Author: dhhPanel

Product Feature: Beech-Faced Eucalyptus Plywood

DHH Panel Products are pleased to introduce what could be the best Birch plywood alternative to reach the UK market in 2023, which certainly complements our existing range of high-quality European birch plywood products. 

The latest addition is “Beech Pro”, an innovative Steamed Beech-Faced, Eucalyptus Grandis core plywood, that stands as a versatile and sustainable alternative to Russian Birch Plywood across various applications.  With 1mm B/BB graded veneer faces, paired with a machine jointed core, this plywood mirrors both the aesthetic and structural qualities of Birch Plywood in many ways.

Derived from sustainably managed forests in Uruguay, South America, with Beech face veneers from Europe, “Beech Pro” offers the strength and quality characteristics, paired with a commitment to responsible sourcing, to satisfy most specifications and sustainability requirements.

 

>> Exceptional Core Construction

The core of Beech Pro is constructed with solid faced machine jointed Uruguayan Eucalyptus veneers, which eliminates core gaps and minimises overlaps. The attention to detail in full core construction, with 18mm having full 13-plies, makes Beech Pro an outstanding panel with exceptional strength, screw fixing and machinability. Coupled with core aesthetics, this makes the panel usable for all high level joinery applications where the panel edge is revealed.

 

>> Machinability

We’ve been running extensive trials before bringing this product to the UK market, and have seen high performance levels across all applications. From basic cutting, laminating, CNC processing to lacquering – this product has demonstrated it is easily machinable; adaptable, and is suitable for almost all types of high-end joinery with its quality 1mm face veneers. This plywood also offers exceptional screw-holding and strength; due to the specie combination and its technical multi-laminated core.

 

 

>> Defect-Free Steamed Beech Face Veneers

With clear one piece veneers, the 1mm Steamed Beech faces can be re-worked and finished to a high standard, whether lacquered, oil or paint coated. Having already been calibrated and sanded to a smooth finished face, the panel is ideal for joinery or fit-out work where both face and edges are going to be visible and revealed.

 

>> Rigorously Tested & Certified

From a structural perspective, “Beech Pro” is CE2+ certified, making it suitable for load-bearing applications. The credentials are further reinforced by the product’s UKCA Certification and endorsement from third-party testing, BM Trada Q Mark, for thicknesses of 9mm and above.

 

>> Endorsements from Satisfied Customers

DHH Panel Products has received acknowledgement from a diverse range of customers; furniture manufacturers have lauded Beech Pro for its strength in framing applications, while others have found it to be an exceptional product for laminating and even clear lacquering. Many have commended its cost-effectiveness, recognising it as a perfect utility panel alternative to birch plywood.

 

>> Championing Sustainability & Compliance

At DHH Panel Products, sustainability is at the heart of our values. Beech Pro proudly carries 100% FSC® Certification, a testament to its compliance with responsible forestry practices and has full UKTR supply chain documentation. Additionally, it has an E1 Formaldehyde Rating, symbolising low emissions and environmental credentials.

 

>> Machinability Continued Commitment to Excellence

DHH Panel Products continues to be one of the leading experts in Birch Plywood and innovative alternatives like “Beech Pro”. This sustainable, high-quality product opens up new possibilities for designers and manufacturers alike, reaffirming our commitment to delivering excellence in panel solutions while championing sustainability and responsible sourcing.

“Beech Pro” offers customers flexibility in terms of size and thickness, available in panel sizes of 2440mm x 1220mm or 3050mm x 1220mm, with thickness options ranging from 3.6mm (3ply) to 25mm (15ply).

Interested to learn more about this product? Give our experienced team a call on 01708 864245.  We’re also available via email at sales@dhhpanelproducts.co.uk or keep up to date on product news by following our various social media platforms.

Case Study: ‘The Riwaq’ Okoume Pavilion

The Riwaq Pavilion was an extraordinary Islamic-inspired exterior building; manufactured from plywood supplied by DHH Panel Products. This unique structure was designed to be used as a temporary community arts space at last years’ Brighton Festival; and stood on Hove’s picturesque seafront for a whole month in May.

