Structural Timber Magazine - Issue 35

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40 Embodied Carbon Reliable data and identifying the level our timber products contribute to the built environment. 46 Homegrown Timber Growing and specifying the best that British forests have to offer: how hard can it be?

38 Timber is the Way to Go Delivering the Government’s Timber in Construction Policy Roadmap will have profound changes for the UK.
Achieving Airtight Homes and Net Zero with OSB
Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK
IFirstly, you’ll see that we have given

nside, we cover some important areas that will be affecting the way we use and think about timber for years to come. Published in December last year, the UK Government’s Timber in Construction Roadmap – with its framework for increasing the use of timber in construction – set out seven key priorities to secure a better future for our forests and timber products. These priorities are all touched on this issue across many of the features on offer.

The Roadmap had some clear messaging about what ‘government’ will do and what ‘industry’ will do. Some of that will live in the ‘work in progress’ realm for quite some time I believe, but it is a commitment from a Conservative administration that has a haphazard approach to its sustainability and decarbonisation aims. But the STA, TDUK and Confor will be acting as a joint Secretariat of a working group leading the development and implementation of solid plans to deliver each of the seven key priorities.

One of those priorities is the creation and distribution of dependable and consistent

data. In case you missed it, TDUK has provided invaluable insights into the embodied carbon data of timber products consumed in the UK. Encompassing over 95% of timber consumed, it is a free resource for design teams to accurately assess the carbon impact of their material choices and paves the way for a heightened sense of what is meant by sustainable construction.

The UK’s position as the second-largest net importer of timber globally – trailing only behind China – underscores the urgent need to re-evaluate our timber consumption patterns. What can be done to expand the market for homegrown timber? By increasing tree planting in England, this promises a more diverse domestic timber supply over the long term, but we must also move away from overspecification of timber and ignoring the grade strength of the timber under our noses. Again, all of this and more inside.

As ever, many thanks to all our contributors, advertisers, and supporters for their help this issue, it is always genuinely appreciated. 

to the first issue of Structural Timber Magazine for 2024.
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Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK


The use of structural timber in both traditional and modern methods of construction will be instrumental in the UK achieving its net zero targets and meeting the Future Homes Standard.

UK Industry News

A quick round-up of some recent news stories from the timber and construction sectors that you may have missed including: Donaldson Timber Systems appointed to the CHIC Newbuild Development Framework, a joint industry Secretariat is formed to drive the Government’s Timber in Construction Policy Roadmap working group and 55 100-year-old Douglas Fir logs help build a new home.

26 Make Double Capacity a Reality

How do you double your manufacturing capacity without increasing your overheads? Machinery specialist Weinig are working with industry partners to prove exactly how it can be done.

28 Healthy Buildings: Healthy Planet

Over 150 delegates from across the construction sector attended the ASBP Healthy Buildings conference recently, which this year focused on biodiversity, forestry and health and wellbeing.

32 Balancing Conservation With Refurbishment

Newson’s Yard is a high-profile design hub featuring top end retail outlets and eateries, located in a reimagined former timber yard with a mass timber solution at its core.

34 Energy Efficiency and Elegance

A contemporary take on a Derbyshire Longhouse has delivered a beautifully designed, multigenerational house using SIP panels to deliver high energy efficiency.

36 Growing Timber Homes

Brooks Dye Works, a regeneration scheme in St. Werburghs, Bristol is one of the latest developments to benefit from an innovative timber frame design, expertise and product innovation.

38 Timber is the Way to Go

Delivering the Government’s Timber in Construction Policy Roadmap will have profound changes for the UK. Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the STA, discusses potential industry impact.

40 Unlocking Timber’s Carbon Credentials

Questions surrounding the levels of embodied carbon in construction are not easily answered but new data on timber products provides new levels of understanding.

46 Branching Out: Using UK Timber

Can the construction industry support the UK timber industry by specifying and procuring responsibly sourced UK grown timber?

48 World of Warmth & Vibrancy

Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc is an ambitious joint venture between Scottish Enterprise, Dundee City Council and Michelin with glulam and CLT a major element of its Innovation Hub.

50 Optimising Our Environmental Resources

Stopping climate change demands bold action and the construction industry is both part of the problem and a potential solution. Chloe Donovan, Managing Director at Natural Building Systems explains more.

5  Structural Timber Magazine Contents
6 26 32 36 40 48 28 34 38 46 50 8

Achieving Airtight Homes with OSB

The use of structural timber in both traditional and offsite construction will be instrumental in the UK achieving its net zero targets and meeting the Future Homes Standard – what part can OSB play in making this happen?

The use of structural timber in both traditional and offsite construction will be instrumental in the UK achieving its net zero targets and meeting the Future Homes Standard – what part can OSB play in making this happen?

With new homes expected to produce 75-80% less carbon emissions compared to current levels, OSB with built-in vapour and air barrier properties emerges as a potential game-changer and a robust sheathing solution for timber frame contractors striving to meet the stringent airtightness requirements of this new standard.

With the government’s updated Part F and Part L requirements of the Building Regulations seen as an important stepping-stone to the Future Homes Standard in 2025, there is no escaping the fact there needs to be a clear emphasis on the design of a building’s envelope. This heightened focus on the building fabric presents both challenges and opportunities. As a route to more thermally-efficient building envelopes, it will become critical to ensure buildings are airtight. Timber frame manufacturers that can provide high-performance, airtight envelope solutions will be well-positioned to meet these changing regulations and capitalise on the move towards low-energy construction.

Pushing the envelope

In order to meet the evolving standards, there is an innovation solution to simplify the path to airtight building envelopes. The increasing demand for double sheathed timber frames in both structural applications and the development of offsite closed panels, led to innovation for producing an airtight OSB/3 panel with airtightness engineered into the panel substrate. The panel can be used as the airtight layer on the warm side of the insulation in timber frame construction systems, helping to create an airtight building envelope.

   With new homes expected to produce 75-80% less carbon emissions compared to current levels, OSB with built-in vapour and air barrier properties emerges as a potential gamechanger

Each panel features alternating layers of wood strands coated with a high-quality formaldehyde-free resin and wax binder system to deliver outstanding levels of airtightness. A specialist coating is then applied to ensure vapour resistance and provide a premium performance OSB solution for super-insulated and passive buildings and enabling the elimination of a traditional additional vapour control membrane from the construction.

By seamlessly integrating air and vapour barriers into high-performance OSB panels, this streamlines the installation process, minimising the risk of air leakage that often plagues traditional timber frame structures. This cutting-edge solution not only simplifies construction but also ensures a certified, proven approach to creating airtight building envelopes that will pave the way for lowcarbon, energy-efficient homes of the future.

High-quality fresh air

Whilst airtightness is important for avoiding heat loss, an appropriate ventilation strategy should also be considered as without it, a building can potentially suffer from moisture and condensation issues and a reduction in indoor air quality. To maintain a healthy indoor air quality whilst minimising energy loss, controlled

Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK

mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) is a requirement in Passivhaus buildings. This involves extracting hot air from wet rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens and supplying fresh air to living areas and bedrooms. The fresh air is filtered and is heated by the extracted air through a heat exchanger. In very cold climates, the fresh air can be heated through ground or air source heat pumps.

Smarter housing

Testament to the benefits of OSB with built-in vapour and air barrier properties is an exciting regeneration project in Cardiff. Lowfield Timber Frames specified SMARTPLY AIRTIGHT panels alongside a supply of their timber kits for a development of 12, twobedroom houses in Heath, Cardiff. Built to strict Passivhaus standards, the homes offer improved health and wellbeing conditions for occupants whilst requiring very low levels of energy for space heating or cooling. Additionally, using timber frame for the construction lowers the carbon footprint of the development. One of the principal benefits of a Passivhaus build is the significant reduction in energy consumption during the operating life of the structure. This will ultimately lead to reduced energy costs, heating bills, and even lower carbon emissions for the planet.

Showcasing an impressive level of airtightness, the average air test result for the 12 homes in this development came in at below 0.5 ACH. Furthermore, a Larsen truss panel (a lightweight wall extension which creates extra wall space to a house insulation) was also used in the project. It was 330mm deep with the finished wall make-up being closer to 500mm, allowing for thicker insulation.

Darren Jarman, Managing Director of Lowfield Timber Frames, commented:

“The Highfields scheme in Cardiff was just one of several Passivhaus schemes we have completed over the past two years. We now have an external wall build-up that not only meets the Passivhaus standards, but also has extremely low embodied carbon credentials.”
Darren Jarman, Managing Director of Lowfield Timber Frames

“The Highfields scheme in Cardiff was just one of several Passivhaus schemes we have completed over the past two years. We now have an external wall build-up that not only meets the Passivhaus standards, but also has extremely low embodied carbon credentials. Whilst there are other products available which will achieve the airtightness, we feel SMARTPLY AIRTIGHT is the most robust solution available and eliminates the possibility of accidental damage, resulting in a failed test.” For timber frame contractors, OSB that features integrated vapour control and air barrier properties will enable timber frame contractors to consistently achieve the stringent airtightness levels needed and create airtight, high performance building envelopes that surpass the new Future Homes Standard with ease. 

7  Structural Timber Magazine

New STE Timber Vehicle Storage Solutions

Scott Timber Engineering (STE) has unveiled a set of standardised timber vehicle storage solutions and porches, aimed at allowing housebuilders to cut down construction time and resources on-site whilst adding value to properties.

Providing alternatives to bricks and mortarbased garages and porches, the Easi-fit range comprises prefabricated components made from engineered timber which are delivered on-site to housebuilders on a just-in-time basis for rapid assembly. STE have focused on developing a set of standardised measurements and configurations that can easily be procured and incorporated into housing developments at scale.

“With Easi-Fit, we have focused on developing an attractive, practical solution for housebuilders looking to add something special to their developments,” said James Scott, Managing Director of the Scotts Group. “We’re taking advantage of timber’s suitability for offsite construction to deliver time and cost savings without compromising on quality or desirability. We are confident our solutions will add significantly to the aesthetics of any housing scheme.”

One of the additional selling points of EasiFit is sustainability replacing mortar or steel solutions for porches and garages with durable timber to help reduce carbon footprint and increase the use of natural materials.

The timber for Easi-Fit is manufactured from a range of PEFC-certified and sustainabilitysourced timbers including Redwood, Whitewood Oak, Douglas Fir, and Accoya.

James Scott continued: “Scotts recently completed our carbon footprint certification to help ensure we can maximise the low carbon benefits of timber products for our customers. For every tonne of timber used in our buildings instead of concrete, another two tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions are saved. Easi-Fit is designed to make it as easy as possible for housebuilders to replace aspects of their builds with timber, so it really is a win-win for our customers in sustainability, costs and speed of installation.”

Scotts Timbers has secured contracts with Miller Homes to deliver Easi-Fit products with several more contracts in the pipeline. All customers will be provided with on-site training to ensure Easi-fit products can be installed as efficiently as possible.

From its manufacturing centres in Thrapston and Redditch, Scotts Timber Engineering works with major volume housebuilders, specialist luxury homebuilders and other developers across the country.

It designs, manufactures, and supplies timber-engineered roof trusses, spandrel panels, metal web joists, porches and canopies, as well as car barns and carports.


Phoenix Ready to Rise

Human Nature has secured planning permission for a 685-home riverside estate known as the Phoenix. It will transform a former industrial site in Lewes, East Sussex and is set to be one of the biggest timber developments in the UK. Human Nature was founded by former Greenpeace directors Michael Manolson and Jonathan Smales.

