Industry News

US Senators propose bill to push research in timber construction

A bipartisan group of American Senators has presented a new bill to US Congress aimed to boost research and development of timber in construction.

In details, the so called 'Timber Innovation Act' would incentivise design and realisation of timber buildings above 85 feet in height or roughly seven or more stories across the United States. 

The bill would also create federal grants to support state, local, university and private sector education, outreach, research and development, including education and assistance for architects and builders that will accelerate the use of wood in tall buildings.

Finally the 'Timber Innovation Act' would implement a program of education and technical assistance for mass timber applications through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), state foresters and state extension directors.

The American Wood Council (AWC)American Forest Foundation (AFF)Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC) and Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (SLMA) have publicly expressed their support for the bill.

AWC President and CEO Robert Glowinski said: “Advancing the construction of tall wood buildings will help lower the cost of building construction and reduce reliance on fossil fuel-intensive materials. This in turn helps avoid production of greenhouse gases that would have otherwise been emitted during manufacture of alternative products. Tall wood building construction will also support jobs in areas of rural America that have yet to recover from the recession. Given the many national benefits that would occur as a result of bill’s passage, the United States has an opportunity to accelerate and lead in the adoption of tall wood buildings and significantly expand markets for wood products."

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/us-senators-propose-bill-push-research-timber-construction]

Forestry Commission Scotland issues 'Sustainable Construction Timber' report

The Forestry Commission Scotland has published a new report - 'Sustainable Construction Timber' - by Ivor Davies.

The report - available here - explains why local sourcing of timber is important, reviews the range of timber species and products currently obtainable in the UK and explores the ways in which local sourcing can be achieved within a construction project.

'Sustainable construction timber' has been written to help designers and contractors wanting to source and specify UK grown timber products, people considering using their own timber on a construction project and those involved in building refurbishment or conservation.

"Timber is a versatile and high performance construction material. Timber is also renewable. This means that – uniquely among mainstream construction materials – it can be produced in most parts of the UK", writes the author Ivor Davies.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/forestry-commission-scotland-issues-sustainable-construction-timber-report]

Housing crisis in London: BMF proposes to add extra storeys on existing buildings

The Builders Merchants’ Federation (BMF) has produced its proposal to tackle the housing crisis in London without affecting the Green Belt.

According to the organisation, "new-build housing cannot provide enough homes needed in London to overcome today's housing crisis. Better use has to be made of existing buildings and building upwards to add extra storeys must be one of the solutions that leads to the completion of extra housing in the capital."

John Newcomb, Managing Director of the BMF, commented: “No-one wants a repeat of bad high-rise housing from the past. But the BMF believes better use can be made of existing buildings. As these figures show, there is scope to dramatically increase the number of new homes. Allowing London property to be extended upwards, for limited number of storeys, up to the height of adjoining buildings, without needing prior approval, is a good way to do so. It is not the single solution to today’s housing crisis but it is a good one, worth pursuing”.

The scale of the problem in London is very stark. The figures published jointly by the Minister for Housing and the Mayor of London show that 49,000 extra homes per year are required to narrow the gap between housing demand & supply. Yet on average, only 25,000 additional units have been completed each year since 2008. And of these, fewer than 2% were as a result of projects that included some element of upward extension work.

The BMF concluded its remarks by reminding politicians that demand for housing is far outstripping supply. The concept of enabling London to “build up” more easily should be introduced as quickly and smoothly as possible to allow owner-occupiers and landlords to complete un-contentious projects that conform to the rules.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/housing-crisis-london-bmf-proposes-add-extra-storeys-existing-buildings]

BMF MD John Newcomb elected to CPA Executive Committee

John Newcomb, Managing Director of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), has been elected Officer of the Construction Products Association (CPA).

He will hold the non-executive position of Vice-Chairman on the CPA’s Executive Committee. Mr Newcomb will also continue to sit on the CPA’s Trade Association Council, formed of senior personnel from member trade associations.

CPA CEO Diana Montgomery said: "The BMF and its members play a valuable role in the construction materials supply chain. I have no doubt that John will be a valuable asset on the CPA Executive Committee, and look forward to working with him.”

Commenting on his appointment, John Newcomb underlined: “I am a great supporter of the CPA which plays an essential role supporting the interests of UK construction product manufacturers and suppliers, many of whom are BMF members. I am looking forward to playing a full role on the Executive Committee.”

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/bmf-md-john-newcomb-elected-cpa-executive-committee]

New Green Building’s LEED Credit promotes sustainable forestry, PEFC claims

As reported by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the range of responsibly-sourced timber and forest products eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has been expanded.

Indeed, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has recently issued an Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) that rewards building projects using wood products from certified sources such as PEFC’s.

The ACP will apply to all LEED v4 rating systems including Homes v4 and to all LEED 2009 rating systems.

With LEED now including PEFC-certified timber, construction projects can in the future obtain both LEED and PEFC Project Chain of Custody certification. This will substantially help the Green Building movement - from architects and builders to specifiers and planners - develop innovative and environmentally friendly design.

Using timber from certified sources helps achieve Excellent and Outstanding BREEAM ratings and helps meet Passivhaus performance levels. It also plays a pivotal role in satisfying the requirements of Part L and Part E of the Building Regulations. 

“Sustainable, PEFC-certified timber provides architects and the construction industry with great opportunities,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. “The possibilities are rather exciting in helping to address challenges such as climate change, growing populations and urbanisation, especially as wood offers innovative building solutions with a minimal environmental footprint.”

“The construction industry is one of the largest buyers of timber products – this means the sector is very influential in determining which type of timber is in demand,” added Mr Gunneberg. “With PEFC-certified timber offering the widest choice of sustainable timber available to architects, specifiers and designers, we are poised to see an increase of wood used in construction globally.”

Find out more here.

Read the LEED factsheet here.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/new-green-building%E2%80%99s-leed-credit-promotes-sustainable-forestry-pefc-claims]

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