Industry News

STA launches 'Time for Timber' podcast

The Structural Timber Association (STA) has launched 'Time for Timber', a series of interviews with high-profile construction professionals about features, projects and potentialities of the Structural Timber Industry. 

The podcasts - freely downloadable on iTunes and AudioBoom - can be listened to ‘on the go’ from mobiles or other portable devices.

The first Podcast features Tim Snelson, Associate Director for Arup - a company that offers multi-disciplinary design, with Architecture and Engineering services. This unique fusion of engineering and architecture enables Arup to develop technologically advanced design that is appropriate, economic - sensitive to both environmental and human needs. In this inaugural Podcast, Tim Snelson discusses the opportunities for timber to provide smart solutions to the current and future challenges in the construction industry.

To listen to the full interview, go to: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=1278961345&i=1000391820214

Android users can access the podcast by entering this link in to a podcast app: https://audioboom.com/posts/6263332-ep-1-tim-snelson-of-arup

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/sta-launches-time-timber-podcast]

Housing Minister Alok Sharma to be keynote speaker at BMF Members Day

The Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Alok Sharma, will speak at the Builders Merchants Federation’s Members Day on 20th September 2017. 

Mr Sharma, who was appointed to this role in June 2017, is responsible for the government’s housing and home ownership policy as well as the planning policy which underpins it. Other important parts of his current portfolio include estates regeneration and regulation of the private rented sector.  

Mr Sharma was elected as Conservative MP for Reading West in May 2010. Before taking up his current post he was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and has served as a member of the Commons Treasury select committee and the Commons Science and Technology select committee. 

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “A great deal of merchant business is driven by housing but I believe this is the first time that a housing minister has addressed BMF Members Day. We are delighted that Alok Sharma is able to join us this year.” 

BMF Members’ Day 2017 will be held at Jurys Inn Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire. The Business Conference and the BMF’s black-tie Awards Dinner both take place on 20th September. The BMF’s annual Golf Tournament will be held on the previous day, 19th September, along with our other social activities, Quad Biking and Rifle Shooting 

For more information and to book a place at the BMF Members’ Day Event, click here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/housing-minister-alok-sharma-be-keynote-speaker-bmf-members-day]

NEPCon launches new Data Hub to help companies source legal timber

NEPCon has launched its NEPCon Sourcing Hub, one of the biggest and most detailed collections of forest-related risk assessments available on the market.

All information on the Sourcing Hub is free for anyone to use and to download and aims to help companies meet due diligence requirements of market regulation such as the EU Timber Regulation. The Hub contains assessments of the risks of illegal timber production and trade in 62 countries, covering 87% of global timber production.

Alongside providing detailed data on timber, the Sourcing Hub contains risk assessments for palm oil, soy and beef addressing environmental, social and legality risks in 10 countries. The System identifies all legislation applicable to harvesting, transport and trade in each country, divided up into 21 different areas of law that are applicable to the EU Timber Regulation.

The Hub also lists the documents that are legally required for harvesting, transport and trade in each country, such as harvest permits, transport permits and business licences. Where the risks of illegality vary for different types of forest, the Tool also gives a separate risk conclusion. For example, if timber from one geographical area of a country has fewer risks than another, or if timber from plantations has fewer risks than timber from natural forests, the Hub is able to identify this. 

The Hub is funded by the European Commission; the UK Department for International Development; Danida, part of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM; and NEPCon.

“We’ve designed the NEPCon Sourcing Hub to make it as simple as possible for companies to carry out the due diligence they’re required to do by the EU Timber Regulation,” said Alexandra Banks, Forest Legality Expert. “By helping companies source legal timber, the NEPCon Sourcing Hub will help the legal timber trade around the world prosper.”

For a video presentation of the Hub, click here.

NEPCon is also holding free training workshops on the EU Timber Regulation and the NEPCon Sourcing Hub in 12 EU countries in the autumn, as part of its legality projects. Find out more here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/nepcon-launches-new-data-hub-help-companies-source-legal-timber]

Timber and joinery products drive positive trend for UK builders merchants' sales

The latest data released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) confirms a continuing positive trend for UK builders merchants with Q2 sales increasing by 5.3% compared to Q2 2016.

The actual Q2 year on year sales figure (for 61 days trading compared to 63 in 2016) is still positive at +1.9%. Year to date sales figures to June are 3.8% higher than for 2016, a period with the same number of trading days.

Significantly, value growth year on year for the first half of 2017 was driven by the major categories of Timber and Joinery (+4.6% – particularly Cladding and Stairs and Stair Parts) and Heavy Building Materials (+4.1% – primarily Lintels, Roofing Products and Bricks and Blocks). In the picture here you can see the development of timber and joinery products' sales.

Nigel Cox, Managing Director Timbmet and BMBI’s Expert for Timber & Panel Products, commented: "Our view in Quarter 1 was that the market for Timber and Panel Products looked promising and that we should be optimistic for the year. In reality the second quarter has been more challenging than expected." 

"The run up to the election and the surprise result created uncertainty and confusion - and political uncertainty, whether domestic or foreign, continues to influence trade and impact our markets. At best we can say quarter two’s performance was flat. The market for hardwood timber though is stable with no major supply issues."

"European oak remains popular and with the traditional summer closing of the mills, the supply chain will slow and there could be a short term impact on stocks during August and September. The OSB (Oriented Strand Board) sector is still difficult and is feeling the effects of shortages as demand continues to outstrip supply."

"Prices remain volatile and continue to rise. Additional production capacity will ease the situation as we enter 2018. MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) supply chain shortages eased slightly in Quarter 2 compared to the previous quarter but product availability has stayed on allocation which in turn leads to continued pricing pressure."

"The well-publicised and tragic fire at Grenfell Tower has shaken our industry and raised concern over building regulations and standards. Various timber and panel products are fire treated and the increased demand is impacting on the lead time for treated products. Merchants are encouraged to check availability well in advance of requirements. In summary, we had a bumpy second quarter and the outlook for the next three months is modest."

The complete BMBI report can be downloaded here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-and-joinery-products-drive-positive-trend-uk-builders-merchants-sales]

Wood Window Alliance takes on the challenge of 'timber lookalike' PVC-u windows

The Wood Window Alliance (WWA) has recently launched an informative campaign to warn against the use of PVC-u 'timber-lookalike' windows.

"These products flatter timber windows by mimicking their construction, detailing and finish," the Wood Window Alliance underlines. "Moreover, many of the claims made for these windows on the internet and in marketing materials are misleading, although they are presented as 'facts'."

In this context, the WWA has produced a series of infographics and fact sheets to dispel some myths surrounding "plastic promises from the PVC-u industry"

The Campaign includes an analysis of the performance of PVCu vs wood windows in relation to environmental impact, fire resistance, toxic legacy, maintenance and durability.

"The Wood Window Alliance has done considerable work over the past few years to ensure we make our claims consistent, clear and honest," said WWA Chairman Tony Pell. "Having reviewed the available data and latest research, we have decided to challenge the worst of these misleading so-called ‘facts’. Following this, you will find a list of ‘fake facts’ and misleading statements that are being presented by individual companies, and even the industry body of the PVC-u industry, as true."

"Whilst PVCu frames might seem cheaper, wood frames are the better investment for long-term value, even taking maintenance into account, because of their longer life and low impact on the environment".

The Wood Window Alliance is a group of over 20 leading names in the UK wood window market. Launched in 2007, it aims to raise standards and promote the benefits of modern wood and aluminium-clad wood windows and doors. 

Find out more here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/wood-windows-alliance-takes-challenge-timber-lookalike-pvc-u-windows]

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