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STRUCTURAL TIMBER In association with:


Building Solutions in Timber

University of Hertfordshire Student Halls of Residence Designed by Willmore Iles Architects

P32 Custom Build Design and buy the home you really want. Could this be the future direction for all timber construction?

P50 Timber Expo 2015 The Timber Focus programme and a preview of what’s on offer as part of UK Construction Week.

Everything you need to know at:

P74 Fire Protection & Site Safety Specifying the right FR product and get Site Safe advice from the STA.

CONTENTS P8 Timber Trends A quick round-up of some recent news stories from the timber and construction sectors that you may have missed including another entry in the tall timber category at Banyan Wharf, London.

P32 Your House: Your Choice Custom build has the potential to deliver exciting new communities with a range of homes geared to what owners actually want. Jon Sawyer, Head of Custom Build for igloo, explains why developers need to think differently. Plus Mary Riley offers some top tips on Custom Build finance options.

P42 Timber Cladding & Durability Timber cladding offers a winning combination of versatility, economy and environmental credentials to any building project. Janet Sycamore from the Timber Decking & Cladding Association explains the options surrounding service life.

It’s that time of the year again and the event is now an integral part of UK Construction Week. See what’s on offer including the TRADA-organised Timber Focus programme rundown in detail.

P64 A Beacon for Timber

With an increasing drive to ensure homes are as efficient as possible – particularly where heating, cooling and ventilation is concerned – the benefits of using SIPS as a housebuilding option are huge.

Earlier this year, Walker Timber completed work on the fastest housing project in Europe. Managing Director, Nigel Simpson, reveals the secret of its success.

The long-awaited new NSTS document has now been published and marks a significant step forward for the timber industry in levelling the playing field against competing materials such as steel and concrete.

P40 Why Timber Frame? Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA) considers the benefits of building with timber frame in conjunction with its own ‘Why Timber Frame?’ guide.

P66 Better Homes – a Simple Smart Choice What is the new BRE Home Quality Mark? Gwyn Roberts, Head of Housing standards at BRE, gives a brief overview.

P74 Fire Protection & Site Safety Coillte Panel Products and Dupre Minerals offer up two sides of the FR debate and the STA give an update on the Site Safe policy and what the 16 steps to fire safety deliver.

P80 Case Studies and Product Showcase A range of project profiles and examples of how timber is being used across a variety of construction sectors, including the fastest housing project in Europe and the transformation of a historic church near Inverness into a children’s nursery.

Fire & Acoustic Cavity Stops Part C • Direct moisture towards outside where downward flow interrupted

Part B3 • Barriers must restrict smoke and flames

The Ultimate Guide to specifying Building Boards

P50 Timber Expo 2015

P36 SIP Suitability

P38 National Structural Timber Specification (NSTS)


Specifying the right building board system for structural timber applications is vital. Even when specialist advice is available, a working knowledge of regulations and performance is crucial to making the right design and specification decisions. Ian Quinton, Managing Director of RCM, outlines some considerations when specifically looking at the design requirements for structural timber buildings.

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The Type SAF is a cavity stop. SAF stands for sloping + acoustic + fire (60 mins) Compare and be convinced the Type SAF is no ordinary stop. • Its parallelogram shape makes joining lengths so simple • It always discharges penetrating water forward

Yeovil Somerset England UK

• Importantly the lapping format ensures continuity of integrity

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A RENEWED FOCUS The STA is busy working on a number of projects that will bring the many benefits of building with timber into sharp focus. Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of the Structural Timber Association, explains.

Fire protection is a key topic in this issue. A major piece of work reaching a conclusion for the STA is the fire safety guidance for projects under 600sq m in size. The need for the completion of this piece of work therefore is essential and we are hopeful that we will soon have some important results to give STA members and the wider construction industry.

Enjoy this very full issue of Structural Timber Magazine and I hope to see many of you at Timber Expo in Birmingham in a few weeks’ time. Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive, Structural Timber Association Email: Website:

A second piece of work to assist our sector that we hope to bring to a satisfactory conclusion by year-end is that of the Timber Frame Competency Award Scheme. We have been working on this for several years and this has been accelerated in last couple of years thanks to funding and assistance from CITB.

Welcome to this bumper issue of Structural Timber Magazine, as it celebrates its anniversary and also includes a preview of the timber sector’s number one show – Timber Expo. I hope you all had the opportunity to take some time off during the summer holidays and have now returned refreshed and revitalized in preparation for the opportunities ahead. The Government’s dropping of the zero carbon targets for housing, in their recent budget, has come as a blow but we must look upon it as an opportunity and renew our focus in promoting the many other advantages of structural timber frame. In particular the cost advantages must be emphasized and with this in mind we are moving to have a document in place by year-end to help specifiers and QS’s do this. This will complement our recently launched ‘Why Timber Frame’ guide – see P40 for details.


