News & Events

Timber championed with the launch of WoodFest | 10-14 December 2018 | Newcastle

The North East will celebrate everything built with wood as the first WoodFest comes to Newcastle from 10 to 14 December 2018 with an exciting line-up of events organised by the UK timber industry’s campaign, Wood for Good.

WoodFest Newcastle will bring together architects, engineers, placemakers, planners, developers, contractors, politicians and local businesses specialising in timber to promote the innovative and striking ways that wood can be used in the built environment in the North East.

Christiane Lellig, Wood for Good campaign director, said: “The first in a series of regional WoodFests, this as a fantastic opportunity to bring all those involved with the built environment to explore what industry and politics can achieve together.

“Each event is a chance to learn and share about the use of timber in architecture, particularly around health and wellbeing and offsite construction. It provides a platform to discover what’s happening in the region and to be inspired by timber design.”

The week begins with a behind-the-scenes tour of wood-based materials manufacturer, Egger’s site in Hexham on 10 December. In the evening, Dr Oliver G.F. Jones, architecture professor and expert in human-environment interaction at Northumbria University, will give the keynote speech at a seminar on wellbeing, residential design and healthy homes. Taking place at Ryder Architecture’s home in Cooper’s Studios, Westgate Road, Newcastle, Dr Jones will be joined by a panel of experts including local housing providers and design professionals to explore biophilic design, light, space and air quality among other issues.

Offsite construction steals the show on 12 December with an evening seminar debating whether modern methods of construction are the future for homes in the North East. Hosted by Ryder at Cooper’s Studios, an expert panel will explore Home England’s strategic plan incorporating offsite construction and will ask if it’s the silver bullet to deliver much-needed homes.

A site visit to the unique self-build home, Shawm House, takes place on 11 December. Designed by Newcastle-based MawsonKerr Architects, the timber home won four regional RIBA awards, a national RIBA award and was shortlisted for Grand Designs ‘House of the Year’ in 2017. This is a rare opportunity to hear the homeowner’s story and experience the house for yourself.

Taking place throughout the week is an exhibition at Cooper’s Studios, exploring healthy buildings and driving the design and construction quality agenda through the use of modern methods of construction.

The finale for WoodFest Newcastle is the Superwood Conference on Friday 14 December at Northumbria University, hosted by Confor. 

Speakers include Paul Brennan, MEP for the North East, Adam James from Ryder Architecture, Councillor Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council, Dr Dan Ridley-Ellis from Edinburgh Napier University, Beccy Speight from the Woodland Trust, Neil Sutherland from Makar, Stuart Goodall from Confor, Simon Hart from Egger Forestry and Christiane Lellig from Wood for Good.

WoodFest Newcastle is organised in collaboration with regional partners Constructing Excellence, Egger, Mawson Kerr, RIBA North East, and Ryder Architecture.

You can book your place for the WoodFest Newcastle events here: https://woodforgood.com/index/woodfest-newcastle/

More information will be released soon about other regional WoodFests taking place throughout the country in 2019.

For sponsorship opportunities click here. If you would like to get involved in WoodFest you can also contact Wood for Good campaign director, Christiane Lellig, at [email protected]

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-championed-launch-woodfest-10-14-december-2018-newcastle]

CTI Briefing Paper highlights potential Timber Industry losses due to Combustible Materials Ban

The Confederation of Timber Industries has produced a briefing paper summarising its view on two major topics of discussion such as Combustible Materials Ban and Fire Safety.

The factsheet focuses on possible actions the Government could take to improve fire safety of buildings by setting a clear regulatory framework.

The paper also warns of the "unforeseen consequences to homeowners and the construction industry" that an indiscriminate ban on combustible materials could trigger and recommends the establishment of a "licensing system for use of materials."

"In order to improve the safety of buildings, the Government must ensure that any new regime is both enforceable and enforced," says the paper. "Arguably one of the challenges to date has been lack of adherence to and enforcement of, existing building regulations and guidance. There has also been some confusion and a lack of clarity in the existing regulatory framework. Unless there is a cultural shift, any changes to the regulatory framework will not have the intended effect of making buildings safer.  

