Timber is a highly preferred material in building design and construction. Used in exterior as well as interior applications, timber continues to be specified for timber claddings and linings, thanks to its appealing character.

However, with rigorous fire compliance requirements in place in the architectural and building industry, it has become imperative to find options that can deliver the same aesthetic as timber while addressing all mandated fire safety regulations.

Dedicated to meeting these market requirements, Atkar Group has introduced a non-combustible and fire rated solution featuring a genuine timber veneer that is suitable for internal and external applications.

Find out how DesignerWood aluminium veneer from Atkar is better than 100% solid timber beyond its non-combustible attributes.


DesignerWood aluminium veneer features a lightweight hollow aluminium construction with a 100% natural timber veneer finish less than 1mm thick. This makes DesignerWood aluminium veneer suitable for many applications including steep sites and tricky builds.

Solid timber can be heavy on the structure and harder to install.

Fire Ratings

DesignerWood aluminium veneer has been fire tested to AS 5637 and has achieved a Group 1 Rating. It also achieved a Flame Index of zero under fire test AS 1530.3 -1999: Spread of flame. It has also been tested to European Standard EN13501-1 Reaction to Fire and received a classification of A2-s1,d0.

When it comes to solid timber products, each timber reacts differently to fire depending on its density; therefore, Group Ratings are likely to vary. As a general rule, most timber products achieve a Group 3 or 4 whilst some fire retardant timbers can achieve up to a Group 2.


DesignerWood aluminium veneer battens and claddings are suitable where non-combustible materials are required in accordance with Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions C1.9 (e)(v) of the 2019 NCC, Building Code of Australia. BCA Section C, Part C1, C1.9 (e)(v) states: The following materials may be used wherever a non-combustible material is required: (v) Pre-finished metal sheeting having a combustible surface finish not exceeding 1mm thickness and where the Spread-of-Flame Index of the product is not greater than 0.

Solid timber is not deemed non-combustible.

External Application

The technology behind DesignerWood aluminium veneer ensures the timber veneer is able to self-cleanse in the rain and does not lose its natural wood look, although some maintenance will still be required. It is suited to the harshest environments including high UV, high humidity, and marine environments.

As an organic material, solid timber can struggle to maintain its natural colour, particularly when used externally. When exposed to UV light and extreme weather conditions, it can erode the natural colouring, and the timber can ‘grey off’ and discolour inconsistently, leaving an unappealing aesthetic.


DesignerWood aluminium veneer can be easily installed, thanks to its dimensional accuracy as well as the 2-piece click systems provided for the battens and a weatherproof interlocking system for the claddings, both supplied as standard.

Solid timber is never guaranteed to be exactly straight or even, therefore, it can require more time to install.

Standard Lengths

DesignerWood aluminium veneer is available in standard 5800mm lengths with custom longer lengths available, which offers a seamless aesthetic with minimal joins.

It is often difficult to find solid timber cladding longer than 4 metres. This can also cause a design consistency issue with many joins required.


DesignerWood aluminium veneer comes with a 20-year warranty against delamination for both internal and external applications.

The lifetime of real timber cladding can vary greatly depending on location and how often it is maintained.

Concealed Fixing Elements

DesignerWood aluminium veneer comes with concealed fixing elements and colour matched end caps to ensure a stunning end result.

In solid timber products, fixing elements can’t always be concealed.


DesignerWood aluminium veneer: Recoating is recommended every 3 years.

Solid timber: Recoating is required every 1-2 years.

Design Flexibility

DesignerWood aluminium veneer is flexible to your design requirements, and can achieve the desired design outcomes.

Solid timber is not always flexible to your preferred design requirements.


DesignerWood aluminium veneer uses, on average, 98% less solid wood per project, which reduces the number of trees to be cut down.

At an average of 30%, solid wood has much more wastage per project.