News & Events

MHCLG announce changes to Approved Document B volume 2 and Approved Document 7

MHCLG announce changes to Approved Document B volume 2 and Approved Document 7
 

Below is summary of the changes to the Approved Documents following the Government’s consultation on banning the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings. (The consultation can be found here)

The changes to Approved Document B volume 2 and Approved Document 7 take effect on 21 December 2018 for use in England. Previous editions of these guidance documents will continue to apply where a building notice or an initial notice has been given to, or full plans deposited with, a local authority before 21 December 2018 and either the building work to which it relates:

(a) has started before that day; or

(b) is started within the period of two months beginning on that day.

 

Summary of changes – new requirements

Building work shall be carried out so that materials which become part of an external wall, or specified attachment, of a relevant building are of European Classification A2-s1, d0 or Class A1, classified in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 (Fire classification of construction products and building elements. Classification using test data from reaction to fire tests) Institution

relevant building means a building with a storey (not including roof-top plant areas or any storey consisting exclusively of plant rooms) at least 18 metres above ground level and which—

(i) contains one or more dwellings;

(ii) contains an institution; or

(iii) contains a room for residential purposes (excluding any room in a hostel, hotel or boarding house); and

above ground level in relation to a storey means above ground level when measured from the lowest ground level adjoining the outside of a building to the top of the floor surface of the storey.

 

The above requirements do not apply to -

(a) cavity trays when used between two leaves of masonry;

(b) any part of a roof (other than any part of a roof which falls within paragraph (iv) of regulation 2(6)) if that part is connected to an external wall;

(c) door frames and doors;

(d) electrical installations;

(e) insulation and water proofing materials used below ground level;

(f) intumescent and fire stopping materials where the inclusion of the materials is necessary to meet the requirements of Part B of Schedule 1;

(g) membranes;

(h) seals, gaskets, fixings, sealants and backer rods;

(i) thermal break materials where the inclusion of the materials is necessary to meet the thermal bridging requirements of Part L of Schedule 1; or

(j) window frames and glass.

 

Full details of these changes are given in the associated documents listed below.

- The statement by Bob Ledsome, An Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government can be found here

- The amendments to Approved Document B Volume 2 can be found here

- The amendments to Approved Document 7 can be found here

- The Statutory Instrument which makes the required changes to the Building Regulations (S.I.2018/1230) can be found here

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/mhclg-announce-changes-approved-document-b-volume-2-and-approved-document-7]

Forestry investment remains a top performer, says UK Forest Market Report 2018

The UK Forest Market Report 2018, launched in London, has revealed that patience and shrewd forestry investment choices have paid dividends over the last 12 months.

Many UK forest owners who purchased their property 30 or 40 years ago are now reaping exceptional rewards for patiently growing their timber assets. Not only is their investment showing returns of 13.9% per annum –  one of the best performing asset classes - but the price of standing timber has soared 30% in the last year alone.

The 20th edition of The UK Forest Market Report is produced by Tilhill Forestry and John Clegg & Co and provides analysis of this growth and further commentary about forestry as an investment choice. The report also features a study on the lowland woodland sector.

In discussing the performance of the commercial forestry market in the year to September 2018, the report describes a “brisk and robust” sector. A total of £104.2m of forest properties were traded in 2018. This is a 6% drop from 2017 but, interestingly, the market comprised a smaller number of higher value sales (57 in 2018 compared to 87 in 2017) with an average size of 196ha (149ha in 2017) and an average price of £1.83m (£1.28m in 2017). Scotland retained its dominant position in the marketplace with 69% of the sales recorded.

The report points out that standing timber prices have rocketed by around 30% over the last 12 months - great news for owners whose forests are now ready to harvest.

Additionally, despite political uncertainty, the report suggests that new agricultural policies may be on the horizon that will encourage a more integrated approach to land use particularly with forestry and farming.

The report says: “Overall we believe that the market continues to behave robustly in the light of the wider economic environment, demonstrating the strength and resilience of forestry as a long-term investment. New investors are coming through to investigate the marketplace with many of these based within the EU and reassuringly confident to invest in the UK.”

