CTI Media Room

Timber industry welcomes housing pledges, calls for greater use of low carbon materials

Timber industry welcomes housing pledges, calls for greater use of low carbon materials

The Confederation of Timber industries (CTI) welcomes recent housing pledges made by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, and calls for these homes to be built using low carbon materials.

Labour has committed to building 100,000 council homes and “at least” 50,000 affordable homes via housing associations a year by the end of parliament in its election manifesto published today.

This follows the Liberal Democrats manifesto pledge to deliver 100,000 social rent units a year and require all new homes to reach Passivhaus standards from 2025 announced yesterday.

Funding of the Lib Dem house building programme will be part of a planned £130 billion package of infrastructure investment, while Labour will pull from a £150 billion Social Transformation Fund.

Roy Wakeman, Chair of the Confederation of Timber Industries, said:

“The timber industry welcomes the recent statements of intent from political parties in their manifestos to significantly expand housebuilding programmes over the course of the next Parliament.

“We now call for all parties to take their commitments a step further and pledge to build these homes using low carbon materials, which will help drive and accelerate change in the construction industry to achieve its carbon emissions targets.

“Construction is directly responsible for 10% of all GHG emissions in the UK, but if we substitute energy-intensive materials like cement and steel for sustainable timber we can shift the needle.

“As was made clear in the recent report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries, timber is the only proven solution which can allow us to build houses quicker and to higher quality standards, all the while lowering our carbon emissions.

“This has been called the first ‘climate change election’, and as an industry we are advocating for any major new house building programmes initiated by the UK Government in 2020 to be tied to the UK’s zero carbon targets.

“We strongly encourage all of the political parties to get behind the recommendations of the APPG and embrace solutions which will tackle both our housing and climate crises.”

Contact the CTI if you have any questions about this update please contact 07921 726212 or [email protected]  

Notes to editor

Independent research shows if timber were used to build 270,000 new homes per year this would store 3,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

You can read and download the APPG for the Timber Industries report, ‘How the timber industries can help solve the housing crisis’ on our website.

The timber supply chain contributes approximately £10 billion to the economy and employs around 200,000 people in the UK.

About the CTI

The Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) is an umbrella organisation representing the UK's timber supply chain from forest to end of life recycling, including producers, manufacturers and distributors of timber. Find more info on our website: www.cti-timber.org


How the timber industries can help solve the housing crisis

MPs call for Government to focus on timber industry to tackle housing crisis and climate change

A report launched today by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries (APPG), highlights the key role timber industries can play in helping the Government meet its targets for housebuilding whilst working to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The report argues that using timber in construction is key to meeting emissions targets, and urges the Government to implement the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee by increasing the use of timber in construction.

A long-term spending commitment, reform of right-to-buy and building regulations that encourage innovation in construction are amongst the recommendations to the Government made in the report. Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) have long featured in the timber industry. Timber frames are built using offsite construction methods, and are quicker, cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than traditional construction methods.

In order to meet the skills requirement needed to build more homes, the report recommends that Government should place an increased emphasis on construction apprentices and invest in developing construction courses, bringing together skills development with technological solutions.


Press release - APPG for the Timber Industries launches inquiry into housing

APPG for the Timber Industries launches inquiry into housing

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries has launched an inquiry into how timber can help solve the housing crisis. 

The House of Commons Library has estimated that between 240,000 and 340,000 new homes need to be built in England per year in order to tackle the existing housing shortfall, and all major political parties have made commitments to support new homes being built. This inquiry will explore ways in which the timber industry can help to make those commitments a reality, focusing in particular on issues around skills shortages, sustainability and the capacity within the industry to do more in housing construction. 


MHCLG announce changes to Approved Document B volume 2 and Approved Document 7

MHCLG announce changes to Approved Document B volume 2 and Approved Document 7

Below is summary of the changes to the Approved Documents following the Government’s consultation on banning the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings. (The consultation can be found here)

The changes to Approved Document B volume 2 and Approved Document 7 take effect on 21 December 2018 for use in England. Previous editions of these guidance documents will continue to apply where a building notice or an initial notice has been given to, or full plans deposited with, a local authority before 21 December 2018 and either the building work to which it relates:

(a) has started before that day; or

(b) is started within the period of two months beginning on that day.


Summary of changes – new requirements

Building work shall be carried out so that materials which become part of an external wall, or specified attachment, of a relevant building are of European Classification A2-s1, d0 or Class A1, classified in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 (Fire classification of construction products and building elements. Classification using test data from reaction to fire tests) Institution

relevant building means a building with a storey (not including roof-top plant areas or any storey consisting exclusively of plant rooms) at least 18 metres above ground level and which—

(i) contains one or more dwellings;

(ii) contains an institution; or

(iii) contains a room for residential purposes (excluding any room in a hostel, hotel or boarding house); and

above ground level in relation to a storey means above ground level when measured from the lowest ground level adjoining the outside of a building to the top of the floor surface of the storey.


The above requirements do not apply to -

(a) cavity trays when used between two leaves of masonry;

(b) any part of a roof (other than any part of a roof which falls within paragraph (iv) of regulation 2(6)) if that part is connected to an external wall;

(c) door frames and doors;

(d) electrical installations;

(e) insulation and water proofing materials used below ground level;

(f) intumescent and fire stopping materials where the inclusion of the materials is necessary to meet the requirements of Part B of Schedule 1;

(g) membranes;

(h) seals, gaskets, fixings, sealants and backer rods;

(i) thermal break materials where the inclusion of the materials is necessary to meet the thermal bridging requirements of Part L of Schedule 1; or

(j) window frames and glass.


Full details of these changes are given in the associated documents listed below.

- The statement by Bob Ledsome, An Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government can be found here

- The amendments to Approved Document B Volume 2 can be found here

- The amendments to Approved Document 7 can be found here

- The Statutory Instrument which makes the required changes to the Building Regulations (S.I.2018/1230) can be found here


[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/mhclg-announce-changes-approved-document-b-volume-2-and-approved-document-7]

CTI Combustible Materials briefing paper


This factsheet summarises CTI's view on two major subjects like Combustible Materials Ban and Fire Safety.

The briefing paper focuses on possible actions the Government could take to improve safety of buildings along with providing a detailed comment on the proposed ban for the use of combustible materials in tall structures.