Hydrowood adds Declare Certification to their growing list of green credentials

Pushing the green envelope even further, Hydrowood has just achieved Declare Certification to add to their growing list of eco-friendly credentials including Responsible Wood/PEFC, Australian Forestry Standard and Fine Timber Tasmania Chain of Custody. 


Like a ‘healthy ingredients’ list for building materials, the Declare certification program is designed to shape a greener, healthier environment for construction workers, business employees, and customers alike. The Declare certification program labels goods with a full list of ingredients and expands the transparency of the building market.

We’re at a pivotal time where specifiers and consumers are demanding a change in how building materials are produced. We’re proud to tell a story of a material that’s’ getting a second chance that would otherwise have been forgotten about and having the stamp of a Declare label only adds to that story.
— Andrew Morgan, Director, Hydrowood.


Declare certification is an initiative of The International Living Future Institute, a nonprofit working to build an ecologically-minded, restorative world for all people. Using principles of social and environmental justice, the institute seeks to counter climate change by pushing for an urban environment free of fossil fuels. 

In addition to the Declare certification program, The International Living Future Institute also runs the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most rigorous green building standard, leading in the development of a green framework for living in a 21st-century world.

John Wardle Architects are currently developing Limestone House to meet the standards of the Living Building Challenge. 

“For limestone house we developed a palette of materials that is warm and natural and will endure the rigors of domestic life,” says Senior Associate Diego Bekinschtein. 

“The Living Building Challenge (LBC) materials petal put a strong focus on sourcing local Australian materials. We used Mt Gambier limestone cladding from South Australia, siltstone floor tiling from Queensland, recycled Blackbutt external cladding, and all internal timber linings and flooring are from Tasmania.

Diego explains that Hydrowood Oak was selected for all interior timber linings and floorings. It features as the defining ceiling feature of the dining space and will be used for most of the interior joinery elements such as the kitchen and the client’s study.  

In addition to its warm tones, being a reclaimed timber, Hydrowood does not have bolts and nail holes like recycled material has, so it produces excellent quality of appearance. In addition to meeting the LBC’s accreditation as a reclaimed timber product, it also has a wonderful s tory that both our clients and or office enjoy,”
— Diego Bekinschtein, Senior Associate, John Wandle Architects
The Hydrowood Declare Label

The Hydrowood Declare Label

Rendering of Limestone House, a Living Building Challenge Project due for completion later this year. Image: John Wardle Architects

Rendering of Limestone House, a Living Building Challenge Project due for completion later this year. Image: John Wardle Architects

Work in Progress shot of the Limestone House Project, featuring Hydrowood Oak internal lining board. Image: John Wardle Architects

Work in Progress shot of the Limestone House Project, featuring Hydrowood Oak internal lining board. Image: John Wardle Architects


Specifiers looking for a timber that fits within the Living Building Challenge requirements or materials that are Green Star/LEED compliant can now rest assured that Hydrowood will meet these stringent requirements. 

 “We field a lot of questions from architects asking about our timber certifications who are looking for an environmentally friendly building solution. These certifications are not easy to achieve but we’ve put in the time, the research and the systems to ensure our timber is not only at the highest of quality but it’s also ticking all the boxes of an eco-friendly timber product,” explains Morgan.

Discovering and harvesting this untapped resource has been no easy task. Hidden for over 25 years the ‘hydrowood’ forest was flooded when the Pieman River was dammed to create hydro-electricity. The trees that stand beneath the water are getting a second life as timber, after being recovered from the depths of the lake. 

Thanks to an incredible vision, and even more incredible feats of modern engineering, Hydrowood is undertaking one of Australia’s most ambitious forestry projects. Creating history by delving deep below the waters of Lake Pieman to resurrect the precious timber below using state of the art custom built machinery, Tasmanian species once thought lost forever are being reclaimed. 

From handmade heirloom furniture to sturdy and beautiful floors, Hydrowood is now being specified by Australia’s leading architects for its strong environmentally friendly credentials and its unique story of provenance.  

“Uncovering these timbers at the bottom of Lake Pieman has been like uncovering buried treasure. It’s satisfying to be able to label this timber treasure with the Declare stamp to help bring to light the importance of using certified materials, allowing architects and consumers to help make an informed decision. We know they’ll be pleased if they choose Hydrowood.”