Cortex Weatherboard System
A vertically integrated supply chain, Pacific Wood Products grows the trees, harvests them, and processes the materials. We saw a potential to deliver a more sustainable value chain and greater margins for the company.
CREATING AN OPPORTUNITY
Cortex was the first end-consumer product for forestry enterprise Pacific Wood Products. Locus Research worked in partnership with PWP to understand their consumers, then develop and test new products, and deliver them to the market.
Through market validation, the team determined that customers were looking for a lower maintenance cladding solution and builders were looking for a failsafe, efficient, systemised product. They also found that stability with timber cladding was an ongoing concern for builders and contractors, a result of poor materials processing, handling, and installation detailing. Often, poor quality documentation of the products further aggravated the situation.
Research & Testing
Print & Packaging
A SOLID SOLUTION
The team worked to develop a 100% factory finished weatherboard product with a solid, engineered, preservative treated timber core, the first of its kind to market. A consistent 120 micron coating in production dramatically reduced maintenance, including the volume of paint required over its life span. Proprietary extrusions provided systemised detailing, improved weather-tightness, and added to the ease of installation. A concealed fixing system enabled assembly without the penetration of the exposed face, increasing both strength and durability, and providing a patented point of difference.
The Cortex system is fully documented to enable easy specification and compliance for everyone in the approval circuit. This provides the best finished weatherboard, reduced maintenance and cost of ownership without compromising on style.
Sustainable design underpinned the product development, complementing the client’s existing commitment to sustainability through Forest Stewardship Certification (FSC) of its own forest estate and chain of custody.
The Cortex cladding system by PWP won the Sustainable Design and Innovation Award for the SBN Central and Southern Regional Awards. This award recognises both the company’s overall commitment to sustainability and the innovative approach to life cycle thinking in product development. Tony Clifford (CEO) of PWP was on hand to accept the award and acknowledged the key role Locus Research played in providing a turnkey product development service.
The product also picked up a Silver Award in the Non-Consumer category at the 2009 Best Awards, and was a finalist for the Sustainable Product Design Award the same year.
“Locus managed many government and private organisation interfaces for us — acting more like an officer of our company than a paid consultant.”
– TONY CLIFFORD, PACIFIC WOOD PRODUCTS
AWARDS & HIGHLIGHTS
Best Awards: Silver – Non-consumer, 2009