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The Material Upgrade to Accoya Wood

The Material Upgrade to Accoya Wood

Some eagle-eyed customers may have noticed that Pentagon Play has introduced a wonderful new wood material for our most popular product, the Play Builder Sets.

This new wonder wood is called Accoya wood. The move to use Accoya wood made sense to Pentagon Play as it provides a wide variety of benefits for both the customer and the environment.

A close up of the Accoya wood being used for a wooden block that is included in the Play Builder sets. Two children are stood on top of the block, with artificial grass beneath the block.

What is Accoya Wood?

Accoya wood is a fantastic material, and where it's grown may surprise you! While it’s not directly harvested from a unique Accoya tree, it begins its life as a fast-growing pine tree called the Radiata Pine (Pinus Radiata) – which is grown in managed forests in New Zealand.

The Life Cycle of Accoya Wood:

  1. Tree Growth: The Radiata Pine tree is grown in sustainably managed forests in New Zealand. These forests are all Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved, which ensures responsible management practices of the world’s forests.
  2. Harvesting: Once the Pine trees reach maturity (usually around 30 years), they are harvested.
  3. Acetylation Process: The journey of the Radiata Pine is like no other timber. Once harvested the raw timber is put under a modification acetylation process using acetic acid to make it into Accoya wood. This process changes the cell structure of the wood, making it highly durable and an extremely dimensionally stable wood allowing it to withstand all sorts of weather conditions!
    • Acetylation Process
      • The wood is treated with acetic anhydride (a derivative of vinegar), which alters the cell structure of the wood. This process significantly reduces the wood's ability to absorb water by about 80%. Improving the dimensional stability of the wood and therefore making it less susceptible to swelling and shrinking due to moisture. 
      • The acetylation process increases the quantity of acetyl groups in the wood, making it more hardy and resistant to rot, fungi and insects. 
      • Accoya wood is environmentally friendly as the acetylation process does not involve any toxic substances as well as being sustainably sourced with a low carbon footprint.
  4. Accoya Brand: This final modified wood is known as Accoya®. The modification process goes through all of the raw timber to its core, allowing constant performance and protection, regardless of how the wood is cut, planed, drilled, or shaped. Accoya wood is highly rot-resistant and stable across varying climates, so there is no need for preservatives.
  5. Where it’s Used: Accoya wood is typically used for window frames, doors, facades, cladding, decking, and now in Pentagon Play products too!

What are the Benefits of Accoya Wood?

Accoya wood is a remarkable material that stands out in the timber industry for its exceptional properties and versatility.

It is a fantastic wood to use due to its durability, stability, sustainability, low maintenance, aesthetic appeal, and the assurance of a long-term warranty. These attributes make it a smart investment for any project using wood, ensuring that the end result is not only beautiful but built to last. 

2 wooden Accoya blocks are stacked on top of each other, with an Accoya wooden plank placed on top. This plank is also resting on another 2 Accoya wooden blocks, creating a bridge between the two. This is all set up on artificial grass.

So now that we know the above, what does that mean? Let's take an in-depth look into the benefits of  Accoya timber and why it's better than standard wood:

The Benefits of Accoya Wood

  • Accoya Wood is Safe: Accoya wood is considered safe to use for several reasons, primarily due to the non-toxic acetylation process it undergoes. This process doesn't weaken the wood but improves its durability and hardness, making it the perfect wood to use for playground equipment and installation when weather conditions can change frequently. 
  • Accoya Wood is Durable: Accoya wood is a Class 1 durable timber, surpassing even the most durable old-growth tropical hardwoods like Teak due to the acetylation process it undergoes. The acetylation process makes the timber more durable as well as making it dimensionally stable, prolonging its useful life (rot, insect and weather resistant) and keeps carbon locked in for longer. 
    • Accoya states that Accoya wood comes with an unrivalled 50-year warranty for above-ground applications. Plus, when using Accoya wood at or below ground level, it will still provide a 25-year warranty which is a lot higher than other woods on the market. 
    • Accoya also says that The Timber Trade Body (TRADA) states that you can expect a minimum service life of 70 years for Accoya wood. So, you can expect to reap the rewards of using Accoya timber for many a decade for any wood-related projects!
  • Accoya Wood is Environmentally Friendly: Accoya wood is seen as being very environmentally friendly because it's: 
    • Non-Toxic and Biodegradable: Accoya wood is non-toxic and 100% biodegradable. Therefore, it doesn't contribute to environmental pollution. 
    • Sustainably Sourced: It's made from fast-growing, abundantly available certified wood species like Radiata Pine, which are sustainably sourced and prevent deforestation of tropical rainforests. Accoya wood has received several worldwide accreditations for its environmental sustainability and performance:
      • Cradle to Cradle Certification - Gold level certification
      • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
      • LEED
      • BREEAM
      • Green Star
      • Declare
      • Nordic Ecolabel

Two children are balancing across Accoya wooden beams. These beams are connected to Accoya wooden blocks which are all a part of the play builder sets. The obstacle course is laid on top of artificial grass

The above accreditations show the importance of Accoya's commitment to sustainability and its performance as a building material.

