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Nature in the Living Space: The Benefits of Biophilic Design

Connecting interior and exterior spaces through products and designs derived from nature is a wonderful way to create calming, soothing spaces inside your home.  Your home is your sanctuary, and by embracing Biophilic design which literally means 'love of nature' you can create a tranquil feel in any room. Biophilic design is said to not only help us rest and relax but can also help boost productivity, creativity, and well-being through the use of space, natural lighting, and organic textures. The use of biophilic design and natural light in interior design is more than just a trend, it is an approach which promotes mindfulness, simplicity, functionality, and comfort, by utilising natural light, organic materials, patterns and colours to create more harmonious spaces. From filling rooms with plants and greenery to choosing nature-inspired textiles and furnishings, there are plenty of ways to blur the boundaries between inside and out in your home. Natural Thinking As the foundation of any successful design scheme, flooring plays a key role in helping you bring the great outdoors inside your home. Light wood floors are an essential element of biophilic design. Their natural tones and textures create a warm, inviting atmosphere that echoes the tranquillity of the outdoors. Here at Atkinson and Kirby, we have a selection of materials that are the perfect foundation for such a design. Our  Noma Smoked Oak wood flooring gives a cool and hazy vibe making this the perfect choice for a muted Scandinavian look, mixing pale intonations in a monochrome environment. Our  Manoa Oak flooring, with its delicate grain and chalky finish creates a distinct style in environment.  The Manoa Oak was an essential factor in creating the harmonious living space at Liberton Barns. An award-winning development by Glencairn Properties, consisting of four luxurious two-story homes which capture the essence of rural living with the benefit of a central city location. Originally a derelict farm shed, the site now boasts modern, open-plan living areas with expansive views of the Royal Observatory and surrounding nature reserve. The serene exterior of the Liberton Barn properties is complemented by its ‘Japandi' style interior, this style, a blend of Scandinavian and Japanese design, connecting living spaces with nature. To achieve this look, the Manoa Oak from Atkinson & Kirby’s Contemporary collection was selected throughout the property. Characterised by simplicity, minimalism, and functionality, our Manoa Oak is a popular choice for open-plan residential properties. Similarly, our focus on combining functionality and natural beauty through biophilic design was showcased in the Eden Locke project in Edinburgh. This trend-conscious aparthotel aimed to bring the great outdoors inside. For this project, Atkinson & Kirby’s durable Ness Smoked Oak flooring was chosen to be fitted throughout the hotel. With its filled knots and splits, this traditional, character-rich flooring added a beautifully aged look to the bedrooms, bars, and corridors, perfectly aligning with the building's aesthetic and practical goals while promoting a natural, calming environment. Whichever flooring you prefer, you can create a biophilic look by adding plenty of potted plants, succulents, fresh herbs, and ‘living’ walls or simply by furnishing your space with natural timber furniture and organic textiles guaranteed to ground you after a long day. To explore the full Atkinson & Kirby collection, please click here.

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Archwood Group Achieves Planet Mark Year 3 Certificate as it Advances Sustainability Goals