RTE Enhancing Mass Timber Offer

Robertson Timber Engineering (RTE) has announced its boosting its timber solutions in line with customer requirements and combined net zero goals. RTE currently delivers to Scotland’s housing market and recently supplied the timber frame kit to the £27million ONE SeedPod project and Moorpark Primary School in Kilbirnie.

Beesley & Fildes Invests in New Treatment Plant

Beesley & Fildes has invested £300,000 in a new timber treatment plant at its Chester branch. The facility adds to a vast range of timber services offered across the North West. The merchant manufactures engineered timber products from its Widnes branch, including roof trusses, I-joists and Posi-joists.

BSW Chairman Tony Hackney Retires

BSW Group’s UK Chairman, Tony Hackney, has announced his plans to retire at the end of March, following a 30-year career in the timber sector. Tony has been the figurehead of BSW for more than 15 years, having joined as CEO in late 2008 and stepping into the role of UK chairman last year.

TimberTight Looks to Expand

Cleckheaton-based, TimberTight, which designs, makes and erects timber frames plans to grow its workforce and double its production capacity. The family-run business recorded 38% growth during the 12 months from October 2022 to October 2023 – an increase in turnover from £3.75million to £5.2million.

Charley Brentnall 1956-2024

A well-known and admired structural timber pioneer recently passed away. Charley Brentnall along with Roderick James were the original founders of Carpenter Oak & Woodland, that morphed into Carpenter Oak. Charley was also a co-founder of Xylotek Advanced Timber Structures, the timber specialist responsible for many cuttingedge timber projects including the demountable ABBA Arena.

8 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK Industry News


9  Structural Timber Magazine

Log House Built With 100-Year Old Douglas Fir Logs

Logs the length of a double decker bus, harvested by Forestry Land Scotland (FLS) and supplied to a specialist log cabin builder, are now being used to build a full-scale log house. The house is now being constructed by Bedrock Buildings and erection on-site is expected to begin in the early summer, on a plot of land in the village of Tomich. The finished house will use a total of 55, massive, 100-year-old Douglas Fir logs. Harvested as part of FLS’s A82 steep ground harvesting programme, (designed to remove very large old trees that are now getting too large for the landscape and causing a potential risk), the logs are now being prepared by the Bedrock Buildings team, at their workshop and yard.

The log work (peeling, scribing, cutting and assembly) takes place mostly in the workshop and yard, ahead of a short (2-3 day) assembly on site after which the roof, floors and windows are all added. While the vast majority of FLS timber is sold to a limited number of major sawmillers, who have extensive buying powers, these logs have been supplied to Ross Balharry, owner of Bedrock Buildings as part of FLS’s ‘local marketing strategy’. The strategy allows FLS to engage with SME’s and craftspeople such as furniture makers, who are looking for special timber in small quantities and who would otherwise struggle to purchase timber in the volumes FLS would usually market.

Speaking about the project, Graham Godsman, Marketing

and Sales Business Manager at Forestry and Land Scotland, said: “This is the type of initiative that FLS will be looking to support in future through our local marketing strategy; it’s important we reach out to small and medium sized businesses who may not have the capacity or resources to compete for large scale contracts or who may require to purchase niche products and species from us.”

Ross Balharry founded Bedrock Buildings in 2001 after building his first log cabin with his brother when they were teenagers. He thanked FLS for going the extra mile and being interested in what he is hoping to achieve. Ross explained: “Working with FLS and Calum Duffy has been great: knowing that the requirement was a bespoke order,

for log cabin construction, they helped to find practical solutions throughout, from order to cutting spec, purchase and collection. I was given an opportunity to view and select logs at the felling site, allowing for detailed assessment and measuring up, prior to purchase. This was a huge benefit for me with regards to planning and logistics. The current project is a log house for my mother, - a modest 100m² 1 bedroom build, with mezzanine floor and large veranda. We are still at the beginning of our journey but hope to have four full time employees by the end of the year and aim to construct 2-4 projects like this a year.”

10 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK Industry News

Deeside Timberframe Meet Increased Demand with Hundegger Investment

Responding to a surge in demand and a commitment to leading the timber frame construction industry, Deeside Timberframe has integrated the stateof-the-art Hundegger Saw into their operations.

This strategic move is designed to enhance production efficiencies, enabling the company to accommodate a growing portfolio of projects across residential, commercial, and affordable housing sectors more effectively..

This investment is part of Deeside Timberframe’s broader initiative to expand its product offerings and streamline its manufacturing processes. The introduction of the Hundegger Saw, known for its high precision and fully automatic capabilities, marks a significant step change for the company. It is a clear indicator of the intent to solidify its presence across the UK, aligning with its recent growth trajectory and ambitious expansion plans.

David Crawford, Managing Director, Deeside Timberframe, emphasised the importance of this advancement: “Integrating the Hundegger Saw into our production line is a transformative milestone. It significantly boosts our capacity, essential for keeping pace with the increasing demand. This investment not only reflects our commitment to innovation but also our dedication to delivering quality and sustainable solutions in timber frame construction.”

This collaboration between Deeside Timberframe and Hundegger exemplifies the synergy of cutting-edge technology with industry expertise to meet the evolving needs of the construction sector. It is a powerful testament to how strategic investments in technology can propel the industry forward, setting new standards for efficiency, quality, and sustainability. 



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Innovation in timber engineering

11  Structural Timber Magazine Advertorial
TD_4c_93x267+3_GB_Daniel Blades 15_03_2021.indd 1 15.03.2021 07:28:43

DC Timber Systems Awarded STA Gold Standard

DC Timber Systems, timber frame kit specialists and a division of The JR Group, has been accredited with a gold status accreditation – the highest rating which can be achieved - by the Structural Timber Association (STA), through its STA Assure scheme.

The STA Assure membership and quality standards program, is designed to benefit both customers and members alike, promoting the differing specialisms and demonstrating a commitment

to the exceptionally top-level standards held by STA members.

The Gold standard is awarded to businesses who can ensure a consistently high quality of structural timber products and offers complete customer assurance in the construction, offsite build and timber frame build sectors.

This is the second accreditation assigned to DC Timber Systems from the STA since its creation in 2020, when they were previously awarded the silver standard, demonstrating that the business

has successfully showcased its commitment towards the highest quality output possible. Based in Dundonald in Ayrshire it specialises in the design and manufacture of structural and full timber frame kits throughout Scotland and the UK.

Ian Samson, managing director of DC Timber Systems, said: “We are delighted to be awarded the highest possible status from the Structural Timber Association, it is a step forward for DC Timber as a company. This accreditation reflects the hard work of the team

in-house in delivering quality procedures, management systems and product performance as well maintaining the high standards already achieved by us.

“Our gold standard demonstrates our calibre and expertise to the market and offers complete reassurance for our customers. We’re hugely grateful for our workforce on operating consistently at this high level to help us achieve this as a team.”

12 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK Industry News

Timber Industry Will Spearhead Key Government Policy

Working in partnership, the Structural Timber Association, Timber Development UK and the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor) have been appointed joint Secretariat of the Government’s Timber in Construction (TiC) Policy Roadmap working group, in a bid to expedite delivery of this critical industry plan.

The TiC roadmap – published by DEFRA in December last year – is the culmination of many months of collaboration between Government and industry and sets out a framework for increasing the use of timber in construction. Having already worked together as key contributors to the development of the policy document, the three organisations are well placed to bring their shared expertise to its execution. All three organisations were integral to the creation of the policy roadmap and collectively represent the full spectrum of timber industries.

Crucially, the Secretariat role will be tasked with leading the development and implementation of solid plans to deliver each of the seven key priorities identified within the roadmap, which cover demand, supply, building safety, labour and skills, carbon, insurance, and innovation.

Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association, commented:

“I am pleased that DEFRA has recognised the importance of ‘boots on the ground’ expertise and has given us this vital opportunity to shape delivery of such a key piece of policy. Drawing on the combined experience and practical knowledge each organisation brings to the table, we have an exciting part to play in driving these policy goals forwards – turning aspirations into action. Through


the Secretariat role, we also hope to bring other Government bodies and stakeholders together to support and accelerate the roadmap’s implementation, which is crucial to ensuring the UK stays on track to meet our legally binding climate commitments.”

13  Structural Timber Magazine
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Industry News

CCG Celebrates 50 Years of ‘Building Futures’

Glasgow construction and manufacturing group CCG is proud to announce its 50th anniversary in 2024, marking five decades of innovation across the Scottish construction sector.

Founded in 1974 as a small heating and plumbing contractor, CCG has grown into a full-service construction and manufacturing company, one of the largest of its kind in the country, with 738 dedicated employees deployed across eight, fully integrated divisions.

The Group’s annual turnover for construction now exceeds £240million with 90% of business being the delivery of mixed-tenure housing. To commemorate this significant milestone, CCG’s Board of Directors – Alastair Wylie, Chairman and CEO, Bernard Rooney, Financial Director, Managing Director, David Wylie, and Directors Calum Murray, Stephen Ruxton, John Baggley, and Graeme Wylie – were pictured together at the company headquarters in Cambuslang.

Alastair Wylie, who has been CEO since 1994, said: “As we reflect on this remarkable half-century, CCG stands tall as an industry leader—a testament to resilience, adaptability, and unwavering commitment to construction. The Scottish construction landscape has shifted, but alongside our peers, we continue to deliver in the face of ever-changing economic conditions.

“Our own success has been achieved with a clear strategy of investment in our products and people and as we stand here today at our headquarters in the Cambuslang Investment Park which we built 23 years ago, I am immensely proud of our continued, sustainable growth and am thankful for the support of our employees, partners and clients.”

CCG operates principally as a main contractor for new housebuilding with over 2,500 mixed-tenure homes currently on-site across the Central Belt however the majority of projects are now supported by a wide range of additional, in-house services.

The company’s offering includes the manufacture of timber systems and window and doorsets, main utilities, M&E and renewables as well as flooring installation, and plumbing and joinery trades. An entire division dedicated to the planned maintenance of occupied homes under tenancy of RSL’s and councils also forms a large part of the firm’s operations alongside CCG Homes, the firm’s private housing division which is currently marketing two

developments in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

CCG Managing Director David Wylie has been with the Group for 25 years and credits the continued support and investment of the Board for positioning the business as an industry leader for sustainable housing delivery across the country. He said: “The CCG Group is uniquely placed to address Scotland’s housebuilding and sustainability targets because of our Board’s ongoing commitment to reinvest. The catalyst for developing our product offering began fourteen years ago when we opened CCG Offsite Manufacturing (OSM): a £12million facility that uses a mix of craftmanship and automation to design and fabricate closed panel timber systems.

“It is a more efficient way of constructing new homes and buildings and it has been the blueprint for CCG ever since. We now integrate these timber systems with our own products and once we reach the site, we have our own construction teams to ensure delivery, offering a ‘whole’ service unlike anything in the Scotland.”

Alongside innovation in construction, CCG places a strong emphasis on its people. The company is well known for its approach to youth employment and skills development, something that is evident across its workforce with 55 trade and modern apprentices, 12 trainees, and 25% of all staff aged under 28.

14 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK Industry News
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Kirkwood Timber Frame Appoints Two New Directors

Aberdeenshire-based Kirkwood Timber Frame has appointed Barbara Massie as business development director and promoted Steven Robbie to technical director designate, following its commitment to expanding its market share and driving advancement to modern methods of construction (MMC).

