Lattice Rainscreen Cladding in Chestnut

Apr 11, 2018 | air dried timber, cladding timber, english hardwoods, Grown in Britain

Innauer Matt Architectkten chestnut lattice rainscreen cladding project HBJ-01_INNAUER-MATT-800x600

We had a lot of fun today. Mr McNally found the beautiful case study project you see here, designed by architects Marcus Innauer and Sven Matt of Innauer-Matt Architekten of Berzau in Austria. It has a very creative timber cladding design that’s new to us and, being woodfans ,we thought you might appreciate it too.

Innauer Matt Architectkten chestnut lattice rainscreen cladding project HBJ-02_INNAUER-MATT-800x1077 Innauer Matt Architectkten chestnut lattice rainscreen cladding project HBJ-13_-INNAUER-MATT-420x560 Innauer Matt Architectkten chestnut lattice rainscreen cladding project HBJ-12_INNAUER-MATT-250x375
Photos copyright Innauer-Matt Architekten


These clever architects have designed a simple but elegant vertical x horizontal lattice rainscreen as protection against what must be challenging weather conditions up there in mountainous Austria.

The house wears the rainscreen like a submariner wears a poloneck, enveloped and leaving nothing exposed to prevailing conditions. Here wood is an artfully applied raw material providing shelter from a harsh environment.

Clever, as the apparently delicate cladding will soften and break up wind buffetting, allows easy air circulation for drying out after lashing rains and will dissipate drifting snow with that broken surface area. The unfussy detailing at ground level and around openings will deal with water run off and long term weathering neatly.

We don’t see any reason why this same method of detailing and installation for rainscreen cladding couldn’t be used here in the UK. It just needs someone to specifiy it!

We thought it might inspire you to get creative with your next cladding project or maybe even encourage you to be brave enough to build yourself a new home. We’re sure the clever people at Innauer-Matt Architekten would be glad to hear from you if you do!

So Brownie points to Mr McNally for drawing our attention to this clever and creative use of exterior strip wood cladding. We’ve been inspired enough to use it as an opportunity to play ‘write the spec’ – a little office game we have been known to enjoy from time to time: find a project, work out the spec and price it up… we don’t race each other or anything (but that’s the fun part!)

(Go straight to the bottom of the page if you can’t wait to find out the price)


Here’s how it works…

First, you decide on a timber species.

Think about geographical location and weathering, appearance and aesthetic, type and use of building and for ‘write the spec’ where we’d normally have budget to work to for this we had to take a view. To be fair we usually end up in the mid-range, balancing each other out. Today we were pretty much instantly, unanimously, in favour of using Sweet Chestnut. We have some BIG Chestnut fans here in this office.

Chestnut is a ‘proper’ hardwood. It registers high in the durability stakes (anticipating Austria being challenging weather conditions). It achieves a machined finish very nicely. It has good figure, nice grain pattern and a creamy-yellow colour.  Our UK Sweet Chestnut has earned substantial credentials in terms of sustainability (better than most species) and also in terms of desirability. It’s recognised as higher up the pack in cladding species hierachies (I’ll see your western red cedar and I’ll raise you…) and that gives it kudos. Technically it’s a little bit lighter in weight than Oak which can help on installation and it’s potentially a little bit lighter than Oak on the budget too but we shall see…  so Chestnut it is.

So then we look at existing stock… what stock source of Chestnut looks like it’ll fit the project?

The Innauer-Matt house uses a rainscreen in quite a small section to make the two parts of the lattice so, yes, there’s a choice of fresh sawn or air dried Chestnut and either could work, but for this project we’d all go air dried. It’s more stable. More machinable. Easier to regularise for intricate patterns like this very neat, double layer design. It would potentially mean less on-site waste because the workshop can process the wood and provide a bespoke requirement that precisely fits an installation plan.

So air dried Chestnut it is. The best air dried stock for this project is the 27mm Chestnut in square edge packs.

BD.AD.waney edge packs with the potential to be used for chestnut lattice rainscreen cladding profiled air dried timber that could be used for chestnut lattice rainscreen cladding freshly sawn chestnut packs for chestnut lattice rainscreen cladding

The packs are made up of through & through milled small diameter logs sourced from forest thinning operations and coppice restoration projects. That means you can be sure the Chestnut is from well managed woodlands, sometimes the woodland is even licensed under GiB. We carry a chain of custody for  PEFC and GiB licensed timber so we can pass these sustainability credentials down through the procurement process to the project.

chestnut waney egd epacks being made from fresh sawn homegrown chestnut logs young chestnut coppice in winter beautiful green canopy of chestnut coppice woodlands

Ok, so we’ve got the stock covered, and we’ve got ‘legal & sustainable’ well and truly covered. Now we do the calculations.

Looking at the Innauer-Matt in-situ lattice rainscreen we figure an ex 27mm x ex 60mm  would give us a 20 x 50mm planed all round, smooth finished section. Lightweight rectangular strips that will sit securely against one another on the overlap, give good coverage for weathering, achieve an elegant visual appearance but once fixed, create a monolithic, weave-like building skin. Thing is, half of us opted for a 20mm smooth par finish and half for the 27mm sawn, naturally weathered finish. So we priced for both.

Clearly on a roll today, Mr McNally was first out of the gates and first to the finish line with the following linear metre prices for both air dried strip Chestnut cladding options so you have him to thank for getting it up to you so soon..

Some might say he has too much time on his hands. We couldn’t possibly comment…


Latticed rainscreen cladding

Option 1
Air dried Sweet Chestnut finished size 27x50mm
cut to size section with sawn finish, lengths normally no more than 3.6m
£3.74/lm +VAT

Option 2
Air dried Sweet Chestnut finished size 20x50mm
cut to size and planed all round section with smooth finish, lengths normally no more than 3.6m
£4.74/lm +VAT*


Both these prices are based on a small machining run of 250lm. In real terms, to replicate the Innauer-Matt lattice this would only give about a 15m2 cover.

If we’ve whetted your appetite and you want a price for your project in something similar we’d be glad to price on your coverage and specification.

Are you tempted?

Well don’t stop pondering, the online stock list is your wood world oyster. Below are some more Chestnut stock links to occupy your Chestnut rainscreen cladding thoughts.




If you have a need for chestnut lattice rainscreen cladding, or any other timber  for that matter, and you want to send us a cutting list or your project details to get a quote please don’t hesitate.

Use the form on our SEND A CUTTING LIST page to upload details and it will go straight to Chris, Grant & Nick in the sales team and they’ll get back to you.


Buy some 27mm Chestnut that perfect for a Chestnut lattice rainscreen cladding  HERE

chestnut 27mm stock on the online stock system for chestnut lattice rainscreen cladding


Browse our Chestnut square edge packs HERE

Our Chestnut waney edge packs HERE

Our wide and long waney edge Chestnut boards HERE

How about some special Wild & Figured waney edge Chestnut boards.. we know they’re not cladding but if you like Chestnut you might like to see them HERE



The architects

The project we were mooning over

Some of their other projects with really nice timber detailing

Our species page on Sweet Chestnut

Here are some past Blog posts  and webpages on Sweet Chestnut

Don’t forget to Talk About Tannin… get yourself all genned up about using timber that contains Tannin (like Chestnut) for external use like cladding. Don’t be scared, it’s only Tannin!