Industry News

Timber & Joinery products push Builders' merchants sales up in Q1 2016

As reported by the Builders Merchants Building Index, Timber & Joinery Products along with Heavy Building Materials were the key drivers of builders' merchants sales rise in Q1 2016.

According to the Bulletin published by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), the two categories accounted 46.6% and 21% of total builders merchants’ sales during the last quarter.

On a year-on-year basis, Heavy Building Materials sales increased 5.2% and Timber & Joinery Products grew 4%.

On a macro scale, Builders Merchants sales in Q1 2016 were up by 5.4% on Q1 2015 with total ex VAT sales-out of £1.27bn compared to £1.20bn. Q1 sales also rose by 4.6% on Q4 2015

BMF’s Managing Director, John Newcomb said: “The year on year and quarter on quarter growth evident in builders merchants sales is clearly encouraging.  It is also at odds with the recent ONS figures that reported construction output down by 1.9%, which have already been challenged by the Construction Products Association. Our data is in line with the CPA’s Q1 survey. ONS figures have been revised in the past, so they may yet come back with a more positive picture that reflects what is actually happening in the market.”

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/timber-joinery-products-push-builders-merchants-sales-q1-2016]

Housebuilding boost timber frame market in 2016, MTW Research shows

A new report on the state of Timber Frame Market published by MTW Research suggests the industry continues to outperform the UK economy, despite slowing slightly from recent double digit growth.

Based on data from 80% of the timber frame market, the research found that 2016 profitability continues to strengthen as demand rises from housebuilding and commercial construction. However, MTW notes that there is some evidence of likely deceleration in growth for timber frame sales in H2 2016, though healthy trading patterns are forecast for 2017 and beyond.

According to the report, rising volume demand for timber frame homes over the last few years has sustained optimism with increasing market opportunities at both lower and higher value ends of the market in 2016. This has underpinned the timber frame market with MTW reporting some 80% of timber frame suppliers having good or excellent credit ratings in 2016.

The research highlights that housebuilding levels are some 31% higher than in 2010, with timber frame sales having risen faster than the overall housebuilding market. MTW’s report also reviews the MMC market (modern methods of construction), finding that sales in this sector are set to top £2 billion for the first time in 2018, underpinning further optimism for new building technologies and materials in the future.

The complete 2016 report is purchasable on MTW Research’s website at www.marketresearchreports.co.uk.

 

[News URL:  http://www.cti-timber.org/content/housebuilding-boost-timber-frame-market-2016-mtw-research-show]

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]

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