Leveraging its state-of-theart facility and innovative build systems – including open panel, closed panel, and floor and roof cassettes – the company aims to play a key role in shaping the future of the timber frame industry in the UK.

Barbara Massie, with over 19 years of experience in the construction industry, has established valuable connections and acquired extensive expertise.

She held key roles such as regional director at NorDan UK and trading director for North England and Scotland at Travis Perkins PLC, with a focus on company growth and future development. With a passion for creating vision and strategy, Barbara is joining the team to drive Kirkwood Timber Frame’s market share growth in the UK. Her focus will be on cultivating customer partnerships, building relationships, and ensuring the company remains a leading solution provider.

Barbara commented:

“Throughout my construction career, I have always had a passion for timber frame, and I have followed the growth of Kirkwood Timber Frame as well as celebrated its successes along the way. My primary focus is to deliver strong results and

adapt to the ongoing challenges and shifts within the industry. I am dedicated to promoting, developing, and establishing Kirkwood Timber Frame as a market leader in modern methods of construction (MMC) in both Scotland and England.”

In a significant achievement, Steven Robbie has also been promoted to technical director designate, marking his first directorial role. Joining Kirkwood Timber Frame in 2021 as a technical manager, Steven’s 24 years of experience position him as a vital asset to the company. This promotion reflects Kirkwood Timber Frame’s dedication to nurturing talent and growing its internal expertise. With a critical focus on training and mentoring, Steven’s role will enhance the capabilities of the team, utilising Kirkwood Timber Frame’s

automated production facility to drive efficiencies and contribute to the company’s overall growth.

Managing director of Kirkwood Timber Frame, Malcolm Thomson, emphasised the significance of these appointments, stating: “The new appointments are pivotal for Kirkwood Timber Frame as we expand the business and support the government’s roadmap towards promoting timber as a critical building material and achieving net zero. Timber and offsite manufacturing will play a crucial role in sustainable building, and the growth opportunities here are incredible, supported by Barbara and Steven in their new roles.”

L-R Steven Robbie, Malcolm Thomson, Barbara Massie.

16 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK Industry News
 Structural Timber Magazine
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Available in 25mm x 38mm / 50mm 01623 446 800 | SRTA0324 V1 | © SR Timber 2024. All rights reserved. The information contained in this document is believed to be correct at the date of publication. Images shown are for illustration purposes only Did you know SR Timber can also supply... Cedar Shingles OSB Graded Carcassing Don’t forget to protect your batten end cuts with... BATTEN SHIELD n Makes batten cut ends complaint with BS 5534 n Prevents water damage n 0% VOCs * Relevant standards: BS 8417:2011 (Preservation of Timber) and BS 5534:2014+A2:2018 *Third party accreditation regularly audited by CATG (UKAS Accredited) to ensure continued and consistent application of British Standards. THE FUTURE IS GOLDEN! WITH PREMIUM GOLD BATTEN
roofing battens n

TDUK Data Highlight Positive Timber

Despite the challenging end to 2023 seen across the construction sector, timber import volumes for the year were actually higher in three of the six product groups, with softwood imports in 2023 just outperforming the volumes seen in 2022 with growth of 0.8%.

Overall, the volume of the main imported timber and panel products ended 2023 a little lower than in 2022, down by 2.2% on the previous 12 months.

The main timber and panel products sectors saw mixed fortunes throughout 2023. After a slow start, softwood imports gained impetus in the second half, to end the year 1% higher. Hardwood, plywood, particleboard and engineered wood products imports were all lower in 2023, but OSB import volumes were significantly higher (up 19.4%) and MDF volumes, too, were 2.2% higher than in 2022.

Volumes in the first half of 2023 trailed those seen during 2022, but modest improvements in the second half of the year made up for much of this lost volume. The scale of the cumulative deficit of all import volumes in 2023 compared to 2022 reduced each month starting from the middle of the year, until the final month when December brought weaker volumes across the board than were seen in December 2022.

Import volumes in the final quarter of 2023 were 1% below the same quarter in 2022. Crucially, the four quarters of 2023 saw a greater stability return to the market, with substantially less volatility in imposrts compared to each of the four quarters of 2020, 2021 and 2022, during which time the timber market fluctuated significantly.

TDUK Head of Technical and Trade, Nick Boulton, said: “Now that we have the full import data for 2023, we can take a longer-term

view of the import performances right across the main timber and panel products sectors. Despite a difficult year in 2023, the growth path for nearly all timber and panel products remains positive.

“As we move into 2024, the outlook for the timber sector is cautiously optimistic for the rest of this year, with indications of modest growth to come as the UK economy begins to recover

Glidevale Protect Supports Zero Carbon Concept House

Glidevale Protect has supplied two of its market leading wall construction membranes for use at the Vistry Innovation Centre – a unique new concept house built in timber frame that signposts the products and technologies which will support the housebuilding industry on the road to net zero.

Developed by housebuilder Vistry Group, the new Vistry Innovation Centre features a flagship property that relies on a fabric first approach mixed with a range of cutting-edge technologies needed to create the homes of the future. Glidevale Protect supplied a combination of its low emissivity products - Protect TF200 Thermo external wall breather membrane and the air and vapour control layer Protect VC Foil Ultra for the internal walls of the concept home.

Both membranes feature a high-quality reflective surface with strong aged thermal resistance that is designed to prevent heat loss, and when used together as a system, they are particularly effective at maximising thermal efficiency. With the two products having recently received independently verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), they are ideally suited for use in the next generation of low carbon homes.

Glidevale Protect is one of a number of innovative product manufacturers to support Vistry Group in the creation of this important

from the technical recession we experienced at the end of 2023. The ability of timber products to weather the instability and adverse influences of the first three years of the 2020’s and emerge with virtually all products remaining on a positive growth path is a testament to the strength and resilience of the UK timber industry.”

research facility, having worked closely with leading builders’ merchant Jewson, one of the main sponsors on this project, in the supply of its construction membranes.

Jack Brayshaw, Head of Technical Innovation at Vistry Group commented: “Collaboration and support from our supply chain partners has been an integral part of the development of the Vistry Innovation Centre as we brought together more than 50 individual suppliers. The Centre is designed to pave the way for creating ‘next generation’, future-proofed homes so it was crucial to design and develop the property with the most energy efficient products available built on the foundation of a fabric first approach. The products and materials installed at the centre not only work well individually but together provide a holistic, whole house solution and we are pleased to include Glidevale Protect’s construction membranes in this project.”

Located at Vistry Works East Midlands, the housebuilder’s timber frame construction factory in Leicestershire, the Vistry Innovation Centre has been constructed using 18 different trades and 54 suppliers, featuring over 100 different products and smart technologies.

18 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK Industry News

Innovative Thinking –Revolutionary Technologies

OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION WEEK shines a spotlight on the transformative digital, material and manufacturing innovations that are advancing the design and application of offsite construction processes.

Become a Host and Run Your Own EventWe Can Help!

If you would like to host an event of your own during Offsite Construction Week* we can utilise our platforms to promote your events.

To give you inspiration, events can include:







... just as long as you are talking about offsite technology!

* We recommend avoiding the 17 & 18 September due to major industry events taking place

All events during OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION WEEK are FREE to attend

Contact the team on 01743 290001 or


19  Structural Timber Magazine

DTS Secures CHIC Framework for Timber Frame

Leading UK offsite timber frame manufacturer, Donaldson Timber Systems (DTS), has been appointed to the Communities and Housing Investment Consortium’s (CHIC) Newbuild Development Framework.

As part of CHIC’s new eight-year framework, DTS will sit on the ‘MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) Manufacturer – Frame & Panel’ workstream, delivering timber frame and panels across the UK to create modular new-build homes. The design, manufacture, and installation of timber frame wall panel building systems will meet build speed, fabric performance, building design, and cost requirements.

With a fabric-first approach that achieves net zero operational carbon, DTS’ timber systems will create sustainable, resilient homes that meet the Future Homes Standard 2025.

The CHIC Newbuild Development Framework aspires to establish a new Gold Standard development framework to offer solutions for

development and regeneration schemes of all types and sizes across the UK. As well as a route to market for members, CHIC intends to establish a ‘Framework Core Group’ that shares learning, understanding and ideas and promotes standardisation and collaboration. DTS was involved in competitive tenders based on CHIC’s standard house types and a wide range of rates for all other work. In total, the CHIC framework totals £3.16 billion.

Gemma Darroch, National Partnerships Manager from Donaldson Timber Systems said: “We’re really pleased to have been named as one of the long-term contracts on the CHIC Newbuild Development Framework. For decades we have been championing offsite timber frame systems, which use innovative and sustainable technologies and play a key role in meeting the energy requirements of new homes. We’re proud to be promoting this further via this framework over the coming years.”

Sarah Davey, CHIC’s Head of Development added: “We are excited to have Donaldson Timber

Systems on CHIC’s Newbuild Framework. They will be an instrumental part in helping our members deliver their newbuild development efficiently setting a gold standard for the industry.”

Last year, DTS became one of the first manufacturers to achieve Buildoffsite Property Assurance Scheme Plus (BOPAS Plus) in recognition of the quality and durability of its offsite build systems. With DTS’ state-of-theart open and closed panelised systems – Alpha, Delta, and Sigma ll – works can still be carried out on-site, ensuring that social value potential is reached within the communities served.

The Sigma II closed panel systems offer near-Passivhaus standards of performance and sustainability. The system is being widely used with housing developers, particularly with those driven by whole life costs and fabric performance, contributing positively to fuel poverty challenges.

20 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK Industry News

Deltabeam®: Longer Spans & Open Spaces

Hopealaakso Kindergarten is currently being built in Helsinki, Finland with a frame made of mass timber elements and DELTABEAM®.

The developer of the kindergarten, the City of Helsinki, organised a design and build competition. The frame solution was not specified so each participant suggested a frame of their choice. The winner was decided on price, architecture and environmental issues.

“It became clear that we were the only one of the four finalists to offer a timber-structured option,” recalls Project Manager Janne Manninen. “We assume that a timber-framed option was not more expensive to build than concrete, even though weather protection was included in the tender.”

As the aim of the frame solution was to achieve long spans, open spaces, and slim floors, the DELTABEAM® was a conscious choice. “We used DELTABEAM® to make full-height cross laminated timber (CLT) elements work as floorheight walls. This kept the number of elements and joints much smaller,” adds Janne Manninen.

According to Puurakentajat Rakennus Oy – the sub-contractor for the frame – the hybrid frame solution works well. “When erecting the

DELTABEAM® enables open spaces and slim floors with timber slabs

DELTABEAM® Composite Beam allows combining a renewable and ecological material, wood, with two of the strongest materials, steel and concrete. DELTABEAM® is an excellent solution for creating a slim floor structure with wooden slabs.

DELTABEAM® allows architectural freedom

Open spaces with minimum columns

A smooth ceiling allows straight and easy HVAC installations

Flexible layout and floor plan over the entire life cycle of the building

Integrated fireproofing

Fast and safe erection process

frame, the composite beams were mounted on the walls and screwed on. Using wood beams would have left much less room for technical installations,” explains Jyrki Huttunen, CEO of Puurakentajat Rakennus Oy. Another bonus, the timber-concrete intermediate floor provides sound insulation especially suitable for kindergartens.

Puurakentajat used DELTABEAM® for the first time at the Hopealaakso site. The designs had been done so well that there were no problems during the installation. “They are certainly easy to install at the site, since the requirements of building technology have been taken into consideration as regards perforations, for example,” says Jyrki Huttunen. Both Huttunen and Manninen’s future construction sites in Helsinki at Pakilanpuisto school and Verkkosaari kindergarten will be constructed with the same concept. 

