Brewing the ideal cladding solution

A Costa Coffee drive-thru shines with sustainable Western Red Cedar cladding thanks to a partnership between International Timber, Jewson and Ascia Construction.


The new Costa Coffee site is located at the Adanac Health and Innovation Campus in Southampton and will serve those working at and visiting the hospital site. The coffee shop will also cater to University Hospital Southampton staff using the campus’ park and ride facilities at the beginning and end of their shifts.

The building has been designed to include indoor seating, outdoor tables and a drive-thru window for customers.

The initial design incorporated red and white render, cedar cladding and grey, powder-coated metal roof and windowpanes, as well as turf borders, ornamental planting and newly planted trees surrounding the site’s boundary.

Individual pieces of cedar

When John Packer, Timber Development Manager at Jewson, was asked to secure the cedar cladding for this project, it was discussed whether UK Cedar or Western Red Cedar would be the best fit. The cladding designs included lots of individual pieces of cedar, all the same size but cut at different angles, to create the timber design that has become synonymous with Costa’s coffee shops over time.

Due to the complexity of the design, and to ensure the visual aesthetic of the cladding, both John and the team at Ascia Construction decided Western Red Cedar would be the best solution, as it would help to minimise knots and prioritise quality, durability and sustainability.

John says: “This project was one of the first major enquiries we’d worked on for Ascia Construction and we wanted to ensure that the quality of the materials, together with the customer service provided, met the company’s expectations. International Timber offered a cost-competitive quote alongside a high-quality, durable product.”

Western Red Cedar is suitable for both internal and external cladding due to its natural resistance to decay and insect attack, as well as being an excellent material for thermal insulation – keeping the building cool in summer and preventing heat from escaping in winter.

Both John and the International Timber team worked closely to deliver 32 finish x 32 finish PSE cedar, providing samples which had been machined to specification and brought onto site to ensure the customer was satisfied right from the beginning.

The Western Red Cedar was supplied with PEFC certification, so the team at Ascia Construction could rest assured that the cedar used would be in line with Costa’s sustainability objectives.

John made two further visits to the site throughout the construction phase; once when the cedar was first delivered and again when it was fitted.

He says: “Each time I went on site, the guys from Ascia Construction would comment on the fantastic quality of the cedar – even going as far to say it’s the best cedar they had ever worked with, which was music to my ears.

“The project was finished in April this year and it really is a superior build with quality materials and craftmanship.”

internationaltimber.com