This impressive structure is the brainchild of Syrian-born architects Marwa Al-Sabouni and Ghassan Jansiz; who wanted to bring a little taste of the Middle East to the festival. Riwaq means ‘Colonnade’ in Arabic, and these types of structure have been commonly used for centuries in Islamic architecture; and in garden design to partition internal and exterior areas of a space.

DHH Panel Products supplied Okoume Marine Plywood for this project, which was used entirely to construct the arches, floor and supporting columns of the structure. The water-resistant and load bearing properties of Okoume mean that this plywood is ideally suited for exterior use as garden buildings and structures, when correctly treated.

A detailed of the Riwaq's roof, from within in inside of the structure. There are curved supporting beams that are holding up the roof of the structure.

Okoume is additionally very easy to machine, and the exotic hardwood face is a very good visual substitute for the tree species that would have been used in drier, more arid areas of the Middle East in traditional Riwaq construction. In more humid conditions though such as the UK though, a moisture-resistant panel needed to be specified instead.

The curvature and elegance of the Riwaq was achieved using CNC routing techniques, which helped create a very precise and geometrically symmetrical design. It was also used to ‘etch’ traditional decorative designs into the columns and arches of the Riwaq to give it a traditional Islamic appearance.

A close-up of the wall panelling used to create the Riwaq. Arabic-inspired etchings can be seen at the top of the Riwaq's archways.

The structure was created ‘flat-pack’ so that it could be easily transported and assembled by a small team of people on-site at the festival. During the festival, the Riwaq hosted a range of cultural events to celebrate the diversity of Brighton and to bring communities closer together.

More information about the Riwaq can be found on Brighton Festival website; along with a time-lapse video that shows the structure being assembled. All of the above photos of the Riwaq were taken by Jim Stephenson.

DHH: A TTJ Awards 2023 Finalist!

DHH Panel Products was recently shortlisted for the ‘Excellence in Marketing’ award at the national Timber Trades Journal Awards.

We were considered for this years’ award due to the work we did in our recent rebrand; including our new website, literature and product ranges for 2023. This years’ award ceremony took place on the 15th September 2023 at the Hilton London Bankside, and we were thrilled to be in attendance.

But in the end, it was not to be, We were up against some very worthy competition; but are still very humbled to have been considered for such an illustrious award in the first place.

We’d like to thank the Timber Trades Journal for the opportunity, and for hosting an excellent awards ceremony. We’d also like to congratulate all of the organisations and individuals who won a well-deserved award – very well done!

Product Feature: Douglas Fir Plywood

Canadian Clear-Faced Douglas Fir is a decorative plywood that’s full of character and flair. Its matured, sophisticated face; combined with wild orange hue; gives the panel an unmistakable grain uniqueness that is hard to replicate…

DHH Panel Products – widely known for its Birch Plywood expertise – are exclusive importers of Clear-Faced Douglas Fir Plywood within the UK. The unique Douglas Fir face veneer has a rich, complex variety in the heartwood; which ranges from warm yellow to dark brown. This is accompanied by a darker grain banding that gives the face its’ recognisable distinct appearance, and a light yellow sapwood that completes the look. You can also enhance the face further by using clear lacquers and oils to suit your individual preference.

This product, however, isn’t just a pretty face – The strength and versatility of the panel makes it suitable for structural and exterior conditions too. Douglas Fir is CE marked to EN:13896/EN:636-3 standards; and the plies are individually bonded with a Class 3 EN:314 waterproof phenolic resin; meaning that the edges of the ply can remain exposed (when treated) without compromising the overall integrity of the panel. The product also has a E1 formaldehyde rating.

Direct from the forests of British Columbia…

Douglas Fir Plywood is produced by Richmond Plywood and sourced from PEFC™ certified forests that are situated on the banks of Canada’s iconic Fraser River in British Columbia (BC). The forest gives Canadian Douglas Fir a very specific exposure to summer and winter suns; meaning that the heartwood can become more or less pronounced depending on what season the tree is felled.

