News & Events

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]

BMF comments on Queen's Speech: "Positive engagement on trade and housing"

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has commented today’s Queen’s Speech to Parliament that set out the Government’s legislative programme for the next two year.

John Newcomb, BMF Managing Director, said:“The Queen’s Speech reflects the Government’s pre-occupation with the complex negotiations to leave the European Union but we do welcome the very encouraging noises today on housing and industrial policy, which will both help grow the economy, improve living standards and increase productivity”.

“We welcome the clear statement in the Queen’s Speech that proposals will be brought forward to help ensure more homes are built. The Government has acknowledged that not enough homes are being built and that we need to build more of the right homes in the right places, and diversify who builds homes. Our understanding is that the Housing White Paper does not now require further legislation, so we would urge the Government to implement it as quickly as possible”.

“The BMF also welcomes the Government’s commitment to implementing the Industrial Strategy and the new Trade and Customs Bills which will enable our members to trade confidently and continue with their planned investments. The BMF favours an Industrial Strategy that showcases the construction industry, based on a clearly-defined, well-articulated mission to give it purpose, drive and direction. A resilient, functioning and enduring supply chain must be a core component if the Strategy is to succeed”.

“Our latest Builders Merchant Building Index shows that merchants experienced strong growth in the first quarter of 2017, with sales up 5.9% compared to the same time last year. This shows the vital role of builders, plumbers and timber merchants in delivering economic growth. Housing is not built, nor are homes repaired, extended or adapted, without the materials and products that BMF members deliver. We look forward to working with new ministers in the coming months”.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bmf-comments-queens-speech-positive-engagement-trade-and-housing]

CTI Blog - Offsite: If it's not a System, then It's not a Solution

This guest blog post is by Gerard McCaughey, CEO of Entekra Inc

 

In Europe wood frame construction market adoption varies widely from virtually 100% in Scandinavia to 70% in Scotland and about 30% in Ireland and many other central and western European countries. However, what is common in all the countries, where wood frame is used, is that virtually all of it is constructed using an off site construction (OSC) system.

Most of the customers in Europe, whether they are builder/developers or custom home end users, understand the benefits that off site systems (OSC) can deliver in terms of speed, efficiency, quality, energy efficiency and sustainability. It would virtually be as alien to a European to stick build a wood frame house, as it would be to buy a new car and have every single component shipped to your front yard and have a couple of local mechanics come out in a pick up truck with welding equipment and pneumatic tools to build the car. You simply wouldn't dream of it.

Why ignore that 100 years of innovation and progress

Yet in the US market this is exactly how wood framed houses are built, without taking advantage of the last century of innovation and ignoring the benefits of computers, modern automation or factory controlled conditions and quality systems. The real question is Why?

Really the question is better phrased as why have off site solutions not been more widely adopted by the US construction industry?

Off Site System providers not component manufacturers

A large part of the reason is due to the nature of the "off site" industry in the US. In Europe and other parts of the world, the off site companies are part of a dedicated off site industry and categorically see themselves as offsite system providers and not as component manufacturers. In fact the term component is hardly ever used by the off site industry outside the US as the off site companies realize that the customer is not interested in purchasing components but rather is seeking a solution. The so called components are merely an output and form elements of a system which is a solution to the problem the builder wants addressed. They are not the raison d'être of the off site company.

Off Site benefits come from an integrated approach

Until there are dedicated Fully Integrated Off Site System providers it will be very difficult for the builder/developer to gain meaningful benefits and for off site solutions to gain a bigger share of the framing market. One of the major obstacles to this is the requirement for an experienced in house engineering team, as off site solutions will always be compromised if they are forced to use engineering that was designed for stick framing.

In particular, design, engineering and manufacturing of Pre Fabricated Floor Cassettes (PFC) requires a lot of internal engineering expertise. PFC's are are a critical element of off site construction in the multi-story , multi-family and light commercial markets. Engineering for maximum off site efficiency requires a detailed in depth knowledge of factory manufacturing techniques, structural engineering and the off site building process and connection detailing including sequencing and materials selection.

Until those in the industry with a genuine interest and vision for the potential of the "off site industry" realize that they need to become more than just component manufacturers and instead act as off site system/solution providers and resource themselves accordingly, the industry will fail to reach its potential, despite the the labor shortage, which is forcing builders to look for new solutions.

True off site companies are solution focused businesses that happen to manufacture components as an output of an integrated system that's purpose is to facilitate the fast track construction of a building utilizing both labor and material efficiency. Off site companies may manufacture components but they are not component manufacturers!

