James Latham Ltd (Lathams), one of the UK’s leading and most forward-thinking distributors of timber, panels, and decorative surfaces, has announced it has become the only UK distributor of revolutionary Spanish construction panel HONEXT®.
HONEXT® was originally founded in 2011 as a collaboration between Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya researchers and three generations of the Merino family.
A game-changing, carbon-neutral, lightweight construction panel, produced from waste fibres and cellulose residue from the paper industry. By upcycling this run-off material, using a proprietary biotech process, the Barcelona-based brand has achieved a fully recyclable, non-toxic board with a circular lifecycle, perfect for specifying to a sustainable brief.
Suitable for interior wall and ceiling linings, and other non-loadbearing applications, the introduction of HONEXT represents the latest step in Lathams aim to be the most innovative and sustainable materials distributor in the UK and Ireland.
Building on other recent forward-thinking initiatives, including the Carbon Calculator and Digital Showroom, listing HONEXT is helping its diverse audience of architects, designers and fit-out professionals make the most eco-friendly choice when selecting surfaces.
Commenting on adding HONEXT to the Lathams catalogue Nick Widlinski, Panels Director says, “According to the UN Environment Programme, the construction sector was responsible for 38% of all energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019, prompting sustainability to become a non-negotiable in many contemporary design briefs. Specifiers are now having to respond by selecting the lowest carbon materials possible, particularly those manufactured in a circular fashion.
He continues, “HONEXT meets all these needs and goes further. It’s a high-performance interior construction panel that deals with a long-standing waste management problem for the paper industry, which globally generates more than 8 million tons of waste annually. It’s also another welcome addition to our ever-expanding portfolio of green panel options, meeting our clients evolving preferences and offering them a greater degree of choice.”
A high-performance material, with a low carbon footprint
Unique in its category as Cradle-to-Cradle Silver Certified, the benefits of HONEXT for interior cladding and partitioning go far beyond its upfront sustainable attributes.
A high-performance material, it possesses strong thermal conductivity, vapour permeability, and acoustic performance.
Exploring these advantages in more detail, HONEXT® Panels are designed to feature better sound absorption properties than traditional building materials, and they are also resistant to moisture and water vapour.
The panels also promote better indoor air quality, as they contain no added VOCs and are Material Health Silver Certified.
From a fabrication perspective, the lightweight construction panel has a fibrous build-up, therefore it’s extremely easy to work with regular woodworking tools. Furthermore, it’s considerably less dense compared to other fibreboard products used for interior applications and its relative lightness eases the installation process.
In short, it’s set to become a green disruptor in the UK’s vibrant commercial architecture scene.
Realising HONEXT’s Potential
Already specified on a number of projects in Spain and continental Europe, HONEXT’s potential to help deliver sustainable and cost-effective design solutions is increasingly being realised by specifiers.
In a recent, high-end retail project, the panels were used to replicate fluted concrete walls when using concrete would have been extremely heavy, highly unsustainable, and very expensive, for use in a commercial unit.
Here, the HONEXT sheets were bonded together, deep grooves were made, and then painted, creating a lightweight, sound-absorbing wall that looks identical to fluted concrete.
More sustainable and easier-to-work than many other panelling materials, HONEXT is a game-changer, particularly for applications such as retail fit-out, exhibitions, set decoration and staging, as the product can be shaped, painted, bonded, and laminated offering a greater degree of flexibility for architects, designers, specifiers, fabricators and industrials.
Demand for HONEXT is also growing in the commercial office sector, where its sound absorption capabilities are being realised by fit-out professionals. In a recent workspace project for Spanish construction firm Construcía, HONEXT panels were specified for suspended ‘sound islands’ and ceilings to improve the interior acoustics.
Here, HONEXT met all the client’s requirements for a cradle-to-cradle certified solution, as well as achieving optimal acoustic levels and a comfortable and pleasant working environment.
Commenting on the UK and Ireland distribution partnership, Paul Clegg, Chief Executive, says, “Lathams’ longstanding reputation for identifying innovative materials and championing sustainable design made them the natural choice when we were looking for a distribution partner in UK and Ireland. Furthermore, the unrivalled strength of their supply chain also inspired confidence and assured us that there will be no disruption when getting our products to construction and design professionals nationwide. We look forward to working closely with them, not only to promote the benefits of HONEXT for interiors but also to promote a greener, more circular approach to material manufacturing and specification.”
HONEXT Boards are made from 100% paper waste and are 100% recyclable. They have a density of 540 kg/m3, are 12 mm in thickness, and dimensions are 1220 x 2440 mm.
To find out more about HONEXT and its sustainable building materials click here.
The introduction of HONEXT forms part of Latham’s wider Décors campaign, enabling specifiers to discover Latham’s wide range of decorative surfaces and realise the potential for almost any design preference or requirement.
For more information on Latham’s and its extensive range of timber, panels and decorative surfaces click here.