The logs travel via river to the processing plant (pictured above), where great care is taken to peel high grade, one-piece rotary cut veneers that preserves the characteristic face. This unique, distinctive face is sought the world over for its warmth & vibrancy; and over 480,000 cubic meters of Douglas Fir Plywood is produced each year for global distribution.

Don’t just take our word for it…

Douglas Fir Plywood has started to gain itself a reputation within the UK, with many large commercial builds/brands and smaller projects specifying this remarkable product…

Douglas Fir Plywood was used as wall and ceiling panels within the iconic Colyer-Fergusson Building at the University of Kent. Tim Ronalds Architects chose Douglas Fir for its colour, vitality – and also its acoustic ability to reverberate sound around the large concert hall. This project went on to win both a RIBA award and a national Wood Award.

Levi Jeans have recently used Douglas Fir Plywood too, as part of a refurbishment of its flagship Covent Garden & other  UK stores. The warm face of the panel is greatly enhanced when lightly lacquered; and was used to create wall panels, shelving units and point of sale display stands around sections of the store. Malin+Goetz have also used Douglas Fir Plywood as part of a refurbishment of their shop in Islington. Architect Jonathan Tuckey designed the fit-out to create cabinets, shelving and point-of-sale units (main feature photo). The ‘Solid Core’ raw plywood edge was intentionally kept exposed, to exhibit a more natural effect and add character to the finished appearance.

Douglas Fir Plywood is also financially viable for smaller projects – A smaller London-based design studio has previously used Douglas Fir Plywood to design a residential kitchen (pictured above). The panel was treated with a natural oil to darken the grain and emphasise the detail of the veins, before being used to create cabinets and a central kitchen island.

The design possibilities of Douglas Fir Plywood are endless; and the panel can be used for a wide range of end applications – including fit out, wall lining & joinery projects, furniture manufacture and for structural uses.

Want to know more?

DHH Panel Products, alongside its sister company Decor Solutions; hold an exclusive stock range of Clear Faced Douglas Fir Plywood for use within the UK & Europe. The panel is available ex-stock in a stock size of 2440mm x 1220mm, and in five thicknesses between 11mm and 24mm . The distinctive face can be supplied on either one or two sides of the panel; with either a solid or softwood core.

For more information about Douglas Fir Plywood, please do not hesitate our dedicated Douglas Fir Plywood page. You can also call the team on 01708 864245 or send an email to sales@dhhpanelproducts.co.uk.

Case Study: A Rather Royal Viewing…

The RHS Resilient Garden is a bold ‘concept vision’ that hopes to change the way in which gardens are landscaped in future; in order to help combat and avert climate change. The project was showcased at the Royal Hampton Court Palace Garden Show using products supplied by DHH Panel Products –  and is a visual representation based upon the well-known book of the same name.  

The space was designed by Tom Massey; and helps illustrate how green spaces could be better designed in the future to make them more resilient and adaptable to a warming climate. Features include an innovative irrigation system that prevents flooding by capturing rainwater; and a ‘Food Forest’ growing area that works alongside the ecosystems and wildlife occupying the space.

A central pre-fabricated timber building is one of the main centrepieces of the garden; designed to be both sustainable and environmentally-friendly in its construction and use. The concept of this structure was realised by My Room in the Garden, and uses a range of sustainable wood-based panel products.

We donated an ensemble of decorative and structural products to this ambitious project, including Eucalyptus Plywood and Okoume Marine Plywood. Both of these panels are great alternatives to Birch Plywood, and are widely specified for their excellent moisture-resistant and weatherproofing properties. We also supplied Smartply OSB3 products, which were used to build the initial frame of the structure.

The interior walls, roof struts and shelving were all created using either Eucalyptus or Okoume Plywood panels, alongside providing some of the weight-loading structure. These products were chosen specially for their natural decorative faces and calm, relaxing aesthetic when used in minimalist spaces.

