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The Project

Our Lady Sacred Heart School in Bentleigh, Melbourne, wanted to redesign two large common areas for students comprising of outdoor seats along two walkways that also served as common meeting areas. Orchard Design Landscape Architect, Karl Russo wanted a timber that was durable and also attractive. Landscape construction firm, Landstruct recommended Porta Cumaru to Karl who was eager to trial the timber because of its near zero leaching feature.  Landstruct, contracted by Orchard Design constructs a lot of landscape designs with formed concrete seating incorporating timber top or decking near concrete or paved areas, hence was they were very interested to trial Porta Cumaru.

Porta Cumaru was used for all seating tops and sides designed in a mix of square and rounded designed set up against and above concrete, with the schools’ logo embossed into the concrete.

The Verdict

On completion of the project Melbourne was hit with a week of solid rain, so all parties were keen to test the claims that Porta Cumaru didn’t leach. Karl and Landstruct estimator were both impressed with the timber. The Estimator commented that “it was amazing to see that there was not a single leach mark on the concrete or paving from the Porta Cumaru timber” This is the first timber Karl has used that hasn’t leached, so “will definitely be specifying it on future projects”.

Likewise, Landstruct was equally impressed, sharing, “to our amazement Porta Cumaru is not only a beautiful FSC certified hardwood that hasn’t leached, it has saved us time, money and not to mention looks amazing”. The estimator was also happy Cumaru was very good to work with, experiencing very little splintering when cutting. He also thought the “timber quality was excellent, with very little waste”.

Being an imported timber, Landstruct was a little nervous about the sustainability and ongoing supply of Porta Cumaru. He was relieved to hear Porta is growing the range and holding stock in addition to having the full range of performance testing conducted. He was pleased that Porta’s FSC certified supplier manages the forest in such a way that it is guaranteed to be here for generations to come. By investing and commercializing some species it ensures the protection of the species, along with the forests wildlife, flora and fauna and supports local communities. Click here to hear more about Sustainable Forest Management.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATION: Porta Cumaru Decking Board 90 x 21mm

Product Code: DEK9021CUSLRL

Photography: Porta


“We choose Cumaru because of its non-leaching capabilities. We do a lot of off formed concrete seating incorporating timber tops or decking near concrete and paved surfaces and found that leaching was always an issue

….to our amazement Cumaru not only being a beautiful forestry certified hardwood hasn’t leached. Which has saved us time and money and not to mention looks amazing.”

Senior Estimator, Landstruct




“The non-leaching nature of the timber is fantastic, but not to be outdone, the colour, grain and overall aesthetic of the timber is great too.

It’s nice to know we can confidently continue the composition of timber and concrete (which we love) without stressing about leaching, and having to explain it to disappointed clients.”

Karl Russo, Landscape Architect, Orchard Design