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STRUCTURAL TIMBER The latest in structural timber building design and technologies STRUCTURALTIMBERMAGAZINE.CO.UK
B&K STRUCTURES THE ROAD TO SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION WITH CLT
A new year and a new decade, the road to zero carbon living and what next after Brexit?
TRADA and IStructE updates its manual for designing with timber including new sections on engineered wood
Using timber frame and a Passivhaus approach to revitalise Shropshire’s social housing
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WELCOME Welcome to the first edition of Structural Timber Magazine this new decade. Hopefully one that sees timber specification grow to higher and more consistent levels as the UK and beyond struggles to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions.
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A couple of changes within these pages include a new Vox Pops column, that aims to pool some views and opinion from industry insiders, covering a few topical issues affecting the timber sector and the wider construction world. This will be an ongoing future feature of the magazine. One of the questions posed in this issue inevitably deals with Brexit. The effects on the timber industry will no doubt be profound and long lasting but the true impact is still to be determined. It will become clearer (hopefully…) as the year progresses, but what the ‘transition’ period delivers and beyond in 2021 is still based on educated guesswork. One thing is for certain. The conversations surrounding climate change, carbon reduction and how to build in a more sustainable way are more critical than ever before. Having first reported and written about sustainability back in 1998, I have to be honest and say that for many operating in the built environment, some things have not progressed very far. The reasons for that are multifarious and complex and outside the realms of this column, but the construction industry has to collectively be
more productive, more efficient and create less waste. This circular economy is where timber has untold benefits. A number of case studies inside also reveal why timber creates such bold, memorable and sustainable buildings with Callaughtons Ash and Red Kite Academy, both winning schemes at the 2019 Structural Timber Awards and delivering superb facilities for their occupants and students. We also have updates on the new ‘Manual for the design of timber building structures to Eurocode 5’ from TRADA plus some guidance on the impending changes to CE marking. We also feature some unsung aspects of engineered timber as championed by Peter Wilson. Plus this issue finishes on a fresh, regular opinion column that will wrap up each issue. If you wish to vent your spleen on a particular timber topic, get in touch through the usual channels. Many thanks to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters.
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P28 LOW CARBON TO NO CARBON LIVING
How can the property industry better secure net-zero targets? Asif Din, Sustainability Director at the London Studio of Perkins and Will, outlines which direction the built environment needs to take.
COVER STORY - B&K STRUCTURES As the UK’s leading engineered timber specialist, B&K Structures are creating ground-breaking projects with outstanding sustainability credentials. The company’s design team are leaders in the field, bringing vast technical expertise to each development – 6 Orsman Road was no exception.
P32 THERMAL & ENERGY EFFICIENCY As the consultation closes on changes to Part L and Part F of Building Regulations for England, what energy efficiency detailing can be expected to change and how to track it?
P38 EUROCODE 5 REVAMPED
Dr Keerthi Ranasinghe, Revising Author and TRADA Advisory Committee Member provides detail on the updated second edition of ‘Manual for the design of timber building structures to Eurocode 5’.
P40 NEW FORMS OF TIMBER DESIGN Technology is taking timber into new architectural and engineering territory. Peter Wilson, Director of Timber Design Initiatives, highlights recent developments with huge implications for the future of wood.
A quick round-up of some recent news stories from the timber and construction sectors that you may have missed including AIMCH’s latest housebuilding research report, more talk of combustibles at height and James Jones doubles its production capacity with world-leading new i-Joist line.
This issue we launch a new column to collect views and opinion from industry insiders, covering a few topical issues affecting the timber sector and the wider construction world. We hear from Andrew Carpenter, Kelly Harrison, David Hopkins, Charlie Law, Elisabeth Piveteau-Boley and Ed Suttie.
UK INDUSTRY NEWS
P44 ENERGY EFFICIENT TO THE CORE Commissioned to reduce energy consumption, Callaughtons Ash is a £2million housing development for South Shropshire Housing Association using timber frame and a Passivhaus approach.
P46 CE MARKING POST BREXIT
As the UK faces a new relationship with the EU, Niresh Somlie, Principal Technical Officer at BM TRADA explains how CE marking will be affected post Brexit.
P52 NEW HIGHS IN EDUCATION
ADAPTING AND EMBRACING CHANGE Competency and compliance are not often considered the most scintillating of subjects but Andrew Orriss, STA Assure Director for the Structural Timber Association (STA), discusses the organisations transformational journey and why adapting to change is crucial for those in the construction sector.
The Red Kite Academy provides an inclusive and welcoming environment for a hundred pupils with additional educational needs and has been designed using i-SIPS.
P64 TREES: THE VERY DEFINITION OF A CIRCULAR ECONOMY In the first of our new opinion columns to wrap up each issue, we hear from Jeremy English, GB and Ireland Sales Director, Södra Wood Ltd.
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COVER STORY B&K STRUCTURES
CLT: THE ROAD TO SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION The project brief called for a sustainable structure which would maximise the space available and would allow for a fast-track construction programme so that the client, could maximise their return on investment by letting the space as early as possible. Not only was reducing the timeframe of the construction process vital to allow tenants to move in sooner but creating a premium office space would enable the client, Boultbee Brooks Real Estate, to attract a high calibre of tenant.
01 As the UK’s leading engineered timber specialist, B&K Structures are creating groundbreaking projects with outstanding sustainability credentials. The company’s design team are leaders in the field, bringing vast technical expertise to each development – 6 Orsman Road was no exception.
B&K Structures once again collaborated closely with timber advocates, Waugh Thistleton Architects to offer an innovative solution for the challenging six-storey commercial build. The project called for a structural solution which would maximise space and achieve a rapid construction process. The location, immediately adjacent to the canal, presented challenges but the offsite manufacture of the cross laminated timber (CLT) structure, combined with ‘just in time’ deliveries provided the solution. Designed by Waugh Thistleton Architects, 6 Orsman Road is a flagship commercial space which in line with the borough of Hackney’s ‘timber first’ policy, perfectly showcases the benefits of engineered timber technology.
B&K Structures’ design division engaged with Waugh Thistleton from the early stages, submitting detailed 3D drawings of the proposed structural system at the tender stage. This initial collaboration led to the drawings being progressed and incorporated into the final design. From the detailed 3D designs, a comprehensive schedule was created, including a programme of works for both the offsite and onsite elements. Working with the main contractor RFM, allowed B&K Structures to guarantee that the structure would be completed in the timeframe, with minimal disruption. Incorporating 6,770sq m of high grade CLT, allowed B&K Structures to construct a quality building more quickly. The material’s thermal and acoustic insulation properties also delivers huge health benefits. The south-facing elevation is stepped to preserve long views down Orsman Road, with deep-set, ribbon-like windows to minimise solar gain. Its north-facing facade, a lightweight curtain wall system with opening
COVER STORY B&K STRUCTURES
03 windows, creates an animated canal frontage, allowing for ventilation ducts and Juliette balconies. The steppedback upper floors create large terraces overlooking the canal and the city to the south. The expansive floor-to-ceiling heights generates an airy contemporary atmosphere, creating impact which is enhanced by the panoramic views to the canal beyond. Inside the exposed timber floor slabs bring a contemporary industrial aesthetic. The architect recognised from the outset that an offsite approach using sustainable engineered timber technology would achieve the speed, quality, performance and environmental objectives laid out in the brief, as well as delivering a unique and visually outstanding office space. Operating to ISO 14001, B&K Structures is firmly established in the construction industry as a sustainable structrual frame provider, constantly looking to improve environmental performance. The benefits of using CLT are clear – quick, clean, and straightforward. Buildings can be achieved with a measured accuracy and lack of noise, waste, or need for onsite material storage space. CLT has notable benefits in terms of warmth, acoustics, and structural efficiency. CLT also offers high strength-to-weight ratios that in many cases equal those of reinforced concrete. The use of sustainably-sourced CLT and advanced offsite manufacturing methods reduces the weight of the superstructure, which decreases foundation requirements
04 – resulting in an overall reduction in the volume of concrete used for the foundations, reducing the impact on the environment. B&K Structures not only completed the installation of the structural elements of the building in just 13 weeks but worked within the constraints of the site itself to keep disruption to a minimum. Each floor of the six-storey office block took around 10-14 days to erect with the central tower crane handling around 15 lifts. The entire structure has been constructed using a maximum of six erectors, with no reportable accidents throughout the installation period. This offsite approach improves onsite health and safety as the majority of work is carried out in well-managed factory conditions under OHSAS 18001 – a British Standard for occupational health and safety management. It would not have been possible to achieve the construction of this project within the challenging site and timeframe using traditional construction methods. The exposed CLT elements achieve the desired striking aesthetic effect, with high ceilings and large windows that flood the office spaces with light, creating a pleasant working environment. The slim columns and the extensive unsupported spans, attained through the use of CLT in combination with slender long-span cellular steel beams, create large open spaces. The building has been designed to deliver the ultimate adaptability with each floor plate having the ability of being subdivided to create a variety
of different sized fully self-contained workspaces. The building features a combination of private and communal external spaces in the form of terraces and balconies. The letting agents used the environmental credentials of 6 Orsman Road to attract tenants stating: “CLT is an innovative, environmentally sustainable material which significantly reduces level of pollution storing tonnes of CO2 in the material, effectively making the building carbon neutral. Low carbon and replenishable timber is the key to solving not only pollution from construction but helps combat climate change.”
PROJECT TEAM Client: Boultbee Brooks Real Estate Location: Hackney, London Architect: Waugh Thistleton Main Contractor: RFM Contractors Structural Engineers: GDC Partnership Timber Engineers: Engenuiti Structural Frame Specialist: B&K Structures CLT Provider: Binder Holz
IMAGES: 01-04. 6 Orsman Road a flagship commercial space developed in line with the borough of Hackney’s ‘timber first’ policy.
UK INDUSTRY NEWS NEW RESEARCH FOR AIMCH
The Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Home (AIMCH) has published a research report to help the housebuilding sector better evaluate productivity and respond to future demands. The report examines construction productivity measurement and protocols and brings a new, more effective way for businesses of all sizes to use data to demonstrate the value of offsite construction. The £6.5million AIMCH R&D project is a collaboration between Stewart Milne Group, Barratt Developments PLC, London & Quadrant Housing Trust Ltd, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and Forster Roofing Services Ltd. Further research and development from the AIMCH project is planned over the next three years. The research will be trialled on live housing projects, with successful new methods then being commercialised and brought to market in volume. The research, carried out by the University of Dundee in association with Whole Life Consultants and managed by Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), is one of the most comprehensive the industry has
undertaken. The wide-ranging literature review examined previous construction productivity measurement studies in order to make recommendations on the following key metrics: safety, productivity, quality, cost, time, predictability, efficiency and material waste (in all 66 metrics were reviewed). Professor Malcolm Horner, Research lead and Chair of Whole Life Consultants, said: “The aim of the review was to aid AIMCH and its partners to understand the current measurement landscape and to influence the way in which partners choose to measure productivity. The key recommendation is that partners use this report and the guidance to evaluate and select the metrics objectively.” The research consortium engaged in dialogue with AIMCH partners throughout the review to ensure the final report guidance delivered useful and actionable findings that would enable partners to support the faster delivery of high-quality homes, more reliably and at the same cost as masonry-built homes. The report findings are proving to be of interest across the construction industry and in wider sectors including transport and infrastructure.
Simon Cross, who leads the measurement work for the Construction Leadership Council’s Innovation in Buildings workstream (demonstrator projects, measures and business case working group), said: “The Construction Leadership Council’s Innovation in Buildings work stream team are pleased that the AIMCH project metrics of safety, productivity, quality, cost, time, and material waste are aligned to the published Smart Construction Dashboard. Aligning metrics across the housing sector will enable small, medium and large supply chain businesses to demonstrate the value of smart construction and respond consistently to future demands. Measuring data in this way is a much welcomed and major leap forward for the housing sector.” Alan Johnston, CSIC Project Manager, Strategic Programmes added: “Initially scoped as a piece of work that would inform and influence future AIMCH workstreams, we are delighted that it has the potential to deliver tangible benefits now to the wider construction industry, and indeed other sectors who have also shown great interest, including transport and infrastructure.” www.aimch.co.uk
UPS DOOR OFFER
Arnold Laver, has significantly strengthened its doorset manufacturing capabilities, following the acquisition of the assets of Cotswold Manufacturing. Arnold Laver, part of The National Timber Group, has now started the integration of its latest production facility, located in Thornaby, near Stockton-on-Tees. The business will be branded as Arnold Laver and will form part of its new Intelligent Door Solutions Division. The modern, 80,000sq ft manufacturing facility specialises in producing timber fire and acoustic doors, doorsets and screens that are used throughout the UK, in the commercial, residential, education and leisure markets. David Oldfield, Director of Joinery at Arnold Laver, said: “This latest investment has strengthened our position as an industry leader in the UK timber doorset market and gives our customers more choice than ever before. Our overall group capacity now exceeds 2,000 doorsets per week, with significant room for further growth. This new investment comes at a time of increasing demand for high quality, certified products, with a greater focus on compliant fire doors. “Arnold Laver already has a solid reputation for offering a strong portfolio of products and a clear focus on quality and fire certification standards. When this is combined with the latest industry innovations on offer from the Thornaby site, including leading edge CNC equipment, lamination and factory finish line technology, it gives us the opportunity to offer a complete doorset solution to our customers. “We now have a comprehensive range of fully finished doors and doorsets, spanning commercial and residential projects. Customers are immediately feeling the benefits of this, with improved lead-times, an enhanced choice of products, as well as high manufacturing standards that often exceed third party certifications and accreditations.” Arnold Laver is part of the BWF Fire Door Alliance and BM Trada Third Party Door Certification schemes and works closely with all door certification bodies to continually drive quality and safety standards. www.intelligentdoorsolutions.co.uk
UK INDUSTRY NEWS MSP VISITS RIVERFORD GARDENS
Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning Kevin Stewart MSP visited CCG Homes’ flagship development at Riverford Gardens as the final range of luxury homes are being constructed.
which last year saw the highest increase in both starts and completions since 2008. It is also helping us deliver more housing across the country, providing people with a warm, safe place they can call home.