More information on the garden can be found on the Royal Horticultural Society Website.

The Safe & Legal Choice for Birch Plywood

Despite the disruptions caused by the ongoing events in Ukraine, DHH Panel Products stands out as a reliable and trustworthy source of safe and ethically-sourced Birch Plywood in the UK.

With over 30 years of experience, we have established ourselves as a market leader in the Birch Plywood industry. Our strong relationships with suppliers across Europe – including Latvia, Poland, Estonia, and Finland – have allowed us to continue our role as a leading Birch Plywood importer.

We offer a diverse range of face grades, from C, CP to BB, in various thicknesses from 0.8mm to 50mm. As a replacement to B/BB and S+/BB Birch from Russia, we are seeing more demand for B/BB Birch-Faced Poplar Plywood and Maple-Faced Poplar Plywood as an alternative to these clear grade decorative panels.

With such major disruption to global supply chains and current embargoes against Russia, we understand there may be concerns regarding the legality of using Birch Plywood. However, when you purchase Birch Plywood from DHH we guarantee it is legal and sourced ethically from Europe. As a responsible supplier, we are committed to working tirelessly to ensure that all our Birch Plywood products originate from legal forests and not ‘conflict timber’.

To provide you with greater insight, we have created an explainer that sheds light on what ‘Conflict Timber’ is; how to avoid purchasing it, and alternative options to Birch Plywood that are currently available within the UK market.

 

Q: What is Conflict Timber?


Conflict Timber is “wood that has been traded at some point in its Chain of Custody by an armed group or country that is involved in an armed conflict; either to perpetuate conflict or take advantage of conflict situations for personal gain”.

All wood products that originate from either Belarus or Russia were deemed as ‘conflict timber’ on the 2nd March 2022; in order to prevent countries around the world from purchasing these products, and inadvertently helping to fund the economies of Belarus and Russia respectively whilst they are under economic sanctions from multiple international bodies.

Timber Development UK (TDUK) has recently confirmed that ‘conflict timber’ from Belarus and Russia still appears to be making its way into the UK. The most common way this is done is by illegally routing products through a third-party country; and by using a falsified ‘origination’ document to make it look like a product has originated from that country, instead of Belarus or Russia.

Please remember that conflict timber is still illegal, and that any distributor or end-user could face charges if they are found in possession of such products. It’s also hard to prove whether these products properly conform to standards such as EuroClass and EN314/EN636 if their origin or manufacturer is unknown – meaning that you could end up using a product that doesn’t meet the safety needs for your project.

  

Q: How can I avoid purchasing Conflict Timber?


The easiest way to avoid purchasing illegally-sourced wood is to use a reputable importer and distributor such as ourselves at DHH Panel Products, or any registered member of the TDUK. All TDUK members subscribe to an industry-recognised Responsible Purchasing Policy, which ensures that the appropriate background checks are always carried out to prevent suspicious panel products from entering the UK in the first instance.

Alongside our statutory obligations, we additionally employ a small team of knowledgeable people who have compliance at the forefront of their work; and who cross-check and scrutinise all documentation to ensure that any claims from our suppliers are properly evidenced. We also regularly travel to our suppliers around the world to independently inspect their working & manufacturing practices; ensuring that everything is bona fide and on the correct side of national and international law.

We put the hours in, so that you can have peace of mind when purchasing anything from us. By using DHH Panel Products, you know that your product’s gone through a rigorous compliance process to ensure that it is 100% safe to use, as advertised; and is also from a legal & sustainable supply source.

 

Q: Are there alternatives to Birch Plywood?


There are several alternatives that you could use instead of Birch Plywood; such as multi-lam Eucalyptus Plywood from South America which is dense and strong; Clear Maple & Birch faces on Poplar Plywood from Europe; and Marine-Grade Okoume Plywood from Africa and the Far East.

If it has to be Birch Plywood, we still stock a full range of Birch Ply products in the UK – such as Phenolic Birch Plywood from Latvia; Flexible Birch Plywood from Finland; and FR Birch Plywood from Poland. Please visit our product pages for access to the full stock range.

