News & Events

NEPCon and RACert to form world's largest mission-driven certification body

After two decades of close partnership, the non-profit certification bodies NEPCon and RACert (the certification division of the Rainforest Alliance) have announced their intention to join later this year.

The transaction is subject to agreement on final terms, which the parties expect to finalize later this year.

The combined organisation, which will operate under the name of NEPCon, will continue to offer services that both NEPCon and RA-Cert have been delivering in forestry, agriculture, responsible sourcing, biomass, carbon footprinting, and tourism.

“NEPCon and RA-Cert share similar values, including a commitment to credibility at the heart of our services. We already have closely aligned management structures, systems and working procedures, as well as long-standing trust across the two organisations. RA-Cert complements our existing capacities and geographical areas, and we are excited to have the RA-Cert team join NEPCon," said Peter Feilberg, Executive Director of NEPCon.

The RA-Cert/NEPCon union will have over 200 staff and a wide network of consultants working worldwide, delivering services on six continents.

"The current RA-Cert and NEPCon geographies and services are complementary to each other, and together will drive greater reach and impact,” said Feilberg.

The union will enable NEPCon to better drive impact and reach its mission. The organization will be well-equipped to provide services to large international corporations with global supply chains in agricultural and forest products, as well as engage more with smallholders and community enterprises that are important drivers of impact on the ground.

“RA-Cert has played a key role in driving the Rainforest Alliance's vision of a world where nature is protected and biodiversity flourishes; where farmers, workers, and communities prosper; and where responsible land use and business practices are the norm," said Rainforest Alliance Chief Executive Officer, Han de Groot.

"The acquisition of the RA-Cert program by NEPCon is the right solution to maintain the credibility and independence of the RA-Cert certification and auditing services. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with NEPCon in a variety of areas in the future.”

For more info, click here.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/nepcon-and-racert-form-worlds-largest-mission-driven-certification-body]

A look inside Bloomberg’s European HQ in London containing over 39,000 m2 of American red oak

Designed by a Foster + Partners team, led by Norman Foster himself, the stunning Bloomberg’s European HQ in London contains over 39,000 m2 of American red oak.

The massive structure has scored high on the environmental front, achieving a record BREEAM rating for an office development of 98.5%.

Making the building more significant for red oak still, project architect Michael Jones said the timber is not used in any token, decorative way. It’s core to the interior aesthetics and to delivering on the designers’ wellbeing and environmental goals. It’s also used in considerable quantities – 37,160 m2 for the floor alone.

To answer the question why wood in the first place, and so much of it, Mr. Jones tracks back to initial conversations with Bloomberg CEO Michael Bloomberg. “Previously the company has occupied existing commercial space, but establishing their European headquarters, they felt, deserved something bespoke and tailored to the way they operate,” he said.

“As well as expressing this through the architecture itself and while wanting the building to be very much of its own time, they also wanted it to be very contextual and historically rooted in its place through the palette of materials. Hence the extensive use of bronze and Derbyshire stone – 9,000 tonnes of it – but equally timber, all of which you see quite typically around London. The task was to take these materials and use them in a fresh, innovative way.”

Sustainability also led Foster to timber. “By this we mean not only that timber is renewable, energy efficient, carbon rich and all those other good things, but that it helps achieve sustainability in the broadest sense,” said Jones. “The sustainability of a building is also about the wellbeing of people – and people feel better in a place featuring natural materials.”

For more information, see AHEC press release here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/look-inside-bloomberg%E2%80%99s-european-hq-london-containing-over-39000-m2-american-red-oak]

Can wood replace concrete and steel as the go-to building material?

This video by The Economist explores the latest developments in timber construction outlining an intriguing scenario where concrete and steel are replaced by sustainable and eco-friendly wood.

"Wooden skyscrapers are an ambitious and innovative solution to the problems posed by urbanisation," The Economist reports. "Not only are they faster to build, they have smaller carbon footprints than high-rises made of concrete and steel."

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/can-wood-replace-concrete-and-steel-go-building-material]

'County Down Barn' project takes centre stage at Surface Design Show 2018

On Wednesday 7 February 2018, visitors of the Surface Design Show held at the Business Design Centre in London will have the opportunity to hear about The County Down Barn – a stunning home designed by architect Micah Jones (pictured on the left) and featuring PEFC-certified cross laminated timber (CLT).

