ASK THE MATERIAL EXPERT About ASI Wood Panels

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Q: What types of finishes can I apply to unfinished and primed panels?

A: High-quality water or urethane-based finishes can be applied to most panels, please consult with ASI on specific requirements for each collection. AWI (Architectural Woodwork Institute) application guidelines apply.

Q: Are any of the ASI Wood Panels customizable?

A: Yes, certain ASI Wood Panels can be customized in overall panel size, pattern configuration and finish. Minimum panelo quantities and surcharges apply. Please consult an ASI material expert who will assist in the development and discuss your specific project requirements.

Q: Which ASI Wood Panels materials will conform to a curved surface?

A: In general, the ability of a wood panel to curve is a function of the thickness of the panel. Fabrication of many of the ASI Wood Panels on site by a qualified AWI (Architectural Woodwork Institute) millworker can achieve certain radius requirements. Several standard products in the ASI Wood Panel collection can conform to varying radii, including certain Embossed Wood - Geometrix™ Collection panels, which are offered in a 4.5 thickness, and the Eco-Dimensions Bamboo Wall Panels.

Contact an ASI Material Expert to work with you on detailing your design and options.

Q: How do I ensure that Wood Panels will not be subject to warping or buckling?

A: ASI Wood Panels fall under the category of real wood, or live wood products. All real wood products are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity . . . two factors which always need to be considered when planning for an installation. Wood is “hygroscopic” meaning it readily absorbs or gives off moisture from its surrounding environment. Under excessive conditions, this will cause the wood panels to expand or shrink resulting in warping and or buckling.

The acceptable moisture content for most wood products is between 5% and 10%, and they perform best when humidity levels are held between 25% and 55%, with a temperature in the 70° range. Environments that are outside of this range may cause dimensional instability within the panel. Unfinished panels must be acclimated in the space into which they will be installed for a minimum of 72 hours and pre-finished panels can take as long as a week to acclimate.

Expansion and contraction in a panel can be managed with the proper installation method. Please consult with an ASI material expert for proper installation method for the panel you have specified or purchased.

Q: How are ASI Wood Panels installed?

A: All ASI Wood Panels collections have a  comprehensive specification sheet in which proper installation methods are outlined - all millwork panels are to be installed in compliance with AWI (Architectural Woodwork Institute) guidelines.

The architectural millwork specialists on staff at ASI do have several recommendations when it comes to detailing the hanging and framing systems for ASI Wood Panels. Detailing depends on the thickness of the substrate, the type of substrate or wall surface the panel is applied to, and the weight of the panel itself.

“Z” clips (interlocking metal brackets, (available for purchase at ASI Online) are ideal for hanging panels of all dimensions and weights directly on to smooth wall surfaces of any type. One half of the “Z” clip is attached to the wall, while the other is attached to the back of the panel. The panel is then simply “hung” on the wall. Lightweight panels, such as Interwoven Eco-Panels or Interlock Eco-Panels, can be applied directly to smooth, vertical wall surfaces using construction adhesives.

Two important installation guidelines: 1) Wood is a natural, live product and will always be subject to some degree of expansion and contraction. . . it’s important to take this into account during the design process. 2) ASI Wood Panels must be stored flat on the job site, and must acclimate to site conditions before installation.

Contact an ASI Material Expert regarding installation recommendations for your  specific project application.

Q: What maintenance is required with ASI Wood Panels?

A: ASI Wood Panels should be kept clean with a barely damp rag and/or with the proper vacuum attachment. Touch up and minor repair as needed.

Q: How does a wood panel qualify as a certified wood for a project applying for LEED®?

A: FSC®, the Forest Stewardship Council®, is currently the only third-party certification that is recognized by LEED® to earn an MR Credit 7: Certified wood. The FSC® promotes environmentally responsible, socially beneficial,and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

However, there are additional third-party certifications that support sustainable forest management, such as the European PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), the world’s largest forest certification organization founded in 1904 Ex. Intermix®, and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) founded in 1994 in response to concerns about forest management and illegal logging, primarily in developing countries.

Products certified by organizations such as these can contribute to an Innovation in Design LEED® credit for efforts not outlined in the current LEED® rating system.

Q: Which ASI Wood Panels can contribute to LEED® points for the certified wood credit?

A: Reclaimed Barn Wood and antique wood can also earn points for Regional Materials (MR Credit 5) if the wood is installed within a 500 mile radius from where it was extracted. Many ASI collcetions offer certification that will contribute to LEED® points.

Contact sales@archsystems.com for more information.

Q: Is it possible to value engineer an ASI Wood Panel, if necessary?

A: Case Study: Theatre Row Apartment Tower

Featuring Sculptured Collection — Unfinished MDF, custom stain — WPMAS002

At the Theatre Row Apartment Tower in Times Square, the Architect initially specified an expensive gouged panel with wenge veneer, which was budgeted out of the project during the final stages. ASI value-engineered a gouged MDF panel from the Sculptured Collection with a custom stain to match the tone and texture of the original specification. The material was installed throughout the lobby and elevator spaces of this rental building, which contributed to rapid rental activity in a newly gentrified neighborhood. Through open communication between the Architect, ASI as the Material Supplier, and the awarded Architectural Millworker, the project came within budget without compromising the design intent.

Other examples of Value Engineering:

As certain wood species become scarce, costs of these veneers can get prohibitively expensive and drive projects over budget. Engineered and Reconstituted Wood Veneers offer an excellent alternative to many sought after veneers such as Zebrawood, Teak, Birdseye Maple, Ebony and others, as it offers the authentic appearance of wood in a cost-effective, easy-to-install product.

In addition to great standard colors, The Designer Laminate Collection in ASI Decorative Surfaces also offers realistic patterned wood laminates with an ultra-matte finish. Wood laminates require  no finishing and are a great substitute for wood veneers, particularly in high traffic, heavy use areas.

Please consult with ASI material experts to discuss your specific project requirements - we are we can meet both budget and design intent.