CCG Homes has been live on the Riverford Gardens project since receiving planning permission in March 2018. Overlooking the White Cart River and Auldhouse Park, the 156 home development includes one-andtwo-bedroom apartments, three-bedroom semi-detached houses and four-bedroom terraced villas.
“I am particularly impressed by the energy efficiency of these new homes. When homes have good energy efficiency standards, they are warm, cheaper to heat and produce less greenhouse gas emissions. We will continue to ensure that all homes and buildings across Scotland meet the challenge of the climate emergency.”
The Minister was given a tour of the 2.36ha site as well as both showhomes including the three-storey terraced villa, a contemporary take on the traditional Glasgow south terrace home. Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “These quality new homes will give owners a sense of pride and belonging, as well as contributing to a vibrant community in the south of Glasgow. This development is testament to the strength of Scotland’s new build sector,
CCG Homes Managing Director Calum Murray added: “Pollokshaws, a transformational regeneration area, has seen significant investment over the last few years with Riverford Gardens now being a major part of that. The development has attracted a wide range of demographics including 27 first-time buyers, who are keen to make the most of the local amenities and will contribute significantly to the local economy.”
CCG also recently appointed three new Directors to the company Board. David Wylie appointed as Managing Director has welcomed Stephen Ruxton (formerly Group Commercial Manager), John Baggley and Graeme Wylie (formerly Contracts Managers) who have been tasked to support the group’s commercial efforts, particularly in the area of on-site delivery, as well developing CCG’s market position in non-housebuilding projects. David Wylie, Managing Director, CCG (Scotland) Ltd commented: “My first year as managing director has been exciting. Our company has achieved a lot during this time but we still want to move forward and the appointment of Stephen, John and Graeme, who have collectively worked for CCG for over 60 years, will help us do that. They understand our business, they understand our clients and I am in no doubt their promotions will benefit our future aspirations.” www.c-c-g.co.uk/news
NEW GOVERNMENT HEIGHT
MULTIFACETED FLEXIBILITY FOR ALL TIMBER CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES
The Government launched a consultation on 20 January 2020, in which it proposes an 11m– rather than 18m – threshold in relation to non-combustible external wall materials. To be more specific, if a residential (including partially residential) building has any floor height above 11m then the entire external wall will need to be constructed from noncombustible materials (classified as A1 or A2 when tested to the EN standard for Reaction to Fire).
Me and my Hundegger! Never change a winning team!
The scope of which building types could be affected is proposed to increase to now include hotels, hostels and boarding houses, which were previously exempted. This will effectively limit the construction of residential buildings to four storeys where the wall or cladding includes materials like timber, which cannot at present meet this very high standard of fire performance. The consultation, entitled ‘Review of the ban on the use of combustible materials in and on the external walls of buildings including attachments’ runs for 12 weeks and submissions need to be in by 13 April 2020. Whilst this proposal is not entirely unexpected – something broadly similar has been in place in Scotland for a while – it is certainly very significant for the construction industry. TRADA notes that the document itself is quite explicit in paragraphs 28 and 31 in stating that there is no clear scientific or research-based evidence to support the government’s proposal. The approach is to ‘reduce the height threshold to 11m now, and commission research to allow further review of the height threshold’ as the option that best provides public protection. This consultation seeks views on the ban of the use of combustible materials in and on external walls of buildings, including building types covered, height threshold, list of exemptions, attachments such as blinds, shutters and awnings, and a proposal to specifically ban the use of metal composite panels in and on the external walls of all buildings. To view and comment on the consultation visit: http://bit.ly/37EdEk7. You can also email: ADBconsultation@communities.gov.uk www.trada.co.uk
JOINERY MACHINE HUNDEGGER ROBOT-Drive
Compact dimensions and modular design – the ROBOT-Drive offers maximum flexibility and almost unlimited processing possibilities for bars and panels. With the ROBOT-Drive, a 6-axis unit performs all the necessary work steps on the part – and in a single run. The solution for all requirements including timber glue construction from 20 x 60 mm to 300 x 1300 mm. The ROBOT-Drive is the most recent addition to the range of Hundegger joinery machines. Hundegger UK Ltd. Daniel Blades Snetterton Park, Harling Road Snetterton, Norfolk NR16 2JU Office: +44 (0)1953 660 331 Mobile: +44 (0)7940 714 599 email@example.com
Innovation in timber engineering
RD_4c_93x267+3_GB_Daniel Blades.indd 1
UK INDUSTRY NEWS WORLD LEADING I-JOIST PRODUCTION LINE RUNNING
The new, fully operational line will see the Timber Systems Division of leading forestry and sawmilling business, James Jones and Sons Ltd, more than double its production capacity, making it the largest, fastest and most efficient I-Joist line in Europe.
Nestled in the London borough of Camden, high-performance Max Fordham House has been completed to the highest energy saving standards with SMARTPLY PROPASSIV. An ultra-low energy, all-electric, contemporary threebedroom Passivhaus’ Max Fordham House is specifically designed by bere:architects to feature a thermal envelope geared towards reducing heat loss.
The investment of £8.5million will not only significantly increase the production capacity to 20million lineal metres a year but will allow faster production times. This increased production speed will ensure increased stock levels and even better service for distributors and their end users. In-line innovations include a tension tester and precision end trim saws, which will help reduce on site waste and maximise floor and roof design optimisation by cutting to specified lengths suited to off-site manufacturing. Speaking about the new JJI-Joist line, Angus Macfarlane, General Manager of James Jones and Sons’ Timber Systems Division commented: “Housebuilders are under some pressure to meet government’s new home build figures – we believe our investment in the new facility comes at a vital time and will enable us to support the UK’s construction industry and many of our loyal customers to meet these targets. SMARTPLY PROPASSIV, a structural OSB panel with integrated vapour control developed by MEDITE SMARTPLY especially for use in Passivhaus construction, is the vital ingredient in this project. Specified by the award-winning Bow Tie Construction company, SMARTPLY PROPASSIV provides a state-of-the-art, engineered vapour barrier with consistently high vapour resistance over the entire surface. “The house uses a fabric-first Passivhaus approach,” says Hagop Heath-Matossian, Business Development Manager at Bow Tie Construction. “Requiring only a fraction of the energy needed by a similarly sized home built to the minimum requirements of UK Building Regulations, for all uses including heating. We chose to specify SMARTPLY PROPASSIV because it is efficient, reliable and it was important to us that all timber products used were sustainably manufactured and sourced – PROPASSIV offered us a guaranteed sustainable timber solution. Vitally, the client was delighted with the end result.” Max Fordham House, achieved an Energy Performance Certificate of B 83, and is the third project that Bow Tie Construction
“Other innovations that we are launching in 2020 include a pre-insulated I-Joist that not only provides the necessary thermal properties required in roof design but can also provide enhanced acoustic performance for floor and wall design. We have also recently launched our new ‘JJI Design’ software, a newly built CADbased 3D modelling program, significantly upgrading from our existing software with improved compatibility and increased speed of design.” This recent investment follows on from the £4.5million installation of a new finger jointing line in 2015 and we are committed to supporting a programme of continued investment, allowing us to lead the way in engineered timber products long into the future.” www.jamesjones.co.uk
has specified PROPASSIV for, favouring it for its rigidity and quality assurance compared to a traditional membranebased system. In most Passivhaus projects in the UK, a membrane is used as an airtight barrier for the properties’ insulation, however, such solutions can be easily damaged during the construction process. SMARTPLY PROPASSIV offers a solution to this as it will not come apart during a negative pressure test like a membrane would. It even remains up to five times more airtight than in the majority of other airtight materials usually used in Passivhaus building. An extremely detailed set of construction drawings, 3D BIM model and bill of quantities was used to help the contractor order just enough of all required products, just in time, contributing to making this project as environmentally friendly as possible by ensuring all waste was at an absolute minimum. http://bit.ly/2UxSssa
UK INDUSTRY NEWS TIMBER HOMES SET FOR MAJOR GROWTH Sales of timber homes and buildings will reach £800 million in 2020 as growth in timber frame housebuilding outpaces traditional construction methods, according to the new Timber Frame Construction report from MTW Research. Based on data from 80% of the timber frame market, the research revealed that whilst total housebuilding will increase by around 2.5% in 2020, timber frame buildings will continue to grow and will outperform housebuilding in general. The Timber Frame Construction report identifies key growth sectors within the market, stating that the recent Government focus on Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) will inject additional impetus for sales of volumetric buildings, closed panel and SIPS technology in particular.
The positive environmental credentials of timber homes is highlighted as a key growth opportunity for the timber frame sector in 2020 and beyond. The report discusses the positive impact of the Climate Change Committee’s assertion that 270,000 timber frame homes built each year could triple the amount of carbon captured in UK homes. The report identifies carbon capture, enhanced quality control, faster build times, reduced on-site costs, waste and labour as characteristics which are set to underpin growth of more than £40m a year through to 2024. Boosted by Homes England’s strategic plan, MTW forecast double-digit growth for the closed panel, SIPS and volumetric timber markets. Open panel timber frame housebuilding is also forecast to exhibit healthy rates of growth in the medium term. MTW estimate that the top 25 timber frame suppliers account for less than 30% of the timber frame housing market underlining the high level of fragmentation of the market in 2020. MTW’s Director Mark Waddy, said: “Consolidation of the timber frame market through mergers and
acquisitions is increasingly likely in the next few years as competition increases. Market positioning is also set to grow in significance, with the timber frame market increasingly segmenting and polarising – for example into higher value volumetric and lower value open panel products.” The report is available at: www.marketresearchreports.co.uk
Setting the standards for timber fastening BeA your partner for timber frame and offsite construction manufacturing Across Europe and worldwide, BeA’s fastening technology, tools and consumables are the trusted choice for some of the biggest and best known names in timber frame and offsite construction. BeA manufacture an extensive range of market leading choice of fasteners, nails, staples and tools. We offer customers: • An unrivalled range of manual, semi-automatic
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THE POWER OF FASTENING
UK INDUSTRY NEWS LMU LAUNCH TIMBER TECHNOLOGY MASTERS
Renowned architecture, art and design school, the Cass at London Metropolitan University (LMU) is launching the capital’s first postgraduate programme in Timber Technology. This will address key skills shortages in the architecture and construction sectors, stimulate economic growth, and respond to the growing demand for sustainable building. The course hopes to tackle the UK housing crisis, with local authorities increasingly establishing a ‘timber first’ approach to planning. In June 2019, Architecture’s Subject Standards Board RIBA declared a ‘climate emergency’ with Chief Executive Alan Vallance stating: “RIBA Council’s commitment to the climate emergency declaration is an important moment for the institute and the profession – a catalyst for the further action and change that is
needed to ensure that architects and the built environment sector are at the forefront of a zero-carbon future.” As the only widely available construction material that allows for carbon negative construction, timber is central to future sustainable development, with many local authorities establishing a ‘timber first’ approach to planning policy as part of a series of moves towards a green economy. The MSc Timber Technology will equip its graduates with the necessary expertise to directly shape these exciting shifts in design and construction, who will see professional benefit from the increasing demand for their specialist skills. Professor Christian Frost, Head of Architecture at London Metropolitan University said: “London is home to some of the largest timber buildings in the world and has been an early adopter of mass-timber
buildings in Europe. The skills and expertise of London Metropolitan University’s academic staff, who have had successful professional careers in architecture and design, make us well placed to offer the capital’s first MSc Timber Technology. “The architecture sector is currently worth around £2 billion to London’s economy, and has been growing year-on-year. The increasing demand for timber construction means students will have the opportunity to be truly innovative as they develop their skills, and we’re looking forward to working with the first cohort on exciting new creative projects.” Prospective students can apply for the course at: http://bit.ly/2U9FUaf www.londonmet.ac.uk/news
IMPROVEMENTS IN SAP* FROM USING THE HYBRID SYSTEM RESULTED IN LOWER PROJECT COSTS Peter Dawson, Housebuilder
HYBRID INSULATION - TOGETHER FOR THE FUTURE
We know that making SAP improvements is high on your agenda. We also understand that minimal insulation thickness can help you to reduce overall project costs. So we have good news. The reduction in thermal bridging achieved by our Hybrid range is producing up to 15% SAP improvement*, proving that savings can be made on the DER vs TER without compromising on space.
Each Hybrid product combines both insulation and airtightness properties:
All Hybrid products can be used in walls and roofs, separately or together, to provide a high performance, total insulation system. They are certified to harmonised standards by accredited bodies, are CE marked and have LABC and NHBC acceptance acceptance when used in accordance with the certification.
s " OOSTR Hybrid, a thin multifoil insulation product with a built-in breather membrane function and an exceptional thermal performance.
s H Control Hybrid, a thin multifoil insulation product with a built-in vapour control function and an unrivalled thermal performance. s ( YBRIS, an innovative reflective insulation product providing an excellent thermal performance.