"As the London Fire Brigade said in its response to the Government’s consultation on banning combustible materials: 'a ban requires careful consideration to ensure there are not unintended consequences.”

"We therefore believe that a licensing system for use of materials – rather than an outright ban – is likely to be a more effective means of ensuring buildings are as safe as possible."

On the extent of combustible materials ban, the CTI "supports changes to limit the use of (and in some cases ban) combustible materials in taller buildings. However, the Government has not been clear regarding whether or not it intends any changes to apply simply to cladding, or to the structural wall in its entirety.

"If the scope of the ban were to include the structural wall as well as the cladding wall, then the impact will be a massive limitation in access to the materials available for building and the stifling of innovation, investment and employment."   

Download the briefing paper here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/cti-briefing-paper-highlights-potential-timber-industry-losses-due-combustible-materials-ban]

CTI Combustible Materials briefing paper

COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS BRIEFING

This factsheet summarises CTI's view on two major subjects like Combustible Materials Ban and Fire Safety.

The briefing paper focuses on possible actions the Government could take to improve safety of buildings along with providing a detailed comment on the proposed ban for the use of combustible materials in tall structures.

DOWNLOAD FILE

CTI Blog - Why Build In Wood?

This article is by Paul Brannen, MEP for the North East England Region. It originally appeared on www.northeastlabour.eu

 

Historically timber has been used to build homes, especially one and two storey buildings.  Taller and larger buildings have been possible with timber frames but above 5 or 6 storeys is rare.

However, relatively new engineered timber products such as Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Laminated Veneered Timber (LVL) have the structural strength of steel and concrete, enabling wooden framed buildings to now be built to much taller heights and on a much larger scale.  

These new products have enabled the construction of the world’s tallest wooden building, Tallwood House at Brock Commons East, on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.  It is 53m tall with 18 floors - you can watch it being constructed in under 3 minutes here. 

Wooden buildings even taller than this are currently under construction including the HoHo building in Vienna, Austria which will have 24 floors, see here, and a Japanese company are planning on building the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper.  Other wooden skyscrapers are being built or are planned across the globe.

There are many benefits to be gained from building in engineered wood, including:

 

Speed

Building in wood can see a floor a week being constructed on site, as the wooden panels are constructed off site in factory conditions. This is twice as fast as concrete.  Overall wooden buildings can be up to a third faster to build reducing construction site costs i.e. the hired crane is there for less time.

 

Sustainable

Timber is a renewable and sustainable product when managed and produced in an environmentally friendly way.  Construction timbers, such as CLT, LVL and Glulam, are made with a non-toxic adhesive and can be made with little or no burning of fossil fuels unlike steel, brick and block which all need large amounts of heat to produce and they tend to derive this heat from the energy produced from burning fossil fuels.  The actual chemistry involved in making cement for concrete results in large amounts of CO2 being released. Theoretically this could be captured (Carbon Capture and Storage - CCS) but to date it has not happened.

 

Sequestration of Carbon

While trees are growing they sequestrate carbon from the air. In fact trees could rightly be described as CCS ´machines´. When trees are turned into timber products the timber still continues to sequestrate the carbon for the life time of the wooden product, hence timber is a natural “carbon sink”.

Tall and/or large steel and concrete buildings have large carbon footprints.  Comparable wooden buildings can have a reduced carbon footprint of 60-75% in comparison. 

 

The importance of substituting for steel and concrete

Concrete and steel have large carbon footprints.  One of the primary ingredients in concrete is cement and to make cement you need to heat and grind up limestone or a similar material. In addition to the energy required in the manufacturing process, the U.N calculate approximately 1 ton of carbon dioxide is emitted per ton of cement produced.  As concrete is the second-most consumed substance on the planet, after water, cement production accounts for as much as 8 percent of human-produced carbon dioxide emissions.

Concrete and steel are both heavy to transport involving large numbers of lorries that in turn generate exhaust fumes that contribute to poor air quality especially in our cities and they also burn fossil fuels exacerbating climate change.