 

*Gerard McCaughey is Chief Executive of Entekra Inc, a firm specializing in design, engineering and manufacturing of Fully Integrated Off Site Solutions™ (FIOSS™) for homebuilding industry. Mr. McCaughey previously co-founded Century Homes, Europe’s largest offsite building manufacturing company producing over 8000 house units annually, with five plants in Ireland and UK, which he sold in 2005 to Kingspan Group Plc. He is regarded in Europe as being one of the leading figures in off site construction and green building movement, and was at the forefront of regulatory reform in both Ireland and Britain. He has acted as an off site construction consultant in Eastern Europe, United States and South Africa and has spoken and written about green and offsite construction in many other countries around the world and is a previous winner of Ernst and Young’s, Industry Entrepreneur of the Year Award and recognized by US Immigration Service as a "Person of Extraordinary Ability" in green and offsite construction.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/cti-blog-offsite-if-its-not-system-then-its-not-solution]

National Tree Officers Conference | 8 November 2017 | Telford

The National Tree Officers Conference will return to Telford, 8 November 2017.

The conference - organised by the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA), the Municipal Tree Officers Association (MTOA) and the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) - represents a unique gathering for professionals interested in all areas of local authority arboricultural work.

The event is crucial to tree, woodland and planning officers; provides a significant platform for future collaborations and partnerships; and offers latest research. It will demonstrate the best practice and innovation from arboricultural and urban forestry experts.

This year’s conference will focus on a range of influential topics from leading arboricultural and urban forestry professionals:

  • Planning Best Practice & Innovation
  • In-House or Out-Sourced
  • Innovation and Research
  • i-Tree Projects

The event agenda is available here.

For further info and reservation, visit www.charteredforesters.org/tree-officers-conference.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/national-tree-officers-conference-8-november-2017-telford]

WRI report: Global timber trade rose 10% in 2016. US, China and UK top 3 importing countries

According to Wood Resources International (WRI), 118 million m3 of timber was traded last year resulting in +10 percent compared to 2015.

Imports to the US account for about one-third of globally traded timber and have almost doubled in five years. China accounted for about 17% of import volumes in 2016, followed by the United Kingdom, Japan and Germany.
 
The biggest declines in imports globally from 2015 to 2016 were to the MENA region, where demand for timber fell in all the major markets, including Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.

Moreover, early 2017 showed an upward trend for global softwood timber market with prices in North America hitting a 13-year high, while Chinese import prices increasing 13% in 18 months.

WRI report also presents an insight on macro-areas:

  • North America
    Timber production in North America in 2016 was up six percent from the previous year, reaching its highest level since 2007. The biggest rises in production occurred in the US South and Eastern Canada, while the increases in western Canada and the western US were more modest.

    Prices for timber in the US have jumped during the first four months of the year to hit a 13-year high in April. Many of the commonly traded grades surged in price by more than 20% from April of 2016.
  • Northern Europe
    Sweden exported 12.9 million m3 of softwood timber in 2016, which was the highest volume exported since 2006. The increase from 2015 was a modest 1.5%, with shipments to Denmark, Japan, China and France rising the most.

    Domestic timber prices in both Finland and Sweden continue to be close to their lowest levels in ten years in US dollar terms, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly.
  • China
    Prices for imported softwood timber to China have been in a steady upward trend during 2016 and 2017 with the average import price in March 2017 being 13% higher than 18 months earlier.

    The biggest change in pricing over the past two year has been that prices for Russian timber are no longer substantially cheaper than those for timber from other supplying regions, but instead are rather close to the average import price.
  • Japan
    Total housing starts were up 3.2% in Japan in the 1Q/17 as compared to the same quarter in 2016, and the economic outlook for the coming year is slightly more optimistic than that for last year.

    Prices for domestic and imported timber have remained practically unchanged for almost a year in Yen terms. With the Yen strengthening against the US dollar during the first four months of 2017, timber prices have increased so far this year in US dollar terms.
  • Russia
    After a substantial decline in softwood timber export prices during 2014 and 2015, Russian timber prices have trended upward for most of 2016 and early 2017. Average export prices in March 2017 were 12% higher than in the same month last year, and prices for wood going to China have gone up even faster over the same time-period.

    Export volumes to China in the 1Q/17 were unchanged from the previous quarter, holding steady at the second highest level on record.

 The complete WRI report can be purchased here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/wri-report-global-timber-trade-rose-10-2016-us-china-and-uk-top-3-importing-countries]

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