*as calculated over a standard house using Hybrid model junctions compared with default junction heat losses
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UK INDUSTRY NEWS TRA REDUCING RISK
New guidance from the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) is designed to reduce risk to construction workers. Improving safety at height is vital so to help, the TRA has produced guidance on delivery, storage and installation of trussed rafters. Planning is essential when it comes to delivery of trusses. Information on the quantity, weights and sizes of the trusses in the roof package will be provided in advance to give site staff time to develop a safe construction phase plan for unloading, handling and installing the trusses. A level, dry area is required for unloading and it must be clear of overhead obstructions that could get caught on the trusses. Mechanical handling is the preferred method and it is the builder’s responsibility to ensure that suitable equipment is available for the safe unloading of trusses. Once onsite the trusses, either bundled or individual need to be stored fully supported and restrained at all times to prevent them toppling over. Trusses should be protected from the elements and should never be left in or near water. When longer periods of storage are anticipated the trusses should be protected with covers allowing for ventilation. Care should be taken when removing bindings from a bundle of trusses. To avoid destabilisation of the bundle, prior to the removal of the bands the builder should ensure timber battens are fixed across the bundle in several locations with a part
TDCA & TTF TEAM UP
driven nail in every truss. This will allow the safe and stable removal of single trusses once the bands are removed. The installation of roof trusses should only be undertaken by suitably experienced and qualified personnel, such as those with a Level 2 Diploma in Site Carpentry. A full site-specific risk assessment must be carried out before any work commences. Several steps that builders should take before starting to install trusses include: • Check and read all assembly drawings and information provided by the truss supplier • Ensure all personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn and correctly fitted • Ensure scaffolding is in place and signed off • Make sure that there is a safe working platform within the structure • Ensure hop-ups and scaffolding edge protection are in place • After reading the truss layout drawings, identify the easiest starting point using the simplest roof of trusses. Nick Boulton, Chief Executive of TRA said: “Educating the sector on all areas of good practice is part of what drives the TRA. We believe that it is important to share as much health and safety information and safe ways of working as possible. By working with a range of partners, including the Home Builders Federation and the HSE, we can ensure that the construction sector has access to the latest information.”
The Timber Decking and Cladding Association (TDCA) and the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) have joined forces under a partnership agreement aimed at strengthening the market for timber cladding and decking. The partnership will focus on specifier and buyer education to raise awareness and confidence in the timber cladding and decking sectors. Janet Sycamore, TDCA Director of Operations, said: “Our directors were strongly in favour of a strategic alliance with TTF, recognising the benefits of expanding the reach of TDCA to a wider audience. Initially the agreement was to help TTF implement a programme of education for timber cladding, but we also aim to include decking under the same arrangement.” David Hopkins, TTF Chief Executive Officer, added: “The partnership with TDCA, who are recognised industry experts, brings significant benefits and widening opportunities to TTF, WPA and our respective members. The knowledgeable and experienced TDCA team can provide the resources to achieve TTF’s current objectives on both cladding and decking.” The partnership will work similarly to the agreement currently in place between TDCA and the WPA. The three bodies will work together on projects of mutual interest whilst still maintaining their individual identities and operating as independent trade bodies. www.ttf.co.uk
UK INDUSTRY NEWS MOXON ARCHITECTS WINS GERMAN SUSTAINABLE SHOWPIECE
Moxon Architects has won an invited competition for a pedestrian and cycle bridge for the town of Balingen in southern Germany, a design collaboration with timber bridge engineering specialist Ingenieurbüro Miebach. Due to be unveiled for the 2023 BadenWürtemberg Garden Show, the innovative, low-maintenance bridge will feature a pair of structural timber glulam beams spanning 40m over the River Eyach at an oblique angle, cradling pedestrians and cyclists upon a 3.5m wide deck. The two subtly angled and tapered beams are designed to flare outwards in plan as they approach either riverbank, embracing the town’s network of footpaths and cycle tracks.
The beams extend above the level of the deck to form the bridge’s parapet sides – a necessity allowing the bridge to clear future predicted flood levels while enabling fully accessible gradients at either approach. The outward leaning outer faces of the shaped glulam beams will be visible, weathering naturally over time. The inner, pedestrian facing surfaces will be clad in native timber slats with integrated lighting and handrails. Ingenieurbüro Miebach invited Moxon to collaborate on the competition having worked together on past proposals. Both practices have developed rich bridge portfolios, Moxon’s includes an ultra-thin beam bridge completed in 2017 for the King’s Cross regeneration in London, a pedestrian swing bridge at Greenwich Reach, London and a proposed meandering accessible footbridge to enhance the
Thames Path beneath the existing Barnes Bridge at Chiswick, UK. Ezra Groskin, Associate at Moxon Architects said: “We are delighted with this win. We look forward to working with a client who recognises the importance of sustainable infrastructure and a world-leading engineer fully committed to timber structures. The new bridge will strengthen the footpath network in Balingen and contribute to responsible regeneration. Furthermore we believe timber will continue to play a growing role in the UK’s built environment and so are excited to bring the experience and knowledge gained through this European collaboration home where it will inform our approach to designing both bridges and buildings in this country.” www.moxonarchitects.com
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UK INDUSTRY NEWS EUROPE MUST USE TIMBER TO ACHIEVE ZERO CARBON
CEI Bois – the pan-European trade body for the timber supply chain – is calling on politicians to put wood at the centre of plans to reduce emissions and achieve zero carbon targets. CEI Bois has released a new publication, ‘Wood: Building the Bioeconomy’ which shows how the EU can reduce emissions by using low carbon, renewable, biological alternatives such as timber over high carbon materials such as concrete, steel and plastic. The book shows this would be good not just for the climate, but also the economy. Increasing the use of European wood-based products in global construction, textile and plastics markets could generate as much as €60 billion of revenue. “If we are to restore balance in the atmosphere, we need to reduce emissions in the first place, while also increasing the capacity of the global carbon sink,” said Patrizio Antonicoli, Secretary General of pan-EU industry body CEI Bois. “Forests and timber are part of both solutions, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere, and storing it as wood. Timber harvested from the forests can be turned into high-value products for construction using only a fraction of the energy and carbon that other materials would need. The more Governments across the continent can support and invest in wood, the more valuable this bioeconomy
can become, helping to reverse the adverse climate and environmental impacts of human activity, and meet our obligations under the Paris agreement.” EU forests provide a net sink of around 424million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, equivalent to around 10% of the total GHG emissions of Europe. Thanks to sustainable forest management by the industry, this massive carbon sink has grown by 9% in area as compared to 25 years ago. A total of 43% of the EU is now covered in trees, supporting the livelihood of around 3million people, with forest producing around 470million m3 of roundwood and building thousands of homes which are high quality, warm, and sustainable. The development of cross-laminated timber (CLT) means timber can be have a higher strength to weight ratio than steel and the fire resistance to be used in high rise buildings, and universities and businesses continue to innovate to make it even more versatile. As a material lends timber lends already itself to modern methods of construction, such as offsite, with timber frame able to be built up to a third quicker than other methods using brick and masonry and producing up to 90% less waste.
You can download a copy of the publication at: www.cei-bois.org
JAMES DONALDSON GROUP EXPANDS
James Donaldson & Sons Ltd (JDS), has acquired Rowan Manufacturing Ltd (RML) and Smith & Frater Ltd (S&F). The acquisition opens new product and market opportunities for the Group, in the supply of door sets, bespoke joinery and kitchen manufacturing and fits with the firm’s desire to expand its capabilities in the UK’s housebuilding, offsite manufacture, local authority, RMI and contracting markets. Rowan Manufacturing specialises in made to measure staircases, internal and external door sets, windows and screens, as well as bespoke joinery design for all areas of a development or home improvement. While Smith and Frater supplies products such as kitchen manufacturing, Fibo wall panelling, flooring, bathrooms, internal doors and ceiling panels to the building trade and construction industry. Scott Cairns, Group Managing Director at JDS, commented: “Both Rowan Manufacturing and Smith & Frater have a great reputation for quality, service and product innovation. The suite of products offered by both businesses perfectly complements our portfolio in JDS with a clear synergy of client base’. We see an opportunity initially in the Scottish market to invest in, and substantially grow both businesses, with longer-term plans to expand that offering to the rest of the UK.” www.jamesdonaldsongroup.co.uk
Designing the Future with Sustainable Timber Ask your suppliers for PEFC-certified wood products
Discover more at www.pefc.co.uk
PEFC â€“ Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification
Photos: Oporkka/iStock, Fausto Franzosi/PEFC Italy
PEFC: Your assurance of responsibly sourced timber
VOX POPS This issue we launch a new column to collect views and opinion from industry insiders, covering a few topical issues affecting the timber sector and the wider construction world.
CEO, Structural Timber Association (STA)
Associate, Heyne Tillett Steel
Q: A new year and a new decade – what do the next 18 months have in store for the timber industry and for your organisation in particular?
Q: A new year and a new decade – what do the next 18 months have in store for the timber industry and for your organisation in particular?
AC: The next 18 months will provide a very exciting opportunity for the structural timber sector in general and the STA. Within the UK construction industry, we are seeing a huge drive to specify and use sustainable building products to achieve net zero and timber is at the heart of this move. The STA is working alongside all the industry stakeholders to provide information and remove any barriers that may be perceived. The STA Assure scheme forms an integral part of this strategy and provides real confidence to use structural timber systems.
KH: The end of 2019 was dominated by climate change and I’m hoping this will continue over the next 18 months. With architects and engineers declaring their commitment to tackling climate change, many clients are now looking to create more sustainable developments. This is a win-win for timber, as it offers financial as well as sustainability benefits. At HTS we have recently seen an increase in client briefs for timber or timber hybrid buildings. In our experience creating well-designed commercial spaces that are ‘healthy’ and attractive to occupiers leads to quicker lettings. Over the next 18 months the commercial sector will be a growing market for the timber industry.
Q: Zero carbon living and climate care is now more central to industry and consumer thinking than ever before. How can timber contribute more to sustainable living?
Q: Zero carbon living and climate care is now more central to industry and consumer thinking than ever before. How can timber contribute more to sustainable living?
AC: Timber is the undisputed champion when it comes to a building material that provides a route to net zero construction. We must offer up our services to become part of the ‘solution’ and provide the technical advice, health and safety and wellbeing information, quality assurances and required training to allow the acceleration of its use. The young people of today will not tolerate the ‘commercial’ decisions of a bygone age when lowest cost was always the driver. In the eyes of the consumer ‘value’ is now far more widespread with environmental issues top of the list.
KH: Timber contributes hugely to sustainable living by acting as a carbon store. The UK climate targets need carbon stores to be achieved and we can contribute to this by using more engineered timber in our buildings, as well as championing the growth of sustainable forestry – at home and worldwide. Often timber buildings are designed with very little consideration given to ‘end of life’. If this was discussed at the beginning of the design process, with the standardisation and effective use of BIM, engineered timber members and panels could be recycled. This would contribute even more to zero carbon living.
Q: The impact of Brexit on the timber trade – negative, positive or neither?
Q: The impact of Brexit on the timber trade – negative, positive or neither?
AC: Giving a view on Brexit from an industry perspective is difficult and dangerous as there are so many angles to consider. My personal view is that leaving the EU on 31 January brings an end to three and a half years of uncertainty for businesses. We now have a clear path ahead that can be planned for. The biggest problem for any organisation is lack of clarity for future planning. We now have a government with a huge working majority that mean businesses can plan which can only auger well for the industry.
KH: Currently most of our engineered timber is imported, so it is essential for the industry that the government negotiate a deal that works for both European suppliers and UK contractors. The current relationship between the UK construction industry and European engineered timber suppliers is not only one of buying and selling material, but also knowledge sharing and developing designers’ expertise. I hope this will continue post-Brexit. I imagine Brexit may cause some delays on imports while the deal is being developed, but as the UK imported 70.5% of its building materials in 2018, timber won’t be alone.can only auger well for the industry.
CEO, UK Timber Trade Federation
Managing Director, Sustainable Construction Solutions, Grown in Britain
Q: A new year and a new decade – what do the next 18 months have in store for the timber industry and for your organisation in particular?
DH: Given all that has happened over the past few years I’m not sure we can predict 18 months ahead. The year has started well for most in the timber supply chain, certainly better than the last six months of 2019 as project teams realise, they cannot pause forever and merchants start to restock. The timber frame sector looks set to do well, but the impact of the combustibles regulations is likely to hit our sector hard, particularly CLT and cladding. The TTF is working hard to combat this perception among decision makers in the policy side and the market side.
CL: As sustainability consultants we have been promoting the use of timber for many years, and it is great to see so many construction clients moving to timber frame construction, particularly for commercial developments. There are still obstacles around fire performance that need to be overcome in residential structures, mainly driven by the need for quick political decisions rather than science, but the facts speak for themselves. We will continue to promote local sourcing and advise our clients on how to incorporate and source UK timber products to help drive demand and promote more tree planting.
Q: Zero carbon living and climate care is now more central to industry and consumer thinking than ever before. How can timber contribute more to sustainable living?
DH: Timber is the ultimate low carbon sustainable material. I have just given a seminar at Liverpool RIBA North about timber and sustainability and we will be pushing this theme throughout the year, as we promote the APPG report on ‘How the Timber Industries Can Solve the Housing Crisis’, which links climate and housing crisis and shows how timber can help. COP26 is a great opportunity for our Government to show leadership on this and the EU Green Deal puts timber at the heart of its plans. Let’s do the same here.
CL: When sequestration is taken into account, nothing beats timber as a low embodied carbon construction material. Wood for Good have developed generic Environmental Product Declarations for a number of timber components that demonstrate this beyond doubt. Timber can be used to construct highly efficient, insulated buildings and has many health benefits in the home and workplace. However it is imperative that timber is obtained from certified legal and sustainable sources, so we encourage clients and architects to insist on FSC, Grown in Britain, and PEFC chain of custody.
Q: The impact of Brexit on the timber trade – negative, positive or neither?
Q: The impact of Brexit on the timber trade – negative, positive or neither?
DH: Ultimately negative. The economy will pick up a bit now as uncertainty recedes but we are still a long way behind where we should be, business investment is still low and we are a long way behind our peers in the EU and across the world in economic performance. But we have left the EU and we just need to get on with it. I just hope the tough rhetoric is matched by a soft Brexit to keep trade flowing more smoothly. But we’ll have to wait and see.