Six erector companies have undergone a pilot programme and we will be taking their stories to the CITB with a view to adopt throughout the UK. The Scheme documents have recently been uploaded to the STA website but the next important move is to establish a process whereby we can audit their use. As we enter the autumn period we once again have a series of events and activities from which we hope our delegates will derive real value. The next major conference – Concept to Completion - takes place in Bristol on 30th September. We are expecting over 100 delegates at this always-popular venue with many wanting to take advantage of this excellent networking opportunity – see the Future Events section of the STA website for more information and our event programme, including the Structural Timber Awards and our Factory Tours.



THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SPECIFYING BUILDING BOARDS FOR TIMBER APPLICATIONS Now the UK is experiencing more extreme weather events and with the implementation of more stringent building regulations - specifying the right building board system for structural timber applications is vital. Even where specialist advice is available, a working knowledge of regulations and performance is crucial to making the right design and specification decisions. Ian Quinton, Managing Director of RCM - suppliers of building boards and facade solutions to such high profile developments as the University of Hertfordshire – outlines some considerations when specifically looking at the design requirements for structural timber buildings.

COVER STORY - University of Hertfordshire College Lane Residences Project

Going to university is an excellent opportunity for students to live independently for the first time. Living on campus is also a great way of making lifelong friends – therefore creating the right living and social environment is crucial. One of the primary considerations for the College Lane Residences Project was the requirement to support the development of an exemplary student experience creating ‘more than just a place to live’ by engendering communities through reinforcing the collegiate approach, as identified in the University’s Estates 2020 Vision. Each college of approximately 500 students has its own identity, name and social space. The colleges are divided into two courtyards which further breakdown the social groups into a more manageable 250. Within the wider setting of the scheme, purpose designed sporting facilities and opportunities for casual games have been built into the landscape design, with the Central Park. The student living scheme, designed by Willmore Iles Architects, achieved a ‘True’ Zero Carbon accreditation and BREEAM Outstanding requirements using advanced timber frame technology. RCM were appointed to supply their Y-Wall system - a calcium silicate based fibre cement building board offering excellent A1 Non-Combustible fire properties as well as high levels of dimensional stability. Being extensively used on timber frame structures, Y-Wall provided the ideal solution. Images courtesy of Willmore Iles Architects

STRUCTURAL STRENGTH AND STABILITY A significant consideration when assessing building boards is to ensure the optimum racking performance to enhance structural strength. The load bearing capacity of wooden shear walls loaded by wind and seismic forces can be evaluated using different testing procedures. Building boards and cladding systems awarded this certification have been rigorously tested and offer good racking, performance, structural strength and stability.



SPECIFICATION REFERENCE European Norm – BS EN 594:2011 testing protocol for racking strength and stiffness


RESISTANCE TO MOISTURE AND DURABILITY Another factor to consider for stability is moisture movement. When evaluating a building board solution, consider a system that offers a high level of dimensional stability with limited moisture movement. Building boards can be specified with as little as 0.06% moisture movement. Selecting a building board with good external performance and durability is important, particularly through the build phase, as the product may be left exposed for several months prior to a secondary facade being installed over the top of the system. SPECIFICATION REFERENCE: European Norm - BS EN 1062-1 – testing for moisture resistance and durability BS EN 12467:2012 - testing for exposure cycle, freeze, thaw, heat & rain

BEHAVIOUR IN RELATION TO FIRE The Building Regulations for England and Wales set out obligations for building designers. These functional requirements outline what must be done, but do not address how to achieve this. An example of a functional requirement that covers structural stability in a fire is that, ‘the building shall be designed and constructed so that, in the event of a fire, its stability will be maintained for a reasonable period.’ SPECIFICATION REFERENCE: Fire Rating A1 and A2 - refers to reaction-to-fire classifications for contribution to fire growth in accordance with – BS EN 13501-1. A1 utilises BS EN ISO 1182 and BS EN ISO 1716 tests and is typically non-combustible rating referenced as ‘Non-Combustible’. A2 utilises BS EN ISO 1716 and BS EN 13823 testing and is referenced to typically as Limited Combustible.

CE MARKING A European Certification, CE Marking is a manufacturer’s declaration that the product meets the requirements of the applicable EC directives in terms of safety, health and environmental requirements. SPECIFICATION REFERENCE: Harmonised Standard BS EN 12467:2012 – EU legislations and allows the free movement of products within the European market

BBA APPROVAL BBA Approval - offers full technical approval for construction products, systems and is recognised by building control, government departments, architects, local authorities, specifiers and building insurers. BBA Approval provides reassurance to architects, designers and contractors when specifying or installing building board products.