  • Accoya Wood is CO2 Negative: During the whole of its life cycle, Accoya wood stays CO2 negative. Thus, making it a fantastic alternative for tropical hardwood and other raw materials from non-renewable resources!
  • Accoya Wood is Recyclable: Accoya Wood is fully recyclable and reusable! Even at the end of its life, Accoya timber can be safely burned for bio-energy or composted.
  • Accoya Wood is a Form Of Energy Conservation: The properties of Accoya wood means that it has fantastic thermal insulation properties making it a wonderful material to use when making window frames and doors, as it provides energy conservation through insulation. 
  • Accoya Wood is Low Maintenance: Due to improved hardness and stability, any products made from Accoya wood needs less maintenance. Which in turn means less coating use and waste over the product's lifetime. 
  • Accoya Wood is Customisable: Accoya wood is highly customisable due to the acetylation process it undergoes. This process alters the cell structure of the original wood, improving the woods durability, stability, and bending strength.
    • It's modified uniformly through the cross-section, not just at the surface, which allows for a wide range of different applications and bespoke finish options, to be applied  to products such as windows, door frames, decking, and facades. It is also low maintenance, requiring less work to keep in good condition.

Can you use Accoya Wood for Play Equipment?

Accoya timber is currently used in a wide range of applications across housing, offices, and other industries, such as:

  • Windows and doors
  • Decking and cladding
  • Structural timber
  • Outdoor furniture and landscaping
  • Marine environments (boats and docks)

These examples highlight the versatility of Accoya wood in providing long-lasting and reliable solutions for various sectors. Therefore, using Accoya wood for outdoor play equipment is the perfect fit!

Accoya wood is a fantastic resource to use for play equipment as it's durable, rot resistant, stable, non-toxic, it looks good, and doesn't warp over time. Therefore, it's an excellent choice for outdoor play equipment as the weather conditions change so frequently and the Accoya wood just stays the same! 

Accoya wood blocks are stacked on top of each other, which are a part of the play builder sets. A child is stood on top of both of the blocks, as the blocks are placed on top of artificial grass.,

It is also known to be child-safe and durable enough for generations of children to play and engage with the equipment. Plus, it is environmentally friendly, which are important factors for play areas. 

Accoya wood is ideal for a wide range of outdoor play resources such as  water play furniture, mud kitchens, outdoor tables and chairs, and climbing structures, etc.

Using it for play equipment is no different than using it for decking, boats or doors, it will become common practice in the outdoor play equipment industry within the future.

What Pentagon Play Equipment is Made from Accoya Wood?

Pentagon Play is excited to tell you that we are already moving away from the standard woods used in our products and we are upgrading most of our equipment to this fantastic new material - Accoya wood. Providing the best quality and long-lasting outdoor play equipment products to our customers. 

3 children are stood in a single file line as they all look at the camera. They are stood on wooden Accoya planks and boxes as they all pose for the camera. The Accoya wooden equipment is set up on artificial grass.

Pentagon Play is keen to use Accoya wood as one of the main materials used in our product ranges. The wheels are in motion, and we have already upgraded one of our most popular pieces of outdoor play equipment, The Play Builder Sets range!

Play Builder Sets

Our devoted team of experts has lovingly given new life to our Play Builder Set range by upgrading the wood used to Accoya wood. Why have they done this? To ensure that it stays in great condition for children to play with for decades to come, as well as being non-toxic and environmentally friendly!

The Play Builder Set range consists of:

The Play Builder Set range is a fantastic range of outdoor construction play packages for pupils to use.

Crafted from Accoya timber, this highly durable, weather-proof, and safe material will last for decades (with a 50-year warranty against rot and infestation and a 1-year warranty against general wear and tear).

With these warranties, it enables children to use this wonderful and versatile equipment all year round, whatever the weather conditions with the Play Builder Sets looking as good as new each time they play with them!

With all of our Builder Play Set packages, children get physical with the equipment by lifting, moving, and joining pieces of the sets together. Using and developing their fine motor skills as they grip and grasp the materials to arrange them using coordination and spatial reasoning skills.

As well as using their gross motor skills while they lift and move the planks around, and practice balancing and walking along the Accoya wood planks that are set at different heights and inclines.

It is therefore important that the wood used is durable and non-toxic so that:

  • The children's little hands and fingers are free from splinters, rot and toxins. 
  • The children are safe walking and balancing along the planks that haven't rotted away or are about to break.

A little girl is crossing an Accoya wooden plank as she tries to make it to an Accoya wood block. The small obstacle course is set up on artificial grass.

That's why Pentagon Play has upgraded the Player Builders Sets to Accoya wood, as it is so important to make sure the materials used in our products are safe and durable for children to play on.

Embrace the Benefits of Accoya Timber Today!

Schools, holiday parks, and leisure centres should embrace the benefit of Accoya timber today! There are so many wonderful benefits of using Accoya wood for their outdoor play equipment due to its:

  • Durability
  • Sustainability
  • Safety
  • Stability
  • Versatility

These properties make it an excellent material for outdoor equipment that requires minimal maintenance while being safe and sustainable. Allowing children to play in safe environments for generations to come.

Stay Tuned!

Want to learn more about Pentagon Plays upgrading process? Stay tuned for future updates to this page. We will add all products that have received an upgrade to Accoya wood as and when they have been signed off by our team of expert developers!

A little boy hugging a plank of Accoya wood, holding it close to his cheek. The boy is looking at the camera as other Accoya-based wooden equipment can be seen in the background, all on top of an artificial grass surfacing.