CL: Over half of the 17 million m3 of timber products generally used in construction are sourced from the EU, with only around 6 million m3 sourced from the UK. Short term, I believe there will be obstacles to overcome to ensure these EU materials continue to flow. Long term we also need to consider the increased demand for construction timber and seriously look at how we grow our own resource to ensure material security. The UK is second only to China as the largest net importer of timber, so in addition to more tree planting we need to invest in technology, such as CLT manufacturing plant, that allows us to use this ‘Grown in Britain’ resource.
Director UK & Ireland, Piveteaubois
Director, BRE Group
EPB: This new decade suggests a significant increase in the use of wood in construction. In response to the growing effects of climate change, various governments are taking action to reduce CO2 emissions linked to construction. The French government has announced plans for a sustainability law that will ensure all new public buildings are built from at least 50% timber or other bio-based materials. This is a great opportunity for the timber industry, so we are very optimistic about the future.
ES: The current landscape couldn’t be better for supporting the use of timber in construction. Political commitments to plant more trees and increase UK forest cover have been made and will hopefully be realised. BRE continues to seek solutions that enable building owners, investors and developers to measure, benchmark and communicate their environmental impacts and performance. Green financing is growing and this needs benchmarks and evidence of asset performance, future adaptability and resilience. BRE initiatives such as the circular building assessment tool and biophilic office will bring timber to the attention of far more decision makers.
Q: Zero carbon living and climate care is now more central to industry and consumer thinking than ever before. How can timber contribute more to sustainable living? EPB: By promoting the use of timber in construction and using more timber generally, means both storing CO2 and financing the planting of new forestry. The forest has a major impact on CO2 capture and contributes to lowering global temperatures. What is crucial to remember is that it’s a healthy, expanding forest that grows and is harvested for use in construction – this has the maximum impact on the climate and the way timber is used. Q: The impact of Brexit on the timber trade – negative, positive or neither? EPB: I don’t think anyone knows the answer to this. It depends on the outcome of the UK negotiations with the EU at the end of 2020. Given that the UK imports over 7million m3 from a total consumption of over 10million m3 of softwood, the UK will continue importing significant quantities of timber to ensure the UK construction industry is meeting demand, being sustainable and taking care of the climate. The question is – being outside of the EU – at what cost? www.piveteaubois.com
Q: Zero carbon living and climate care is now more central to industry and consumer thinking than ever before. How can timber contribute more to sustainable living? ES: Timber as a growing resource provides landscape, habitat, flood risk mitigation, recreational facility and carbon sink. The harvesting, processing and manufacture of forest products supports a rural economy, providing materials of regional character and a diverse array of low carbon products. These products when in use can provide healthier indoor environments, provide a connection to nature and boost our mental and physical health. This unique combination contributes to sustainable living and we must continue to study, learn and tell this story. Q: The impact of Brexit on the timber trade – negative, positive or neither? ES: To assess the impact, I need to know the detail. Brexit continues to provide uncertainty. Our relationship with the EU is pivotal to the success of the timber trade both for the export of UK products and because of our heavy reliance on imported wood products. The impact on UK research is clear – for the last three years the UK has been increasingly seen as a potentially risky partner. Whilst collaborative research is still progressing there remains an uncertain position on future opportunities for UK talent to learn and grow with the best European colleagues to help shape a low carbon future. www.bregroup.com
BUILDING PRODUCTS much more fragile when exposed to fire, have made the fire protection of modern ceiling constructions much more critical to avoid premature collapse and vertical fire spread.
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an open path for the passage of fire and smoke. Recent changes in the construction methods from solid timber joists to lightweight joists, which are
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STRUCTURAL TIMBER ASSOCIATION
ADAPTING AND EMBRACING CHANGE modernise, the construction industry has been a bit slower out of the ‘starting blocks’ but now change is happening at pace and it cannot be ignored. Over the last four years the STA has been going through a period of intense transformation. A few might say this was a risky strategy, as we made some bold decisions which could have polarised some of our members. However, our sector by its very nature is innovative and when at our Annual Conference we outlined our plans surrounding quality, competency and compliance, although some raised concerns – the majority understood the benefits and quickly got on board.
Andrew Orriss, STA Assure Director for the Structural Timber Association (STA), discusses the organisations transformational journey and why adapting to change is crucial for those in the construction sector. Competency and compliance are not often considered the most scintillating of subjects and at a time when the construction industry is going through a period of unprecedented change, some are shaking their heads in disbelief at what is coming down the track. But can improvements be made without adapting to change? In my opinion absolutely not, it is the only thing that has brought progress. The pace of technological advancements will not let up, so it needs to be supported. Whilst other industries have made great strides to update and
Since 2018 all structural timber building system supplier members must annually go through our independently assessed STA Assure Quality Management Scheme. Audits are sometimes met with trepidation but we’re not there to catch people out. The process is supportive and informative. Once members gain an understanding of the procedures and ultimately the benefits, we receive plaudits on how the assessments are conducted and how this has enhanced business processes and streamlined building control and warranty submissions. But it is equally important for the standards that are achieved in controlled factory conditions, to be carried through to the construction site. This is why we have embedded our Site Safe Policy and Installer Competency Scheme within our STA Assure programme. This makes certain that compliance and quality is an end to end process. Our award-winning Site Safe Policy further ensures that the build process complies with strict Health & Safety Standards and CDM regulations. We believe that no matter what building
systems and materials are used, the quality and safety processes which are mandatory for all STA manufacturing and installer members, should be adopted by all contractors. We are proud that our Site Safe Policy has now been mandated by the HSE and CFOA and is seen as an example for other material groups to follow. Although we’ve had some challenging times, there is now real positivity around our sector. We fully endorse the findings of Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report, ‘Building a Safer Future’. Competency and compliance are crucial in achieving excellent standards across all construction projects. Staying ahead of the curve with the sustainable building regulations updates to Part L has played to the strengths of the timber sector and has been an important part of our strategy. Timber systems are now acknowledged as the optimum construction solution in the battle to reduce carbon emissions. We have gone through this transformational process and as we come out the other side, we are prepared, and our members are well placed to meet the predicted revisions to building regulations. We are now building on the UK’s outstanding heritage – timber architecture is having its moment: however, it is going to be far greater than that. It is a trend that has major potential for the future of building design and development. Continuous technical developments and the need for sustainable management of our resources are further reasons why timber systems are proving to be the material of choice for the decade. We have been on quite a journey but are not complacently sitting on our success, the STA has a strong
STRUCTURAL TIMBER ASSOCIATION continuous improvement culture and ongoing developments are planned for our STA Assure programme. Embracing and adapting to change has been a positive step for our Association and our members. As a result, we have gone through a period of substantial growth in our membership and we now represent 75% of the structural timber industry and associated supply chain. The deal was actually more than two years in the making, during which time our team visited Japan and two of Sekisui’s factories to witness an incredible setup. Notable was the company’s 750,000sq ft R&D institute in Osaka which features a two-storey earthquake simulator reaching 7.7 on the Richter scale. Sekisui House uses this feature as a sales tool to show their customers the strength of their buildings, and a sophisticated design which absorbs the friction and heat of the earthquake, separate from the inside of the house. Now, thanks to the deal, we’ve brought that expertise and advanced R&D to the UK market, and we’re already applying the insight as we evolve
the hoUSe by Urban Splash modular product offering. From an innovation and technology standpoint there are so many awesome things we are already looking at. The numbers are impressive. Sekisui has delivered more than two million modular homes, with around 15,000 customisable individual homes developed every year. That scalability and the deal means that now we can take a long-term view. Our partnership’s now well-established and we’re looking at new sites and new ways of working, but there is still a gap in the industry – whose grasp of modular and offsite manufacture and delivery isn’t quite there yet. The private sector cannot revolutionise alone. The Government – through Homes England – has realised that they need to be a catalyst, it does need public sector coercion and support, otherwise it will be vulnerable to market fluctuations and any type of downtown. It needs long-term vision. The industry is still lacking in its adoption of modular and timber homes – industry statistics show that just 10% of homes are created offsite in this
country – meaning we’ve still got quite a way to go, especially when you read that countries such as Sweden can easily lead the way, with 45% of homes created offsite. On their arrival in the UK market, our partners Sekisui House were genuinely surprised that the UK industry was so out-dated and we could have a housing crisis. In Japan the output of homes is so enormous and the technology is so advanced – it can sense when a person is home, run a bath for a child and withstand an earthquake, all at scale. We’re conscious though that there is an overload of exciting new options and the challenge will be to be selective, work out what the UK market needs and then gradually build it up. Ultimately, our relationship with Sekisui allows us to invest even more in R&D – ensuring that we’re finding new ways to adapt our product and keep our houses at the forefront of the industry. www.structuraltimber.co.uk
LOW CARBON TO NO CARBON LIVING climate change, but when we consider the complexity of even the built environment’s role into the equation, 2050 is a target that we will have to work hard at to achieve. According to the UK Green Building Council, 42% of the UK’s total carbon footprint was due to the built environment, and 22% was directly attributable to operational and embodied carbon emissions. Whilst these statistics paint a harrowing picture of an industry beyond saving, it proves that neutralising the built environment’s carbon emissions could have a huge effect on the country’s environmental impact as a whole. And we undoubtedly have the tools to start making these changes today. As of this month, the London studio of Perkins and Will, in conjunction with Penoyre & Prasad, have committed to offering net-zero carbon in operation designs for all of our new projects at no additional cost to our clients – and part of this is going to be looking at structural solutions and materials.
01 How can the property industry better secure net-zero targets? Asif Din, Sustainability Director at the London Studio of Perkins and Will, outlines which direction the built environment needs to take.
Last year environmental concern reached a pivotal moment in the public eye with the combined actions of Greta Thunberg, the Extinction Rebellion, and the slew of environmental warnings driving governments across the world to declare climate emergencies. The UK was no exception, putting into legislation in June 2019 that we would reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. For many this was a disappointing reaction to the large-scale issue of
Currently, the four billion tonnes of cement produced each year accounts for around 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions while steel generates between 7 to 9%, according to Chatham House and the World Steel Association respectively. Construction has a severely detrimental effect on our environment through the use of these materials and its time that we looked to alternative options for the answer. But when choosing materials for building it is essential that architects and developers have an in-depth understanding of their life cycle assessments and abilities to store carbon – known technically as carbon sequestration.
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HOUSING produced to create a layer of char, rather than burning through during a fire. This maintains the structural integrity of solid wood sections and ensures the building’s durability. In addition to its improved safety, timber is also becoming an important resource in efficient construction. The flexibility and adaptability of timber means that it can be used in offsite construction far more easily than traditional materials, and according to a 2019 UK Parliamentary Report, modular construction could reduce the energy used in construction by 67%.
02 Using this analysis, timber should definitely be considered as the primary material in construction. In contrast to masonry, timber contributes the most to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Campaign group Wood for Good estimate that if we annually built 200,000 new homes, using wood, then we could store 3.81 million tonnes of CO2 every year. Timber will be key in reducing emissions but it also has the power to actively remove them from the atmosphere through photosynthesis if we can secure a sustainable strategy of reforestation. Yet figures from Forest Research last year showed that the government fell far short of their proposed plans to plant 5,000 hectares annually in England, planting only 1,420 hectares in 2018-19. There will
have to be assurances that forests will be planted and cared for over a long period of time to ensure that timber usage is not detrimental, but a positive for the environment. With these abilities to reduce and remove carbon emissions, timber is the only truly sustainable building material available. And through using modern methods of treatment and preservation techniques, it is an incredibly durable and long-lasting material. If we can assure the facilitation and expansion of reforestation, recycling and reclaiming of wood in future processes, then we will be able to create an industry that supports a net-zero future. Furthermore, the development of fire-retardant techniques has improved vastly, with mass timber now being
Even if timber is not the whole solution it is at least part of the solution. While safety standards are being improved to a more viable level, structural shells that don’t use timber could still be used, while allowing ungraded timber to be used for non-structural items. Many projects have already begun to utilise the benefits of this material. PLP Architecture recently won a competition to design an apartment and office block in Rotterdam, creating the tallest hybrid of concrete and timber in the Netherlands. And Zaha Hadid has recently won planning permission for the world’s first wooden football stadium, to be built in Gloucestershire. Meanwhile, over in our Vancouver studio, Perkins and Will has redesigned the city’s Skytrain Stations using prefabricated, engineered wood panels to offer up a new, bold identity for the station zone. There is a lot more than just using timber that the property industry can and must do – heating and cooling within our buildings undoubtedly needs to be addressed; and the role of logistics and transport is a huge contributor to carbon emissions in the UK. But it’s about taking those first steps to improve the property and construction industries. And through the increased use of timber we could see the built environment start to make an indent into our net-zero targets over the next decade. www.perkinswill.com
IMAGES: 01-02. The flexibility and adaptability of timber alongside its carbon benefits are huge
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THERMAL & ENERGY EFFICIENCY
01 As the consultation closes on changes to Part L and Part F of Building Regulations for England, what energy efficiency detailing can be expected to change and how to track it? A call to include build quality guidance notes in revised Part L regulations are expected to come into effect later this year. The proposal has been included in the 98-page Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) consultation document which forms the first step towards the Future Homes Standard, which should be in place by 2025. The guidance notes would give practical, technical advice on how builders could address the performance gap and reduce thermal bridging, while ensuring airtightness doesn’t harm the structure of the building. The document spends several pages looking at the impact of insulation gaps and the need to address thermal bridging to reduce CO2 loss. Actis UK and Ireland Technical Director Thomas Wiedmer, who has worked on the company’s response to the
document, says construction details should get further attention within the build quality section, saying: “Construction detailing is one of the biggest issues causing the performance gap. Tying projects up with specific details used is important to close the gap between designed and expected performance and we would go even further and suggest that a registration scheme could help to drive the importance of following these details on site.” A building with insulation which is effective on paper can still see huge heat loss of 20 to 30% if thermal bridging occurs. The only way to avoid such a scenario is for construction details to be thermally approved and followed through on site. Actis has worked closely with the LABC to create a ‘fool-proof’ method by which builders can minimise heat loss in this way and in 2019 created a new set of Registered Construction Details (RCD). The new RCD, part of a selection aimed at helping builders achieve as-built performance, provide construction details and checklists of points to look out for during design and on site. They offer instant access to online tutorials to help them reduce heat leakage through weak junctions – the weak points of an insulated building envelope – and thus design out thermal bridging. The details offer a combination of specific detail, good practice and points to watch, together with a range of modelled psivalues using different build ups which exceed expected industry standards. The RCD drawings and documents can be fed into specifications for projects and are also accessible on the go. “Energy efficiency standards should always be based on reducing the need for energy first and in particular limiting the heat loss through thermal elements,” adds Thomas Wiedmer.