TRIED AND TESTED FOR TIMBER APPLICATIONS RCM, as a major supplier of building boards and facade solutions, are committed to developing products, applications and services to meet the needs of the structural timber sector. A full cutting service is available for all of its building boards and facade solutions. The company offers a range of house membranes and air tightness systems. Y-wall ™ - a calcium silicate based fibre cement building board, offering excellent fire properties as well as high levels of dimensional stability, even in exposed conditions Product Testing and Certification • BBA Certificate 14/5109 • Fire Rating A1 Non-Combustible • Conforms to BS EN12467 • Tested to EN ISO 1716 • Meets EN ISO 1182 • Tested to EN13501 – 1 • Conforms to EN594

Multipurpose TF – a cellulose fibre cement 9mm board delivers exceptional racking, adaptability, strength and fire protection. Product Testing and Certification • BBA Certificate Pending • Fire Rating A1 Non-Combustible • Tested to EN ISO 1716 • Meets EN ISO 1182 • Tested to EN13501 – 1 • Conforms to EN594

INFORMATIVE CPD EVENTS For those interested in finding out more about building boards, RCM provide informative CPD sessions including: a guide to materials, applications and specification considerations for building boards, internal and external linings and rainscreen facades • What a specifier needs to consider • Board materials and benefits • Board applications • Work onsite For more details call 0845 1303725 or visit






The latest new residential construction project in London using cross-laminated timber (CLT) will be the tallest residential CLT building in the world when complete. More than 3,500m3 of timber has started to arrive on site in Dalston Lane, Hackney, as work progresses on a record-breaking crosslaminated timber (CLT) residential structure, which will become the tallest of its kind in the world. The 121-unit development is estimated to use more timber than any other project in the world, making it, by volume, the largest CLT project globally. The project will provide significant residential capacity with 121 units over 12,500 square metres, and over 3,460 square metres of commercial space. For the architects Waugh Thistleton, CLT engineers Ramboll and developer Regal Homes, the most exciting aspect of the project is the sheer size of the structure and its completion without the use of thousands of cubic metres of concrete. In total, Ramboll’s CLT experts have calculated that the building will save 2,400 tonnes of


carbon, compared to an equivalent block with a concrete frame. By using CLT construction, the embodied carbon is 2.5 times less than that of an equivalent concrete frame. Taking into account that timber stores carbon by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, which is also known as ‘sequestered carbon’, the structure can definitively be considered as ‘carbon negative’. Upholding its material integrity, Dalston Lane’s external, party and core walls, floors and stairs are made entirely of CLT. The London borough of Hackney actively encourages timber construction, mooting a ‘timber first’ policy in 2012, and this building will join a number of other timber buildings in the area making this central London borough a world leader for timber construction. Commenting on the site delivery, Ramboll Director and CLT expert Gavin White said: “It is exciting to see this benchmark project get out of the ground. The height and size of the Dalston Lane building shows how versatile CLT is, as well as its potential in leading the future of sustainable construction. We have been working

on CLT projects for over 10 years now, so it’s heartening to see Hackney actively encouraging CLT construction, and we look forward to completing what will be a landmark building.” Commenting on the ground breaking nature of CLT use in residential developments, CEO at Regal Homes Simon De Friend, commented: “As an innovative and progressive developer, Regal Homes is proud to have pioneered CLT construction in London. Having already achieved great success with our first CLT structure, Banyan Wharf, Dalston Lane represents a landmark development for the company, and a pivotal moment in our history as our first project in the private rented sector” Andrew Waugh, director at Waugh Thistleton, said: “We are thrilled at the prospect of completing this important building. CLT structures are the only sustainable solution to provide high quality, high density housing, and as such this project given its scale and ambition is a seminal piece of architecture.”




TIMBER TRENDS SIPS KEY TO EALING ECO-HOMES New council homes built for Ealing Council have been built with structural insulated panels (SIPs) to deliver high eco-standards and a speedy delivery. Costing £700,000, the scheme has provided one detached and two semi-detached three-bedroom properties. The properties incorporate a range of eco features such as mechanical ventilation and heat recovery units, high performance glazing, and permeable paving made of recycled tyres and stone chips. Additionally, living green screens provide an ecological, low maintenance alternative to traditional fences and walls. Birmingham-based Allen Construction Consultancy was appointed by Ealing Council to oversee the whole process of surveying, designing, planning and building the scheme to

ensure that the design and eco-requirements were delivered efficiently and cost-effectively through the use of value engineering. This reduced the cost of the offsite manufacture of the scheme by some 20%. “This scheme wasn’t without its challenges but we’ve worked closely with Ealing Council and others to ensure that the goals were fully met,” said Paul Quinney, director for the consultancy. “We are especially proud to have been able to bring new creative methods of construction forward that made the whole building process more efficient, resulting in attractive eco homes that will minimise tenants’ fuel bills. The beauty is that these building methods are easily transferred and can be applied to other similar schemes, making it more feasible to increase the supply of good quality housing where it is badly needed.”