21  Structural Timber Magazine
.uk o.c w w i .

New-look Posi Span Calculator Gets Technical Upgrade

As the uptake of Posi-Joists grows in the UK and Ireland, MiTek has expanded its Posi Span Calculator to help specifiers generate more detailed data. What’s changed and how does it work?

The adoption of Posi-Joists is on an upward trajectory in the UK and Ireland construction sector. Specifiers looking for solutions to help meet the demands of The Future Homes Standard for newbuilds are adopting the versatility and flexibility Posi-Joists offer. Ideal for supporting the integration of services like MVHR, Posi-Joists also offer a lightweight but strong joist option for wide spans, and are precision engineered offsite. In 2022 Posi-Joist and connector plates were Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) verified for the UK market, which quantified the environmental credentials of both products.

On the back of the product’s continued growth and development, MiTek has upgraded its Posi Span Calculator, ( to make it easier for specifiers to integrate Posi-Joists into their designs. Building on the existing calculator, architects, self-builders and engineers, for example, can now use it to get an instant idea of whether Posi-Joists are right for their project. And, if they are, what technical specs and quantities they’ll need to support the design.

Select your spec, step-by-step

The calculator has been re-designed as a simple to use step-by-step tool. Users will need to select the required joist application, either floor, flat or pitched roof, choose from a list of pre-defined loading configurations, specify the overall length of the joist(s) and the maximum required joist depth. A range of options are then presented, that provides the required information for specification purposes.

“We know the popularity of Posi-Joists continues to grow and we want to help facilitate the interest,” says Adam Williams, Director of Technical and Engineering Services at MiTek UK and Ireland.

 The Posi Span Calculator allows users to input measurements and choose from a list of pre-defined configurations to generate the required information needed for their specifications

 The adoption of Posi-Joists is on an upward trajectory in the UK and Ireland.

“Upgrading our calculator in the way we have, now gives specifiers the opportunity to identify what products they need themselves. Created by MiTek’s in-house expert design team, thousands of combinations are fed into the calculator to give optimum results for the end user who can then go away with the results and reach out to a manufacturer, armed with information to get them started.”

Once the details have been generated, specifiers can use the ‘Find a manufacturer’ tool on the Posi Span Calculator homepage to search for local timber manufacturing companies to contact and start the PosiJoist journey. If the measurements needed are outside the parameters of the Posi Span Calculator, then the design team at MiTek are available and can help generate specifications for you. 

The new-look and upgraded Posi Span Calculator is now available to use – start generating your specifications today. The MiTek design team can help with the most complex of projects. Contact them at: or call 01384 451408. More at

22 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK
Building Products
 Structural Timber Magazine






Andrew Carpenter, Board MemberConfederation of Timber Industries



David Hopkins, Chief Executive OfficerTimber Development UK

Government Timber in Construction Working Group


Alex Goodfellow, Chief Executive Officer - Donaldson Offsite

Is Now the Time for Timber?




Building Safety and the Impact of the Building Safety Act

Tim Galloway, Deputy Director Building Safety ProgrammeHealth & Safety Executive

Kelly Harrison, Director - Whitby Wood

Andrew Orriss, Chief Operating Officer - Structural Timber Association





David Lomax, Associate Director - Waugh Thistleton Architects and Duncan Walters, Director - Eckersley O’Callaghan

A Case Study on The Black & White Building

Alex Brock, Pre-Construction Manager - B&K Structures, Ross Barrett, Design Director - HLM Architects, Steve Peet, Associate Engineer - Engenuiti

A Case Study on National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS)

In partnership with:

24 Structural
Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK

12:50 Steve Wilkinson, Associate - James Gorst Architects

A Case Study on New Temple Complex

13:10 Tim Snelson, Structural Engineer - Arup

A Case Study on Sky Pavilion

13:30 Krzysztof Marcinkiewicz, Associate Director - Heyne Tillett Steel and Lucas Lawrence, Company Director - Studio Egret West

A Case Study on The Arbour, Brent Cross




15:00 Chris Gaze, Sustainability Consultant - Structural Timber Association

Timber Construction and Whole Life Carbon

15:20 PANEL DEBATE: Building a Circular Economy with Timber

Philippa Birch-Wood, Local Network CoordinatorUK Green Building Council

Kirsten Haggart, Associate Director - Waugh Thistleton Architects

Charlie Law, Founder & Managing Director - Sustainable Construction Solutions

15:40 Jess Hrivnak, Sustainable Development Adviser - RIBA

Will We Look Back in 2050 and Ask What Went Wrong?

16:00 Finbar Charleson, dRMM

Home-grown Timber, Markets and Opportunities




Now is the time to align with industry leaders and strengthen your supply chain, as we ask ‘what next’ for structural timber construction. To learn more about the exhibition & sponsorship opportunities, please contact Karen Cox on 01743 290014 or email WWW.STRUCTURALTIMBERCONFERENCE.CO.UK

Timber Magazine

25  Structural

Make Double Capacity a Reality

How do you double your manufacturing capacity without increasing your overheads? This isn’t a trick question with machinery specialist Weinig working with industry partners to prove exactly what can be achieved.

Areal-life example is with London-based external joinery company, Stanbrook & Nicholson. Its recent investment in a Conturex Artis+ CNC single component production system from Weinig has seen the ambitious company introduce new revenue streams and have the capability to complete orders five times larger than ever before.

“In 2010, our company changed direction to become a specialist in external joinery,” says Ben Stanbrook, Director of Stanbrook & Nicholson. “It was at this point we bought our first window line. Since then, the goal has been to own a single component machine that could produce our complete product portfolio – reducing production times and increasing capacity without upping labour costs. In 2022, we found ourselves running at maximum capacity. We knew it was time to put our plans into action.”

In need of a machine that could produce any window component and automatically switch to another in direct sequence while offering zero change-over time on all parts (including profiles and ancillary operations), Ben and his business partner, Simon Nicholson, started investigating Weinig’s offering.

“We’d heard about the Conturex but we presumed it would be out of our financial reach,” says Ben. “Weinig are well known for installing multi-million pound window and door lines into large-scale manufacturing facilities. We didn’t realise a machine like the Conturex

 With a maximum tool diameter of 340mm and tool weight up to 12kg, the Conturex allows for mortise and tenon joints to be created with absolute precision

 The Conturex offer complete and precise machining in one clamping process thanks to its patented RePos clamping table

26 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK

would be attainable for a smaller manufacturer like us. When comparing the Conturex to other machines on the market, we knew we were looking at a completely different animal and incorporating this machine into our production would put us on a footing with the big guys.”

Before investing in the Conturex, Stanbrook & Nicolson would batch its machining. “We offer a wide range of products – from windows and doors to roof lanterns and by-fold doors – so our orders are often compiled of multiple parts. Batching items meant we’d be grouping different orders together and having to wait for other parts to be machined before we could complete an order. It made production planning more challenging, often leaving us paying overtime to get jobs done more quickly.

“We’d use a cross-cut saw to start with and move the pieces onto our window line to complete the inner profiles. Then we’d glue up and use a CNC to do the outer profiles. We’d also need to hand finish each piece before painting it. It was a slow process that left room for error and material damages.”

With a three or four-axis 30kW main shaft, profiling on the Conturex can be carried out in a single step, eliminating the need for a CNC and a dedicated operator. “Now, pieces go from the cross-cut saw directly onto the Conturex Artix+ before being painted. We no longer need two people running each machine. One person can now oversee the machining and also have time to support the team in the assembly area. Overtime is a thing of the past, too.”

Adaptive tooling has played a key part in the company’s production figures. Ben explains: “We worked closely with Oertli Tooling to create a tooling solution that would help us get the most out of the Conturex, which included duplicating tooling to speed up production. This has made a huge impact on the time it takes to machine different profiles and the fast rpm on the Conturex offers a much cleaner cut, which means less finishing.”

This has reflected on the company’s order book: “Not only can we confidently work on orders five times bigger than we could before, but we can also incorporate smaller, one-off items into our production schedules thanks to the machine’s quick and easy set-up. We no longer have to wait for a large batch to be completed before we can start work on it or halt production while we manually set-up the machine for a specific order. In fact, it’s so easy to work variations into our production that we now offer an express service to customers.”

The benefits of virtually unlimited design options and quick, precise machining have led to updates in the company’s portfolio. “We’ve change from externally glazed to internally glazed designs and introduced new products, including the Heritage Slim Light – a

 As it doesn’t rely on any jigs or fixtures, the Conturex can go from any one window component to another in direct sequence

 The Conturex performs five operations in one, replacing the need for several machines, including a drilling machine, mortising machine and/or CNC

traditional sliding sash window that features individual panes of glass. To do this the old way, it would have been painfully slow and unviable financially.”

Ben concludes: “It’s clear to us that the Conturex can double our capacity and we’re expecting to see a return on investment almost immediately. We were maxed out with a turnover of £2-2.5million each year. Thanks to the introduction of the Conturex, we now have the capabilities to reach upwards of £5million per year without any additional staff, bigger premises or more machinery. Our next job is to feed the beast and win larger contracts. Having this kit in our industry sets us at a new level and we’re already feeling the buzz around it. It’s a really exciting time for us and we’re looking forward to the next chapter in our story.” 

“When comparing the Conturex to other machines on the market, we knew we were looking at a completely different animal and incorporating this machine into our production would put us on a footing with the big guys.”
Ben Stanbrook, Director of Stanbrook & Nicholson
27  Structural Timber Magazine

Healthy Buildings: Healthy Planet

Over 150 delegates from across the construction sector attended the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) Healthy Buildings conference recently, which this year focused on biodiversity, forestry and health and wellbeing.

One of the reasons people want to commission, design and occupy buildings made with timber is the way wood links us back to nature. The links between timber and nature were a big theme at this years’ conference plus how expanding the use of timber and more bio-based materials across the built environment, can deliver against the core principles of the circular economy.

Giving a keynote talk, DEFRA’s Deputy Director for Trees, Woodlands and Forestry, Bella Murfin, was clear that that the use of timber in construction was good for nature. Referencing the UK Government’s Timber in Construction Roadmap, she outlined the importance of forests and trees for nature and the climate and how the Environment Act is targeting an increase in tree cover in England to 16.5% by 2050.

Ms Murfin challenged the construction industry – particularly in England – to use more timber, pointing out the contrast between England, where timber frame is used in only 9% of newbuild and Scotland, where the figure is 92%. She added that timber construction

 St Mary’s Primary, Derby, the UK’s first biophilic school. Courtesy Hawkins/ Brown/Matthew Ling

 This was the ASBP’s eighth annual conference

can cut embodied carbon by around 60% - as was demonstrated in calculations carried out for one of the ASBP award-winning projects showcased on the day. Goldfinch Create and Play, a cafe and art space in Bristol used timber throughout. Analysis showed the whole life carbon came in lower than the RIBA 2030 climate challenge levels.

Bella Murfin also supported the greater requirement for design for deconstruction and re-use. Two of the day’s ASBP prize winners were doing exactly this. The Initiative Category People’s Prize winner Brittany Harris explained: “One of the major obstacles to reusing materials is just knowing where everything is.” Its Qflow materials tracking system creates an electronic record of material flows on and off construction sites, making the reuse of materials much more practicable.

Another ASBP People’s prize winner in the Product Category was the timber-and hemp-based ADEPT modular construction system that goes even further to facilitate deconstruction. The panelised system uses timber with a hemp-based insulation. This fits together with removable timber pegs and tongue and groove fixings so that it can be disassembled easily.