Wooden buildings can be five times lighter than a steel and concrete equivalent meaning transport costs both financially and environmentally are reduced. Lorry deliveries to the construction sites where wood is the principal building material can be reduced by 80% because wood is lighter and needs fewer lorries to move it. As wood is lighter this can also reduce the groundwork (foundation) costs.

A 125m high building made from wood could have a 75% lower carbon footprint than one made from steel and concrete.

50% less energy is used to manufacture wooden rather than concrete buildings and only 1% of the energy needed to produce steel.

During construction wooden buildings produce less dust and their construction is quieter, which is good news in urban areas.

Following construction in cold climates the estimated energy consumption and carbon emissions for CLT buildings are 9.9% and 13.2% lower than those of reinforced concrete buildings in view of life-cycle assessment; see here for more information. 

Currently using building methods centered around, concrete, steel, brick and block, the building sector is responsible for 42% of final energy consumption, 35% of total greenhouse gas emissions, 50% of extracted materials and 30% of water consumption in the European Union. Construction and housing have a fundamental role to play in enhancing societal goals for sustainable growth, see here.

 

Health/Ambiance

Wooden interiors deliver a multiple of physiological and psychological benefits including:

- reduced blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels

- improvements to a person’s emotional state and level of self-expression

- improved air quality through humidity moderation.

 

Renovation and Refurbishment

As a light-weighted material that can be processed easily, wood is the ideal material for renovation and refurbishment, allowing high flexibility for inhabitants and users to adjust buildings to specific needs. 

 

Cost; Timber/CLT v concrete/block/steel

A question often posed is whether building in wood is cheaper than building in a material such as concrete. To help answer this question, Building magazine undertook a price comparison in June 2017 and noted:

“We have prepared two detailed cost models, one each for a CLT and concrete design for a seven-storey private residential building. The scheme has been designed with both a timber and concrete solution in mind at the outset, with a structural layout to suit both.

“…the construction cost variance between timber and concrete for this hypothetical scheme is minimal. The higher CLT superstructure costs are offset by the ability to reduce pile quantities because of a lighter frame, hence a saving on substructure. The CLT programme for the frame and upper floors is around 10–15% shorter than the concrete option, resulting in a lower preliminaries cost.”

The cost of wooden buildings can be kept down by pre-fabricating panel sections in factory conditions where they can be made to the millimetre, meaning that there’s little to no waste.  Doors and window apertures can be pre-cut in the factory.  Government figures show about a third of the materials that arrive on a construction site using concrete tend to get sent to landfill resulting in more lorries on the road.

In April 2018 Alinea Consulting produced an influential report that highlighted the advantages of using CLT over concrete. The report, Residential Timber: Cost Model, suggests CLT is a viable alternative and uses two detailed exemplar cost models to demonstrate the point.

Wooden buildings are more energy efficient meaning longer term the owners will both use less energy and pay smaller energy bills.  If the CLT used is thick enough then an energy saving of 14% could occur. This is because wood has a natural thermal efficiency which means timber systems can be more cost effective in constructing energy efficient buildings than concrete, block or bricks.

Additionally, In a recent (July 2018) independent study produced by Rider Levett Bucknall (rlb.com) a comparison was made between the cost of timber frame v masonry build methods in order to determine which is more economical for affordable housing.  The study found "the overall situation ... results in the timber frame solution being more economical to construct" p16.  It was also "quicker".  

 

Fire

But aren’t wooden buildings more prone to hazards and natural disasters?

Buildings made from CLT have no inherent fire risk.  When brought into contact with fire the outer surface of the wood chars and then acts as a very effective insulator for the wood below.  When the heat source is removed the fire goes out. Furthermore, CLT remains more structurally stable when subjected to high temperatures.

See demonstration of an attempt to set fire to CLT with a blow torch in this Economist video on wooden skyscrapers here.

Further, Silvia Melegari wrote in Revolve that CLT buildings, “have the flexibility to handle the world’s strongest earthquakes with no loss of life or structural change”.

 

Who is designing and building big in wood already?