“That is through achieving excellent U-values, reducing thermal bridging and improving airtightness – the fabric first principle.”
SPOT GAPS WITH THERMAL IMAGING The NHBC Foundation in collaboration with BSRIA, has published a brand-new guide that details how thermal imaging can be used as a tool to assess the thermal performance of a new home. The ‘Thermal Imaging Report Guide’ is written with the experience and expertise of the BSRIA Thermography team. The guide identifies the most important criteria that are necessary to perform a good Thermal Imaging Survey of the building fabric and gives examples of some thermal anomalies that can be found during a typical survey. Richard Smith, Head of Standards, Research & Innovation at NHBC, said: “The information provided by a thermal imaging report can be extremely valuable in identifying heat ‘leaks’ if they exist, that may not have been easily detected. For anyone involved in the construction of new homes, the NHBC Foundation’s latest guide will also highlight how an accurate thermal imaging survey can distinguish between good construction and a potential fault.” From more information visit: www.bsria.co.uk
IMAGES: 01. Construction detail from the set of RCDs created by LABC and Actis
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2020 OFFSITE HOUSING
GAIN INDUSTRY INSIGHT AND MARKET INTELLIGENCE involving a £100m agreement with Places for People – one of the largest property management, development and regeneration companies in the UK. Julie Alexander recently joined Places for People as Director of Technology and Innovation from Siemens, where she led the global smart cities programme and worked cross sector to bring the best in manufacturing and infrastructure innovation into city planning. Julie will be sharing how she now aims to bring an Industry 4.0 approach to offsite housing manufacturing and how she has already been successful in securing Innovate UK funding to help achieve a step change in MMC housing delivery.
As with any industry, keeping on top of emerging trends and market intelligence is crucial to success. With so many advances in building technology, new entrants to the industry and updates to building regulations – construction professionals operating in the residential sector need to stay up to date if they want to remain competitive.
Taking place at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham on 29 & 30 April – 2020 Offsite Housing is an excellent opportunity to gain industry insight and market intelligence. The conference and exhibition will bring together those who have the inside track on this rapidly changing sector and reveal how to tap into this lucrative market. Taking Centre Stage Gain insight from those who are shaping the future of the offsite housing sector, the 2020 Offsite Conference brings together forwardthinking industry leaders to discuss the innovations and opportunities in the sector, including: Julie Alexander - Places for People PRESENTATION: Industry 4.0 approach to offsite housing At the end of 2019 there was a glut of major investment announcements in the residential sector but the largest deal by far was revealed by ilke Homes
Roddy Langmuir - CULLINAN STUDIO CASE STUDY: Push Pull House – breaking out of the box with CLT Roddy Langmuir, Practice Leader at Cullinan Studio has developed a layered approach to design, built up from responses to social context, topography, micro-climate, and the cultural drivers of client organisations and their chosen setting. Roddy will be presenting the ‘Push Pull House’ and how this project demonstrates a number of ways in which the design of a house can be liberated from the standard box-type rooms with hole-inthe-wall windows, through a bespoke offsite cross laminated timber frame delivered wall to wall roof lights, open corners, clerestory windows and projecting bay windows. Peter Burchill - EOS Group CASE STUDY: Gardiner Place A high-profile mixed-use development of residential apartments and retail units. Peter will present a case study on Gardiner Place and how this new development in Henley-On-Thames is setting new standards when it comes to aspirational town centre living. With
2020 OFFSITE HOUSING
23,000 ft2 of retail space across 14 units and combined with 14 two and three-bedroom residential apartments - every detail of the building has been analysed and value engineered. The £11 million scheme is set to achieve new standards for the innovative use of offsite manufactured systems. Yasmin Al-Ani Spence – WilkinsonEyre CASE STUDY: Dyson Institute WilkinsonEyre has designed a new undergraduate village of 67 accommodation pods – each for an individual student. Dyson’s brief was to create accommodation that would draw together fresh ideas visually, structurally and in the use of materials. The design team explored a range of materials and modular construction options, eventually settling on a structure from cross laminated timber panels. These are exposed internally, even in kitchens and bathrooms, and clad externally with anodised aluminium rain-screen panels and topped with a sedum roof. The offsite construction process included the installation of fitted furniture and storage, before transportation of the pods from Scotland to Wiltshire. Great care was exercised to ensure students feel a part of the wider Dyson community and are immersed in a positive and productive living environment. The pods are stacked and angled to provide every student with a view from the large tripled glazed windows, whilst each pod has its own front door for privacy.
Simon Bayliss - HTA Design LLP CASE STUDY: 101 George Street Built using offsite technology, the development will be two towers, a 38-storey and a 44-storey, scaling 135 metres and providing 546 new homes which have been designed specifically for rent and will be professionally managed onsite offering residents a 24/7 service. All homes will benefit from access to shared amenities including a podium garden, roof top gardens at the top of each tower, panoramic viewing walkway, gyms, residents lounge and private dining / event rooms.
2020 Offsite Housing speakers also include: • Joseph Daniels - Project Etopia • Mark Farmer - CAST • Gwen Beeken - Osco Homes • Peter Andrew - HBF • Adam Challis - JLL • Ryan Simmonds - Sigmat • Steve Chesters - Hadley Group • Charlotte Taylor-Phillip - MHCLG • Darren Jones - ShedKM • Valarie Owens - Swan Housing • Graeme Culliton - Boklok
The two-day event will demonstrate how migrating construction from the building site to a quality-controlled factory environment will accelerate the building process, increase productivity and create a new generation of high-quality housing stock. The event format provides a dynamic and interactive learning experience for all visitors through presentations and a wide array of exhibitors. Tickets are £125 + VAT for one day and £225 + VAT for the full two-day event which includes parking, lunch and refreshments. 50% Discount for Registered Social Landlords and Social Housing Providers, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for discount code.
EXHIBITION AND SPONSORSHIP PACKAGES
The conference and exhibition will provide an excellent marketing opportunity for companies who want to tap into the huge prospects in the lucrative offsite housing sector. For more information call: Julie Williams on 01743 290 001 or email: email@example.com
TAKES HOMES TO ANOTHER LEVEL A glulam timber frame structure was taken to the limit in a stunning residential property next to the River Thames in Shiplake, Oxfordshire. Dan Ball of Centrespace Design, explains more about the project. For this family home we worked closely with the architect and the client to address the constraints of the site, consider the needs of the family and deliver on the promise of a structurally impressive sustainable building. We chose to work with a material that could express the visual form of the structure â€“ with curved roofs and long span structural elements â€“ whilst at the same time contribute to the internal aesthetic lending a natural warmth to the interior space. We opted for a glulam timber structure that has the capacity to create large open plan spaces, allowing unsupported cantilevers at the first floor and producing a natural warmth that maximises the internal aesthetics. The design allows for a very open plan layout that could be adjusted in the future without any major structural alterations. Another important advantage of glulam timber is that the material and hence the structure is low in embodied carbon giving us the sustainable structure we desired.
Due to the proximity of the River Thames we knew the building would have to be raised on stilts and galvanised posts to mitigate the flood risk and to allow a natural transition
02 from the upper structure to the ground. The building has glued laminated timber beams throughout with easi-joist floors to allow for ease of services through the floor structure. The exposed timber beams create a stunning visual aesthetic. With a double height living area the main timber beams form an overhang walkway for access at first floor. All joints within the timber beams are recessed into the timber to avoid any down stand elements and all bolts are countersunk to allow unobtrusive flush details.
Although glulam is a versatile material that can be cut and shaped on-site, the care in the design and planning stages made the fabrication and construction efficient and simple. Reducing on-site waste in material and labour. Not only that but the glulam provides a beautiful language that flows throughout the building accentuating the scale and yet warmth for this stunning family home. www.centrespacedesign.co.uk
IMAGES: 01-05. Glulam brought another dimension to a bespoke family home by the River Thames
EUROCODE 5 REVAMPED
01 The ‘Manual for the design of timber building structures to Eurocode 5’ (second edition) is now available – helping engineers maximise timber’s potential while meeting the requirements of Eurocode 5. Dr Keerthi Ranasinghe, Revising Author and TRADA Advisory Committee Member provides more detail.
02 Since 2007, we have seen a period of tremendous growth in the international timber industry, which has in turn resulted in a swell of research and an array of new products on the market. In the words of the Manual’s Task Group chair Richard Harris: “It is now fifteen years since that first full version of Eurocode 5 was published and much has changed. Eurocode 5 offered a more rigorous standard as compared with its predecessor and also enabled pan-European collaboration in research and practice. This has enabled the full potential for timber to be released, and the extent and scale of timber engineering in the UK has expanded enormously. It is, therefore, now timely for the publication of this revision of the Manual.” The Manual provides guidance on the structural design of single-storey and medium-rise multi-storey buildings and supports the design of timber building structures to BS EN 1995-1-1
(Eurocode 5), together with its supporting codes and standards, within the UK. This is the first new edition since the Manual’s launch in 2007 and incorporates the changes made to Eurocode 5 since its initial publication, ensuring its enduring relevance. It was vital that we updated the manual considering all the amendments that were implemented in not just Eurocode 5 (EC5), but all the supporting standards as well since 2004. By far the leading resource for timber engineering, the new edition ensures that it will continue to be the must-have reference for engineers and specifiers who are keen to work to EC5. Naturally, there has also been a flurry of amendments, brand new standards, and changes to the other European product and harmonized standards that support EC5. It’s a pivotal time for the industry – and a new edition of the Manual which has now served the
EC5 – WHERE TO FIND IT The Manual is co-published by the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) and TRADA. The 2nd edition includes code changes to sections on material properties, bearing capacities, connections, glulam, racking, and fire, along with the insertion of new sections referencing CLT and the new product standard. In addition, further amendments have been made which take into account the feedback of readers and consulted practising engineers. IStructE Head of Publishing, Lee Baldwin, says: “The first edition has served the profession brilliantly for more than a decade, but it’s great that we’ve been able to work closely with Keerthi, the expert steering group, and our co-publisher TRADA to bring such a valuable technical resource up to date.”
03 profession for fifteen years, seems fitting to proclaim this, while further bolstering the Manual’s reputation as the leading resource for timber engineering. Consequently, the Manual has now been updated to include code changes to sections on material properties, bearing capacities, connections, glulam, racking, and fire, along with the insertion of new sections referencing CLT and the new product standard. Further changes have been made which take into account the feedback of readers and consulted practising engineers, while further streamlining the content to remove potential for errors or misunderstandings. A key difference between this publication and others in the IStructE’s Eurocode series is a subtle one. The Manual is not only a manual to design to EC5 – it is also a manual to design
timber structures, providing guidance on the structural design of single-storey and medium-rise multi-storey buildings beyond EC5, and its supporting codes and standards in the UK. Most notably, the Manual includes updated tables for capacities for most common fastener types, significantly reducing the calculational burden on engineers designing timber connections, which is widely considered to be the most difficult aspect of implementing EC5. The new edition of the Manual, which represents an ongoing partnership between TRADA and the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), was launched at last November’s Better Timber Buildings conference in London and will ensure the publication continues to be the must-have reference for engineers and specifiers who are keen to work to EC5.
TRADA’s Publications Manager, Jacquie Shanahan, added: “Partnering with IStructE once again enables us to help structural engineers continue to build dynamic, innovative buildings while ensuring their continued high quality. At the same time, a revision by an author of this calibre ensures the longevity of a widely used resource.” The Manual for the design of timber building structures to Eurocode 5 2nd edition is now available to purchase from the TRADA Bookshop. For more information visit: www.trada.co.uk www.istructe.org
IMAGES: 01. The updated Eurocode 5 document 02. Code changes and the insertion of new sections referencing CLT are part of the new publication. Courtesy Waugh Thistleton 03. King’s College School Music School. Courtesy Cundall
unsung solid laminated timber system – dowel lamination – and takes the technology into new architectural and engineering territory.
OF TIMBER DESIGN
To complement its major ‘Hello, Robot’ exhibition, the museum commissioned the MAS Architecture and Digital Fabrication programme and Gramazio Kohler Research at ETH in Zürich to: “explore the connections between traditional sustainable Scottish construction methods and pioneering robotic fabrication techniques… to demonstrate the extraordinary creativity that can be achieved between man and machine.” Students and staff first visited Dundee in February 2019 and undertook a study tour of Scotland’s traditional architecture before applying their technical skills to their newly-gained knowledge. The objective was always to use digital design and robotics to design, map out and exactly place around 2000 individually-tailored spruce planks and beech dowels in a form that could be installed in the V&A.
01 Technology is taking timber into new architectural and engineering territory. Peter Wilson, architect and Director of Timber Design Initiatives, highlights some recent developments that may have huge implications for the future of wood.
