High-quality composite modernising decks

25 August 2015
High-quality composite modernising decks

UPM ProFi decking boards, which have the appearance of hardwood or stone, expand the professional toolkit of garden designers and landscape architects.

The contestants are wiping sweat off their brows. The six-hour effort is almost behind them, and the jury will be scoring their work soon. Who has created the most beautiful miniature garden of the year, complete with fence and deck?

Landschaftsgärtner-Cup Nord 2015, a landscape gardening contest held in Hamburg in June, brought together 21 teams of garden design students. Irina Dechow is a landscape architect from Hamburg, who was involved in devising the task for the contest. The decking material chosen was the UPM ProFi Deck paper plastic composite, which is part of the extensive UPM ProFi Design Deck range.

“UPM ProFi products feature fascinating colours, and Silver Green fit the whole concept beautifully,” Dechow reports.

The competition required the contestants to exhibit both speed and precision, as the boards had to be sawed to the correct length with millimetre-level accuracy. Dechow compiled brief installation guidelines for the contestants based on UPM’s instructions.

“Once they got the idea, the job went very smoothly,” Dechow says.

UPM ProFi provides a multitude of choices

Irina Dechow heard about the biocomposite made of label stock waste from the staff of the gardening company Steffen Heuer Garten- und Landschaftsbau, who have completed several projects using this material. Located near Hamburg, the company is so impressed with UPM ProFi that it plans to undertake training to become a professional installer certified by UPM.

“UPM ProFi is an innovative material ideally suited for unique, individual solutions,” master builder Eric Ottens explains.

The product range features a broad selection of colours, and the products can be used for building both decks and fences.

“The numerous accessories and different substructures available make UPM ProFi highly versatile,” Ottens continues.

The UPM ProFi decking system has various qualities which set it apart from other products on the market. Unlike competing product ranges, it is also available in light colours and offers superior resistance to stains. The composite is highly impact-resistant and does not become slippery in wet or dry conditions. The material also features a sealed surface and does not absorb moisture as wood does. In addition, the UPM ProFi products can be installed flat, without an inclined surface.

Decking products constitute a highly competitive market in Germany. Because environmental awareness has increased, people choose more and more WPC products. UPM has taken consumer preferences into account: UPM ProFi products combine recycled materials with the durability of hardwood. For example UPM ProFi Veranda, a composite imitating hardwood look and feel, is available in the colour of Brazilian Walnut and Silver Ash.

Composite made of label stock waste

Over 50% of the material used for the UPM ProFi product range is label stock waste, for which there used to be no industrial applications. One square meter of UPM ProFi Deck boards contains 10 kilograms of label stock waste.

The waste generated in UPM Raflatac’s label production used to end up in landfill sites, and the company wanted to find a way to recycle it. Product development resulted in this biocomposite, which has since received various design awards around the world.

Renowned architects, such as the Japanese Shigeru Ban and the Finnish Teemu Kurkela, have taken an open-minded approach to using it in their work.

The composite material is made of cellulose fibres and high-quality plastic polymers and is therefore lignin-free, so the deck or fence does not get grey in the sunlight as wood does. The material is also free from PVC and toxins, so it can be recycled

The demand for sustainably manufactured products is high in Germany.

“Many people are wondering what could be done about bottle labels, for example,” Irina Dechow says.
Recycling the adhesive and other labels benefits both the manufacturer and the consumer.

“Having a high share of recycled materials is a great selling point,” Eric Ottens confirms.

It is most likely that recycling and recyclability are among the reasons why the UPM ProFi products were chosen as the material for the landscape gardening contest held in Northern Germany. What matters most, however, is how the deck looked after the contest: beautiful, of course. So, the sweat shed by the contestants was not in vain!


Design your own dream deck using composite boards. The UPM ProFi Deck Planner calculates the amounts of materials needed. Our installation guidance video makes installing the deck easy and fun. Both are available at www.upmprofi.com.

Helen Partti

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