Industry News

Edinburgh Napier University introduces ​new MSc on timber architecture

Highly insulated modular timber building being delivered to site. Photo by Carbon Dynamic.Edinburgh Napier University has introduced an MSc on Timber Architectural Design and Technology - the first programme of its kind in the UK.

The programme is designed for graduates in architecture, architectural technology and other construction professions who want to become part of the growing international move towards innovative and high-performance timber building.

The MSc will equip students to work as a design professional within the timber sector [1] – one of the fastest growing parts of the building industry in many countries.

The programme has been developed by Edinburgh Napier’s Institute for Sustainable Construction [2] in consultation with professional bodies and the timber industry.

Institute director Professor Sean Smith said: “Our market research shows that employers in the UK timber building sector are facing severe skills shortages and similar gaps exist in many countries overseas.

“These employers are looking for graduates with a combination of technical know-how and commercial awareness in the design, manufacture and assembly of timber buildings and structural systems. We have designed the programme to address this demand.

“Globally we need to build two billion homes over the next 80 years. With global material resources being limited, the sustainability of timber as a renewable construction material is increasingly being recognised by industry and governments.”

Graduates of the programme will be equipped for employment in timber product suppliers, design-build firms, fabricators, builders and developers; along with professional and technical roles in the associated architectural and engineering consultancies.

The programme includes taught modules on: - Wood as a building material; offsite construction and design for manufacture, - Wood products and processing; building acoustics and sound insulation; - Energy performance; - Timber architectural form and technology, and - Timber building design. Students will also undertake a large architectural design project or a technical dissertation.

UK and EU students on the programme will be eligible to apply for scholarships and industry internships. These are organised through the beX initiative. [3] 

The programme can be studied either full-time or part-time. The complete programme will take one year full-time or two years three months part-time. The first student intakes will be in September 2018 and January 2019.

For further information email [email protected] or visit www.napier.ac.uk/courses and search for ‘timber architecture’.

[In the top left photo: a highly insulated modular timber building being delivered to site. Photo by Carbon Dynamic]

 

Notes

  1. The timber building sector now accounts for 20% of UK construction and is utilised in over 70% of new housing in Scotland. The ongoing growth of this sector, both in the UK and overseas, is being driven by a combination of factors including: sustainability, emerging digital design and fabrication technologies, and an increasing demand for offsite fabrication.
  1. Edinburgh Napier’s Institute for Sustainable Construction encompasses leading built environment applied research centres spanning: offsite manufacture, timber engineering, wood science and technology, building acoustics, energy and smart cities. During the past three years, the Institute has provided design, testing and expert services to over 300 companies, government and industry organisations in the UK and overseas. In 2015 Edinburgh Napier University was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the Institute’s internationally acclaimed work in timber engineering, wood science and sustainable building.
  1. The beX programme is an international initiative for students with a passion for sustainable construction. It provides industry innovation internships, MSc scholarships and employability projects with the goal of accelerating change in construction culture. For further information visit: www.napier.ac.uk/courses/browse-interests/engineering/bex

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/edinburgh-napier-university-introduces-%E2%80%8Bnew-msc-timber-architecture]

NEPCon launches online survey on Due Diligence best practices and EUTR

NEPCon is encouraging EU-based companies working in the timber sector to share their experience with Due Diligence and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

The five-minute survey is part of the 'Supporting Legal Timber Trade' project, aimed to show timber-related businesses how to align with the EU Timber Regulation and discover possibilities of gaining a competitive edge.

The survey targets a wide range of timber-related companies from pulp and paper manufacturer, sawmill, wood processor to timber trader.

The online consultation is available in 10 languages, namely English, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, German, Romanian, Hungarian, Spanish and Portuguese.

This survey will provide further understanding on how confident the companies are with the EUTR and the Due Diligence and difficulties they are experiencing, as well as their trusted resources to help them comply with the regulations.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/nepcon-launches-online-survey-due-diligence-best-practices-and-eutr]

Timber Industry could face “£1 Billion Brexit Bill” if UK leaves Customs Union

The UK timber industry faces a potential “Billion Pound Brexit Bill” if Britain leaves the EU Customs Union, the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) said in a statement today.

“Some 90% of timber used in construction is imported from Europe, which British timber supplies are insufficient to replace,” says TTF Managing Director David Hopkins. “Under the proposed Taxation Bill, once the UK leaves the EU and its VAT area, VAT on EU imports will have to be paid up-front. This will cause considerable problems for the SMEs who make up the majority of our sector.”

The Federation today launched an infographic for legislators, Parliamentarians and the public, explaining what it calls ‘The Timber Tax Bombshell’.

Additional problems highlighted, not just for the timber sector but for construction supply chains in general, include potential delays, and greater costs for storing timber at ports and in administering customs checks and documentation.

“Builders’ merchants, and their builder customers, responsible for fulfilling government housing targets, rely on Just-In-Time deliveries of timber to premises and sites. Currently timber entering the UK from the EU clears ports immediately with no need for customs checks,” says TTF’s David Hopkins. “Over 60% of the timber used in the UK comes from Europe.”