 


If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by phone on 01708 864245 or by email at sales@dhhpanelproducts.co.uk – We will be more than happy to offer Birch Plywood or an alternative product that suits your project or end application.

We’ve rebranded to DHH Panel Products!

DHH Panel Products is excited to announce its rebranding and the launch of its new site, www.dhhpanelproducts.co.uk. Founded over 30 years ago by David Francis and Derek Fletcher, DHH has evolved into a highly respected company that offers an extensive range of high-quality panel products.

The rebranding from DHH Timber to DHH Panel Products signifies a milestone for the company. With the next generation taking the helm – Ben Francis (pictured) as Managing Director; and the late Derek Fletcher’s daughters taking key roles within the organisation – they felt it was the perfect time for a fresh identity that accurately reflects the core business.

The new name, DHH Panel Products, reinforces the company’s commitment to provide an extensive range of raw, phenolic, lacquered and veneered panel products. While Birch plywood remains a specialty, the company has expanded its offerings to include other quality plywood products, such as Italian Poplar, Douglas Fir, Eucalyptus and Okoume cores.

As an independent, family-run company, DHH Panel Products is unburdened by large corporate structure, retaining flexibility and commercialism. With vast stocks conveniently located on quay sides across the UK, the company ensures a quick and reliable delivery service across its extensive product range.

Amidst the changing global timber landscape, where the risks of illegally-sourced products and “conflict wood” entering the UK persist, DHH Panel Products reaffirms its commitment to being the safe and legal choice for customers. For decades, DHH has built strong relationships with mills across the world  ensuring that all products are legally-sourced, safe to use, and do not contribute to illegal forestry practices. It is more important than ever to focus on sustainability, and as a TDUK member, this is a big part of the message with the rebrand.

DHH Panel Products has embraced digital marketing strategies, leveraging e-marketing and social media platforms to effectively communicate its message. The centrepiece of its online presence is the newly launched website, www.dhhpanelproducts.co.uk. The website offers technical product pages, information on product gradings, and access to datasheets and certificates.

Moreover, the website features a user-friendly Product Finder tool, enabling visitors to match their specific product requirements with suitable options from DHH Panel Products’ stock range. A dedicated Downloads section is also available, facilitating easy access to product brochures, DoP’s and supportive technical information. This section not only provides essential information for customers but also showcases DHH Panel Products’ own environmental certificates and accreditations, including FSC/PEFC chain of command and TDUK company membership.

Additionally, the website incorporates a News section, featuring regular content updates about upcoming products and engaging guest-feature stories by DHH Panel Products’ staff and industry leaders. The company recognises the importance of maintaining a strong digital presence in today’s era, and the new website serves as a hub for information, innovation, and industry insights.

Throughout its rebranding journey, DHH Panel Products remains committed to its core values. As a family business, it places great importance on fostering long-term relationships with customers, suppliers and in providing genuine assistance to finding the most suitable products, whether it be Birch plywood or any other item from its diverse range.

Case Study: Worldscape Installation

The ‘Worldscape’ is a temporary installation that was originally exhibited at the London Olympic Games in 2012. This colossal ‘table of the world’ was constructed entirely of timber, and provided a unique dining space for up to 80 visiting dignitaries each night at Stratford’s Old Town Hall.

DHH Panel Products supplied White Riga Melamine and BB/BB grade Latvian Birch Plywood for this project, which was chosen for its strength and easy machinability. This product was used to create the whole entirety of the table, including the elevated elements – which are geographically correct, according to NASA’s Equidistant Cylindrical map of the world.

The installation is made up of thousands of intricately-cut Birch Plywood pieces, all arranged to show the precise elevation of entire continents across the world. The highest points of the table (e.g. Mount Everest) are 2.1 metres from the ground, making this table the tallest-known table in the world!

