News & Events

CTI brings industry and politics together at Labour conference

Left to right: Cllr Hamish MacLeod, Katherine Dunne, David Hopkins, and Cllr Heather Johnson

Both national and local politicians now better recognise the benefits of a stronger partnership between government and the timber industry, following a Confederation of Timber Industries sit down with Labour in Brighton to discuss how timber can help solve the housing crisis.

Politicians present included Chi Onwurah, MP, and Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, as well as Councilor Leo Pollak of Southwark, Councilor Heather Johnson of Camden, and Councilor Katherine Dunne of Hounslow.

Each was welcomed by Hamish MacLeod, Director of Public Affairs with BSW Timber, and David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation, who elaborated on the recent inquiry into housing by the APPG for the Timber Industries, and answered questions.

On a national scale, CTI was pleased to see Ms Onwurah discuss bringing forward an industrial strategy specifically for timber, which acknowledges the importance of growing UK forests and building sustainably in an evolving green economy.

The successful growth of UK Forestry, which accounts for 40% of the volume traded in the UK, was discussed by Mr MacLeod to the politicians who wanted to know what species are being grown, it’s effect on biodiversity, and visions for the future of UK forestry.

He was able to allay some of the concerns regarding biodiversity by both acknowledging the trade-offs made by commercial forestry, as well as to the advancement of forestry techniques, which uses technology, restrictions on monocultures, and is compelled to grow 15% native forests.

Misconceptions regarding the fire performance of timber were also discussed by Councilor’s Pollak, Dunne and Johnson, who raised the difficulty they face post Grenfell in reassuring residents.

Mr Hopkins pointed out that many residents across the UK already unknowingly live in timber buildings, whether they look to their stairs, windows or the furniture in their living rooms, or even to the frame of their house underneath hidden behind a brick façade – all performing well.

When built well, and within the proper specifications, the evidence did not show any increase in risk to life in homes or apartments built with timber over other materials.

Most of the local politicians had been drawn to attend by the sustainability aspects of building in timber, with the impact of major construction projects in their areas top of mind after each had declared climate emergencies.

The timber industry must engage with local councils who are right now building houses around the country, who can be enthusiastic champions, and are able to make a significant impact through their policies – as had been demonstrated by Hackney.

Follow up and engagement opportunities between the CTI and local councils was raised by both parties, with agreement that more needed to be done to highlight the positive tale of timber in the UK. Reflecting on the event, David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation, said:

“We know there is a strong story for the timber industry to tell in terms of construction, skills, and sustainability, and now is the time for businesses to work together to ensure that we align to get a consistent message to all UK politicians – which we will do with this housing report.

“Politicians are interested in building with timber, but it will be up to us to make sure they have the tools and information close to hand to talk to their constituents, and opportunities to work with the housing associations, developers and architects who are determined to change construction.”

CTI statement on the performance of wood cladding in a fire

The outcome of the UK government’s assessment last year of the use of different cladding materials in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy confirmed that timber, where necessary enhanced with flame retardant, remains fit for purpose where the upper floor level of a building where the upper floor level is less than 18m above ground (Building Regulations England). In all situations where Building Regulations stipulate a particular reaction to fire performance level for materials on the external face of a multi-storey residential building below this level, then those performance levels must be complied with.
 
However, Building Regulations guidance does not always stipulate a particular reaction to fire performance for cladding and/or balconies on buildings where the upper floor level is less than 18m above ground. In such circumstances, so as to provide consistency, insurance and peace of mind against unforeseen circumstances, an independent, professional fire risk assessment which takes into account the building design, use, materials and location is essential at the project design stage. Indeed, this has been a principle embodied in the CDM Regulations for some years which has very recently been reinforced by MHCLG in a circular letter to Building Control in England & Wales.

Such an assessment may demonstrate that, by means of careful design and component specification, flame retardant treatment is unnecessary in the particular circumstances. However, following recent reviews and from industry feedback on new projects, the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) recommend that all such timber based cladding and balcony components should be treated using a quality assured factory-applied flame retardant to Euroclass B, unless shown not to be necessary by an appropriate risk assessment process.

Timber remains an excellent material for manufacture and construction, but proper risk assessment, specification and detailing are paramount to ensuring safety whatever the build method.

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/cti-statement-performance-wood-cladding-fire]

Research shows tree planting 'most effective solution' to combatting climate change

A recently published study has found that largescale tree planting around the world is the most effective method of combatting climate change.

The researchers found through their analysis that once desert, agricultural and urban areas were excluded, there was 0.9 billion hectares with potential to be reforested.

Planting trees in these areas has the potential to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere by 25%, or 200 gigatonnes, once these forests reached maturity.

You can read the full study in Science Magazine, The global tree restoration potential, where the results were first published in July 2019.

News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/research-shows-tree-planting-most-effective-solution-combatting-climate-change

Press release - APPG for the Timber Industries launches inquiry into housing

APPG for the Timber Industries launches inquiry into housing

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries has launched an inquiry into how timber can help solve the housing crisis. 

The House of Commons Library has estimated that between 240,000 and 340,000 new homes need to be built in England per year in order to tackle the existing housing shortfall, and all major political parties have made commitments to support new homes being built. This inquiry will explore ways in which the timber industry can help to make those commitments a reality, focusing in particular on issues around skills shortages, sustainability and the capacity within the industry to do more in housing construction. 

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Wood for Good Marketing Summit to put health and wellbeing into practice | 12 March 2019 | London

Promoting timber’s health and wellbeing benefits is the focus for Wood for Good’s next Marketing Summit on 12 March at CILIP in London.

Christiane Lellig, Wood for Good campaign director, said: “The Summit is an opportunity to pinpoint how we can position, develop and market timber products within the health and wellbeing agenda.

“Our previous summit identified the opportunities and challenges for the timber market, now it’s time to look at how we get our products up to speed and ideally ‘healthy material’ certified.”

The Summit will be in a workshop format with speakers including Christos Michael from CapitalHolz 100, Colin Wheatley from Medite Smartply and Kevin Underwood from the British Woodworking Federation. Christos and Colin will be sharing their experiences of bringing health and wellbeing to the forefront of their marketing and product development, while Kevin will delve into the results of BWF’s cradle-to-cradle feasibility study for joinery products.

The discussion will cover the key issues raised in the previous summit including certification and the practicalities of doing this, identifying sales channels and ideas on how to promote products as healthy.

On the morning of the Summit, a workshop with Wood for Good supporters will take place to discuss the next six months of the campaign’s activity.

Following both events, attendees are invited to the Building Centre for the launch of the annual Wood Awards plus an opportunity to view the Forest of Fabrication exhibition.

To book your seat, visit Wood for Good Spring Marketing Summit.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/wood-good-marketing-summit-put-health-and-wellbeing-practice-12-march-london

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