EcoChoice: The timber of choice for sustainable piers

Over the years, EcoChoice has supplied decking and timber for renovation, rebuilding, and repairing some of the UK’s most iconic piers. Being one of the key suppliers to the civil and marine industries, we always work closely with the designer, contractor and client to make sure the wood chosen is suitable and durable for the intended use and local conditions. Ekki is the most popular choice, being a hard, durable timber that can withstand both heavy traffic and sea conditions and outlast both steel and concrete. Here, we will take a look at some of the piers EcoChoice has had the privilege to supply the timber for.

Southend Pier

Sustainable pier in Southend

Southend-on-Sea’s Pier is the longest pleasure pier in the world. It extends 1.33 miles into the Thames Estuary and was initially built in 1830. When the contractors appointed EcoChoice for this prestigious project back in 2009, we supplied timber panels rather than individual boards. This saves both time and money on the overall build due to the reduced labour required to install the panels. Southend Pier’s renovation had a focus on sustainability, so our FSC certified timbers were ideal for this task. We also used a mixture of timber species in the build; this helped reduce the project's environmental footprint even further than it would if we had used only a single timber species. We’re pleased the timbers are still there – and looking great!

Hastings pier 

Hastings Pier

Hastings Pier sustained significant damage as a result of a storm back in 1990. The Pier, which was built in 1872, suffered further misfortune and was virtually destroyed by a fire in 2010. 

Thanks to the Hastings Pier Charity working alongside Hastings Council and English Heritage, the charity was able to secure the funding to restore the historic pier to its former glory. 

The rebuild design reimagined what a sustainable, flexible pier could look like. Ecochice was chosen by the contractors and dRMM Architects to supply Ekki for both the joists and decking planks. The pier is 11000m2 and is mostly decked. The decking of choice were EcoChoice’s 35 x 145mm planks – all in FSC certified Ekki. In addition, we also supplied custom made joists, handrails and steps for the project. The Hastings Pier restoration project was awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize 2017 for architecture. 

Colwyn Bay, Victoria Pier

Victoria Pier in Colwyn Bay

Colwyn Bay's Victoria Pier has had a hard life after years of neglect and was therefore closed in 2008. It continued to deteriorate until parts of it fell into the sea in 2018, and it was dismantled. Over the years, the Colwyn Bay Pier Trust preserved the original piers' original features and ironwork. Once funding was secured to rebuild the 1900 pier to its former glory, EcoChoice was chosen to supply the timber for the decking: 25x90mm smooth decking in FSC certified Angelim Vermelho, a durable and very dense marine hardwood, which is also cheaper than Ekki. The Covid-19 pandemic delayed the project, but the pier should be opening soon for all to enjoy!

Queens Pier, Isle of Man

Queens Pier in the Isle of Man

The Queens Pier, Isle of Man is currently undergoing a major restoration project following an excellent community effort led by the Queens Pier Restoration Trust. The restoration is being funded by charity events, donations, and the skills of volunteers to rebuild the pier back to a usable state. Alongside ourselves at EcoChoice supplying the timber, we are confident that this project will be as successful as all the rest. The first phase of the pier build included updates to the entrance building and rebuilding the pier’s first three bays. We are following this project and cannot wait to see the finished result!

Phoenix Wharf, Plymouth

Phoenix Wharf in Plymouth

The Wharf is one of Plymouth’s most historically significant waterfront buildings and has undergone a considerable makeover. The Wharf has been used since 1895 to dock ferries to and from Turnchapel and other destinations. The Wharf was in a dangerous condition and had been largely fenced off. It has now been restored using EcoChoice’s sustainable FSC certified decking in time for the 2020 Mayflower celebration.

We are proud to have been involved in so many pier restoration projects. Our FSC certified timbers are ideal for the tough conditions and careful consideration must be given when selecting materials for projects such as these. Please contact us to discuss any requirements you have and to see how our timber can complement your project and reduce your ecological footprint. 

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