Industry News

British Woodworking Federation launches 'Build it Better with Wood' campaign

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has launched a campaign to promote the UK’s woodworking sector and the many benefits of building with wood.

‘Build it Better with Wood’, is designed to make wood the construction material of choice by celebrating its many benefits in the built environment and promoting the vast range of woodworking and joinery expertise available in the UK.

Wood has many significant advantages as a cost effective, versatile, high-performing and truly sustainable building material that can be used in a broad range of applications. And with around 700 BWF members across the UK, there is no shortage of highly skilled and trusted suppliers to choose to build with.

“Build it Better with Wood strengthens the collective voice of the woodworking sector with the aim of making wood the first-choice material in any build.” said Iain McIlwee, former CEO at the British Woodworking Federation. “Build it Better with Wood isn’t just a statement, it embodies the values of this organisation. The 21st century is waking up to the potential of timber and we are working with a growing network of customers and specifiers to ensure that they appreciate the benefits of building with wood. But, as a supply chain, we cannot be complacent and rely on the inherent qualities of the material – we can do more to be healthy, sustainable, efficient and safe.

“Every member joining the BWF is visited and audited against our Code of Conduct. This means that our community is made up of people who share these values and that customers can be assured that they are working with a supplier who is committed to best practice in all areas of operation, including customer care and complaints, technical expertise and training, environmental impact and waste as well as employment, education legislation and health and safety.

“With wood delivering on so many levels, from its aesthetic beauty through to its environmental benefits, and the woodworking sector boasting craftspeople and engineers of the very highest calibre, the proliferation of wood in the built environment presents exciting opportunities for the construction sector.”

The launch of the new Campaign was accompanied by the news of a change at the top of BWF management with Iain McIlwee to stand down as Chief Executive after almost seven years. 

Iain will continue to work alongside the new appointed BWF Acting CEO Helen Hewitt until the end of September.

Helen said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be given the opportunity to spearhead the BWF through this next period of change. I am excited to start this new role and am looking forward to working closely with our Members, the Council and Executive in developing the strategy focused on the new Build it Better with Wood campaign."

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/british-woodworking-federation-launches-build-it-better-wood-campaign]

Wood For Good produces new video on Build to Rent and Future of Housing

Wood for Good has produced a new video shining the spotlight on the growing Build to Rent sector and examining the unique nature of this market.

According to the British Property Federation, there are now almost 120,000 Build to Rent units already built, under construction or in planning across the UK; a 30% increase over the last year.

Christiane Lellig, campaign director at Wood for Good said: “Build to Rent is becoming increasingly important in the UK housing market. We teamed up with Build to Rent consultancy LIV Consult and property consultancy Gardiner & Theobald to highlight the growing importance of this sector, to examine some of the opportunities and challenges of this market and also to show how the timber industry can play a central role.”

Oliver Booth, partner at property consultancy Gardiner & Theobald, said: “The need for Build to Rent has never been more important. The bottom line is we have an availability of housing crisis in the UK and there are many brave organisations, corporations and institutions stepping up to try and fix that.”

Build to Rent developers and investors are in the market for the long haul; choosing higher-end materials such as engineered timber, both within the building’s fabric and the fit and finish that will stand the test of time.

Designing for efficiency and specifications that will last long term is a distinct separation from the traditional build for sale market, where cheaper materials and finishes are frequently specified to maximise profits for the developer.

Commenting on the unique nature of the Build to Rent market, Ashley Perry, Build to Rent consultancy director at LIV Consult, said: “The Build to Rent market is unique because of its focus on resident experience and efficiency through design, operations and overall long-term use.

“Designers and developers have to understand how efficiently the building can operate as that will drive long term income and capital growth for investors.”

Highlighting the pivotal role the timber industry can play, Oliver Booth said: “A major benefit of engineered timber is that it’s fast to construct and that’s good for the Build to Rent model because we need to build quickly.

“In addition, organisations want to use timber because it’s such a sustainable product. Those materials that are made and can be disposed of in a sustainable way and that contribute to people’s health and wellbeing, will have a competitive advantage over those that don’t.”

Typically, Build to Rent schemes target young professionals, students and downsizers who buy into the lifestyle and convenience of well-built properties with a superior fit and finish, and are close to local amenities.

Build to Rent and the future of housing from Wood for Good on Vimeo.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/wood-good-produces-new-video-build-rent-and-future-housing]

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]

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