Councillor Jasbir Anand, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for housing, employment and skills, added: “We’re doing everything we can to increase the supply of affordable family homes in Ealing, so we’re very pleased with the completion of this scheme. The project team’s attention to detail has ensured successful delivery of new homes that we know are desperately needed.” The scheme was funded by the council and supported by the Greater London Authority as part of a drive to build new homes in the borough. The contractor was Sandwood Construction Ltd. For a time lapse video of the homes in construction visit:

NO TO ZERO CARBON HOMES ‘SCRAPPING’ More than 200 businesses from the construction, property and renewable energy industries have urged George Osborne to reconsider the Government’s U-turn over the long-established zero carbon homes policy. In the Chancellor’s productivity plan ‘Fixing the foundations’, George Osborne unexpectedly axed the policy designed to ensure that all new homes built from 2016 meet zero carbon standards – together with a sister policy that applied to all new nonresidential buildings such as offices, schools and hospitals from 2019. Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “The speed and the stealth with which this administration has destroyed some of the long-term policies supporting the renewable and low carbon


industries has been breath-taking. This U-turn not only means our new buildings will be less energy efficient and more costly to run, but it comes at a time when the UK should be taking strong action on climate change ahead of the UN conference in Paris in December. We urge Government to reconsider its position for the sake of future confidence in the UK’s low carbon economy.”

Schemes such as the AIMC4 project has seen £6.4million – including £3.2million of public funds –invested by housebuilders Barratt Developments, Crest Nicholson and Stewart Milne to pioneer low carbon homes to meet future energy efficiency standards. Source:

Rob Lambe, Managing Director of the energy services arm of Willmott Dixon, one of the UK’s biggest housebuilders, added: “We have worked tirelessly over the past ten years, along with our clients, investing tens of millions of pounds to develop detailed solutions required to deliver against the zero carbon homes 2016 policy.”




Thanks to a pioneering new project in the Scottish Highlands, fully assembled homes are ready to leave the factory for tenants after just three weeks of construction work. Believed to be the first of its kind in Scotland, the social housing project delivers fully assembled buildings which are ready for tenants to move into on delivery to site. Developed and designed by Inverness-based social housing company JNESpace and manufactured and completely fitted out by Carbon Dynamic in its factory in Invergordon, the eight one-bedroom apartments each come with its own independent access and balcony. Highland councillors paid a visit to the factory to inspect the first prototype commissioned by Highland Council for Kendal Court in Alness. JNESpace director, Andrew Bruce, said: “We formed our company in 2008 because we felt a


solution was needed to help address the huge challenge of social housing shortages. Over a number of years we developed the concept of modular, timber-based social housing using cross laminated timber, a material used widely abroad but less so here in Scotland.

that perform dynamically over time combined with innovative design means we can create energy efficient buildings and tackle fuel poverty in a much smarter way, from the inside out. It has been a great collaboration to which we have been able to offer our sustainable modular design and manufacturing expertise.”

“We have been delighted to work with the team at Carbon Dynamic and bring our vision to life with them, thanks to their experience in innovative offsite modular manufacture. The Highland Council’s support in commissioning this important project is an example to councils throughout Scotland.”

Each sustainable apartment will take less than three weeks to complete offsite with the pitched roof manufactured in the factory and then craned into place in a single day. The apartments will be complete and ready for tenants to move into in October 2015.

Matt Stevenson, managing director at Carbon Dynamic, added: “We are really excited about our first social housing project as these buildings present a viable, affordable and practical alternative to traditional buildings used in social housing. Using natural materials






The UKCG and National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC) have merged to create Build UK. The new organisation will provide a strong collective voice for the contracting supply chain in construction, bringing together 28 of the industry’s largest main contractors and nearly 40 leading trade associations representing over 11,500 specialist contractors.

TRADA Launches Third National Student Design Competition

The new organisation will focus on key industry issues to deliver change and improve conditions for the supply chain, the wider industry and its clients. Priority issues that have been identified include: fair payment, image of the industry, health and safety, pre-qualification, and training and skills. Joint Chairmen of Build UK, Kevin Louch and James Wates, said: “Our discussions in the run up to the merger have clearly shown that we share a common position on the majority of issues such as image, skills, health and safety, and procurement. Both Government and our clients have been waiting for a joined up approach from the industry and, as a single organisation for the contracting supply chain, we will pack a powerful punch and have a real chance to make some big changes.” Build UK is led by Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol MBE (pictured) and existing NSCC and UKCG members are transferred to Build UK. Source:

STA WELCOMES 300TH MEMBER The Structural Timber Association (STA) recently welcomed its newest member, Walker Simpson Architects.

Input from the STA will be vital as they can help us collaborate with the right teams to gain different levels of expertise.”

