Notice: Norbord is now part of West Fraser. Click here to visit westfraser.com
We have been a trusted OSB, particleboard and
MDF supplier to the UK construction industry for many
decades and we’re committed to supporting architects.
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of engineered wood-based panel products, our OSB, particleboard and MDF products are used extensively by architects in the construction, furniture and DIY sectors. All our engineered wood panels have been certified as being net carbon negative which means that we lock up more carbon in our products than we emit making them, helping the UK construction sector comply with net zero targets.
We’re also committed to sourcing all our timber from responsibly managed forests, and all of our European manufacturing facilities produce OSB, particleboard and MDF products that are certified to Forest Stewardship Council standards.
For the past 6 years West Fraser (formerly known as Norbord) has partnered with RIBA Journal to hold an annual competition that challenges architects to use the industry’s most popular OSB brand, SterlingOSB Zero. With a different brief each year, the RIBA Journal competition has been hotly contested by some of the industry’s most creative architecture practices, all vying to win the top prize of £2,500.
2022’s winning entry, ‘The Keep’ by David Russell Young and Henry Claymore Young imagines a post-apocalyptic future, where nine townsfolk retreat to Scotland’s west coast. There, within the walls of a historic keep, they encounter a series of modular SterlingOSB Zero structures dating from the historic year 2022, nestled amongst the corbelled turrets. The nine SterlingOSB Zero insertions require minimal modifications to the
ruins. They are prefabricated from OSB SIPs and clad in larch. Inside they contain a workspace (where stories are composed in solitude), basic toilet provisions and a sleeping platform accessed by ladder. The spaces are consciously introverted.
The 2021 winner was Kevin Sulca’s Ventanilla House – a modular solution to the unique challenges of living in Lima, Peru. Sulca’s design was praised for its compactness, scalability and polemical stance against the poor living conditions of Ventanilla’s inhabitants, given the district’s humidity, precarious housing and lack of green space. Its provision of housing to people across the social spectrum was commendable. “Different levels of society could live in these houses”, applauded judge Kristofer Adelaide, architectural director of KA-A.
Reimagining existing structures, breathing new life into them by adding or removing layers of their fabric, was the theme of the 2020 RIBA Journal / Norbord Europe competition. Entrants were tasked with peeling back and substituting dilapidated building elements, layer by layer, with SterlingOSB Zero. Paper Architecture and Bethan Watson’s designs for Hilder’s Yard, a disused site of a former garage in Sevenoaks, Kent, transformed it into a mixed-use retail scheme for small local businesses and social enterprises in a supportive commercial model. The integration between the original Victorian structures and a prefabricated SterlingOSB Zero insertion won
over with the judges.
In 2019 the competition was all about making the most of the urban roof, an exciting space that is often overlooked. Architects were challenged to design a rooftop space of up to three storeys on an existing urban building of their choice. The winner was Reed Watts Architects’ Rooftop Refuge, a dual use roof extension that operated as a bar in the summer to fund its use as a homeless shelter in the winter. Judges appreciated both the experimental concept and the clarity of the submission.
Entrants were invited to create a proposal for a portable, transformable workspace made from SterlingOSB in a room within a house, public building, school or office. The winners, Tom Gregory and Fraser Wallis, created The Playwright’s Retreat, an isolated SterlingOSB workspace eyrie set up from the ground, which unfurled back to earth to act as a performative space for the playwright’s work.
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