The Worldscape Installation was the brainchild of Atmos Studio. It went on to win a UK Wood Award, and was used by over 1,500 visitors over the course of the Olympics. After London 2012, the installation was dismantled and has since been showcased at the London Business Centre; the Timber Expo in Birmingham; and the 100% Design Show.

Case Study: Colyer-Fergusson Building

The Colyer-Fergusson Building is a state-of-the-art music venue that was constructed at the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus. This exquisite venue consists of a huge concert hall – big enough to fit a full orchestra, choir and audience of 350 – plus a reception foyer, practice rooms, offices and multiple storage and technical spaces.

DHH Panel Products were very proud to be the Douglas Fir Plywood supplier for this ambitious project; and helped to supply the buildings’ main interior panels alongside our sister company Decor Solutions.

Douglas Fir Plywood was used liberally across the interior of the building as wall panelling and ceiling panels within the reception, atrium corridors and main concert hall area – and was chosen by Tim Ronalds Architects for its warmth, colour and energy. This product comes with a unique and pronounced grain which features a wild orange hue, alongside a rich and complex heartwood; a defining characteristic of Douglas Fir.

Douglas Fir Plywood was also chosen for its acoustic properties too. Some of the wall & ceiling mounted panels were mounted onto special rails so that unwanted resonance could be eliminated; and acoustic diffusion successfully achieved. It also means that the acoustics can be modulated, depending on the genre and style of music that is being performed – large curtains can be used to dampen the sound, or can be left to reverberate off of the timber walls for a completely different listening experience.

This highly prominent and much-decorated project went on to win a prestigious UK Wood Award; and also went on to win a RIBA National Award too. It is hoped that the facility will continue to stand for many years to come, and play a pivotal role within music performance for the students and musicians of South-East England.

Product Feature: Products for Staging

Here at DHH Panel Products, we stock a wide range of slip-resistant birch plywood that is suitable for staging and events – including products for stage floors, decking, platforms, steps, walkways, tiered-seating, grandstands and marquee flooring.  

When designing stage-decking or arena seating it’s essential to specify the appropriate material; as it will have to support both UDL and concentrated loads. It will also need to provide a level of slip-resistance and be durable enough to withstand exterior conditions.

We stock phenolic film overlaid birch plywood, both of which are perfect for the job; and widely used within the events sector for a range of structural applications. By using a recommended high-quality European Birch plywood – such as Riga Tex or Riga Heska Plus – you can be sure that it has been rigorously tested to ensure consistent quality and performance; and that it meets all EU and International standards.



Both of these products have a durable phenolic-film overlay, and a slip resistant surface; and all edges are sealed with an acrylic resin paint. Other technical properties include:

  • Manufactured in accordance with EN 13986;
  • Birch throughout core for strength and stability (1.45mm cross-banded birch veneers ), with good Impact-resistance;
  • Fully exterior bonded to EN 314-2: Class 3 with thermosetting ECOlogical Resins;
  • Tough, weather-resistant overlay that also has good chemical-resistance;
  • Slip-resistance values of R10 to R13 DIN 51130 (dependant on product);
  • Good strength-to-weight ratio and Screw-holding properties;
  • Good wear-resistance (overlay also bespoke to order for greater wear-resistance);
  • A light weight of 38Kgs (for an 18mm thickness, 1220mm x 2440mm panel), or 32Kgs for a 15mm panel.
  • Fully FSC® and PEFC™ Certified;

Both products are available in a range of colours, including Dark Brown, Silver-Grey, Light Grey and Black. Green and Yellow are additionally available to forward order. The following sizes & thicknesses are available for swift delivery across the UK as part of our ex-stock portfolio:

  • 1220mm x 2440mm: 12mm, 15mm, 18mm, 24mm
  • 1525mm x 3050mm: 12mm, 15mm, 18mm, 24mm

Want to know more? Give us a call on 01708 864245, email sales@dhhpanelproducts.co.uk – or head over to our dedicated Specialist Birch Plywood page for our full range of suitable products.


*Steph Plaster is one of our resident Technical Plywood Experts; and has a wealth of experience and knowledge around using Plywood for advanced applications.