Walker Simpson Architects has extensive experience in the refurbishment, remodelling and enhancement of both new and existing buildings. Walker Simpson has ensured the use of structural timber across many of its prestigious projects including at Westport Lake Visitor Centre in Stoke-on-Trent. John Walker, Director at Walker Simpson said: “We feel timber is beneficial for us to work with. Wood is neat, self-finished and lightweight on site, which makes it an ideal flexible and sustainable material for our projects.

Chief Executive of the STA, Andrew Carpenter said: “We are delighted to welcome Walker Simpson Architects to the STA and particularly as our 300th member. Walker Simpson’s investment in BIM and their desire to extend their use of timber makes them a very valuable member. We look forward to working with them and helping them develop their knowledge of the construction industry’s most sustainable material.”

“We really like what the STA has to offer, particularly in terms of support. We need advice from structural engineers who have CLT and glulam knowledge and the technical expertise at the STA allows us to tap into this rich area of information. We are also looking at offsite projects, including the use of CLT.

STA members are supported through professionally produced and delivered training, technical guidance, research and events. The STA provide all members with a quality assurance scheme and access to the very latest health and safety training.

TRADA has set its third National Student Design Competition – dubbed Arboreal for 2016. The challenge will see students tasked with designing a brand new flagship timber structure for Arboreal, at the Sylva Wood Centre in south Oxfordshire.

Government ‘kills off’ Green Deal The flagship scheme to insulate homes is to end as government blames low take-up and will cease financing to the Green Deal Finance Company. Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “With each passing day, this government puts an end to another green policy.

New Face at Stewart Milne Timber Systems Mike Perry, will be based at the company’s Witney office and brings more than twenty years’ business management experience to the role. Mike will develop and lead the new business sales team to deliver its ambitious UK-wide business development plan.

Premier Forest Group Purchases Cornish sawmill The Duchy Sawmill employs 35 staff on a single 11-acre site. The business converts locally grown softwood logs into sawn timber which it further processes into a wide range of high quality fencing materials and core sawn timber products.

New FR Manager at Arch Timber Protection Mike Smith is the new fire retardants sales manager for Arch Timber Protection EMEA region, for its well established service treatments business with Dricon and Non-Com Exterior. Jacqui Hughes will continue to support the Arch business as technical manager.

TTF Supports WWF Campaign Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has officially signed up to support WWF UK’s Forest Campaign. By supporting the campaign, the 300 TTF members pledge to support the market to buy timber and wood products from sustainable sources by 2020.




PLATFORM FOR PROGRESSION The Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) is set to bring fresh impetus to the promotion of the timber supply chain along its entire length. Dirk Vennix has been charged with making it all happen. Here we are. The CTI isn’t a fantasy anymore but a vivid reality. Moreover, as with all new born babies, we are full of energy and developing in many directions. Thanks to our Network members, we have just set up three working groups to deepen our key areas of interest: Value and Growth; Sustainability and Quality of Standards; Skills and Education. What does it mean? Simply that we are shaping our strategy collaborating with our supporters and partners.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done”, said Nelson Mandela. At the CTI we keep this quote in mind. And for good reason. Just some months ago our project seemed nothing but a dream. “Do you really want to create a Confederation representing the whole timber supply chain? That’s madness”, someone said. “We do need a strong representative voice for the industry but, you know, it’s too difficult to change minds after decades”, somebody else added.

For instance the first group, named Value and Growth, will map and report on the value and prospects of the industry. In order to do that, we need to ask ourselves some questions. Where are the gaps? Which sectors need a boost? What type of support is required? Subsidies, deregulation or other incentives? Understanding the growth prospects and competitive pressures is critical and this is where CTI supporters can provide crucial contributions. The same approach is used for the Sustainability group. Timber is the only truly sustainable building and construction material and we need to spread this message. For every m3 of timber used across the supply chain, one tonne of carbon is stored. CTI will play a critical role in setting the bar for timber being at the forefront of growing our low carbon economy. It is about safeguarding sustainability of future supply and quality standards across the chain. We can help government achieve its carbon economy targets but how can Government help our sector and ensure it is a win-win situation?

on Jobs, Skills and Education. In one word: the future. The timber industry is experiencing a downturn in the supply of skilled personnel and it’s time to reverse the trend. The research, science, development and employment of such a universal material demands highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce, whether from forestry, shipping, manufacturing, distributing, retailing or recycling and energy production. The career opportunities across the chain are immense. Education and skills development needs to match these opportunities to ensure that timber leads the way in 21st Century Construction. But, as you know, every challenging target must be backed by a pragmatic approach. Firstly the sector needs to map out where new apprenticeships, degrees and/or centres of excellence are needed. Where are the skills shortages? Where will the supply come from? What is needed in terms of funding and infrastructure? How do we get the next generation to want a career in the timber sector? How do we get specifiers, designers and contractors to increase demand for their skills? Well, we haven’t got all the answers but we are sure about one thing: we are going to find them. Together! Dirk Vennix Chief Executive Confederation of Timber Industries

For sure timber and wood products form the platform for life not just in the UK, but across the world. That’s why we will are also focused




TIMBER TRENDS NEW RULES FOR DOORS & WINDOWS IMMINENT A couple of big legislative changes are only weeks away for any joinery companies that are either selling products and services to the homeowner, or providing doors or windows for new homes. BWF is offering support and guidance documentation to help ensure that members don’t break the law.