The Timber Trade Federation is asking Government to ensure timber imports are able to clear customers in the same manner as present, with no delays or up-front costs likely to penalise SMEs, or to impact Britain’s housing supply chains. “The Government must also preserve the existing VAT payments system for imports from the EU, or put in place a new system which maintains the same benefits,” adds David Hopkins.

The timber sector currently employs around 200,000 people across the UK in manufacturing, distribution and construction. Every Parliamentary constituency benefits from jobs stemming from or connected to the timber industry. Timber prices in the construction supply chain to small builders have already risen by 8% in the last 12 months, according to the Federation of Master Builders. The TTF reports this is due mainly to the currency depreciation since the Brexit vote, and competitive global markets for construction timber pressurising supplies into the UK.

More info about the TTF's initiative is also available in the blog post by TTF Managing Director David Hopkins' here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-industry-could-face-%E2%80%9C%C2%A31-billion-brexit-bill%E2%80%9D-if-uk-leaves-customs-union]

Timber Trade mission to Belarus scheduled for June 2018

Following a number of Belarusian-UK events in timber sector in 2017, the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange (hereafter – BUCE) in partnership with the UK Department for International Trade, the Embassy of The Republic of Belarus in The United Kingdom and the Embassy of the United Kingdom in the Republic of Belarus, have organised a timber trade mission to Belarus.

The visit - to take place from 17 to 20 June 2018 - is open for registration until 19th May 2018 and can host up to 7 delegates.

British companies will be introduced to the export sales of sawnwood from Belarus with the opporunity to meet Belarusian timber industry decision makers, including members of the Government, leadership of the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange (the only organization authorized for direct sales of sawnwood from sawmills), CEOs of Belarusian sawmills, traders and market experts.

Delegates will get in-depth information on :

  • Timber industry within Belarus, sawn softwood export conditions; FYI: 2017 Belarusian timber trade/average prices in 2017.
  • brokers services; pre-delivery independent inspection services; UK shipment services; discussing payment methods, long term sawnwood supplies etc.
  • side focus for refunded places: information on panel production (chipboards, particle boards, plywood, fiberboards MDF, floor covering: laminated floor panels, solid wood flooring, parquet, etc.), glued laminated timber, prefabricated wooden houses, gardening and fencing etc.
    Free transportation within Belarus will be arranged for you to the factories and mills, meetings with the top-management of the companies will be organized.

Highlights of the visit includes:

  • Visit to the “Belarusian universal commodity exchange”, presentation, timber products online auction master class, meeting with traders, accredited at BUCE;
  • Meeting with the Belarusian Production and Trade Concern of timber, woodworking, pulp and paper industry "Bellesbumprom"
  • Reception for UK delegation on behalf of H.E. Ambassador of the United Kingdom Ms Fionna Gibb
  • Individual visits to sawmills and woodworking factories, according to the interests of the each delegate.

Click to see the draft program of the visit for details.

For more info about the mission, click here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-trade-mission-belarus-scheduled-june-2018]

Market dynamics and material shortages set to affect Oak wood availability in Europe

Markets for European Oak are facing increased pressure on price and availability. This is the key message delivered at the European Oak Conference held in London on Wednesday 18th April 2018.

The event – organised by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) in conjunction with the European Organization of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) – featured an extensive agenda of high-profile speakers and expert panellists from top supplying countries such as Croatia, France, Poland and Ukraine. Over 100 attendees joined the Conference raising questions and actively engaging in the debate.

The speakers agreed that a combination of increased demand and market restrictions have been affecting Oak wood prices over the past few years. Significantly, as highlighted by the EOS Secretary General Silvia Melegari, exports of logs from the EU to China have soared by 181% in the last 10 years (2016 compared to 2007, source Eurostat). This growing demand is having major impacts on European Oak producers, particularly France.

The availability of European Oak is also affected by log bans in place in supplying countries such as Croatia and Ukraine due to the impact of pests (Croatia) or governmental measures to improve domestic Industry (Ukraine). This shortage of raw materials is causing several sawmills to keep production low, preventing the sector from achieving its full potential.

Silvia Melegari reminded the audience that “the concerns of the hardwood sawmill sectors have been voiced in several occasions” and that “both the EU Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee have invited Member States to ensure that wood supply from the region's forests is sufficient to satisfy, on a sustainable basis, local industries' needs and society's needs”.

The Conference also featured a panel discussion where attendees had the opportunity to address some key issues and debate them with the speakers. Main topics included: Trade post-Brexit; Oak wood price and availability; Transport bans; Pests control; International co-operation in the sector.

“For its aesthetic and technical qualities, Oak remains a prime product for UK timber importers and traders,” says TTF Managing Director David Hopkins. “However, material shortage and international trade dynamics are likely to drive prices higher in the near future. This may open the market for alternative hardwood species.”

“The TTF - in collaboration with European partner organisations - will be monitoring market trends as well as providing assistance and guidance to members and stakeholders.”

A photo gallery of the conference is available here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/market-dynamics-and-material-shortages-set-affect-oak-wood-availability-europe]

Pages