Shou-sugi-ban or "the burning of Japanese cypress (sugi)," is an age old Japanese practice that is becoming increasingly popular outside of Japan, and now gaining popularity with architects across the world.
The process is relatively simple and involves using either an open fire or jet flame to torch the exterior of timber so that it achieves a charred finish.
The process forms a carbon layer on the exterior of the boards which protects the lumber inside and is said to render the wood nearly maintenance free. It has also been suggested that it may make the boards more resistant to fire, rot and pests, and will have an expected life span of more than 80 years.
Traditional Japanese cypress, and various types of cedar and larch are the more commonly used timbers for charred cladding although new materials are being tested every day using this method. Shou-Sugi-Ban are developing several facade solutions including Kebony and Accoya.
The below video illustrates the beautifully simple method of Shou-Sugi-Ban.
Here at Koto we are currently developing our first range of tiny buildings to embrace these sustainable techniques of timber cladding to deal with the British weather and make our cabins look and perform beautifully.