Resolution (ADR) that is in the process of being absorbed into UK law and will introduce a requirement around ADR. This is designed to offer a quicker and cheaper alternative to the court system when disputes cannot be resolved between the consumer and the business directly.

Amendments to the building regulations for England will introduce the requirement for security rated doors (including vehicular garage doors) and windows to be provided for new dwellings. These doors and windows should, as a minimum, be of a design successfully tested to PAS 24. Products meeting the requirements of the Secured by Design Scheme would meet the recommendations. The changes, as proposed in the new Approved Document Q, will take effect on 1 October 2015 for use in England. New regulations on consumer rights will have an impact on all firms that sell products and services to the homeowner.

Even though it’s not mandatory for businesses or consumers to use it, you will be required to signpost the customer to an approved, independent ADR provider – an ombudsman or similar scheme – so there is the option if both parties wish to pursue it. This will also mean updating your T&Cs and knowing whom you will signpost to.

At the same time you need to consider the new European Directive on Alternative Dispute

Members of the BWF can contact us for advice on the Consumer Rights Rules and the BWF Template resources are being updated to ensure compliance with the new rules. Members can also access industry-specific legal advice and many free business support services via the BWF. Source:

EU POLITICIANS PUSHED ON TIMBER RECOGNITION European Union politicians were urged to realise the potential of the timber and woodworking sectors as drivers of low emission growth and development at the recent Paris UN COP 21 Climate Change Conference. At the same time, the wider wood industry is being encouraged to reinforce the message and promote its low carbon credentials to policy makers and the wider market at local and national level. The recommendation to EU political leaders came out of a June meeting in Vienna of the


Wood for Growth Committee of the European Wood Network, an alliance of European timber industry leaders and associations, backed by the ETTF and European Organisation of Sawmill Industries (EOS). “We focused on supporting measures the European Commission has put forward to cut emissions by 40% in its ‘Roadmap to Paris’; a package of environmental strategies and recommendations to be tabled at COP21 in November,” said David Hopkins, Chairman of

Wood for Growth and Director of the UK’s Wood for Good. The European Wood Network has developed a ‘Toolbox’ of downloadable marketing material for timber bodies and businesses EU-wide. This features impactful timber construction and manufacturing case-study projects, and common messaging on wood’s environmental benefits and economic potential. Visit:



TIMBER TRENDS clear assurance that the timber has been produced and graded to strict standards under controlled conditions and is fit for purpose.”

CE MARK FOR ALL BRASH BOARDS John Brash has announce that its entire range of timber deck boards is now CE Marked. They are the first UK manufacturer to achieve the CE Mark, which will apply to the JB Standard, JB Citideck and JB Antislip Plus, after completing training with TRADA for C16 deck boards. This follows on from securing the CE Mark for the C24 decking – in conjunction with BM TRADA. Chairman, Christian Brash, said that achieving CE-Mark status is a proud day for the company and all the staff, who are focused on driving up standards right across the company’s range of timber products. “Being the first company in the marketplace to secure the CE Mark for all our timber deck boards is a huge achievement for John Brash. Our quest to achieve the CE Mark has always been driven by our singular aim of having a range of products that offers customers

“Anyone who uses John Brash deck boards on projects from simple decked areas at home through to vast open-air expanses, such as walkways and open spaces on commercial projects – like those created for the Olympic Park – can have total confidence that our quality systems are third-party accredited and subject to regular auditing and verification. We have long argued that timber decks in commercial applications are engineered structures that take a load, so the introduction of the CE Mark is necessary. “John Brash has always set very high standards across all its product ranges – which also include timber roofing battens, scaffold boards and cedar shingles – and the introduction of the CE Mark for deck boards is another landmark for us. We welcome standards such as the CE Mark because they demonstrate that wood products are the equal of other materials used in the construction industry and that contractors and builders can be assured of the quality and performance of our products.” Source:

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY PRAISED IN NEW WWF-UK TIMBER REPORT Having analysed over 100 businesses to see if they are transparent and informative when it comes to using sustainable timber, the WWF found that Travis Perkins, Mace, Saint-Gobain and Carillion all scored the maximum ‘3 trees’ rating. This indicates the companies have made public commitments and there is visible evidence that they have set up the right policies to ensure sustainable timber is being used as much as possible in their products. Also leading the way are major supermarkets such as Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and M&S. The scorecard looks at companies’ practices and policies in relation to sustainably sourced timber and timber products, against a backdrop of increasing deforestation. Helpfully, the scoring process has raised awareness with companies of the perils of forest destruction, which leads to habitat loss and contributes to climate change.

