Since the beginning of this project we’ve been able to work our way through approximately 80 oak whisky barrels, preventing around 4 tonnes of CO2 from entering our atmosphere. And as the first window of funding comes to an end, we’re taking a look back through our achievements, discoveries and progress in moving towards a low carbon future.

Funded by Zero Waste Scotland, we’ve been able to develop four pilot product ranges and several innovative processing techniques. This has unlocked a whole World of potential for bringing these oak barrels into the circular economy. We’ve spoken to a wide range of people, including businesses, organisations, designers, architects and more, in order to gain valuable insights on how these products could be put into practice and how we can fine tune them. We also investigating the impact of the pandemic and how this has altered what our customers – new and existing – may need. Could some of these products help to create innovative solutions to the challenges we face?

Having identified four key potential markets, we developed a total of four product ranges: outdoor play equipment, fencing & screens, cladding and indoor & outdoor furniture.

Along with a wide-ranging portfolio of products including outdoor furniture, cladding, play equipment and fencing, our unique grading and parallel processing techniques are some of our proudest achievements.

With a highly unusual curved trapezoid shape the staves are notoriously challenging to work with. Combined with the laborious selection process of choosing staves of a specific width, it’s easy to see why little has been done with whisky barrels. For example, a customer or project may specify 40 staves at 120mm. Without our Graded Staves, this might involve breaking down 40 barrels to obtain those 40 staves. And this process would have to be carried out every time, for each and every project and customer. But by having a stock of these categorised staves, this process is now so much more efficient.

Our Parallel Processing technique has been designed to tackle the curved trapezoid shape. By transforming the profile of the staves more towards a rectangular shape, we’ve been able to successfully apply the staves to several of the RE-CASK product ranges. It essentially allows each of the staves to sit precisely alongside one another within their final configuration, and it has also opened up so much potential for those looking to create for themselves. Architects, interior designers and furniture designers for example, now have a material which is far more manageable and useable.

Square screens, capable of being built by our volunteers and can be applied to a multitude of things

Square screens, capable of being built by our volunteers and can be applied to a multitude of things

Creative potential: PD3 Design Space by Richard Shed Studio

Richard Shed Studio partition, a potential application for our square screens

The Arc Screen

The Arc Screen in a hospitality setting

The Arc Screen in an office space

Using our Grading and Parallel Processing, it’s the fencing and screens is where there seems to be lots of unusual and practical applications. With the correct fixtures, they could be used as social distancing measures, both indoors and outdoors, as partitions for home offices, moveable and static dividers in commercial spaces like offices and meeting rooms; in bars, restaurants, and even schools; as bin stores, garden partitions and fencing, and so much more. Creatively, they could be used to build bespoke 2 storey sculptural pieces like the one above by Richard Shed Studio, utilising the variety of stave configurations we offer. The opportunities are the limits of your imagination.

We presented all of our findings to the GIA (Glasgow Institute of Architects) during their ‘Countdown to COP26’ series, which brought the performance of Glasgow and Scotland into focus and gave organisations like us the chance to showcase the sustainable work being done for the planet and the future.

For the moment RE-CASK has been paused, but we hope to be able to continue it again in the future, involving more people and organisations to find creative solutions for these innovative products.

The product catalogues are below for you to view the ranges in more depth along with our video summary. And if you’d like to speak to us about this project or any specific products or processes please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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