The V&A in Dundee recently broke new ground in highlighting an important emerging direction in timber technology with its ‘Up-Sticks’ installation. The project’s title is a play on words, given that this dramatic construction is comprised of almost 2000 separate timber elements, but this is no giant Jenga game: it is stateof-the-art robotic technologies being used to rethink traditional timber building methods. In doing so, the structure provides a thought-provoking demonstration of what can be learned from the past and re-applied to a largely
Manufacture and initial assembly took place in Zürich before being dismantled and transported to Dundee for re-assembly prior to the exhibition opening last November. Standing beside the entrance to the highly popular ‘Hello, Robot’ exhibition, the resulting spectacular structure has been seen by thousands of members of the public whose astonishment at its freestanding form has been tempered by the fact that its construction is – at a very basic level – instantly understandable. Perhaps more importantly, the structure easily communicated the opportunities presented by robotic design and digital fabrication in the search for new sustainable ways to build. How advances of this type in timber technology can be applied commercially – and how long will they take to reach and impact upon the market – are moot points for the industry in the UK, given that we have been importing cross laminated timber (CLT) for over 20 years but have yet to establish a manufacturing facility anywhere on these islands.
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02 laminate timber systems – at the forefront of which must be the dowel and lamination methods that are being used in Europe and North America to interesting effect.
03 The same is true of course for the other big players in glued laminated timber systems such as glulam and LVL, each of which require substantial investment to deliver the scale necessary for manufacturing facilities to be commercially viable. Time then perhaps to look more closely at alternative and less onerously expensive ways of producing solid
Nail lamination has only ever been used sporadically in the UK and usually for small domestic projects but in the USA, Vancouver-based architect Michael Green produced a striking, seven-storey office building in Minneapolis in 2016 which, at the time, was described as: “the first modern tall wood building in the United States.” Called ‘T3’ (timber, technology and transit) the building has a structure built entirely from wooden slabs, columns and beams. The manufacturer, StructureCraft, has since invested in a major dowel-lamination plant: an ambitious, but possibly prescient, decision given the current climate of enthusiasm for CLT in the USA – given the UK’s issues with various diseases in tree species, much of the timber used came from trees killed by mountain pine beetles, but which was considered still to have the necessary strength and stiffness properties. In Europe, dowel lamination has been championed by proponents of nonglued systems, but the technology has yet to establish a significant presence in the UK, there being only
a few buildings that showcase the various products imported from manufacturers such as (MHM), Rombach and Thoma. Invaluable research, design and experimentation in domestic manufacture has been led by Edinburgh Napier University and architectural practices such as Architype and Gaia, however, and Architype’s Burry Port Community School in South Wales ably demonstrates the excellent quality that can be achieved using rudimentary manufacturing techniques and UK grown timber. How robotic design and digital fabrication can take this experience much further to create an affordable and sustainable form of timber construction distinctive to the UK is the challenge awaiting an industry response. ‘UP-Sticks’ has clearly shown that dowel lamination need not be dull. www.masstimberacademy.com www.timberdesigninitiatives.eu IMAGES: 01. Up Sticks comprises 2000 separate timber elements 02. Architype’s Burry Port Community School in South Wales. Courtesy Architype 03. T3, Minneapolis, the first modern tall wood building in the United States. Courtesy Michael Green Architecture
PASSIVHAUS & LOW ENERGY
ENERGY EFFICIENT TO THE CORE
01 Commissioned to reduce energy consumption and eradicate local fuel poverty, Callaughtons Ash is a £2million housing development for South Shropshire Housing Association using timber frame and a Passivhaus approach.
Sat in Much Wenlock’s green landscape, the 820sq m development comprises one, two and three-bedroom homes, including two shared ownership and ten social rentals. Each is designed to offer affordable, environmentally sustainable accommodation. To meet the South Shropshire Housing Association’s (SSHA) need for a sustainable solution to develop low-energy housing stock, Lowfield Timber Frames worked with Architype, to develop a timber system for Callaughtons Ash that minimises energy impact and facilitates maximum airtightness.
Lowfield Timber Frames designed, manufactured and installed a Larsen Truss timber system for the development to reduce build time and maintenance costs while maximising quality and environmental benefits. The building palette of healthy and ecological timber materials forms a sustainable system for long-term efficiency that meets Passivhaus standards. The main objective was to meet the overall aim to develop sustainability and quality while eradicating fuel poverty and improving residents’ health and wellbeing in the most cost-effective way.
PASSIVHAUS & LOW ENERGY
Callaughtons Ash is an exemplary Passivhaus residential scheme that minimises energy consumption and costs, providing affordable homes in Shropshire. As the most stringent energy standard in the world, Passivhaus certification secures economic, environmental and social sustainability. The Callaughtons Ash scheme was officially certified shortly after the build was completed, guaranteeing ultimate performance and certifying that there are no gaps between predicted and actual results – reassuring residents. The fully bespoke timber system, applies a fabric first approach that requires minimal energy and enables comfortable lifestyles for residents while minimising operational costs to below £100 per annum for average housing types, which is in line with the housing association’s core value – affordable, low-energy accommodation.
minimised heating costs for residents, who can expect to spend just £70-£100 on energy per annum.
for local people. The homes will, for the first time in Much Wenlock, provide affordable homes for people with a local connection.”
As TRADA and STA Assure Gold Members, Lowfield Timber Frames implement high-level quality standards, following the Site Safe Scheme to ensure safe, sustainable construction. The timber frame and thermally modified hardwood cladding designed for this project promote the housing association’s aim for carbon reduction and a cohesive, circular economy in Shropshire.
By adhering to requirements stipulated by SSHA’s community-led building consultancy, Marches Community Land Trust Services and the Much Wenlock Community Plan, construction methods were enforced to manufacture a lowenergy timber system that meets the client brief.
Lightweight trusses were tacked onto the sheathing to ease the insulation process. The slim, compressed timber web minimises thermal bridging, facilitating reduced heating costs to expand residents’ budgets for living costs and other family expenses. The Larsen Truss system offered an economic route to achieving impressive U-values of 0.117 W/m2K for the walls and 0.061 W/m2K for the roof, while also providing support for the cladding system. The compressed timber web reduces thermal bridging, leading to
No bolt-on technologies were used, with the exception of the mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR), which was used as part of the Passivhaus design approach. The aim was to reduce energy consumption as much as possible through highlevel design, insulation, triple glazing, airtightness, mechanical ventilation, heat recovery, considered orientation and window sizes to maximise solar gain and minimise overheating risks. These factors were calculated through the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) to create accommodation that requires virtually zero energy. The building fabric performs well enough not to require bolt-on technologies, which are too often used to offset poor building performance.
The business rationale for the socially responsible housing association was to end fuel poverty by providing accommodation with excellent thermal properties to achieve a low energy aspiration. The housing association collaborated with the local community to recognise housing needs, concluding that affordability cannot be sacrificed in the build of high-quality, energyefficient homes. It became apparent that there is a need for accessible shared ownership home prices. David Turner, Shropshire Councillor for the Much Wenlock Division said: “It was clear from the consultations that there was a strong need for affordable housing
Transport and recycling processes were also carefully selected to further minimise carbon footprint. The timber was sourced locally where possible, and waste was avoided as all leftover timber was recycled or used in the biomass plant to produce electricity. As it is challenging for new families to afford homes in Shropshire, the scheme offers a new solution to overcome lack of social housing, implementing Passivhaus standards to prioritise residents, the environment and the local economy. Passivhaus certification guarantees that homes perform as predicted at the design stage, maintaining minimal operational carbon. The Callaughtons Ash development makes shared ownership more affordable and accessible to young people and first-time buyers. This project proves that the combination of a sustainable approach and local skills/materials does not limit design innovation, even when restricted by budget. This is an excellent example of collaboration between a local authority, developer and specialist contractor and this scheme could evolve design standards in social housing to improve quality and wellbeing long-term. ovate. www.ltf.uk.com
IMAGES: 01-03. Callaughtons Ash is a superb example of what can be achieved with a combination of timber design, low energy thinking and Passivhaus detailing. Courtesy Lowfield Timber Frames
BM TRADA In the majority of cases, manufacturers will still be able to use the CE marking if selling goods on the UK market after the UK leaves the EU. However, CE marking will only be accepted in the UK for a limited time after Brexit. The government will consult and give businesses notice before this period ends. In some cases the new UKCA marking will need to be applied to goods being sold in the UK immediately after Brexit.
CE MARKING POST BREXIT
01 was adopted as a European ‘safety standard’ within the single market for various products including, construction products, electronics, electrical equipment, medical devices, toys and various others.
02 As the UK faces a new relationship with the EU, there are many things in the industry which will need some consideration. Niresh Somlie, Principal Technical Officer at BM TRADA explains how CE marking will be affected post Brexit. The CE mark has long been used by UK manufacturers, distributors and suppliers for placing certain goods on the European market. The CE mark
Since being introduced, the CE mark has been required for many goods sold within the single market, more specifically for those products covered within the scope of a Harmonised European Standard. In summary, the CE marking: • Allows free movement of products within the European Economic Area • Demonstrates that the manufacturer has ensured that the product meets EU safety, health or environmental requirements • Is an indicator of a product’s compliance with EU legislation and requirements. The CE rules/requirements will apply until the UK has left the single market. This could be at the end of a ‘transition’ arrangement – or sooner, should the UK leave without a deal. In place of CE marking, the UK is introducing a new product marking, which will be used for certain goods being placed on the UK market post Brexit. This will be known as the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking.
Once the UK has left the single market, it may well exist as a third-party country and would therefore have the capacity thereafter to change its legislation for products being placed on the UK market. This means that there could be possible deviations between CE marking and UKCA marking rules. The UK manufacturer will therefore need to ensure that in addition to complying with UK regulations for products being placed on the UK Market, they always to conform to CE marking rules when selling into Europe. The UKCA marking will not be recognised on the EU market, and products currently requiring CE marking will still need to be CE marked in accordance with European requirements for sale in the EU. Manufacturers will need to apply the new UKCA marking to their product if all of the following apply: • • •
The product is for the UK market It requires mandatory third-party conformity assessment Conformity assessment has been carried out by a UK Conformity Assessment Body (a UK based ‘Approved Body’)
Before applying the UKCA mark to the product, manufacturers will need to draw up a UK Declaration of Conformity (DoP). The DoP demonstrates that the product is lawfully bearing the UKCA marking and being placed on the market. BM TRADA, part of the Element Group, provides a comprehensive range of independent testing, inspection, certification, technical and training services, and can offer both CE marking and the UKCA marking certifications. www.bmtrada.com IMAGES: 01-02. CE Marking will be replaced by a new product marking known as the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking.
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KEEPING TIMBER CONSTRUCTION CONNECTED
Innovation for Rothoblaas is not an empty promise. The international company keeps growing with 20 subsidiaries and 370 employees worldwide and invests over 4% of its yearly turnover and 15% of its internal resources in research and development projects.
“The trend we keep pursuing,” explains Peter Lang Region Sales Manager of North Europe and co-owner. “Is to thrive for the better. We are committed to finding the best solutions for timber construction and this often means to come up with brand new products, that are not yet available. Rothoblaas’ wide sales network not only serves almost 80 markets of operation, but it is also bouncing back useful inputs to our technical team. Stefano Muscoloni, Sales Manager of UK, Ireland and Iceland says: “The feedback we get from the business is vital – we adjust the product range and optimise the offer customising it to the customers’ and market’s needs. The industry demands taller buildings, wider open spaces,” continues Stefano Muscoloni, who is a structural engineer.” Peter Lang, who is also Product
Development Advisor, adds: “Many of these feedback lessons have been developed and evolved into new products.” Extensive research partnering with the University of Innsbruck has led to the creation of the SPIDER connector – an extremely innovative system recently ETA-certified and soon to be launched on the market. SPIDER allows construction of supported cross laminated timber (CLT) flat floors located directly on the columns, with no need for beams and can be used in conjunction with XEPOX epoxy resin for a combined gluing technology. This will allow currently disconnected CLT floors to be built with substantial distance between the pillars. “We believe this new approach to timber construction will unlock planning imagination” adds Lang.
HBS PLATE EVO
Another interesting project due to be released in the next few months is the SLOT connector – a small extruded aluminium profile that provides great strength and stiffness. It is designed to be inserted between two contiguous panels to create a connection of shear forces in the panel plane. Optimisation of existing products and range extension has been reflected in the newly released ‘Screws and Connectors for Wood’ catalogue. “In addition to the new screws for hardwood,” says Stefano Muscoloni. “We’ve added several new metal plates, fastening options and introduced a special aggressive climate EVO coating, which is perfect for saline environments or to deal with aggressive tannin woods, such as oak and chestnut. Our overall intention is to offer our customers the most suitable, durable and highperforming solution they need to feel more comfortable and confident using timber.” www.rothoblaas.com
IMAGES: A range of innovative screws and connectors are available for timber projects
BUILDING PRODUCTS FACTORY FITTING MADE EASIER BY NEW 3M WIDE AIRTIGHTNESS MEMBRANE Protect Membranes, UK producer of construction and roofing membranes, has introduced a new 3m wide variant of its popular Protect BarriAir membrane, designed for ease of installation within a factory environment and to support the rapid rise in offsite construction.
dramatically reduce heat loss through the building fabric and ensuring strict airtightness levels can be met. John Mellor, Product Manager of Protect Membranes says: “Following the continued success of our existing BarriAir product, our instantly recognisable yellow membrane is well known to deliver added value to many new build projects, including the more challenging Passivhaus developments. The availability of the 3m wide BarriAir option will now mean that factory produced structures which are delivered to site as closed panels can achieve overall time saving benefits when the membrane is installed.” Protect BarriAir is CE-marked, produced in the UK and available ex-stock in 3m or 1.5m widths and 50m lengths, the latter being supplied with integral tape.
