Industry News

Waugh Thistleton Architects launch '100 Projects UK CLT' book

Waugh Thistleton Architects, in collaboration with the Softwood Lumber Board & Forestry Innovation Investment, have recently launched the book 100 Projects UK CLT.

The one hundred projects featured in the book were selected from over 500 completed CLT projects in the UK.

"Over the last 15 years the UK has experienced a quiet revolution in construction," write the authors. "Since the modest efforts of the first small buildings in the early 2000s a blossoming array of CLT projects has emerged across a range of building types and scales. In 2017, three out of the five buildings nominated for the Stirling Prize, the UK’s top architecture award, were constructed from CLT. Engineered timber buildings are now firmly part of our construction landscape."

"This book presents the case for using engineered timber with one hundred studies encompassing a wide range of scales, styles and types. Also included is a compendium outlining the benefits of CLT along with the considerations for designing and building in this revolutionary material."

"We often refer to human civilisations by the principal materials they employ, such as the Bronze Age, Iron Age etc. In this vein, the 20th century can be very much called the Concrete Age and it seems very likely that the 21st century will be the Timber Age."

A digital version of the book can be downloaded for free on ThinkWood website here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/waugh-thistleton-architects-launch-100-projects-uk-clt-book]

Innovative rooftop made of modular timber homes proposed for Berlin's complex

Architect Sigurd Larsen and his team took part in the City Above the City architecture design competition organised by Metsä Wood in 2016. Their project "Dachkiez, Village on the Roof," was one of the winners in the competition. This year, the project and the architect were invited to the Venice Biennale.

The Venice Biennale of Architecture is globally one of the biggest exhibitions for architecture. The event takes place every other year, and this year it lasts from 26 May until 25 November. The main architecture exhibition takes place at 30 pavilions in the Venice Giardini, many of them designed by the biggest names in architecture, like Carlo Scarpa and Alvar Aalto.

 

City Above the City competition

Metsä Wood's competition inspired architects worldwide to design wooden extensions to go on top of existing buildings in city centres. Some 170 entries from 40 countries proposed wooden solutions to the challenges of urbanisation. The idea was to show how wooden materials, like Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) can make construction fast, light and green.

Sigurd Larsen together with Simon Jendreizig, Vanessa Panagiotopoulou, Marlene Kjeldsen, Guillermo Fernandez Villar and Pedro Campos Altozano designed a project called "Dachkiez, Village on the Roof" for the competition. A massive, 270-metre-long concrete block in Berlin was selected as the building plot for the design. The building is located at Heinrich-Heine-Straße between the attractive Kreuzberg and Mitte neighbourhoods.

In Dachkiez, the extension on top of the building is designed to use a flexible, wooden, modular system. The basic module is an apartment suitable for singles or couples. The basic unit can be extended with one or two plug-in modules, which can include additional bedrooms and an extension to the bathroom. The design also includes common areas like a green park on the rooftop. Each unit has big windows with a view of the Berlin skyline.

"This entry was both believable and utterly relevant to its social and urban context. It's entirely possible to construct and adds a further layer of landscape to the city," commented competition jury member Mike Kane, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at London South Bank University.

 

Sigurd Larsen design & architecture studio

Sigurd Larsen is a Danish architect based in Berlin and working in the fields of architecture and furniture design. He uses wood as the main material in the majority of his work. "The haptic of the material, the endless possibilities and the many positive attributes regarding sustainability make it a convincing choice," says Larsen.

Larsen founded his own design studio in 2009. This is his first invitation to the Biennale. "I was very excited about the invitation. We had a lot of great feedback from visitors. Several journalists described the Dachkiez project under the topic of wood construction, densification of inner cities and housing shortage."

Read a full description of the "Dachkiez, Village on the Roof" project here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/innovative-rooftop-made-modular-timber-homes-proposed-berlins-complex]

Treated construction timber no threat to indoor air quality, says BRE review

Preservative treated timber is present in a range of construction products in our homes, including parts of the structural timber frame, window frames, tiling battens and in the roof structure. 

In mid-2017, the Wood Protection Association (WPA) commissioned the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to help understand how treated timber performs in the context of air quality within buildings.

The review considered industrially pre-treated wood products that have been impregnated with a wood preservative formulation in the context of a 2017 new build UK domestic construction.

BRE's research concluded that "the available scientific evidence suggests that emissions from preservative treated wood articles to air are small and further to that the complexity of the pathway from air within the building envelope/cavity to the indoor air compartment means that the concentration reaching indoor air is negligible. Thus, the evidence indicates preservative treated wood poses no threat to indoor air quality."

Since the BRE recommends considering further research and testing to add to the existing knowledge, the WPA has already made it known that more specific studies on the subject will be carried out.

A summary of the BRE report can be found here

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/treated-construction-timber-no-threat-indoor-air-quality-says-bre-review]

BMBI Q2/2018: Sales of Timber and Joinery products up 9.5% against 2017

Sales through UK builders merchants bounced back in Q2 2018, with the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) reporting 7.2% growth in sales value over Q2 2017. There was one more trading day during Q2 this year, adjusting for this the average daily sales growth year on year was 5.5%. The strong performance in Q2 contrasts markedly to a weather-hindered performance in the first quarter of the year.

The Timber and Joinery category had a major impact on total sales value growth in Q2, up 9.5% year on year. Within this the Sheet Materials sub category was a big contributor.

Heavy Building Materials, the largest product category, also showed strong growth in Q2 2018, up 6.3% on the same period last year.

Looking at the year to date, which takes into account two very different quarters of construction activity, total builders merchants sales in the first six months of 2018 increased by 4.0% over the same six months in 2017.

The BMBI uses GfK’s point of sale tracking data drawn from over 80% of builders merchants’ sales throughout the country, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector.  The full Q2 report can be downloaded at www.bmbi.co.uk

Commenting on the figures, John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “For the second quarter running the impact of the weather on construction output – and builders merchants sales – is clear to see. The warm, dry weather through much of Q2 has enabled construction work to catch up on sites that had stalled earlier in the year.  The merchant industry will be buoyed by Q2 sales and, with above average temperatures forecast into the autumn, we remain confident of continued growth this year.” 

Richard Frankcom, Client Insight Director at GfK said: “Following the dramatic weather in Q1 delaying the usual end of quarter external work kick off, we had been expecting a strong Q2 performance, and these results did not disappoint. Midway through April the weather improved and May and June delivered strong growth in almost every category. That said, price inflation and one extra trading day in Q2 2018 over the same period in 2017 also had an effect on growth, but we should be content that the builders merchant sector remains in good health.”

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bmbi-q22018-timber-and-joinery-products-sales-95-against-2017]

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]

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