Accsys is a world leader in wood technology. It is disrupting one of the oldest industries by transforming fast-growing, certified sustainable wood into a building material with characteristics that match or better those of man-made, intensely resource-depleting, and heavily carbon-polluting alternatives. Accsys’ products are Accoya, a modified solid wood popular for windows, doors, and cladding, and Tricoya® modified wood elements used for the manufacturing of extremely durable and water-fast MDF. Manufactured through the company’s proprietary acetylation process, these products exhibit superior dimensional stability and durability over other modified and treated timber. 

Interview with Dr. Pablo Steenwinkel, Head of Technology, Accsys.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Pablo Steenwinkel: Wood modification (this is covered in the above), all the way from sourcing certified sustainable wood, modification of the wood in our process, sales of the wood in many parts of the world and engaging with customers and end-users on the benefits of our products.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

P.S: In 2021 we introduced Accoya Color to the market, a surface-to-core coloured grey version of Accoya. Because it is coloured through to the core, the grey colour cannot flake or wear off, making it ideal for decking and cladding applications. The product has had a positive market reaction and after launching in DACH we have since expanded to N. America and more recently in the Nordics and in France.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

P.S: Accoya® is our solid timber acetylated wood product. A high-performance alternative to tropical hardwoods, softwoods treated with toxic chemicals, PVC & aluminium. Accoya® is sustainable, non-toxic and recyclable, and has a very low carbon footprint.

Accoya Color (see above)

Tricoya® is the brand of our acetylated wood ‘elements’ or ‘chips’ used to make MDF-type panel products with enhanced properties making it suitable for use outdoors or in wet environments where other woods or panels wouldn’t last long.

Our acetylation process makes the wood so durable and dimensionally stable that it is guaranteed for 50 years above ground and 25 years in contact with the-ground or in freshwater. 

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

P.S: We operate in the global wood products industry which produces approximately 800 million cubic metres per annum according to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization. The market for modified wood products is developing fast. Growth is being driven by megatrends such as the movement towards the circular economy and urgent need to decarbonize the built environment. As our products compete with and displace other non-wood building materials from concrete to plastics and metals, the market in which we operate will become even larger. The option to choose sustainability without compromising on performance is a compelling proposition.

Demand for our products outstrips supply by a wide margin. We’re currently serving less than 2% of the estimated 2.6 million m3 potential target market for Accoya® and Tricoya®.

Dr. Pablo Steenwinkel, Head of Technology, Accsys

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

P.S: We’re getting more and more specifications for Accoya based on its sustainability credentials, combined with its performance, particularly for commercial buildings. With mounting government and consumer pressure for cleaner construction, architects and builders are looking for materials that have a reduced environmental impact. Accoya was recently specified for the new flagship Google HQ in London because of its sustainability credentials. It is one of the few building products to be Cradle to Cradle® Gold certified.

Consumer preferences for a more natural aesthetic are also driving demand. Our products combine a beautiful natural wood appearance with first-class durability and performance. 

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

P.S: Both our Accoya and Tricoya products are highly innovative with industry leading patented technology. Our warranty comprises an unrivalled 50 years above ground and 25 years in-ground or in freshwater.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

P.S: Our focus on 2023 is on getting our products out to more markets and countries. Every time someone specifies Accoya over a more carbon intensive product such as aluminium or steel we are helping the world build better. Last year we expanded our manufacturing site in the Netherlands to increase production & supply, and next year we will open our first manufacturing site in the USA, which is currently under construction. We expect to continue to see strong growth as more people recognize the benefits of timber construction and seek more sustainable building products.