01 Protect BarriAir is a high performance air barrier with vapour control qualities, suitable for use internally on walls, floors and ceilings in multiple construction types such as timber frame, precast
concrete and traditional, brick and block construction. Tough, durable and with high tear resistance, the membrane provides an airtight system when installed with sealed laps, helping to
For more information visit: www.protectmembranes.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 905 5700, quoting ‘Protect BarriAir 3m.’ IMAGES: 01. Protect BarriAir air barrier with vapour control properties is now available in 3m wide rolls
ENTRY DEADLINE 29.05.2020 SOCIAL HOUSING PROJECT OF THE YEAR
PRIVATE HOUSING PROJECT OF THE YEAR
EDUCATION PROJECT OF THE YEAR
IMAGE COURTESY OF HEYNE TILLETT STEEL & STUDIO RHE
HEALTHCARE PROJECT OF THE YEAR
COMMERCIAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR
RETAIL & LEISURE PROJECT OF THE YEAR
LOW ENERGY PROJECT OF THE YEAR
CUSTOM & SELF BUILD PROJECT OF THE YEAR
PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARD
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National Conference Centre, Birmingham For more information, visit:
PROJECT OF THE YEAR
NEW HIGHS IN EDUCATION
01 The Red Kite Academy provides an inclusive and welcoming environment for a hundred pupils with additional educational needs and has been designed using i-SIPS â€“ a BBA-approved structural insulated panel (SIPS) solution.
InnovarĂŠ teamed up with Architecture Initiative and Ashe Construction to create a new and innovative design to deliver a high quality, airtight, energy efficient building, reducing ongoing maintenance and running costs across the life of this specialist academy.
the school. Individual entrances to all classrooms give every pupil direct access to the landscaped surroundings. A central spine corridor runs the length of the school, encouraging independence by providing access for pupils with all levels of mobility.
The Red Kite Academy is a single storey building arranged over two wings extending from a central atrium containing the main hall, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy suites. Approaching the building, a warm, timber clad canopy extends over the drop off zones, sheltering pupils as they enter
SIP systems offer significant advantages in a world where construction schedules are becoming shorter, building performance criteria becoming more challenging, and the need for innovative solutions to ambitious construction targets and skilled labour shortages are paramount.
02 i-SIP is a large format panel system made from an insulating layer sandwiched between two timber sheets. Each panel is manufactured to precise dimensions ready for rapid onsite assembly. The desired thermal and acoustic properties are designed and engineered into the panels. This significantly reduces the need for mechanical heating and cooling or additional soundproofing treatments. Sequestered carbon is carbon safely trapped within timber building materials that would otherwise be in the form of atmospheric CO2. i-SIP panels can measure up to 6x3m and have fewer structural joints and connections, combined with the exacting panel tolerances of ±2mm make i-SIPs one of the easier ways to achieve levels of air leakage as low as 0.6 m3/m2hr@ 50 pascals. i-SIPs have significantly lower embodied energy than traditional construction materials such as steel, concrete and masonry. The performance efficiency modelling carried out by Innovaré facilitated the design of key details to minimise cold bridging and vastly reduce air permeability to assist with the final U-values. The i-SIP system has a typical Y-value of 0.025 W/m²K exceeding the accredited and enhanced construction detail values of 0.08 and 0.04 W/m²K respectively. The excellent insulating properties and superior airtightness of a finished i-SIP structure reduces energy consumption and running costs across the lifecycle of the building. The use of BIM, 3D modelling and component scheduling enabled the design to be tested prior to construction and adjustments to the layout to be made, allowing M&E routes to be planned ahead of production. Innovaré use only FSC/PEFC-certified timber with an A+ rating in the Green
Guide to specification, the i-SIP construction method generated a high BREEAM contribution, reducing expected capital and life-time costs by a predicted 50%. The start of groundworks at the Red Kite Academy was marked with the burying of a time capsule. Tom O’Dwyer, on behalf of the trust, said: “We look forward with immense anticipation to seeing Red Kite Academy take its place in the family of wonderful Northamptonshire special schools.” The i-SIP system meets the unique design challenges of education projects – large spans, high wall heights and large window openings. Education building programmes need greater speed and simplicity, and more confidence over quality and timescales. The unique fully-integrated design, manufacture and install service offered by Innovaré is seen by many as a risk free and reliable way to access the benefits. i-SIPs are highly adaptable, and can be used for walls, floors and roofs and they can form all or part of a building. Early design collaboration between Innovare, Ashe Construction and Architectural Initiative enabled the delivery of an efficiently designed scheme. The design teams collaborated to ensure that the design met the specialist requirements set out by the client. Regular team meetings between Innovaré, Ashe Construction and Architectural Initiative meant that a robust schedule for delivery was agreed in advance and design for M&E services was incorporated within the manufacture of the panels to avoid onsite clashes. Factory manufacture of the timber based panelised structure also offered the client a quality assured system produced under ISO 9001 guidelines.
03 With only 40% of traditionally built projects being delivered on time, the cost and programme certainty achieved by the i-SIP System, meant that the Red Kite Academy was delivered two weeks ahead of programme. “Watching this school grow into this amazing space with these wonderful children and staff, is truly inspiring,” says Head Teacher Donna Luck. “We know that we are already making a difference, not only to our children, but to their families and the wider community. Very occasionally the planets align to generate a moment of pure serendipity in which the extraordinary can happen. It was in such a moment that Red Kite Academy opened as the growing town was crying out for its own special school.”
“Watching this school grow into this amazing space with these wonderful children and staff, is truly inspiring,” says Head Teacher Donna Luck. “We know that we are already making a difference, not only to our children, but to their families and the wider community. Very occasionally the planets align to generate a moment of pure serendipity in which the extraordinary can happen. It was in such a moment that Red Kite Academy opened as the growing town was crying out for its own special school.” www.innovaresystems.co.uk
IMAGES: 01-03. SIPS are suited to education projects where speed of build, low energy consumption and reliability are essential. Courtesy Innovaré
FUTUREBUILD 2020 Brands and organisations that are leading the charge when it comes to innovation will be recognised through a dedicated Innovation Trail. A guided route will take visitors on a journey through the event enabling them to learn more about the latest thinking from Futurebuild’s Innovation Partners, including ACO Technologies, Smart Systems, 540 World and Steico. New for 2020 is Resourceful Materials, focusing on the pressing need to use materials more responsibly. Key features include the Green Building TV Studio, hosted by Ecomerchant and the Circular Innovation Showcase. The natural building materials area also returns for 2020 alongside TRADA and Wood for Good who will focus on timber pioneers.
BE THE CATALYST FOR CHANGE
01 Recent climate change demonstrations and government declarations make one thing clear we must all come together to take action against the climate change challenges we are facing. Put simply, without collaboration, we will fail. Against this backdrop, Futurebuild 2020 (3–5 March, ExCeL London) will inspire visitors to join fellow industry leaders and innovators to be the catalyst for change that is so urgently needed to help deliver a more sustainable built environment. Futurebuild’s highly-regarded Arena programme is returning for 2020, bigger and better than ever before. The three-day programme has been developed with leading partners from across industry. The sessions focusing on solving the current climate and ecological crisis, led by politicians, academics and industry shapers, will offer visitors a wide range of opportunities to broaden their knowledge. While discussions on the Arena Stage will focus on the biggest issues facing the built environment at a macro level,
six Keynote Stages will look at the specific challenges impacting Offsite, Resourceful Materials, Buildings, Energy, Interiors, and Critical Infrastructure. This programme of solution-driven sessions will share the latest thinking and research, to educate, inform and inspire visitors to make a positive change. Each day, the six stages will host a focused keynote presentation by a recognised expert in their field. Among those taking to the stage will be Structural Timber Association (STA) Chief Executive, Andrew Carpenter. On day 2 (4 March) he will discuss the delivery of safe and sustainable construction on the Offsite Keynote Stage. The programme in Resourceful Materials will bring together experts in material and design innovation from across Europe. On day one (03 March), Duncan Baker-Brown, Senior Lecturer University of Brighton Co-Founder of BBM Sustainable Design, will discuss strategies for using less of planet earth’s natural resources by Mining the Anthropocene. Around each Keynote Stage will be an exhibition of innovative brands, offering unique solutions to the challenges discussed in the companion knowledge programme. It will feature some of the largest headline brands in the sector, alongside SMEs and start-up organisations, creating a dedicated platform to connect these companies with forward-thinking specifiers and buyers.
Championing innovation is the central purpose of Futurebuild and the 2020 event sees the return of the Big Innovation Pitch. Hosted across the event, in conjunction with BRE as technical partner, the competition is the industry’s largest call-out for innovation to date and will identify and celebrate novel new approaches to tackle the biggest challenges facing us all. Martin Hurn, Event Director of Futurebuild, said: “The responsibility for tackling the climate emergency lies in all of our hands and we must collaborate in order to find solutions to secure our future. Futurebuild 2020 provides the perfect platform for forward-thinking decision makers across the built environment to come together and play a key part in driving positive change. “Innovation to us is more than just futuristic concepts, it’s about sharing the latest thinking and ideas, processes and solutions, products and materials. All of these things coming together under one roof at Futurebuild 2020 will inspire people to do things differently and create real change.” For more information about Futurebuild 2020 the home of innovation, and to register for your complimentary ticket, visit www.futurebuild.co.uk IMAGES: 01. Brands of all sizes from across the built environment will be at Futurebuild to meet and share technical innovations and radical new approaches
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A NEW SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
01 Metsä Wood’s Open Source Wood initiative has joined forces with ProdLib to make the latest innovation in wood-based construction easily available to everyone. You can now use the ProdLib library to download elements available on Open Source Wood directly to your design software.
This move brings together Open Source Wood, a pioneering innovation project aimed at facilitating knowledge sharing and growth in modular wood construction, and ProdLib, a digital product library containing up-todate design models from leading manufacturers. Thousands of 3D design objects are available, including wall, roof and floor elements, compatible with Revit, AutoCAD and ArchiCAD software. The Open Source Wood initiative is an independent and open portal where anyone can contribute ideas. The goal is to share knowledge and innovations in the field of wood construction between construction professionals globally. Launched by Metsä Wood in 2017, it allows designers, teams and students to upload designs where they can be peerreviewed and discussed, with the best ideas being reviewed by Metsä Wood’s experts.
The new Open Source Wood element library on ProdLib is available either through online registration on a web browser, or downloadable as a desktop application. Currently, it contains a basic set of designs from Open Source Wood, but the library is developed continuously. “Open Source Wood has enabled sharing modular wood elements,” says Tuukka Kyläkallio, Business Development Manager, Metsä Wood. “Through ProdLib, they are now easily available directly on the designers’ desktops in 3D format.” One user who has used Open Source Wood to good effect is Paul Esombi Ekema, owner of Peekplan Architects in Hamburg, Germany. An active member of the community since its launch, Ekema has been awarded the first ever Innovation Award for his achievements in advancing the idea of Open Source Wood.
04 Ekema is not the only member to have been recognised for his contribution to Open Source Wood – Metsä Wood continuously awards the best ideas and actions that promote the platform. In August 2019 a competition was launched to find clever ways to connect large LVL panels. The winning idea – 1% Waste – was designed by Nazar Shklianka, an architect from Ukraine.
03 “I feel very honoured, very pleased,” says Ekema on being presented with the award. “This Innovation Award is like a huge stamp of approval for my work. Sharing knowledge in wood construction helps to develop new capacities that ensure quality building alternatives, which I am highly committed to.” This viewpoint is clearly supported by the Open Source Wood initiative. Only a fraction (5-10%) of global urban construction is wood, due in part to the fact that the industry is fragmented and local. Metsä Wood believes that there is a need to share knowledge and innovations to help the use of wood in construction grow. The goal of Open Source Wood is to make professionals from different sides of the industry come together globally and rethink the way wood is used as a construction material.
“Open Source Wood has become a meeting point,” says Ekema. “This paradigm shift has been very encouraging. I am happy to see that people are really starting to rethink which construction materials to use. Selecting materials for construction sometimes depends on how familiar the architect or engineer is with what is available. The Open Source Wood platform facilitates discussions and the sharing of knowledge around materials and solutions, because the technical properties of wood are discussed in addition to offering a platform to share and showcase blueprints.” “This is the first step,” adds Tuukka Kyläkallio, who is also in charge of the initiative at Metsä Wood. “We want to continuously develop the availability and usability of the wood-based solutions shared on the platform.”
The design featured a large I-beam structure based on using Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber). Speaking of the competition and the award, Shklianka says: “The name of the project – 1% Waste – highlights the important aim of using the material with as little waste as possible, while creating a strong structure. The challenge was a good opportunity to think about how to use wood material more efficiently, and also to speed up the construction process.” The jury assessing the entries commented that the simple, effective idea can be easily modified by replacing the connecting wood panel with a steel plate or by using a halflap connection. For users who would like further support on how to use 3D design objects in construction design software, a short instruction video is available on the Open Source Wood website. www.opensourcewood.com IMAGES: 01-02. The ProdLib digital product library contains up-to-date design models from leading manufacturers 03. The Open Source Wood initiative is driving innovative design 04. The winning 1% Waste designed by Nazar Shklianka
SEARCHING FOR NEW ANSWERS Of course, technology not only streamlines the way structures are designed and engineered but it helps teams integrate and perform better – something that has been a criticism of the construction industry since the milestone reports of Michael Latham and John Egan. Ultimately, technology improves collaboration which in turn improves productivity. It is also fundamental to how industry stakeholders align to combine similar methodologies and speak in a common language.
01 As the 2020s begin we are well and truly living in the 21st Century. Advances in digital technology are now a ubiquitous part of everyday life but the construction industry – still in many respects mired in the 20th Century – needs to speed up its game. According to research from Autodesk, globally we could be needing 13,000 buildings produced every single day up to 2050 to meet the swell of rapid urbanisation. Add to this the need to design more low carbon/net-zero buildings to meet the goal of carbon neutrality by 2030, and it is only with the adoption of more technology, more efficient construction methods and a more flexible mindset will this be achieved.