28 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK
ASBP  p30
29  Structural Timber Magazine ASBP
“Architects should think about the implications of their design decisions – go beyond just ‘timber is good’ and think ‘are we enhancing the forest’?”
Jez Ralph, Director of forestry consultancy Evolving Forests

Crawford Wright, Head of Architecture for Schools and Colleges at the Department for Education (DfE), spoke passionately about how important interactions with nature are. “This was really brought home during the pandemic. The impacts of COVID-19 on the mental health of children and young people are still being felt. While we can’t fix that, exploring the potential of biophilic schools – schools that bring students and nature close together – felt like something DfE architects could contribute.”

Crawford Wright’s team at DfE, working with the University of Derby, gathered research and information on biophilic architecture, and this led to the design and construction of St Mary’s Primary School, Derby using a SIP panel design and is the UK’s first purpose built biophilic primary school. The aim of the school design is to create an accessible landscape where planting is brought close to the buildings, to offer play, adventure

 Harris Academy, Sutton. The timberbuilt school was visited by DEFRA minister Rebecca Pow along with Bella Murfin, describing it as ‘a wonderful school, beautiful and practical’. Courtesy Architype

 The ADEPT demountable construction system is a teaching space at Aldershot Construction College. Courtesy Natural Building Systems

and sanctuary. “The entire external setting encourages nature connectedness.” The school is also acting as a testbed, with intensive research into the experience and impact on students and staff.

The use of more broadleaf timber in construction could also support more biodiverse forests. Jez Ralph, Director of forestry consultancy Evolving Forests stressed the value of mixing tree species in planting, not just to benefit the many species that live in woodland, but to protect the forest itself and offer a fresh resource for construction to utilise.

“Construction is very focused on uniformity,” he said. “But a uniform age, single species stand is not ecologically robust. Climate change means more storms and more disease – what if spruce gets a disease? It’s high risk to have very few species.” Jez Ralph hopes for more use of UK grown broadleaf timber in construction, for example thermally modified poplar and sycamore that are compliant with structural requirements, saying: “Architects should think about the implications of their design decisions – go beyond just ‘timber is good’ and think ‘are we enhancing the forest’?”

The day ended with the announcement of the winners of the sixth annual ASBP Awards. All attendees had the opportunity to vote for their favourite entry in the Project, Product and Initiative categories of the awards, following short presentations from the nine finalists. At the evening awards ceremony and drinks reception hosted by ASBP board member Alex Sparrow, the winners of the Judges’ Award, decided following a series of site visits and interviews, and the People’s Prize were announced. The inaugural winner of a new award, created in memory of Neil May who helped set up ASBP and many other sustainability organisations, was presented to Richard Oxley. 

For more information:

30 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK

Glidevale Protect Publishes Key EPDs

Leading UK building products manufacturer Glidevale Protect has published third party, independently verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for three of its construction wall membranes to assist specifiers by providing clear sustainability and life cycle assessment data.

Created by One Click LCA and verified by the EPD Hub in accordance with EN 15804+A2 & ISO 14025/ISO 21930, the product and factory specific EPDs do not contain average calculations and have been assessed cradle to gate with modules A1-A3, C1-C4 and D, with the life cycle analysis (LCA) published in accordance with the reference standards ISO 14040/14044. Detailing key environment impact data including global warming potential (GWP) calculations as well as total energy and water use, the EPDs form a transparent analysis of each product’s carbon footprint to give full reassurance in specification.

The development of EPDs for Protect TF200 Thermo, Protect VC Foil Ultra and Protect TF200 demonstrates Glidevale Protect’s continued commitment to and investment in sustainability. Protect TF200 Thermo is a reflective breather membrane for external walls which can enhance thermal performance and Protect VC Foil Ultra, a reflective

air and vapour control layer (AVCL), offers low emissivity to enhance the thermal performance of internal walls, ceilings and floors. Both can be used together as a system to help maximise the energy efficiency rating of a building and control condensation risk. Protect TF200 is a high-performance breather membrane, offering protection to external walls and minimising the risk of interstitial condensation.

Detailed EPDs help specifiers to understand a product’s sustainability credentials when working to more stringent regulations such as Building Regulations Part L as well as whole building environmental assessment standards like BREEAM. EPDs quantifiably demonstrate the environmental impact of a product and data is independently verified and certified in line with internationally recognised standards, focused on the product’s whole life cycle. 

31  Structural Timber Magazine
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Balancing Conservation With Refurbishment

Newson’s Yard is a high-profile design hub featuring top end retail outlets and eateries, located in a reimagined former timber yard set amidst the famous Pimlico Road Design District. At the core of the development is a mass timber solution.

Created as a mainly residential extension to Belgravia, the Pimlico district of South-West London is known for its garden squares and Regency architecture, being designated a conservation area in 1968. As befits a former timber yard, timber was a key material for this imaginative refurbishment scheme, and B&K Structures (BKS) – a leading exponent of mass timber and structural steel packages – were instrumental in the delivery of Newson’s Yard.

Newson’s Yard has been developed by Grosvenor, with Stiff + Trevillion as architect and Heyne Tillett Steel (HTS) appointed as structural engineer. BKS provided the offsite-manufactured, hybrid steel and engineered timber package, including the use of cross laminated timber (CLT) panels, which formed part of the new internal structure and created an extensive mezzanine level, which stands at the heart of the development’s identity and commercial success.

Design expertise helped address the technical challenges associated with the heavy refurbishment work of Newson’s Yard. Rob Mills of HTS explained: “We were involved in a very detailed survey of the building prior to beginning the design work, which showed the old timbers were actually in quite good

  The use of CLT has given the development a gigantic sustainability boost

condition, but the task of incorporating them, and the retained brickwork, into the new structure was extremely complex. Part of the reason we were able to employ a CLT solution was its inherent fire resistance. Each of the units has its own means of escape so we were only required to achieve 30 minutes protection across the mezzanine: which we could justify with the charring characteristic of the CLT and therefore, installing fire sprinklers was unnecessary.”

“From design to manufacturing, transportation and on-site installation, the team used the latest digital tools collaboratively to ensure the project’s speedy and accurate construction. Prefabricated timber panels meant that all elements and connections were able to be fitted offsite and erected very quickly.”

32 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK
Mass Timber

Sustainability was a heavily emphasised requirement for the project. As such, developers opted for offsite mass timber due to its sustainability benefits and its well-recognised structural capabilities. However, loadbearing requirements sometimes require timber to be married with stronger construction materials – primarily steel – to match specific demands. In the case of Newson’s Yard, a hybrid offsite solution in the form of structural steelwork supporting 700 m2 of CLT floor slabs and the retained frame of the Victorian building, proved the ideal combination.

Michael Polack, Technical Manager at B&K Structures, said: “BKS designed the timber and steel connections. The cantilevering internal balconies, and restrictions on loading of the existing masonry piers, led to the challenge of high moments on the CLT to steel connections. This challenge was overcome by using shot fired connections which optimised constructability on-site.”

Just as important was the conservation of the timber yard’s aesthetic, meaning that a totally bespoke design was required. The inclusion of CLT panels for the floor slabs brings several aesthetic benefits to the project, with the new tenants choosing to keep the visual appeal of exposed timber, rather than lining the units. In fact, the designers specified ‘Industrial Visual’ grade CLT slabs, which means the CLT is of a high enough visual quality to be left exposed, which suits the ambience of the former timber yard and offers a long, robust working lifetime.

The supply chain for Newson’s Yard including BKS used interoperable Industry 3D modelling to identify clashes and understand how the CLT had to be installed before optimised production began. Collaboration between all parties on the project was facilitated by the digital design software, making time and cost savings and offering the most up-to-date information available. BKS Operations Manager, Craig Robinson, added: “From design to manufacturing, transportation and on-site installation, the team used the latest digital tools collaboratively to ensure the project’s speedy and accurate construction. Prefabricated timber panels meant that all elements and connections were able to be fitted offsite and erected very quickly.”

The use of a prefabricated mass timber system had inherent time-saving benefits that cut on-site prelims and supervision cost by 20% and overall construction time by 25-30% compared to traditional construction for this contract’s build phase. Due to the precision cut nature of the CLT, defects and snagging were minimised, helping to increase the reliability of the handover date. 

33  Structural Timber Magazine
Mass Timber National Conference Centre Birmingham NEW ENTR Y PLATFORM NOW OPEN DEADLINE 21.06.24

Energy Efficiency and Elegance

A contemporary take on a Derbyshire Longhouse has delivered a beautifully designed, location considerate, multigenerational house using SIP panels to deliver high energy efficiency.

The Derbyshire countryside is traditionally windy with undulating hills scattered with farms and buildings that have a similarity about them. A shape that is long and follows the lines of the hills – the Longhouse is a venerable type of building which dates back thousands of years.

City dwellers Mike and Sarah bought an 18.5-acre small holding in the Derbyshire dales to live a very different life. Planning history for the site showed 26 previous residential planning applications for the farm – all of which had been refused. The only real route for them to get planning permission was through a special section of the planning regulations called ‘paragraph 80’ – it had to be a house of exceptional architectural quality that could only be built in the landscape surrounding it, so it becomes part of the landscape.

After two years, approval was granted and a 21st century interpretation of a Derbyshire long house – a series of interconnected spaces arranged in a line is an award-winning triumph. The steel frame structure is clad in SIPs with a complex roof orientation and includes 500sq m of living space. The spacious open planned living quarters, kitchen sitting room and a double height dining room all with breathtaking views of the Derbyshire Dales.

The issues faced by the site were numerous, building to near Passivhaus standards, a roof that mirrored many roof planes and the

 The building is a modern, multigenerational home inspired by Derbyshire traditions. Courtesy Lomas Mitchell Architects/SIP Build UK

need to transport all the building elements down a track no wider than 3.5m.

Offsite construction was an obvious choice with the steel frame manufactured offsite and erected on-site and SIP panels using factory precision and cut into small pieces, helped transport down the narrow track to site.

34 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK

The steel supplier was chosen due to proximity and the flexible nature of their ability to work closely with the architectural team and the SIP provider: SIP Build UK (SBUK). SBUK were chosen after much deliberation, the rationale being the internal quality systems and the fact that SIP cladding is one of the businesses particular strengths. From the beginning it was obvious that this was no ordinary project. Every roof plane was a different size and angle. Over 120 different panels made up the roof and all were cut by hand in the carefully controlled factory environment. 172mm SIP panels were used for the walls and roof with these typically 1220mm wide and can be as long as 7.5 metres in length to suit individual projects.

“The complex geometry of the roof was reflected in the complex steel work and the most complicated geometric SIP roof that SBUK had ever seen, with sloping eaves where each plane of the roof is at a different pitch.”

The complex geometry of the roof was reflected in the complex steel work and the most complicated geometric SIP roof that SBUK had ever seen, with sloping eaves where each plane of the roof is at a different pitch. The use of SIPs allowed much of the structure to be removed whilst the strength of the panel allowed for the corrugated sheet finish on the outside of the building to hang from it without any further structure.

With SIP panels inherently airtight and energy efficient, they played a huge part in supporting the mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) for clean, healthy air quality, low maintenance costs and boosting the overall building performance. This stunning property delivered a fabric first, sustainable home using offsite manufacture and timber to meet the client’s expectation and achieve Passivhaus standards. The building’s creation and progress was featured in depth on C4’s Grand Designs. 


