RitikaaWood’s recent expansion into the Middle East was a calculated plan, a plan which stemmed from the belief that Accoya Wood is the prime choice for construction regardless of the region’s weather. This belief was not unfounded however, we had the backing of years of proof from the projects we had already completed back at home in India. Now, you might question, but Dubai is extreme, how does success in India translate to success in Dubai?
While you would be right in the assumption that Dubai indeed is extreme in terms of its weather, India has a climate much more volatile than the arid Dubai and UAE in general. In this article, we explore the similarities between the Indian state of Rajasthan and the UAE, in addition to sharing a few projects that back our claim.
Camels of UAE or Rajasthan, who has it harder?
While both locations are different in terms of absolute weather conditions and latitude and longitude, they are much more similar than meets the eye and both are uniquely different too. But which place is more extreme? And therefore, a better testing site to check the Accoya performance!
The UAE cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, experience a desert climate with high temperatures and low humidity. While the summers are scalding, with temperatures exceeding 41 deg. C (104 degrees F), and the lower temperatures godown to 14 deg. C, the humidity levels remain relatively lower at 40% to 60%.
Rajasthan has an even harsher climate, in terms of both, temperature and humidity. Summer temperatures can soar up to 40 deg. C (113 degrees F) in some areas and at the lower end can go down to 10 deg. C. The humidity level in Rajasthan has much higher levels than that of UAE, with a few places in monsoons having a humidity of over 30% to as high as 80%. So even while Rajasthan is not a coastal state like UAE, the humidity is much higher due to the rains in the monsoon.
When we see the graphs, a trend stands out for temperatures, Rajasthan comparatively has higher volatility. To check whether a wood species performs well, you need to look at how frequently the temperature changes, wood may be stable at one temperature and unstable at another, but truly stable wood workswell in all kinds of temperatures.
In terms of humidity, however, you want to see how humid a place is to check the stability of wood, i.e., its resistance to warping is really tested at higher levels of humidity. Rajasthan has a shifting humidity, meaning, the wood exposed to water in rains is really tested in Rajasthan, as opposed to a consistent humidity in UAE, where the moisture content may not get the time to evaporate hence not causing warping anyway. See the graph to understand the monsoon harshness in Rajasthan as compared to UAE. Think of your wooden doors and how they can jam up sometimes just during rain.
UAE and Rajasthan both have high readings for the UV index. This goes to prove, that what works in Rajasthan will not fail in a similar condition due to the UV index. In fact, the difference between maximum and minimum UV index across the year is greater in Rajasthan than in the UAE. What this means is that there is a greater chance of warping in Rajasthan than in the UAE.
Where does Accoya fit into it all?
In the Middle East, where arid desert climates prevail, people don’t generally opt for wood to make their houses, a reason being the perception that wood does not hold in dry and hot conditions. However, Accoya wood has exceptional dimensional stability and resistance against warping, swelling, and shrinkage, which takes care of these worries.
The wood's acetylation process significantly reduces water absorption, ensuring it retains its shape and strength even in humid conditions. This is particularly advantageous in coastal areas where salt-laden air can lead to corrosion and decay of traditional wood.
The Process of Acetylation
Essentially, water molecules are held on the wood cells, imagine a small (very small) cup holding a molecule of water in it. This water is stored in the form of moisture, which is why fresh wood is heavier, because of the water it holds.
Normal processing of wood involves baking the wood at a higher temperature, so the water is extracted in the form of vapors. There is, however, an issue with this. You see, the cup we spoke about, the wood cell still exists, ready to take in water if introduced. This is the reason why during rain or monsoons your doors jam!They simply reabsorb the water, which causes them to change shape and warp out of the frame they’re in. How Acetylation works is that these empty spaces are occupied by the vinegar molecules. If anyone is wondering, no, we cannot eat this vinegar. While it is non-toxic and natural, it is quite concentrated! Coming back to the topic at hand, the vinegar molecules which now occupy the wood, do not allow moisture to be absorbed, even in the future. The wood is now called acetylated wood which is resistant to moisture, rain, and water in general.
Similarly, in India, especially in regions with tropical monsoon climates, Accoya wood's durability and resistance to fungal decay make it an appealing choice. The wood's enhanced stability means it can resist the expansion and contraction generally caused by rapid shifts in humidity during the monsoon season.
Both the Middle East and India also experience intense sunlight, which can lead to discoloration and surface degradation in some wood types. Accoya wood's acetylation process provides natural protection against UV rays, ensuring the wood maintains its appearance and integrity over time.
Furthermore, Accoya Wood's sustainability is noteworthy. It's sourced from fast-growing, sustainably managed forests, making it an environmentally responsible option for construction in both regions.
In conclusion, Accoya wood's unique properties, including dimensional stability, resistance to decay, UV protection, and sustainability, make it a viable and valuable choice for construction projects in both the Middle East and India, where challenging weather conditions demand resilient and long-lasting materials.
RitikaaWood in UAE
RitikaaWood has already worked on a few projects in Dubai and Qatar. The products installed range from hand railings, decking, and cladding to more complex solutions like pergolas, doors, and windows.
We have our products installed in two villas at Dubai Hill Community and The Lakes Community in Dubai.
In Qatar, we have completed a 400-meter hand-railing project for one of the FIFA World Cup Pavilions.
We also have several active inquiries we are currently working on, which gives us, an even better experience with the region.
We are positive that just the way we became India’s premium Timber engineering company, completing 800+ projects with a 14+ year legacy, we will become UAE’s choice of Timber engineering companies, providing bespoke craftsmanship.