With buildings contributing approximately 39% of total carbon emissions, the built environment needs to seize the opportunities offered by advances in ‘tech of all types’, the internet of things, big data, mesh cities, machine learning, robotisation and all things digital. Certainly, technology is becoming more accessible and better understood. The relatively low cost barrier of entry for digital platforms has led to a revolution in how architects and structural engineers optimise building design. The influx of virtual and augmented realities plus the widespread use of BIM/3D modelling is pushing architects and structural engineers to hone new disciplines and follow different directions of design. Just the sheer amount of BIM data generated has sparked a paradigm shift in building design. The future expansion of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) and the ‘data-driven’ approach will add to this even more – the role of architect/ building designer is becoming difficult to define and pin down.
Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) recently launched its Future Skills Strategy to put future generations in the driving seat for innovation in the industry. The new strategy will put the technology that’s unlocking innovation in the sector in the hands of school pupils, college and university students as well as industry leaders. Building on the success of the BIM in Practice and College Innovation programmes, the new strategy will unlock partnerships with schools, further education providers, public sector partners and industry. A range of interactive courses and activities will help to widen participation and educate young people about the career opportunities available within the industry, and what those roles might look like in the future. Rohan Bush, Head of Public Partnerships & Future Workforce, at CSIC said: “Simply telling young people that they could have a great future in construction isn’t that effective. But let them play with the tech that will be part of that future, and they come back wanting to know more. We are really excited about this new strategy and the opportunities it offers. The increased use of digital
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02 technologies is changing how we work, and gives real opportunities to work smarter, efficiently and more sustainably. The new programmes also offer those currently working in the industry the opportunity to expand and develop their skills and knowledge.” The Construction Virtual Reality Training (CONVERT) will also offer learners the opportunity to experience different immersive learning environments including working at height, the use of drones in construction, Mimbus woodcutting and paint spraying modules and the Virtual Building Element Environment (VBEE). In VBEE, users will be set a task to build either a house, an industrial unit or an offsite modular building, and will be presented with a range of scenarios. The decisions they make during the process, including the selection and use of materials, technical specifications, and processes used, will be presented and evaluated on completion. This programme, which is funded by CITB and led by Construction Wales Innovation Centre, can be used not only by young people considering a career in construction, but also apprentices and workers already employed in the industry. Virtual reality helps to give learners a thorough overview of all aspects of a project and also helps to foster a culture of collaboration, understanding and appreciation of other roles and the impact they have on each other. These programmes are especially important as the industry looks to drive productivity and growth, and create a workforce that is innovative, dynamic and globally competitive.
03 The convergence between digital technology, manufacturing and construction is best embodied in the guise of offsite construction – an effective combination of technology, precision factory control, blended with component and structural data.
the 2020s, as a society we are only beginning to scratch the surface of what immersive technologies can do and for the construction industry what improvements it can all bring to the built environment.
All technology is only as good as the industry, company or person that uses it, so familiarity and acceptance will come at differing, levels – especially as younger entrants to the construction world are better attuned to digital expertise – but as we move into
IMAGES: 01. The construction industry is being revolutionised by immersive technology 02-03. Institutions such as the CSIC and the new Trimble Technology Lab at Edinburgh Napier University are driving work in the application of digital technology to timber design
NATIONAL BIM SURVEY 2020 NBS has launched the 10th annual NBS BIM Survey, marking a decade of tracking BIM adoption in the UK. Ten years on from the initial survey, the NBS BIM Report 2020 is set to not only measure the adoption of BIM, but also focus on the construction industry’s digital journey. For a decade, the annual report has documented awareness and adoption of BIM from as little as 10% in 2011 to nearly 70% in 2019. The 2019 report represented the views of nearly 1,000 industry professionals and reflected on the launch of the ISO standards, showing that 16% of organisations had already started to use the ISO 19650 series of standards. NBS Innovation Director, Stephen Hamil said, “We have now been monitoring BIM adoption at NBS for a decade. Last year’s report showed a pause in the growth of adoption as the industry consolidates and matures in its integration of BIM. This year we will be asking whether adoption has picked up again in 2020 and if BIM has become the norm for the construction industry. “We also know that the use of new digital technologies is transforming construction. In this survey, we will look beyond BIM to some of the new technologies being used in the built environment. The survey will look at current best practice alongside what the future might look like for digital construction.” A pre-release report is sent to all participants, so those taking part will be among the first to have access to the findings. You can complete this year’s NBS National BIM Survey, open until the 1 March at https://thenbs.researchfeedback.net/wh/s.asp?k=157623125677
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landfill for disposal. New legislation is underway for higher construction standards, meaning that buildings must become more resistant against extreme temperatures, floods and winds. The Climate Emergency Conference will help tackle such construction challenges by demonstrating how to incorporate flood-resistant designs, account for wind load and carefully plan material selection, building orientation and performance. Engaging private and public sectors to work towards common goals, the event will offer a knowledge platform for future-proofing buildings by introducing new eco-conscious technologies, such as bio-concrete, intelligent selfregulating buildings and green roofs.
The ecological clock is ticking, and urgent action is needed to mitigate the impact of global warming. Climate change is now considered a worldwide crisis and the construction industry has a major role to play in supporting the UK Government to reach challenging carbon emission targets. So, the scene is set, and the challenge is clear – the UK needs to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of construction throughout the build process and beyond. Taking place on 16 June 2020 in Manchester – the Climate Emergency Conference introduces critical approaches that will enable the industry to meet new construction standards. The UK is leading the world in effecting carbon reductions and our Government has recently pledged to move to a net zero emissions target by 2050. This will drive huge change in people’s lives and place a titanic stress on businesses and organisations who will have to change the way that they operate within complicated and sophisticated supply chains. Nowhere is the change more difficult –and the opportunity so large – than in the UK construction industry. According to the European Energy Centre, existing buildings use around 40% of global energy, whilst they produce approximately 33% of carbon emissions. As much as 40% of landfill waste comes from unused building
materials – so we are at a tipping point – unprecedented action is needed now if the construction industry is to have a sustainable future. The Climate Emergency Conference and Exhibition will investigate materials and manufacturing processes that minimise embodied carbon and will examine the circular economy – investigating how the material loop can be closed so that raw construction products are repurposed and reprocessed instead of sent to
Attending the event will enable key decision makers to proceed with construction developments that will result in real change and develop effective sustainable strategies that do not ‘cost the earth.’ Climate Emergency Conference confirmed speakers include: • Mark Wakeford: Chair NFB Major Contractors Group and Managing Director of Stepnell • Will Swan: Director – Energy House Laboratories • Lee Brunsden: Head of Sector, Construction – Achilles • Dr Emma Wilcox: Chief Executive – Society for the Environment • Verel Rodrigues: Extinction Rebellion • Nigel Holden: Head of Energy Enterprise and Sustainable Development - The Co-Operative Group • Andrew Orriss: STA Assure Director Structural Timber Association
WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SUSTAINABLE APPROACHES? Date: 16 June 2020 Venue: Manchester Cost: Tickets to the Climate Emergency Conference and Exhibition are £195 + vat including refreshments, lunch and access to the exhibition. The pressing need to minimise environmental impact can be achieved with the aid of advanced techniques and technologies combined with sustainable materials and processes – to secure your place today go to: www.climateemergencyconference.co.uk
MACHINERY CUTTING THROUGH THE UK TRUSS AND TIMBER FRAME INDUSTRY The latest installations of the Hundegger Turbo Drive machine at Kingdom Timber in Glenrothes and in Pinewood Structures in Gamlingay, are excellent examples of how the Turbo machine has been accepted in the UK structural timber industry. Working linked to all truss and timber framing software, the machine is processing timber components at speed and with accuracy. There are now more than 30 Turbo Drive machines installed in the UK with 40+ installs estimated by the end of 2020. “Many UK companies are on their 2nd/3rd/4th machine,” says Chris
01 Osborne from Hundegger UK. “This is testimony to the performance and difference the machines are making to the user’s production. Accurate and stacked cutting, full timber optimising, reduction of stock timber sizes, ink jet printing and very fast cutting are some of the main advantages of the Hundegger TD machine.” Machines are processing truss, timber frame, I-joists, glulam, and LVL products throughout the UK. The saw is servodriven 5 axes cutting, which means for example, horizontal cutting is possible for metal work grooves in glulam.
Without any obligation, Hundegger UK would be pleased to present how the Turbo drive can benefit your business by simulating production cutting files and showing you a machine in action locally. For more information contact Chris Osborne at: email@example.com IMAGES: 01. The Turbo Drive machine delivers unrivalled technical and quality benefits. Courtesy Pinewood Structures Gamlingay
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THE LAST WORD
TREES: THE VERY DEFINITION OF A CIRCULAR ECONOMY
01 In the first of our new opinion columns to wrap up each issue, we hear from Jeremy English, GB and Ireland Sales Director, Södra Wood Ltd. Unfortunately, many people still think that cutting down trees can only be a bad thing. But when they’re owned, grown and harvested by responsible forest-owners and forestry companies, they make for an invaluable circular economy. From the perspective of sequestering harmful carbon emissions, the harvesting of fully matured trees is a good thing. Once spruce and pine reach full maturity their ability to soak up carbon depreciates, whereas younger, more vibrant, growing trees do it much better. This cycle of harvesting fully matured trees and clearing way for new saplings is central to maximising oxygen emission and CO2 absorption. It’s also important to remember that left for too long trees – like everything else in the world – will eventually rot, which means they can’t be used for structural timber. This, for obvious reasons, is a bad thing. Less quality,
sustainably grown structural timber makes for more construction using less environmentally-friendly materials. The manufacture of concrete and steel, for instance, each contribute around 5% of global emissions. Timber, on the other hand, inverts this CO2. Instead of adding to climate change, trees mitigate the impact of it. To use Södra as an example, our forests’ positive impact on climate change equates to 20% of Sweden’s combined carbon emissions. When we mention fully matured trees, it’s easy to forget that reaching this point isn’t as straightforward as it seems. It all starts with the seeds. At Södra we’ve been working on controlled pollination to breed trees for tomorrow’s forests – a new innovation, where nearly two million seedlings are being propagated to produce trees that are healthier and more resilient. The programme does not and has never used genetic modification in any way, but rather helps ensure that all desirable traits of selected spruce are transferred to the seeds, and then to future trees.
02 Trees are an incredible thing and have far-reaching benefits beyond construction that many people perhaps won’t have even considered. Let me put it this way. Take 2,000m3 of sawn timber - it can be used to create an eight-story building with 64 apartments housing around 120 residents. But on top of that, it can also provide 2,300km miles of driving per household using biofuels, a total of 25 years of paper consumption, 30 years of textile consumption, nine years of district heating, and six years of household electricity consumption. Trees are the very definition of a circular economy. www.sodra.uk
IMAGES: 01. Jeremy English 02. Seeds and seedlings are the start of the circular economy
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RESTRAINT ALL TIED UP
GABLE RESTRAINT BRACKET The go-to solution for the design and installation of timber gable wall panels to masonry wall construction as accepted by the NHBC. NHBC
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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION IN THE TIMBER SECTOR AND THE ASSOCIATED MANUFACTURING PROCESSES THEN CHOOSE FROM SOME OF THE PLATFORMS TAKING PLACE IN 2020:
DATE 03-05 March
Futurebuild is THE built environment event where leading brands can share innovations, from products, to processes and solutions, with over 27,000 industry influencers and shapers. Futurebuild 2020 will remain true to the roots of Ecobuild by standing out as the only event to have a higher purpose, to be a catalyst for change. 29-30 April
2020 Offsite Housing Conference
Taking place at the National Conference Centre (Birmingham), 2020 Offsite Housing will provide a dynamic and interactive experience for those looking to gain insight from those who are shaping the future of the offsite housing sector.
Offsite Awards Entry Deadline
Entering the Offsite Construction Awards is FREE and allows the most innovative achievements in offsite to be upheld by the industry alongside those considered the nation’s best. Being shortlisted for the Awards will earn recognition within the wider construction industry - opening doors to securing new business development opportunities. Earning a ‘highly commended’ or ultimately, winning an Award will gain national recognition, giving entrants the opportunity to make their mark on this economically important market. 29 May
Structural Timber Awards Entry Deadline
Entering the Structural Timber Awards allows the most innovative achievements in timber to be upheld by the industry alongside those considered the nation’s best. Earning ‘Highly Commended’ or winning an award will earn entrant’s recognition within the timber community, leading to an abundance of fresh prospects for each company. 16 June
Climate Emergency Conference
NEW for 2020 Climate Emergency Conference is taking place on 16 June 2020 in Manchester. The event is designed to debate and share the work and ideas the construction sector is undertaking/implementing to decrease the sector’s carbon emissions - to ensure the construction industry helps to tackle climate change and meet Government targets by 2050.
Getting to Zero:
The Construction Industry’s Response to Saving the Planet 16.06.2020 Manchester CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION EARLY BIRD TICKETS AVAILABLE UNTIL 31.03.2020 Use discount code EARLYBIRD when booking online
DEALING WITH CLT? TRUST ROTHOBLAAS
With over 25 years of experience in the sector, Rothoblaas is your key supplier for your majestic Mass Timber projects.
Rothoblaas provides a vast range of solutions specifically conceived for timber buildings, carefully engineered and suited to make planning and constructing smooth and successful.
Thorough research projects lead to optimize the product offer and conceive cuttingedge tools for the contemporary building industry. Come meet the UK team at Futurebuild, Stand G12.
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National Conference Centre, Birmingham For more information, visit:
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The latest in structural timber building design and technologies