The Wonders of Accoya Wood: Kelowna's Downtown Marina
The Wonders of Accoya Wood: Kelowna's Downtown Marina
The Wonders of Accoya Wood: Kelowna's Downtown Marina

Kelowna is a destination for over 1.5 million tourists annually and the "Downtown Marina" is the waterfront gateway to Kelowna! The new marina opened in the summer of 2013 to provide a much-needed temporary moorage for tourists and resident boaters wanting access to downtown Kelowna. The project selected Accoya modified wood for the nonstructural uses in the retail/service structures and visitor comfort stations located on the 350' pier that provide visitors with a respite from the elements. Siding, trim and louvers were all made from Accoya.

The spectacular and iconic sculpture the "Spirit of the Sail" by well-known local sculpture Robert Dow Reid graces the shores at the land entrance to the new marina. The proximity of the two eye appealing structures, provide visitors with a fitting welcome to the city center.

'Kasian Architecture set out to utilize the natural beauty of wood in this spectacular lake front project. However, wood, even tropical hardwoods and common local softwoods are susceptible to cracking, twisting and rot when used outside in a diverse desert climate like Kelowna. With these concerns in mind we sought a real wood product that still met our strict requirements for sustainability while offering a low maintenance life span and the Accoya product was able to hit all these high standards.' Micael McDonald, Senior Principal, Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd.

Accoya modified wood was chosen over alternative species like Fir and Cedar due to its resistance to extreme weather conditions. Accoya backs their life-long performance claims with a 50 year warranty for exterior use and 25 years when installed below grade or submerged in fresh water. This exceptional warranty provided the developers and the City of Kelowna peace of mind over the life span of this important public resource. Wescorp, who owns and operates the marina for the next 15 years before handing it over to the city of Kelowna, needed a specialized wood that could stand up to the rigors of the local environment without incurring unnecessary additional maintenance costs.

Now barely 5 months into the project's life, Accoya is providing visual evidence that life cycle costs will be reduced. The docks made from pressure treated lumber which were stained at about the same time as the above dock structures, appears to be severely faded and in need of re-coating.

Accoya also met the town's and developer's strict requirements of sustainability and commitment to the lake environment and all those that depend on it with its FSC certification and Cradle to Cradle Gold standard. The town's mandate to support and promote local businesses was accomplished by utilizing the Kelowna based firms of a local construction and millwork company; Bachelder Construction who sourced Accoya modified wood through the Kelowna branch of Canadian owned Upper Canada Forest Products.

Accoya is the world's leading high technology long-life wood. The Accoya wood production process takes sustainably-sourced, fast growing softwood and enhances nature, creating a modified wood that matches or exceeds the durability, stability and beauty of the very best tropical hardwoods. Through a process called acetylation, Radiata Pine goes through a permanent molecular modification - taking the unstable hydroxyl group which causes wood to absorb and release water while also attracting microorganisms and replacing this acetyl group with a much more stable acetyl group. The acetylation process has been known to scientists for over 80 years, but has only been commercially available for general use in the last 10-15 years. Accoya has now been used around the world in projects as diverse as vehicle bridges in the Netherlands, a theme park in Hong Kong and siding, decking and outdoor furniture the world over. The iconic Sneek bridge in the Netherlands made using Accoya for all structural components has after extensive testing been given a rated life span of 80 years.


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