Architects

Waugh and Thistleton, London: http://waughthistleton.com/

White arkitckter, Sweden: http://whitearkitekter.com/project/skelleftea-cultural-centre/

Bob BBL, Norway: https://www.bob.no/

Acton Ostry, Vancouver, Canada: http://www.actonostry.ca/

LEVER, Portland, USA: https://leverarchitecture.com/

 

More Information: Interesting Links and Articles

Videos

What is Cross Laminated Timber?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuAya0hRjwU

The world’s tallest wooden buildings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3JqSsc8ZKk

TED talk by architect Michael Green, ‘Why we should build wooden skyscrapers’:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi_PD5aZT7Q

 

Articles

Innovative Wood Products Collaborative, ‘Why build with wood?’ http://www.themostnaturalresource.com/why-build-with-wood/

New Statesman, “Why wood is making a comeback in house building”, http://bit.ly/2PEXq4s

Building, ‘Cost model: residential timber’ http://bit.ly/2yPDguQ

Sustainability Open Access Journal, “A Comparison of the Energy Saving and Carbon Reduction Performance between Reinforced Concrete and Cross-Laminated Timber Structures in Residential Buildings in the Severe Cold Region of China” http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/9/8/1426

Revolve Magazine, Spring 2018 Issue: https://issuu.com/revolve-magazine/docs/revolve_27_digital

Benefits of Urban Trees, a FAO infographic: http://www.fao.org/3/a-c0024e.pdf

The contribution of wood-based construction materials for leveraging a low carbon building sector in Europe: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2210670716305923

Adoption of unconventional approaches in construction: The case of cross-laminated timber: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0950061816313514

Cost gap between CLT and concrete is narrowing: https://www.trada.co.uk/news/cost-gap-between-clt-and-concrete-is-narrowing/

Cement Industry Urged to Reduce Invisible Global Emissions http://bit.ly/2OtyYOE

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/cti-blog-why-build-wood]

Government pledges to prioritise the timber industry after Brexit

Last Wednesday, at the Westminster Hall debate on Leaving the EU, Environment Minister David Rutley MP committed to “strengthening the timber trade” during a parliamentary debate on the implications of Brexit on the timber industry.

Describing the industry as a “real priority” for Government, the Minister also pledged to make sure that timber importers face as “few additional costs as possible” after Brexit.

The comments came after Martin Whitfield MP, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries, urged the Government to ensure that after we leave the EU, timber imports can continue clear customs the same way they do now [Read more].

Martin Whitfield MP said: “Without frictionless trade, I believe we face a clear challenge to build the number of homes the Prime Minister has committed to providing over this parliament.

This challenge exists because the supply of timber is essential to meeting housing demands. This sector, which contributes £10bn to the UK economy each year is still hugely reliant on trade with EU countries. Incredibly, 90% of the timber used to build homes in the UK is imported from across Europe.”

David Hopkins, Director of the Confederation of the Timber Industries (CTI) said: “We welcome the Minister’s commitment to minimise the additional costs of Brexit on the import and export of timber. I am glad that the Government understands the indispensable role our industry plays in the UK construction sector and the wider economy.

“It is encouraging that David Rutley MP has agreed to meet with the APPG for the Timber Industries to further discuss how the Government can support the timber sector and, therefore, ensure the Government achieves its house building targets.”

The Confederation of Timber Industries has already secured a number of concessions from Government in relation to the sector‘s future after the UK leaves the European Union.

Earlier this year Government committed to protect timber businesses from up-front payments of VAT in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This followed earlier Ministerial commitments to retain the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) after the UK leaves the European Union, following pressure from the industry.


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A full transcript of the Westminster Hall debate on Leaving the EU: Timber Industry is available here.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries is the cross-party group which champions the timber industries in Parliament. Its Chair is Martin Whitfield MP and the secretariat is provided by the Confederation of Timber Industries. Find out more here.

 

*Read also:

31.10.18 - If the PM is serious about solving the housing crisis, she must scrap Chequers & broker an improved deal that ensures timber can clear customs freely

26.10.18 - Martin Whitfield MP elected new Chair of Timber Industries APPG

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/government-pledges-prioritise-timber-industry-after-brexit]

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