News & Events

CTI Blog - It’s time for a holistic approach to Fire Safety problem

This guest blog post is by David Oldfield, Chairman of BWF Fire Door Scheme and Head of Joinery at Arnold Laver

 

The stories we hear about Grenfell Tower are concerning and the BWF team has been working tirelessly since the tragedy to provide the necessary support and advice to those involved and ensure that corrective action is timely and efficient.

Fire doors are in every building that we live in, work in and sleep in, but they are often overlooked, ignored and allowed to slip into a sorry state.

Many people do not realise that the real job of a fire door is to hold back fire, smoke and toxic gases, delaying the spread around a building and keeping the vital means of escape route clear. They only work properly if they are specified, manufactured, installed and maintained correctly, and of course, closed when a fire breaks out.

Fire Door Safety Week investigations have pointed to an endemic fire safety problem in this type of housing stock and many other residential, recreational, leisure, healthcare and educational buildings.

It is sadly not uncommon to see buildings without fire doors, no emergency lighting or signage on doors and escape routes, broken fire rated glass, wedged-open fire doors, poor fire stopping around service hatches that breach compartmentation, no intumescent or smoke seals in fire doors, rubbish and combustible material left in the common areas.

In the catalogue of issues that the full investigation will reveal, it is clear that there are systemic failures that need to be looked at. We must look for quick wins, but take a holistic approach to active and passive options to ensure that we can all live, recover, work, learn and play in relative safety.

Our hope is not simply that full and comprehensive inspections and risk assessments happen now, but that their recommendations are acted upon quickly, and that the regulatory framework is addressed and policed with suitable resource to ensure we don’t simply create a hiatus and allow matters to drift back to the reprehensible state they are now in.

We also reiterate our call for a Register of Responsible Persons so that the responsible person is not a mystery person lurking in the shadows, but must be front and centre so that people know where to take their problems.

By identifying the responsible person by name and providing the appropriate contact details, residents and building users are empowered to raise problems. This also ensures that those responsible for keeping them safe are made aware of issues directly. This doesn’t do away with the need for fire risk assessments, but supplements an effective process by harnessing the crowd to stay vigilant.

 

More info:

See Best Practice To Refurbishing Fire Doors Guide here

See pecialist advice on fire doors in social housing produced for Fire Door Safety Week here

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/cti-blog-it%E2%80%99s-time-holistic-approach-fire-safety-problem]

Folding Cartons considered most sustainable Packaging format

European brand owners and retailers consider folding cartons as the most sustainable packaging format.

This is the message delivered from a study conducted by Smithers Pira in Germany, UK, France, Italy and Spain to investigate attitudes on sustainability in packaging

Brand owners choice of folding cartons as the “most sustainable” packaging format was based on the product’s ability to meet a combination of key environmental considerations, including that they can be made from renewable forestry and PEFC/FSC certified resources.

In other key findings, 96% of respondents considered sustainable packaging to be important to their business and 62% expect a growing need for sustainability in packaging. 

Respondents considered that this growth in demand for sustainable packaging was being driven by rising consumer awareness and government and local authority procurement policies.

The complete study can be found on the Pro Carton website.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/folding-cartons-considered-most-sustainable-packaging-format]

BMF and Grown In Britain announce strategic partnership to boost sales of UK-grown timber

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and Grown In Britain have established a strategic partnership to help UK merchants extend their customers choice and business opportunities.

The partnership was announced at the BMF Timber Forum held in Coventry yesterday.

With around a fifth of general merchant business comprising timber & wood products, maximizing sales opportunities in the category is key to profitability. 

“One of our core functions as a Federation is to help members to market their businesses,” said BMF Managing Director John Newcomb.

“British timber is already present in merchant yards yet is not necessarily highlighted to customers as a buying choice. To grow merchants’ wood business, both pre- and post-Brexit, our partnership with Grown in Britain will give members information and ideas for making the most of the British timber in their supply chains,” John Newcomb added.