PEFC UK LAUNCH NEW ONLINE CERTIFICATION SYSTEM FOR UK WOODLANDS PEFC UK has launched a new certification system designed to enable small and mediumsized woodland owners to participate in forest certification. The new online forest certification system aims to provide a simple and costeffective solution to assist the UK’s small and medium-sized private forest owners to become PEFC-certified.

“Forestry in the UK is entering an interesting phase,” said Alun Watkins, who heads up PEFC in the UK. “There is an ever-growing focus on homegrown material and the future will see large amounts of UK material entering the supply chain to fuel products such as new innovative engineered material and the biomass sector.

PEFC UK are confident that the online forest certification system will act as an aid to Group Certification managers, to enable these schemes to function more efficiently, reduce costs and become a user-friendly means of assessing the compatibility of existing forest management plans with those required by UKWAS, and provide more consistent audits via a series of easy to follow online checklists.

“Our new online tool assists with reducing the cumbersome paperwork generated by the sustainable forest management process and is designed to be user-friendly and provide an easy path for those seeking to become PEFC-certified.”



Recent WWF-UK research shows that consumers do care about the type of timber used and where it’s from, but they are left wanting on product information compared with food, fairtrade coffee or chocolate. Julia Young of WWF-UK’s said: “As with many agricultural products such as meat or eggs it is just as important to know where our timber products are coming from. If we don’t then UK consumers could be contributing to deforestation.” You can download Timber Scorecard: Measuring the progress of timber and timber-product buyers on sustainability in 2013-2014 from:


TIMBER TRENDS STEICO RELEASE FIRST LVL CONSIGNMENT The first STEICO Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) has left the press at the Group’s new LVL production facility in Poland.

On 10 September STEICO opened its doors to over 300 guests to view the most modern Laminated Veneer Lumber production plant in Europe. Structural Timber Magazine was invited along to see this awe-inspiring development which has been rolled out in less that 12months from breaking ground. On the edges of the Tuchola Forest at a site covering 84 ha STEICO operates a massive production facility in Czarna Woda Poland. The plant incorporates a brand new Laminated Veneer Lumber line which was built by the Finnish specialists Raute in under 12 months. Udo Schramek, CEO and Chairman of STEICO SE, said ‘The completion of the most modern plant in Europe for LVL means the site has taken on completely new significance within the production organisation of STEICO Group.’ ‘Our vision for the future: to provide a complete timber construction system from a single source, is on its way to being realised.


The new production facility brings us a step closer to this target.’ From the beginning the life in Czarna Woda was influenced by wood processing companies. At the end of the 19th century a sawmill was built in this thickly forested region. The facility was extended in the 1950’s with a fibreboard manufacturing facility. With the takeover of the Czarna Woda site in 2005 STEICO was able to further strengthen its market leading position and the site now has five production lines – two producing wood fibre insulation, two producing hardboard and the new one producing LVL. The production process is fully contained on the Czarna Woda site. From raw material cultivation and storage through to debarking, veneer peeling, drying, laying, gluing and pressing the entire process is automated and operated under a stringent quality control regime.



While STEICO LVL is available already in widths up to 1.25m, the new plant can produce boards of up to 2.5m width with thickness of 21-90mm and lengths up to 18m. The first panel left the press with a thickness of 21 mm, a width of 2.5 m and 11m length. The finishes range from simple blanks to high precision profiling and sanding through to light coloured glues and sorted veneers for decorative applications. STEICO, the largest I-Joist manufacturer in Europe, will also use its own LVL for flange material in its Joists giving far more control of its cost base going forward and ensuring customers consistent quality and supply. STEICO LVL is one of the most resilient wood materials for use in modern timber construction or for industrial applications. It is strong – with a slender cross-section and low weight, durable and has excellent dimensional stability. The applications for STEICO LVL are diverse and are suitable for multi-storey residential construction, innovative dry construction systems or with selected veneers for decorative use. They can also be used as heavy-duty beams and columns, as well as ceiling structures or for precision applications in the door and vehicle industries. Consisting of several softwood veneer layers approximately 3mm thick and

glued together. The natural imperfections within the wood are limited by the peeling process on the individual veneer and distributed in the production over the entire billet. The result is an almost homogeneous product with high strength.

The completion of the STEICO LVL production facility complements the STEICO construction system with a high strength and innovative material of the future. Today it is possible to construct almost the entire load bearing and insulting building shell with STEICO products.

In addition, STEICO LVL is kiln-dried and comes with only about 9% moisture content. This ensures that any distortion in the form of twisting and cracking when used properly are virtually eliminated. Whereas solid wood can warp and twist STEICO LVL is particularly stable due to crossway laid veneers.




