the most common problems associated with cladding products, such as water retention, warping, scratching, screw loss, fading and weathering. A proprietary range of hidden fasteners improved the aesthetic look and feel of installations using VistaClad™.
In 2018 Eva-Last® upped the game yet again with the introduction of Apex®, which further reduced the weight of cladding boards and improved overall performance while carrying the most natural finishes in the market to date. Apex®’s unrivalled UV, scratch, fade and stain resistance in both grooved and ungrooved boards came with a patented high impact resistance design and ultra-lightweight core. Eva-Last® is so confident in Apex’s ability to perform that the line is backed by the market’s longest warranty – an incredible 30 years.
Apex®’s light weight, realistic tone colour options and versatility make it the ultimate option for screens, trims and a variety of other applications.
Using Infinity™ and Apex® base materials, VistaClad™ provides a high level of maintenance-free convenience and performance while also providing the highest slip and fire resistance ratings on the market, making it ideal for both residential and commercial applications. Surpassing all expectation, Apex®, in particular, holds a Euro Class B fire rating which is uncommon in wood plastic composite.
While providing natural-looking aesthetic appeal, a high degree of safety and longevity of performance, VistaClad™ benefits from the impeccable green credentials of Eva-Last®’s products. All Eva-Last® WPC products are made from recycled plastics and fast-growing, easily replenished bamboo fibres in a facility which is 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. From ease of installation and unmatched stability to flawless finishes and modular design components, VistaClad™ provides the perfect cladding solution for both indoor and outdoor applications.