Interlam MDF

The most affordable solutions to building are not usually the most attractive and this is surely true when it come to medium-density fiberboard (MDF). But as MDF is increasingly made with more sustainable materials including scrap woods, recycled papers, bamboo, and even steel and glass it is becoming a smarter choice in sustainable building. Now how do we deal with the aesthetic dilemna?

The company Interlam has been developing a series of architectural MDF panels using computer-guided router cutting technology to carve and sculpt numerous forms into their surfaces and they already have fifty-some to choose from. Only upon close inspection does one realize that these are the dreaded MDF panels and even then the patterned surfaces make one doubt their realization. I think they are very attractive (even though I haven't seen them in person) and some of the patterns, although a bit zany at times, could be the perfect accent to a particular style of design.

So even though MDF remains a bit of a faux pas in the design realm at least we have someone working on enlivening its materiality. In the end its cost, strength, workability and prospect for sustainablity are hard to match in other materials, especially woods, and its not a product that will be going away any time soon in our industry of rapid construction.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A much better alternative to nasty formaldehyde off-gassing MDF is the mineral composite panels offered by modularArts. We used them on a project in Denver and the entire wall is absolutely seamless --as they work kinda like drywall. And the designs are way better.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, I found their website:

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we tried to use that drywall stuff and it nearly put us out of business with the installation costs. Not to mention all of the call backs for cracks @ the joints every 32" x 32". No thanks, we will stick to large sheet goods! Besides, HDF has gone green now!!!

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, the website for that is:

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a contracor in S Cal and have used the modulararts product about seven times. It's awesome. We've had no problems. One wonders if intrelam hires blog writters to diss competitors.

7:54 AM  

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