Archwood Group has achieved a Year 3 Certificate with Planet Mark, a sustainability certification that verifies and measures carbon and social data to reduce emissions as part of its continued sustainability initiatives. Since teaming up with Planet Mark in 2021, Archwood has achieved a remarkable 66% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 emissions. This success stems from focused efforts to decrease energy consumption and emissions directly at the operational level. Key initiatives include installing a 1MW Solar PV system, transitioning to 100% renewable energy sources, upgrading the FLT fleet to zero-emissions trucks, and optimising site layout, extraction processes, and machine efficiency. This year, Archwood Group is prioritising the reassessment of Scope 3, supply chain emissions, and is actively developing closer collaborations with suppliers. With Scope 3 emissions constituting a significant 95% of Archwood’s total carbon footprint, the group is engaging with 15 key global suppliers, collectively representing 80% of the total company spending. The aim is to share sustainability updates and discuss policy changes, emphasising the pivotal role of these collaborations in achieving their sustainability goals. In 2021, Archwood Group partnered with the sustainability accreditation, Planet Mark a Business Certification internationally recognised sustainability certification for businesses reporting its carbon footprint and demonstrating continuous progress, encouraging action and building an empowered community of like-minded individuals. As part of Archwood’s commitment to environmental best practise, the business has also joined the United Nations Race to Zero campaign. Race to Zero is the UN-backed global campaign rallying businesses to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world. Due to Archwood Group's sustainability initiatives, the business was honoured with a King’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development 2024. This prestigious award, announced on Monday, 6th May, recognises Archwood Group as one of 252 organisations nationally for its excellence in sustainable practices. This accolade is a testament to Archwood Group’s commitment to sustainability. Josh Burbidge, Managing Director of Archwood, commented: “As a business, it is critical that we measure our own impact on the environment. Planet Mark are supporting us with measuring and validating our carbon footprint, creating a clear picture of all our environmental impacts. This support will enable us to identify ways to take rigorous and immediate action to halve our carbon footprint by 2030 and achieve Net Zero by no later than 2050. “After many months of data collation and external verification, we are proud to announce that we’ve achieved the Planet Mark Year 3 Business Certification. This is an incredible achievement involving the entire business. “Through our partnership with Planet Mark, we have protected an area of endangered rainforest thanks to Cool Earth; a charity working alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation. Additionally, by collaborating with Planet Mark, we are also contributing to the Eden Project – an educational charity building connections with each other and the living world, exploring how we can work together towards a better future.” Josh adds: “Being honoured with the King’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development 2024 is an incredible achievement involving the entire business. We want to continue to do our part in having a positive impact on the planet and society. Each and every one of us plays an important role in our sustainability journey, and we’re encouraging colleagues and customers to get involved in any way they can.” Download Year 3 Certificate here Find out more about our Sustainability Journey here.

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Engineered Wood Flooring - From Forest to Floor

Today, more than half of all wood floors installed have an engineered construction. Engineered wood flooring retains all the natural beauty of solid wood but is manufactured in a way that makes it more versatile and practical within a modern space. Prized for its durability, engineered wood flooring is a popular choice among homeowners and designers alike. But how is it made? Let's explore the process, from forest to floor: Material Selection: High-quality materials are chosen for stability and aesthetics. Engineered flooring consists of a real hardwood veneer atop plywood or spruce. Kiln Drying: Timber undergoes kiln drying to prevent warping and enhance durability, while also eliminating pests and fungi. Precision Milling: Raw materials are milled with precision to showcase natural grain and character. Quality inspection ensures only the finest pieces are used. Layering and Bonding: Veneers and core materials are layered in a cross-grain pattern for stability. High-pressure, heat, and advanced adhesives bond the layers together. Pressing and Conditioning: The composite undergoes pressing for strength and conditioning to achieve the desired moisture content, crucial for preventing post-installation expansion or contraction. Finishing Touches: Sanding creates a smooth surface, followed by the application of a protective finish for durability. Quality Assurance: Each batch undergoes rigorous testing for defects, dimensional accuracy, and performance, ensuring it meets industry standards. Installation and Enjoyment: Once installed, engineered wood flooring adds warmth, character, and elegance to spaces, offering long-lasting beauty and performance. This unique process makes engineered wood flooring the perfect choice for contemporary spaces with underfloor heating as it is not susceptible to warping or drying out unlike solid wood. Engineered wood flooring is also able to float over suitable subfloors which enhances its ease of installation. It’s also available in wider planks and longer lengths, enabling a diverse range of finished looks to suit different aesthetic preferences. If you are considering engineered wood flooring for your project, check out our handy guide on selecting the perfect floor here View our range of engineered wood flooring here 

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Archwood Group Achieves Prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise

We have been honoured with a King’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development 2024. Archwood Group is one of 252 organisations nationally to be recognised with a prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise. As announced on Monday 6 May, Archwood Group has been recognised for its excellence in Sustainable Development 2024. Josh Burbidge, Managing Director of Archwood Group, comments: “Being honoured with the King’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development 2024 is an incredible achievement involving the entire business. We want to continue to do our part in having a positive impact on the planet and society. Each and every one of us plays an important role in our sustainability journey, and we’re encouraging colleagues and customers to get involved in any way they can.” The King’s Awards for Enterprise, previously known as The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, were renamed last year to reflect His Majesty The King’s desire to continue the legacy of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s by recognising outstanding UK businesses. The Award programme, now in its 58th year, is the most prestigious business award in the country, with successful businesses able to use the esteemed King’s Awards Emblem for the next five years. The award is proof of Archwood Group’s dedication to sustainable practices, following a remarkable 66% reduction in emissions. Installation of over 2,600 solar panels underscores their proactive stance on reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to 100% renewable energy. In 2021, Archwood Group partnered with the sustainability accreditation, Planet Mark, and also joined the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, whereby the business has committed to achieve Net Zero by no later than 2050. This follows Archwood Group’s appointment of its internal Environmental Action Group to drive sustainable action throughout the business. You can see all the winners of The King’s Awards for Enterprise 2024 in a special supplement of The Gazette:

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Stacey Solomon's Renovation Rescue: Transforming Spaces with Tanami Oak

Renovation Rescue, Channel 4's hit home improvement programme, recently featured Atkinson and Kirby's Tanami Oak product in an episode that aired on the 17th April. Hosted by the vibrant Stacey Solomon, the programme lends a helping hand to homeowners navigating renovation challenges. In this particular episode, viewers were introduced to Jo and Darryl, residents of the picturesque seaside town of Devon, as they embarked on an inspiring journey to rejuvenate their living space with the help of Stacey's DIY expertise and enthusiasm. This came after they encountered challenges with previous builders, turning their renovation project into a stressful ordeal. Focusing on remodelling their space into an upside-down living area, Jo and Darryl wanted to make their home feel light, bright, and airy. Under Stacey's expert guidance, they revamped their upper-ground floor into an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area. This bold decision promised a fresh perspective and renewed vitality for their home, highlighting the expansive room and stunning sea views that accompanied it. A pivotal aspect of their renovation journey was the selection of flooring for their stairs and open plan area. To tie in with the light and bright look of the place, the couple opted to fit Atkinson and Kirby's Tanami Oak flooring. This choice not only infused the space with a sense of warmth and cosiness but also reflected their commitment to quality and style. The brushed and oiled finish of the Tanami Oak flooring offered both durability and ease of maintenance, ensuring that their investment would stand the test of time. To view the full Atkinson & Kirby flooring collection, please visit: Request a sample of Tanami Oak here

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Atkinson & Kirby's Journey Towards a Greener Future

Here at Atkinson & Kirby, through our latest sustainability report, we have taken the time to analyse where our carbon footprint comes from to ensure we continue to deliver on our sustainable promises. The rising threat of greenwashing across competing industries has made it hugely important for us to document regular updates on our sustainability achievements. This is especially vital as we progress further with our pledges to achieve Net Zero, as part of the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, by no later than 2050 and halve our greenhouse gas emissions before 2030. We are committed to delivering the most eco-friendly and sustainable selection of timber products, with a focus on forming eco-friendly initiatives to positively impact the climate and contribute to a better planet and society. Here are some of our most recent achievements: Reduced our Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions by 62% compared to our baseline year. Installed 2,600 solar panels at our North Wales factory, generating 40% of the site's total energy requirements and contributing to carbon emissions reduction. Upgraded our Forklift Truck fleet from 30 diesel/LPG trucks to 20, with 19 now being zero-emissions electric trucks and one remaining diesel-powered. Transitioned to cardboard packaging solutions for all flooring items in the Atkinson & Kirby product range in 2023. Identified packaging changes for the Richard Burbidge product range, with implementation scheduled throughout 2024. Installed seven electric vehicle charging points at our HQ car park. Engaged with 15 global suppliers, comprising 80% of total company spend, to present our sustainability report and updated Archwood collaboration document. Communicated policy changes impacting suppliers, a crucial step in achieving our sustainability goals Reflecting on the past year, our Manager Director, Josh Burbidge, describes how the business is setting the benchmark with Net Zero goals and year-on-year transparency towards our sustainability progress: “At Atkinson & Kirby, we’re passionate about design, manufacturing and the sustainable sourcing of timber products. We have made great progress on our Net Zero journey, reducing our Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions by 62% versus our baseline year. This is a fantastic achievement but there is still much more work to be done.  We have prepared our latest report to update on our journey so far and highlight what we will be focusing on in the coming years’. Download the full Sustainability Report 2023 here.

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At Atkinson & Kirby, we understand the need for an intelligently selected range of wood flooring styles, providing you with a variety of options to suit every project.

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