Grown in Britain was formed in 2013. It runs a special Grown in Britain Week which this year coincides with UK Construction Week in October. One of its achievements is a timber procurement preference statement in favour of British-grown timber from major contractors.

CEO Dougal Driver said: “We will be enabling BMF merchant members to sell British-grown timber with confidence, providing the latest information and promotional guidance. There has been vast investment in producing British timber in the past 20 years, with mills here operating to the same or higher standards than those in northern Europe. Whilst challenging perceptions we’ll be helping merchants to take full business advantage."

British-grown timber, often in the shape of carcassing and decking, is already an unseen element in many builders’ merchants’ ranges. To underline the marketing advantage of British-grown timber as a merchant differentiator, Grown In Britain has recently produced a new, brief Guide for the merchant sector, freely downloadable here.

Part of a series of leaflets for different markets, the new merchant guide, ‘Building Business with Wood Grown in Britain’, details the British-grown timber preference statement adopted by many major contractors looking to extend their supply chains to local merchants.
 

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bmf-and-grown-britain-announce-strategic-partnership-boost-sales-uk-grown-timber]

New CIRIA handbook promotes responsible sourcing across Construction Industry

The Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) has recently produced its responsible sourcing handbook.

The publication - Minimising risk through responsible sourcing (C767) - is designed to help anyone involved in construction projects to better understand what to look for when making purchasing decisions.

By providing best practises and guidance on responsible sourcing practices and risks reduction, the handbook aims to answer to key-questions such as:

- Where do the materials and products used in construction projects come from?

- What are their social, environmental and ethical impacts?

- Do construction companies and professionals consider them in purchasing decisions?

"Adopting responsible sourcing practices is the key to act on these issues and to manage potential risks and impacts associated with the purchase of materials, products and services, such as child labour, excessive use of resources, or greenhouse gas emissions," says CIRIA in a news release.

"With an economy based on global networks and supply chains this can be very challenging and requires a close collaboration between all the parties involved in project delivery, from clients to designers and specifiers, through to suppliers and product manufacturers."

"The construction industry is increasingly realising this and we are witnessing the evolution of the market and changes in procurement processes: clients and contractors are keen to work with organisations that can demonstrate they are adopting responsible sourcing practices; at the same time, manufacturers and suppliers are seeking third party certification to demonstrate their supply chain transparency and, ultimately, increase their ability to win more work."

Find out more information here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/new-ciria-handbook-promotes-responsible-sourcing-across-construction-industry]

TTF launches "Timber You Can Trust Campaign" to promote responsible timber sourcing

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has recently launched a new Campaign - ‘Timber you can Trust’ - for the purpose of promoting responsible timber sourcing to local authorities and Industry stakeholders.

"As councils across the UK commit to build new homes in increasing numbers, the need for sustainably sourced construction materials has also grown," explains the TTF in a news release. "The TTF wants to partner with local authorities to ensure that high standards of responsible sourcing are maintained in local government and in procurement policies across the private sector."

Launching the campaign, David Hopkins, TTF’s Managing Director, said: “I’m excited to be working with local government to increase awareness about the importance of responsible timber sourcing, the good management of forests, and the sustainability of the whole timber supply chain.”

“Timber is the world’s leading renewable, low carbon construction material. Responsible procurement is at the heart of a low-carbon future." 

“We’ve just seen hundreds of new councillors elected across the country, a lot of whom have come with ambitions of encouraging new sustainable housing developments across their communities. Similarly, through the CTI and the Timber Industries APPG, we will be seeking to work with MPs across the UK”.

The TTF is inviting its members and stakeholders to committ to the ‘Timber you can Trust’ campaign by taking the TTF pledge and completing a free timber-procurement CPD course.

Many stakeholders have already pledged their support for the initiative, including architects, contractors, builders’ merchants and many others. View the photo gallery here.

To join the campaign on social media, use the hashtag #trustedtimber.

Find out more here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/ttf-launches-timber-you-can-trust-campaign-promote-responsible-timber-sourcing]

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