35  Structural Timber Magazine

Growing Timber Homes

Brooks Dye Works, a regeneration scheme in St. Werburghs, Bristol is one of the latest developments to benefit from an innovative timber frame design, expertise and product innovation.

Brooks Dye Works comprises of 113 one, two, three and fourbedroom homes centred around the restored iconic chimney, with each property offering open plan, flexible living with parking and access to outside space. The former Brooks Laundry dates to the 19th century when the site was used for industrial units by Brooks Dyers and Cleaners.

The site is regenerated with young professionals and young families purchasing the properties. Improvements were made to the public realm, with pedestrian access to the neighbouring Mina Road Park extended opening up routes and spaces which had been lost since the 1950’s. The new Alfred Brooks Square, centres around the restored chimney and creates a focal point for the community.

Appointed by developer Acorn Property Group (Acorn), Taylor Lane worked with main contractor, Halsall Construction to deliver all 113 properties. “Through careful planning, our teams worked to ensure the scheme aligned with our ‘different by design’ ethos, complemented the surrounding area, whilst also making improvements to the public realm,” said Dave Gittins, Construction Director, Acorn’s Bristol Region. “Designed for modern living, the homes have been built with sustainability in mind, coupled with our usual high standards of construction detail and thoughtful interiors.”

 The use of offsite manufacture and timber has provided a mix of roofs designed to accommodate the different property types, including pitched truss, cut, and flat roofs. Courtesy Acorn Property Group

Alongside its advanced wall system, Taylor Lane supplied Acorn with prefabricated pitched roof cassettes helping to reduce time on-site. Two blocks of six terraced houses enabled Taylor Lane Timber Frame to showcase its design skill and one of the many benefits of offsite timber frame construction. Each of the 12 properties features a pitched roof with vaulted ceilings on the second floor. Taylor Lane engineered these so that the insulated roof cassettes could be fabricated offsite at its factory in Herefordshire and assembled on-site in around 10 days. This reduced the build time, minimised working at height and omitted the labour-intensive process of insulating between rafters onsite.

The task was particularly complex at the design stage and during construction as the project included some intricate and sitespecific details. Taylor Lane had to contend with a variety of substrates, building up from

36 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK
Timber Frame
“Through careful planning, our teams worked to ensure the scheme aligned with our ‘different by design’ ethos, complemented the surrounding area, whilst also making improvements to the public realm.”
Dave Gittins, Construction Director, Acorn’s Bristol Region

block and beam slabs, cast concrete slabs, and in some instances, over a steel frame for the underground carpark. Different tolerances and settlement issues had to be factored in.

Also, some of the properties were near existing dwellings so appropriate products and methods had to be used to ensure compliance, particularly with fire regulations. The development includes a mix of two- and three-storey terraced houses and apartment blocks. Numerous roofs were designed to accommodate the different property types, including pitched truss, cut, and flat roofs. There is a complex fall design for the apartment roofs. To ensure the development blends well with its surroundings some properties have parapets, a popular and traditional architectural feature in Bristol.

Factory-formed floor cassettes were also manufactured offsite to create roofs for the apartment blocks.

Taylor Lane then constructed the appropriate falls using decked cassettes and firring. Where possible, the roofs were formed at floor or slab level and lifted to wall plate level to minimise the requirement for working at height. Even with restricted lay-down space, in some instances, the cassettes could be installed directly from the lorry bed to final position, such was the speed of installation.

Taylor Lane is based on Rotherwas Industrial Estate in Hereford, operating across 75,000sq ft of manufacturing space, and from a second manufacturing facility in Nantyglo, South Wales – Taylor Lane (Wales) Ltd. The company was acquired by the Cala Group in May 2023 and is looking to produce circa. 2,000 new homes per annum over the next five years. Each of the homes at Brooks Dye Works is now sold and occupied. 


Now is the perfect time to sign up as sponsors and gain exclusive ownership of an individual category, establishing a strong affiliation with your chosen area of excellence.

Contact Karen Cox to discuss: or 01743 290 014

37  Structural Timber Magazine
Timber Frame

Timber is the Way to Go

Successfully delivering the Government’s Timber In Construction Policy Roadmap will have profound changes for the UK. Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the STA, discusses potential industry impact.

It’s an interesting time to be part of the timber industry, as renewed Government attention has firmly placed this low carbon material at the top of the construction agenda. Published in December 2023, following many months of close collaboration within the industry, the Timber in Construction (TiC) Policy Roadmap is an unprecedented move from the Government, as it demonstrates a clear and actionable desire to explore low carbon building materials to achieve net zero targets.

It’s important to emphasise the scale of this project, which was headed by DEFRA, and involved organisations from across the sector, including the STA who led the structural timber sector involvement alongside Timber Development UK (TDUK) and Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor).

The overall objective is to safely increase the amount of timber used in construction with this higher goal divided into first six and later seven key topics. Both opportunities and barriers were interrogated, recommendations outlined, with subsequent actions then split between “what government will do” and “what industry will do”. The priority themes are demand, supply, carbon, building safety, insurance, skills and innovation. Each topic had a separate working group made up of industry experts.

Between the STA, TDUK and Confor, we utilised the expertise and experience available to curate a report on the industry back in December 2022, and much of this report was used within the roadmap and essentially drove the data side of the document. It was crucial that we had accurate data in terms of market share and carbon impact, and we wanted to demonstrate just how much of a positive impact the increased use of timber in construction would have.

 The built environment can be transformed using more timber, especially among residential newbuild

As has already been mentioned, a big part of the process was identifying the main barriers that prevent the wider adoption of structural timber. A key driver from DEFRA was the use of more homegrown timber, but the barrier for this is considerably more long term. While this isn’t something that can be achieved immediately, the STA are working closely with Confor to support this achievement in the long term.

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Structural Timber Association

In the shorter term, the key is to help new adopters of structural timber systems make the transition from more traditional methods. Sadly, there is still a myth that timber is not as cost effective as other materials, which presents another considerable barrier. However, we are now developing a new cost comparison tool that covers a range of sectors to offer transparency.

One major development that will help move delivery of the roadmap forwards, is the appointment of the STA, TDUK and Confor as joint Secretariat of the TiC working group. Crucially, the Secretariat role will be tasked with leading the development and implementation of solid plans to deliver each of the seven key priorities. It’s encouraging that DEFRA has recognised the importance of ‘boots on the ground’ expertise and has given us this vital opportunity to shape delivery of such a key piece of policy. Drawing on the combined experience and practical knowledge each organisation brings to the table, we have an exciting part to play in driving these policy goals forwards – turning aspirations into action.

Another issue we can tackle now is around skills and training, which was highlighted as a key challenge within the roadmap. This one is quite apt from an STA point of view, as a series of new training schemes has just

Roadmap Priorities

Recommendations are structured around seven ‘priority’ themes looking at creating far reaching change for English woodlands, homegrown constructional timber and boosting many aspects of the timber knowledge and supply chain on the national road to net zero. These include:

• Improving data on timber and whole life carbon

• Promoting the safe, sustainable use of timber as a construction material

• Increasing skills, capacity, and competency across the supply chain

• Increasing the sustainable supply of timber

• Addressing fire safety and durability concerns to safely expand the use of engineered mass timber

• Increasing collaboration with insurers, lenders, and warranty providers

been announced, covering all aspects of the build process from design to construction. Ultimately, the industry will benefit from upskilling all parties, from architects to erectors and installers, and the STA are taking the responsibility to drive the solution in this area.

What is key now for the future of the industry and for driving practical results from the guidance and insight of the roadmap is to agree KPI’s, measuring them, and of course, achieving them. The focus is now on turning plans into actions without delay in order to achieve the objectives of the roadmap and increase the use of structural timber in construction. 

For more information on the STA and to view the STA’s official comment on the TiC Policy Roadmap visit:

39  Structural Timber Magazine
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Carbon Credentials Unlocking Timber’s

Questions surrounding the levels of embodied carbon in construction are not easily answered but new data on timber products provides new levels of understanding.

Earlier in the year leading construction industry and built environment experts from 11 organisations demanded policy action in – what should be – an election year with embodied carbon a key concern. Big hitting organisations including the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), The Institution of Structural Engineers, Chartered Institute of Building, UK Architects Declare, RIBA and RICS among others, joined forces to send a clear message to UK political party leaders about the need for regulation of embodied carbon emissions in construction.

Identifying and better understanding the levels of embodied and operational carbon that our built environment and construction products contain, is crucial to hitting the 2050 net zero target. When it comes to timber – the leading mainstream low carbon construction material – a new investigation of embodied carbon data for more than 95% of timber consumed in UK has just been released by Timber Development UK (TDUK). And all completely free for all to digest.

Quality carbon data

TDUK has released average carbon data for the 10 major timber product categories. This data will support architects, engineers, and other specifiers to make accurate assessments of the carbon impacts of their material choices as early in the design process as possible – when they have the greatest ability to influence them.

“Consistent and up-to-date embodied carbon data is key to making accurate design decisions,” said Michael Polack, Technical Manager

  The use of timber is central to a more sustainable and low carbon built environment. Courtesy BSW/B&K Structures/ TDUK/Waugh Thistelton

for B&K Hybrid Structures. “Particularly as the embodied carbon of timber continues to further improve. At B&K Hybrid Solutions, we fully support the development of TDUK’s EPD database and weighted averages for timber products, which are particularly valuable for supporting design teams at early design stages.”

TDUK’s new independently verified

‘Embodied Carbon Data for Timber Products’

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Embodied Carbon

calculates weighted average A1-A4 embodied carbon data for common timber products such as softwood, engineered timber, and panel products, including and excluding sequestered carbon. More than 80 EPDs were reviewed in this comprehensive new paper. A1-A4 data is provided for 10 major timber products which means the EPD Database can be used to calculate the carbon impact of more than 95% of timber consumed in the UK. The A1-A3 data draws only from EPDs for products available in the UK, with the data weighted based on country of origin. With the addition of A4 data on transport to the UK, calculated using TDUK’s access to imports information to consider our diverse supply chain – this is the most accurate data for timber products available for whole life cycle assessments in the UK.


With one of TDUK’s core missions being to help create a low-carbon future, this data – and a paper on the methodology (which has been independently verified by Construction LCA). Charlie Law, Sustainability Director for TDUK, said: “If we are to achieve national and international targets to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, we need to measure, understand, and significantly reduce the embodied carbon within the buildings and infrastructure we construct.

“Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are key for specifiers to design lowcarbon assets, helping them accurately assess the impact of their designs and material selections, but historically, limited data has been available. Only in the past few years has this begun to change. But with a continual push for more EPDs for products in construction, more data is becoming available every day –the results of major efforts made by timber suppliers. Our EPD Database capitalises on all of this data by drawing on the available independently verified EPDs for timber products to calculate weighted average A1-A4 embodied carbon data.

 The new embodied carbon data for timber products is an invaluable resource

“All of the data, and the methodology used to create these averages, is completely independently verified – and freely available for all to download and use for their own tools and resources. We are proud to have undertaken a particularly rigorous process, and release both the data and methodology for free. This means anyone working within the built environment can benefit from this research, with complete confidence in its independence. Robust data is essential for reducing the carbon impact of construction, allowing specifiers to make informed decisions. We will be updating these figures every year as more data becomes available.”

