As designers, we like to specify natural (some might use the term honest) materials when ever possible. We see the aesthetic value, and long-term durability of natural stone over concrete pavers, and we find the look and feel of natural wood types like Ipe, Cedar and Mahogany difficult to match for outdoor structures like pergolas or decorative fencing. That said, we think it important to keep an open mind when presented with new, engineered products whose benefits (in terms of aesthetics, durability and environmental impact) may outweigh those of so called natural products.
Intex would fall under new products we’re excited about, and lately we’ve been specifying it in place of traditional wood for many of our outdoor landscape structures. Intex looks and acts like wood, but is superior in strength when spanning long distances which is especially convenient when building outdoor structures like pergolas.
Because we can span longer runs for things like pergola beams, we end up using less columns and support material, which means we’re using less material all around. Intex requires almost no maintenance, so there’s no need for applying toxic preservatives or painting. The need for premature replacement due to rotting is also greatly reduced, if not eliminated completely.
Recently, Intex asked us to visit their plant to see their manufacturing process and to provide input on a number of new products rolling out in 2019. Shown here an Intex employee holding a freshl molded newel which will sit on top of a stairway column.
We visited the plant in October, and we were impressed with the standards and quality of the products on the floor. We were equally impressed when we learned that 99% of the product dust and waste is recycled with no environmental impact.