What cladding and finish is most suitable for Alpine conditions?

Common options for cladding include:

  • Radiata pine

For radiata pine weatherboards that are clear finished or unpainted, the minimum treatment is H3.2. Painted, the minimum treatment level is H3.1.

Weatherboard cladding made from radiata pine is widely used in New Zealand, including areas with demanding climatic conditions. Because of the presence of spiral grain, the juvenile wood of New Zealand pine should not be used where stability is vital to performance. Dimensional performance can be increased by use of finger-jointing, and/or lamination. Such highly processed laminated, finger-jointed clear products are used widely in Japan where a maximum stability is required.

  • Macrocarpa

This is discussed in the FAQ section

  • Leyland cypress

Leyland cypress is a hybrid of macrocarpa and should be even more durable. It is certainly very stable, and should be even better for cladding.

  • Western red cedar

Western Red Cedar is a species commonly used in New Zealand for natural looking claddings. This is mostly imported from Canada. The New Zealand grown timber is usually regarded as inferior to the old growth timber from British Columbia, which is very stable and durable. As with all timber cladding, it is highly recommended that cedar has a protective coating of either stain or paint.

For more on wood choice, the Substrates page on the website may be of help.

In terms of finishes for the timber cladding, please see the Exterior Finishes section on the website.

It is advisable to avoid dark colours for most wood cladding. The finishes section of the website provides some guidance on light reflectance and heat generation.