“With a rightly increasing scrutiny within the industry of the climate impacts of construction, this data contribution enables design teams to move beyond ‘rules-of-thumb’ and ‘gut feelings’ to having a datadriven dialogue.”
Seb Laan Lomas, Associate and Passivhaus designer, Architype

 More homegrown timber is part of the net zero carbon aspiration

The paper which accompanies the EPD Database figures has more information on the methodology used, data confidence levels, and includes a PDF dataset with links to EPDs, product densities, and a verification report by Jane Anderson at Construction LCA, confirming compliance with CEN/TR 15941:2010 standards.

“Having already compared these figures to some of our previous embodied carbon counts we can see a marked improvement,” said Kelly Harrison, Director, Whitby Wood. “It’s invaluable to have actual

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Embodied Carbon

Embodied Carbon

datapoints and verified, weighted average EPD information at early design stages to ensure that we make the right decisions.”

Timber policy – learning lessons

Commissioned by TDUK and written by Waugh Thistleton Architects, ‘Timber Policy’ is a comparative study of policies, across six countries, which can act as a powerful tool to support policy makers on their journey to decarbonise construction in the UK, and beyond. Timber is at the heart of transitioning to a sustainable, circular economy for the UK and many nations around the world. This study is a snapshot of a rapidly evolving movement.

“What we need to see this year is ambition turned to action,” says David Hopkins, Chief Executive of Timber Development UK. “This means forward looking policy – and politicians brave enough to create a framework which places value on low-carbon construction. Timber is the ultimate low-carbon material, and countries across the developed world have rightly recognized this – working to create comprehensive policy frameworks that support the growth of the timber industry.

“The UK Government’s roadmap is a fantastic starting point, but without more action, there is a risk the UK falls behind. We need a clear timeline for change, starting with limits on embodied carbon in buildings, which is currently unregulated. Embodied carbon can account for more than half of the emissions of a building over its lifetimehundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon per year - but this is currently ignored by UK politicians and policy makers.

“Our new book, commissioned by TDUK and written by Waugh Thistleton Architects, highlights the policies being put in place in a variety of countries around the world. The UK Government, if they are serious about achieving the goals of their roadmap, now need to look at what policies would work in the UK. We hope that these examples give food for thought and we can start to engage policy makers on making this happen, rather than simply relying on the market to change.”

Global imperatives

Embodied carbon is recognised by major policy influencers such as the United Nations, Royal Society and World Green Building Council, and in the UK by the likes of the Climate Change Committee and Environmental Audit Committee as crucial to overcoming climate change.

Despite a wide array of evidence and calls from these bodies to implement key policies, such as the regulation of embodied carbon, there has been a highly variable policy approach across the world. The UK, once positioned as a leader in sustainable construction using timber, now lags behind many other nations due to its regulatory environment. Timber Policy outlines how six different countries around the world are helping to support the transition to low-carbon construction.

“Working at the forefront of global timber construction and participating in extensive research with European partners, we understand first-hand the impact of government policies on sustainable, low-carbon construction.” adds Andrew Waugh, director and co-founder, Waugh Thistleton Architects. “While the UK once led the world in mass timber construction, recent years have seen a shift in global leadership. Recent assessments, such as the Climate Change Committee’s critique of the UK Government’s Carbon Budget Delivery Plan, highlight the urgent need for accelerated policy development in the UK.

 Timber Policy is a comparative study of policies on decarbonising construction

“While we commend initiatives like the Timber in Construction Roadmap, our research for Timber Policy reveals that current UK efforts fall short of addressing the urgency of the climate crisis. Bold leadership, as demonstrated by progressive nations such as France, Germany, The Netherlands and Denmark, mandating limits on embodied carbon and investing in sustainable timber projects, is essential for a meaningful transition to a low-carbon future. The Roadmap sets out timelines to consider options, encourage voluntary reporting, and seek advice, after which revisions to policy will be put in place. The Timber Policy Guide shows how this process has already happened in the six example countries and policies which have already been implemented.

“Despite challenges, some progress in the UK is evident. For example, the DfE’s flagship project to standardise mass timber school fabrication underscores its commitment to innovation. Additionally, the Mass Timber Insurance Playbook and New Model Building Guides, funded by Built by Nature, a philanthropic organisation, provide invaluable resources for navigating the complexities of timber construction.

“The urgency of climate action cannot be overstated. With projections indicating a 1.5-degree increase in global temperatures by 2050 and up to 3 degrees by the end of the century, decisive steps must be taken. The Timber Policy book serves as a beacon of hope, illustrating how public-private partnerships can drive systemic change towards a sustainable future.” 

The new, free to use timber EPD database fulfils a key commitment made by TDUK within the UK Government’s recent Timber in Construction Roadmap. You can download the 2024 Embodied Carbon Data for Timber Products at: You can also find a copy of Timber Policy at: timber-policy

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 Andrew Waugh, co-founder Waugh Thistleton Architects

The Future of Wood

In an era where sustainability and environmental consciousness are at the forefront of consumer choices, Abodo represents a paradigm shift towards carbon-negative timber building materials.

Carefully crafted timber with tomorrow in mind, Abodo stands as a testament to responsible forestry practices and environmental stewardship and is crafted from sustainably sourced New Zealand Radiata Pine and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®). “We’re committed to meeting the increasing needs of today’s building industry without disadvantaging future generations,” says Daniel Gudsell, founding director at Abodo. For more than 20 years, Daniel has been working with rapidly renewable plantation timber to create beautiful, durable, carbon-beneficial feature timbers.

Carbon negative timber

The European export market has pushed Abodo to outperform on other measures as well, Daniel says: “Because we trade in Europe,” says Daniel. “We have to compete with the global market on CO2 emissions. We find that the architects we work with there are often even more driven by those measures than they are by design aesthetic. Embodied carbon is a priority, and even when we’re shipping product 20,000km, it’s still storing around 500kg of CO2 per cubic metre. This means that, in addition to being energy efficient and having no chemical additives, our thermally modified Vulcan timber is carbon negative.”

Creating a more sustainable future for the building industry is at the heart of Abodo’s values. even if the path to get there isn’t always easy. Daniel adds: “We recognise that people value these old-growth materials because of the way they look and how they perform over time, but they don’t always take into account that they are unsustainable, no matter how you spin it. The question we need to be asking is whether or not there will be as much or more of a resource left for future generations. If the answer is no, it’s not sustainable. It’s that simple.”

Thermally modified timber

Abodo has brought thermal modification technology to New Zealand, enabling the transformation of renewable plantation timber into durable wood that can stand the test of time. “This technology was developed over 100 years ago,” says Daniel. “It uses hightemperature kilns to caramelise the resins in the wood and alters its cellular walls, making it more durable without the need for any

chemical treatments or additives. We’ve had to go through a lot of testing to show that our thermally modified Vulcan timber is as good or better than existing timber solutions.”

Abodo’s thermally modified timbers are free from harmful chemicals, making them safe for people and minimising negative impacts on the environment. Thermal modification also provides the following benefits:

• Durability class 1 (EN350-1)

• Ideal for interior, exterior and joinery applications

• Improved stability (less movement).

Vulcan timbers perform particularly well in window and door applications, Daniel says: “In addition to being aesthetically pleasing – akin to a tropical timber – and stable, Vulcan also boasts 20% better thermal conductivity, meaning it is a better insulator than traditional timbers.” An important consideration in the design of windows and doors, the right timber choice will greatly improve the value, health, and sustainability of the building. Vulcan Joinery timber provides an ultra-low thermal conductivity rating of ~0.095 W/(mK). 

Join our UK Roadshow – the Abodo UK Stadium Tour is happening in April/May 2024. For more information and to register, email: or phone: 01865 860 350

National distribution

Timbmet are delighted to be the stocking partner in the UK for the full Abodo product portfolio – including a wide product range across flatsawn (25-75mm) and vertical grain (engineered) is held ex-

stock. From Timbmet’s in-house sawmill, they can also offer both standard and bespoke profiles. Full nationwide delivery is available from Timbmet’s two stocking depots – Oxford and Glasgow

43  Structural Timber Magazine
Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK

The Future of Wood 2024 / Stadium Tour

Stadium Tour Dates

29th April Newcastle St James Park

30th April Leeds Elland Road

1st May Birmingham Villa Park

2nd May Manchester Etihad Stadium

7th May London Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

8th May Bristol Ashton Gate

9th May Brighton Amex Stadium

Three session times available each day

09:00 - 11:00

11:30 - 13:30

14:00 - 16:00

RSVP to to secure your spot.

45  Structural Timber Magazine

Branching Out: Using UK Timber

Can the construction industry support the UK timber industry by specifying and procuring responsibly sourced UK grown timber? Charlie Law, Founder and Managing Director at Sustainable Construction Solutions and Sustainability Director at TDUK explains how.

The UK Government’s Timber in Construction Roadmap sets out a clear route to increase tree cover in England to 16.5% by 2050, but also to make good use of this resource by encouraging more use of timber in construction. The UK is the second largest net importer of timber in the world – only China imports more. The latest figures from Forest Research show that, of the 15.8million m3 of timber consumed in the UK in 2022, almost 9.7million m3 (61%) was imported, mainly from northern Europe. However, it is estimated that almost 80% of the construction industry’s requirements are being met by these imports, meaning much of our UK grown resource is being used elsewhere. To ensure we have access to enough timber to meet the growing demand for structural timber going forward, we need to increase the supply and use of our UK-grown resource.

Currently only around 63%-67% of the UK net annual increment (NIA) is felled. The NIA is the net annual volume of timber available to harvest – considering any natural losses. The timber available to

  Vastern Timber’s Brimstone is a familiar brand utilising the best of British timber for cladding, decking and joinery. Courtesy Vastern Timber

harvest is predicted to increase by around 20% by 2039, before falling back to current levels. Government targets to increase tree planting in England, means we will also have more timber available for use in construction over the long term. This means at least a third more of our UK grown timber resource could be available for construction if the demand was there. Using more locally grown materials means we can reduce the embodied carbon from transport, which will help decrease an asset’s embodied carbon footprint. Products such as softwood, chipboard, OSB and MDF are all readily available from UK grown sources, unlike UK hardwood and plywood.

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Homegrown Timber

Homegrown Timber


Over half of all the timber consumed in the UK is sawn softwood, so this should be a key area of focus for timber specification. Of the UK annual resource of just under three million m3, it is estimated that a third is used for pallets, a third for fencing, with the final third used for construction.

In the UK, coniferous trees like spruce grow very well, maturing in around 40 years. This makes excellent structural timber at strength class C16, suitable for most general construction applications like structural timber frames, floor joists, rafters and cut roof timbers, and internal partitions. Coniferous trees in colder climates like the Nordic countries grow more slowly, coming to maturity in 60 years or more. This produces a higher proportion of timber meeting the properties of strength class C24/TR26 or higher – which makes them great for longerspan floor joists or trussed rafters. On average, the wholesale price of C16 timber is 10% less than C24.

To make the most efficient use of wood resources we need to use the whole range of wood products available, and that means fully utilising both C16 and C24 timbers for the right situations. TDUK publishes free span tables for C16 and C24 strength grades, so you can choose the right grade of timber for the right application. For example, 45mm x 220mm C16 softwood timbers could be used as floor joists spanning up to 4.19m (assuming a dead load <0.25kN/sq m and imposed load <1.5kN/sq m), whereas 45mm x 220mm C24 softwood timbers would only span a little more, at 4.66m. One UK manufacturer is also producing roof trusses from UK-grown C16 softwood rather than the C24/TR26 that is normally used.

By specifying the right strength grade for the right application – and not over specifying – we can ensure we make the most efficient use of the finite sustainable softwood timber resource available to us.

