Take a walk on the wild side with Accoya decking

A 400m-long boardwalk on Australia’s iconic Sunshine Coast has reopened to the public having undergone substantial refurbishment.

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ituated in Noosa, the updated boardwalk offers seating, viewing points and LED lighting with movement sensors and timers, to maximise the pedestrian experience and complement Noosa’s World Surfing Reserve and Unesco-biosphere reserve status. It is complete with a surfboard-shaped shower, which was hand-carved locally using Accoya wood.

Architect Grant Calder of Flexure was commissioned by Noosa Shire Council to oversee the design and construction phases, with minimal environmental impact both during the build and post completion, a deciding factor in the replacement strategy.

The existing boardwalk, handrails and public seating were replaced with an all-new wider, curving structure. All decking, seating and stairs are constructed from Accoya; a world-leading high-performance wood product that offers significant environmental and performance benefits. Its superior dimensional stability, durability and reliability means it’s not susceptible to rot, warp, shrink or swell. It is a lightweight material which can withstand the harshest of climates with minimal maintenance requirements. The high thermal break of Accoya in direct sunlight and warm climates means that there is no risk of splintering, making it a barefoot-friendly material for pedestrians.

Accoya is sourced from FSC-certified forests and is Certified Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Gold in recognition of its sustainability credentials making it an environmentally sound choice.

The boardwalk has been designed to be in keeping with the natural setting. It has retained 99% of the existing coastal rainforest and has already received the coveted Regional Green Space Award from the Australian Institute of Horticulture. This section of the coastline is inhabited by koalas and other native animals, and it is the gateway into the National Park. Accoya is also non-toxic and 100% biodegradable, which is key for protecting for the boardwalk’s surroundings.

Completed below budget and two months ahead of schedule by Hutchinson Builders, the boardwalk features over 60m³ of Accoya wood which was supplied by Britton Timbers’ sub-distributor Gowan Lea Timbers.

Architect Grant Calder of Flexure said: “Our primary focus for this project was quality; we wanted to design a boardwalk built to last, that curves between the trees and offers many places to stop, rest and enjoy the natural setting and views. Accoya was the natural choice – the product combines durability in a soft wood that is better than the highest durability hardwood, and therefore it’s very easy to build with. Its 50-year guarantee offers peace of mind and reduced maintenance requirements. In addition to that, its sustainability is important to us – this boardwalk showcases our environment whilst protecting it too.”

Noosa Heads is renowned for its surfing beaches and pristine environment in addition to the scenery of the 40km² Noosa National Park. The boardwalk is along the popular stretch connecting the area of Little Cove to the entrance of the park, allowing pedestrians to enjoy views over the beaches and ocean.

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