Peter Whitfield, Business Development Director for Tilhill Forestry, explains: “Motivations for investors vary but the main reasons are long-term financial returns, the potential for tax planning, long-term capital growth particularly within a pension, or the amenity value.

“The wider economic climate remains highly volatile but, in this environment, the security of owning real assets, the improvement in timber prices and general confidence that these can be sustained and strong political support for the industry together with the amenity values mean that forestry remains an attractive choice for many investors.”

Fenning Welstead, Director John Clegg & Co., said that the level of competition was “remarkable” and that the demand from investors seeking ownership of forestry assets has never been stronger in his experience.

He added: “The upward movement in the price of timber in the last 12 months has been staggering. It has been driven partly by the weak pound and more expensive imports but also, I believe, by the dawning realisation that the supply of fibre is finite.

“The UK is the second largest timber importer in the world. With more interest in forestry and the wide range of benefits forests offer, and an increase in planting, perhaps we can start to reduce the amount of timber we import.”

More conifers were planted in Scotland last year than in any year since 2000 and encouragingly, the report says, Forestry Commission Scotland has reported strong demand for woodland creation schemes for 2018/19 and 2019/20 with over 12,000ha being assessed - well exceeding their target of 10,000ha per year.

The forestry grant budget in Scotland has been increased for 2018/19 to accommodate the increased demand - a clear sign of how the Scottish Government perceives the importance of forestry as part of the rural economy.

The report welcomes this and other “very positive steps” taken in support of commercial afforestation such as the announcement of a Forestry Investment Zone in the north of England, the appointment of two Forestry Commission Woodland Creation Officers and the appointment of Sir William Worsley as the Tree Champion for England. Forestry also enjoyed a mention in the latest budget with £60 million of funding to be put in place for tree planting in England.

Another encouraging sign centres on the concept of Natural Capital which is at the heart of the UK’s 25 Year Environment Plan. It recognises that forestry is more than just an asset for timber extraction and offers much broader societal benefits such as cleaner air, flood reduction, carbon storage and health improvement.

For a copy of the Report please click here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/forestry-investment-remains-top-performer-says-uk-forest-market-report-2018]

WPA responds to government call for input to future EU trade negotiations

To ensure that the rules of origin agreed with the EU reflect the needs of UK business in the timber sector, the Wood Protection Association (WPA) will be working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI).

"We want to ensure that the UK government negotiating position directly reflects the needs of all sectors in the UK timber industry supply chain," said Gordon Ewbank, WPA Chief Executive Officer.

As part of this discussion, WPA is also focusing on the implications and issues which affect its chemical manufacturing members, all of which are international businesses with significant interests in cross border trading.

BEIS is setting up sector advisory panels which will brief government officials on key issues of concern ahead of negotiations with the EU and act as a sounding board for questions which arise during negotiations. CTI delegates will form the core of a future Wood Panel government sounding board.

BEIS is hosting three EU Exit Seminars in the next few weeks in collaboration with HSE, Defra and the Alliance of Chemical Associations. The events are in London, Leeds and Liverpool and are free to attend. 
 
The purpose is to help chemicals businesses and downstream users of chemicals to understand the potential impacts of EU Exit on their business in key areas such as regulation, tariffs/rules of origin and customs/border processes.
 
This is an opportunity for anyone to ask questions of policy officials, advise Government on the impact of EU Exit on your business and help to shape the negotiation and policy positions that will support the sector.

  • London - Friday 23 November at BEIS Conference Centre, 1 Victoria Street, SW1H 0ET
  • Leeds - Tuesday 27 November at Cloth Hall Court, Leeds Beckett University, Quebec Street, LS1 2HT
  • Liverpool - Wednesday 5 December at Holiday Inn Liverpool, Lime Street, L1 1NQ 

For more information, click here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/wpa-responds-government-call-input-future-eu-trade-negotiations]

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]

Pages