Homegrown Timber Key Points

• Design and specify C16 structural timber grades wherever these are suitable, rather than over specifying to C24 or higher

• Look to use alternative UK supplied temperate hardwood species, rather than automatically defaulting to oak, for example ash, beech, or sycamore for internal applications, and sweet chestnut or thermally modified timber for external applications


• Use UK manufactured OSB in place of imported hardwood plywood, wherever this is suitable, to reduce your embodied carbon footprint

• Check that your chipboard, MDF and OSB is from a UK supplier rather than imported from outside Europe

• Make sure the timber you purchase is sourced responsibly, by insisting on forest management certification with full chain of custody.

About 5% of all timber consumed in the UK is sawn hardwood, and only 3% of this comes from UK woodlands. A Grown in Britain (GiB) WoodStock Report found that more oak was used in the UK than all other hardwood species combined, making up a whopping 57% of all specifications. Utilising only one species of hardwood to this extent is not sustainable, and the report recommends an increased focus on UK grown hardwood resources and alternative species specified wherever possible.

Sheet materials

Most chipboard, OSB and MDF used in the UK is already manufactured in the UK, and these utilise much of the by-products from sawn softwood and hardwood processing that would otherwise go to waste. Chipboard is used in everything from tongue and groove flooring to kitchen cabinets and incorporates both chips from the sawing of timber as well as postconsumer waste wood. OSB on the other hand uses the smaller diameter thinnings from forests as well as the tops of sawlog trees.

Plywood isn’t manufactured in the UK, so we should consider specifying OSB as an alternative wherever possible, e.g. for roof sheeting or additional support within partition walls. There are now many different specifications of OSB that can be used for numerous applications. Not only does this mean we use more of our homegrown resource, but data published recently by TDUK, suggests UK manufactured OSB has less than a fifth of the embodied carbon of imported hardwood plywood.

 The UK forests hold a rich and underused resource

Responsible sourcing

It is vital to ensure the timber we purchase has come from responsibly managed woodlands in the UK – it is important to understand what to ask for. This includes material recognised by the UK Government’s Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) and its UK Timber Procurement Policy (UKTPP). Compliance is demonstrated via Category A Evidence – independent, third-party forest certification schemes, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) plus Category B Evidence – all other forms of evidence – with Grown in Britain (GiB) certification or Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licenced timber examples.

UK grown timber can be used for many of the applications for which we currently use imported timber. By making informed choices, specifiers and purchasers can ensure that more of the timber used on their projects is locally sourced, which helps the UK economy, and can lead to lower embodied carbon projects. 

47  Structural Timber Magazine

World of Warmth & Vibrancy

Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) is an ambitious joint venture between Scottish Enterprise, Dundee City Council and Michelin with glulam and CLT a major element of its Innovation Hub.

Created in response to the closure of Michelin’s Dundee tyre factory in 2020, the scheme aims to drive innovation in the Scottish economy and address the global climate emergency. Fully accessible to the Dundee community, The Innovation Hub is the focal point of the Parc that aims to be the place where the earliest stages of innovation and entrepreneurship happen.

Dundee City Council secured £3.5million of funding to support the Innovation Hub from the Tay Cities Deal Industrial Investment Fund. The Innovation Hub has also been funded by Scottish Enterprise and Michelin. The goal was for a dynamic space that could house a changing mixture of small and growing companies, pre and post start-ups, project teams from larger companies, and researchers and students, all aspiring to achieve the same goal of zero carbon.

Built by Robertson Construction Tayside and designed by architects Holmes Miller, the Hub was created with its carbon footprint firmly in mind, with a glulam and cross laminated timber (CLT) structure used in place of a conventional steel construction, a choice which has saved an estimated 650 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The structure, aligned with the building’s compact form factor, helped achieve a low air-tightness value of 1.87 ach/hr@50Pa.

“Because we wanted the building to be somewhere that sparks innovation and addresses climate change, we needed it to be innovative

  The Innovation Hub is a vibrant, bright focal point for low carbon thinking, with mass timber bringing huge benefits to the overall design. Courtesy Holmes Miller/Chris Humphreys

and green itself, as well as exciting, fun and accessible,” says Sarah Petrie, Director, Innovation and Operations at MSIP. “Holmes Miller took all our thoughts and needs and converted them into a building that is collaborative, beautiful, and beyond our expectations.”

Guillem Arraez, project architect at Holmes Miller added: “One of the best design decisions made on the project was the use of an exposed mass timber frame – a combination of CLT and glulam structure. We tried to create an honest building that has the confidence to show you its inner workings, rather than trying to cover things up. We left the glulam structure, CLT panels and even the junctions exposed internally. The high-quality finish of the timber means it still looks attractive, and visitors can see how the building was put together – rather like a giant Lego set.”

Once past a simple threshold, visitors to the Hub enter a world of warmth and vibrancy,

48 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK

thanks to the exposed timber frame and use of colourful furniture and signage.

“The extensive use of timber suggested by the architect aligned to our vision about reducing the Hub’s environmental impact,” adds Sarah Petrie, Director, Innovation and Operations at MSIP. “The timber is also one of my favourite things about the building. It makes the structure feel like it’s living and breathing. It’s a building that gives you a hug and makes you feel warm and cosy. I love the simplicity and elegance of the detailing, and the fact that it will continue to evolve as the wood splits as the building settles.”

The building is essentially split into three sections: a large events space, a central informal gathering space which includes a café, and a flexible workspace with hot-desking and breakout spaces, meeting rooms and design labs. A Hellerup staircase in the heart of the building – nicknamed by the client as ‘the Spanish Steps’ – allows building users to informally come together to share ideas over a coffee.

“Wherever you are in the Hub, you can catch a glimpse into other spaces and see things happening, and go and join the conversation,” adds Guillem Arraez. “We hope we’ve created a building that encourages people to collaborate, debate, innovate and ultimately to create wonderful things.

“This is a building that doesn’t provide the total solution, it’s simply a framework that enables its users to interpret and define how they inhabit it. The most exciting part of designing a building is seeing it spark to life, when people start interacting in ways that were never envisioned. It’s always a privilege when you have a client like MSIP, who isn’t scared to push boundaries or try new things, and ultimately who makes difficult decisions for the right reasons. It makes designing buildings a lot more fulfilling.”

Thanks to the use of structural timber, which was manufactured offsite, the entire structure of the building went up in just three weeks. Because the client wanted an industrial look for the exterior, the building was then wrapped in sinusoidal cladding which took only a further week to achieve.

“The Innovation Hub, much like the rest of the Parc, has had innovation at its heart,” comments, Kevin Dickson, regional Managing Director, Robertson Construction Tayside. “By utilising offsite manufactured timber, the carbon intensity of the building was reduced and enabled a swift assembly on site. The use of sustainable materials to create this inspiring environment sees the facility reimagined as part of the wider masterplan, securing the future of the site and Dundee’s reputation for innovation and creativity.”

“The Innovation Hub, much like the rest of the Parc, has had innovation at its heart. By utilising offsite manufactured timber, the carbon intensity of the building was reduced and enabled a swift assembly on-site. The use of sustainable materials to create this inspiring environment sees the facility reimagined as part of the wider masterplan, securing the future of the site and Dundee’s reputation for innovation and creativity.”

The Hub is the latest stage in Holmes Miller’s long-term relationship with MSIP. The practice also masterplanned the wider Innovation Parc and designed the incubator units within the Parc. The idea is that a seed of an idea germinates within the Innovation Hub, and as a company grows, it can move around the Parc into larger accommodation. 

49  Structural Timber Magazine
Kevin Dickson, regional Managing Director, Robertson Construction Tayside

Optimising Our Environmental Resources

Despite growing awareness and regulatory pressure, traditional methods and materials still dominate the landscape. It’s time to challenge the status quo and embrace innovative solutions using timber and bio-based materials to offer superior performance and adaptability.

Natural Building Systems was founded in 2019 with a mission to disrupt the construction industry by integrating advanced bio-composites into pre-manufactured structural elements. Our approach combines materials technology, digital tools, and building physics to offer a ground-breaking alternative to conventional construction practices. There are also many misconceptions surrounding durability and fire resistance of bio-based materials, that are hindering the widespread adoption of potentially regenerative materials. We need to challenge these misconceptions head-on.

Our goal is to use annual and regenerative crops that are more easily integrated in local farming rotations and alleviate pressures on global forestry that is being exacerbated by the construction industries demand for timber. The most promising is industrial hemp, which has inherent moisture buffering capacity, while Miscanthus and paludiculture crops show great promise for composite boards.

ADEPT® is our circular, systemised kit-of-parts. At the heart of ADEPT® lies HempSil®, our unique bio-composite made from industrial hemp and used alongside two layers of natural fibre insulation. These materials insulate our breathable cassette system, allowing better indoor air-quality, and moderating relative humidity and temperature to reduce energy use. The structural cassettes are precision engineered and akin to flat-pack furniture, allow for rapid assembly by nonspecialist labour. The system is adaptable, enabling buildings to evolve and accommodate changing needs over time.

Our natural materials capture more carbon from the atmosphere than is emitted during

In an era where the urgency of climate change demands bold action, the construction industry is simultaneously part of the problem and a potential solution.

Chloe Donovan, Managing Director at Natural Building Systems, explains more.

production, meaning buildings we make act as carbon sinks, combating climate change, and providing more energy efficient and healthier places to live.

We optimise material efficiency by using digital fabrication to minimise waste and improve build quality. Cassettes are made from OSB, reducing reliance on high value

Utilising integrated digital design and manufacturing tools is central to our ambition to ensure scalability across a distributed manufacturing network, offering cost competitive solutions. Parametric design tools streamline the digital workflow by generating concept options against different design constraints, optimising material efficiency

“Our natural materials capture more carbon from the atmosphere than is emitted during production, meaning buildings we make act as carbon sinks, combating climate change, and providing more energy efficient and healthier places to live.”
Chloe Donovan, Managing Director, Natural Building Systems

timber (OSB is manufactured from forestry waste streams, utilising the upper part of trees that can’t be processed into timber). We are developing local supply chains of industrial hemp – a short cycle carbon capture crop that can be grown anywhere globally, and has been shown to enhance biodiversity, improve soil quality and subsequent food crop yields.

Collaboration is key to realising our vision of a sustainable built environment and we have been working closely with Simple Works, our structural engineers, to ensure that ADEPT® cassettes have been designed to be used on their own, or within an integrated frame as part of a larger construction, allowing the system to be used in buildings of any size. Structural connections are designed to be reversible and minimise the need for mechanical fixings. Connection typologies include innovative spline pegs, allowing shear transfer between cassettes, and French cleats which pull the components together. The system is interoperable with a diverse pallet of conventional materials, products, and systems and can be specified in a wide range of buildings.

with real-time feedback on costs and carbon. Carbon transparency and circularity is facilitated throughout using product passports, embedded in every component, so that detailed BIM data is available during design, production, assembly, and then throughout a building’s service life. Circularity is aided by access to product information because future upgrades and replacements are easier with direct substitution of manufactured components.

Chronic low productivity in conventional construction practice requires a substantive answer in modern methods of construction (MMC), but definitional categories (and high CapEx associated with Cat 1 modular in particular) deflect attention from greater efficiencies available through a focus on premanufactured value. Our vision brings together the unexplored possibilities of advanced bio-composites with optimised structural timber solutions, while fully un-tapping the potential of emerging digital technologies in construction to transform our buildings into carbon sinks. 

50 Structural Timber Magazine – Issue 35 – Spring 2023  @STMagUK
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