The project was featured in the latest season of Grand Designs and Micah Jones and Gareth Mason of CLT supplier Stora Enso will provide an overview on this contemporary take on a traditional barn conversion formed of a one-storey CLT structure installed above a restored stone agricultural building.

Built on a limited budget and timescale and located on a tight site with stunning views across the Mourne Hills of County Down, the building features a complementary material palette of CLT, stone and concrete to produce an elegant, yet comfortable and robust family home.

There were several reasons for the specification of CLT including the material’s enhanced thermal and airtightness performance – a major benefit as all the insulation on the house is external. Other key considerations were CLT’s structural ability to achieve the clean, long spans the architect was looking for and the material’s high quality finish which was important because internally the CLT has been left exposed throughout.

The County Down Barn is Micah’s first project using CLT and he has pioneered this method of construction in Northern Ireland. “CLT is a new product in Northern Ireland,” says Micah. “I had tried previously to move forward with it and not got very far so I’d had to look at other options, but I kept going back to CLT. The most important thing to do if you want to build your home with CLT is to work with a quality manufacturer and an experienced and reputable CLT installer.”

Micah made contact with CLT manufacturer Stora Enso UK who introduced him to G-frame Structures, one of their UK delivery partners. “It was fantastic working with Stora Enso and G-frame. I now have a deeper understanding of what can be achieved with CLT in terms of structure and design.”

Gareth Mason, UK Business Development Manager for Stora Enso said: “The County Down Barn is a great example of what can be achieved with CLT from a structural and aesthetic viewpoint. The finished home is stunning and the innovative over truss solution and full length roof panels have optimised room space, taking full advantage of CLT’s engineering capabilities. Stora Enso is very proud to be involved with and supply sustainable projects such as this. The timber used comes from responsibly managed PEFC-certified forests, and more buildings like this will help combat climate change, as well as creating beautiful projects.”

PEFC UK’s Executive Director Alun Watkins added: “It will be fascinating to hear about the approach to the use of timber in creating this wonderful home. Not only does it look great but it a sustainable, low-carbon building that has used PEFC-certified timber as a key element. Responsible sourcing of timber products within the construction supply chain is vitally important, so this high profile statement proves what can be done.”

To register to the Surface Design Show, visit https://sds18-visitor.reg.buzz

For more information about the event, click here: http://bit.ly/1vZDpAb

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/county-down-barn-project-takes-centre-stage-surface-design-show-2018]

Progress towards establishment of National Timber Certification Council in Nigeria

On 20 January 2018, with the directional help of Remi Sournia, Projects & Development Officer at PEFC, the Nigerian hardwood trading company BlackCamel Energy Ltd organised the first National Stakeholders information meeting on Sustainable Forest Management in Nigeria through certification at Nandas Hotel, Sagamu, Nigeria.

At the meeting, Joseph Olajide, Chairman of BlackCamel Energy Ltd, informed the stakeholders on the critical situation of Nigeria's forests affected by widespread illegal logging and endangered woods' trading.

The meeting's attendees unanimously agreed that Nigeria needs a National Timber Certification Council that will help in managing and certifying the country's forest. Details of the pledge were laid out in a letter to the Nigerian Minister of Environment, available here.

"The awareness of the need for sustainable forest management is worldwide but agreement on the potential role of timber certification in achieving this goal is by no means equally widespread," the briefing underlines.

"Any viable timber certification scheme will need to be seen to be credible, objective with measurable criteria, reliable and independent and, most important, covering all types of timber." 

"Participation must be voluntary, non-discriminatory in nature and adaptable to local conditions, cost effective, practical and transparent. So far, timber and forest products certification has not been applied on a wide enough basis to prove its practicality in application, its effect on the market or its contribution to good stewardship of the forest. The issue remains highly political in nature and will no doubt continue to be a subject of active international and intergovernmental debate for some time before a solution is found."

Finally, the meeting's attendees also committed to form a Forest Product Association of Nigeria (FPAN) with the aim of checking all activities of forest users and promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) across the country. All FPAN members will actively engage in tree planting to be monitored by the Forestry Institute of Nigeria (FRIN).

According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), less than 10% of Nigeria’s land is now covered by forests and only 20,000 hectares of the country’s primary forests remain. There have been high rates of deforestation in the country; the annual rate was 5% between 2010 and 2015. Find out more here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/progress-towards-establishment-national-timber-certification-council-nigeria]

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