TIMBER TRENDS BSW Timber Acquires Tilhill Forestry Established in 1948 and headquartered in Stirling, Scotland, Tilhill Forestry provides professional forestry management and timber harvesting and marketing services to forestry owners through its nationwide network of offices.

CONSTRUCTION SECTOR STILL IN RECOVERY MODE UK construction companies remained in recovery mode during August, according to the Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®), with business activity and employment levels both expanding at a strong pace. There were also some encouraging signs that strains on raw material availability have started to subside, as highlighted by the slowest deterioration in vendor performance for just over three years in August. Survey respondents noted that rising levels of supplier capacity, alongside lower fuel and energy costs, had helped restrain overall input price inflation in August. Of the three broad sectors monitored by the survey, the fastest pace of expansion was in residential construction. Growth of commercial work also accelerated since the previous month, reaching its strongest since March. Survey respondents widely linked the latest upturn to improving economic conditions and strong demand from private sector clients. Looking ahead, more than half of the survey panel (53%) anticipate a rise in business activity over the next 12 months, while only 5% forecast a reduction. Although the degree of optimism remained below June’s 11year high, the latest reading was comfortably above the long-run survey average. Increased workloads and impending new project starts in turn contributed to a robust rate of job creation in August. The current period of staff hiring now stretches to 27 successive months, which is the longest recorded by the survey for just over nine years. Tim Moore, Senior Economist at Markit and author of the Markit/CIPS Construction PMI®, said: “UK construction companies remained on a reasonably strong growth footing in August, helped by a sustained recovery in both residential and commercial building activity. “The construction sector maintained its position as a strong engine of job creation in August, as permanent staff numbers and sub-contractor demand both picked up over the month. However, the surge in construction workloads over the past two-and-a-half years has created substantial skill shortages across the sector, with survey respondents reporting ongoing staff recruitment difficulties this summer. “There was some encouraging news in terms of construction materials availability, as firms reported the lowest pressure on delivery times for over three years, helped by rising inventories and a rebound in supplier capacity.” Source:


Tilhill Forestry will now operate as a subsidiary of BSW Timber with its own operational board. George McRobbie will remain as managing director with Peter Whitfield and Andy Hudson continuing in their current directorship roles. The board will be further strengthened by the addition of Gavin Adkins, Harry Stevens and Richard Scott from BSW. The company will continue to focus on building its core strengths of highquality forest management, while delivering a secure and stable supply of homegrown timber to the market. Tony Hackney, chief executive, BSW Timber, said: “The acquisition marks the beginning of a strengthened partnership in the forest industry that will deliver quality from beginning to end - from creating new forests through to producing timber end products. “This significant acquisition creates the largest forest products company in the UK and underscores our ambition to increase the utilisation of UK timber. BSW is a growing enterprise and this acquisition is a key component of BSW’s vision for future development.” Source:

CANADIAN GUIDE TO TALL TIMBER The Government of Québec recently announced the publication of a technical guide: Bâtiments de construction massive en bois d’au plus 12 étages (Construction of Mass Timber Buildings Up to 12 Storeys). Research in Canada and internationally has shown that it is possible to construct safe and secure timber buildings greater than six storeys using materials such as cross laminated timber (CLT). The guide outlines the technical principles required to design and construct wooden buildings up to 12 storeys using mass timber. The announcement was made by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations. “We are very proud to have contributed the scientific expertise necessary to enable the Government of Québec to develop this manual,” said Lapointe. “The Quebec construction industry now has the knowledge necessary to design and construct buildings to the highest possible standards of safety using wood, an abundant and renewable natural resource and a cornerstone of the Québec economy.” Québec has recently seen an increase in wooden construction with a local consortium announcing the development of a 13-storey wooden residential building in Québec City. Source:




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ILLBRUCK SYSTEM ADDRESSES TIMBER FRAME DYNAMICS As the housebuilding industry looks to meet Government and demographic demands for 250,000 new homes a year, the employment of timber-based systems will increase dramatically as they already constitute the most popular branch of offsite construction. Timber is accepted as being highly sustainable though, as an organic material, it is susceptible to differential movement or ‘settlement’. This is an issue which is magnified when employing timber for multi-storey structures where cumulative loading leads to greater relative movement between the structural frame and the cladding - normally brickwork - at the upper levels. However, the technical and aesthetic challenges this presents can be effectively dealt with through use of the illbruck system: detailed in the manufacturer’s Timber Max brochure and covered by a BBA Agrement certificate 12/4891Product Sheet 5. The system features the use of the well proven Compriband 450, a soft and flexible open-cell polyurethane foam, which is installed on the inner or warm side of the structure above and below the window openings. This combines with Tremco-illbruck ME500 membrane, lapping onto the window frame, and Compriband 601 which permits the window jambs to slide vertically as the building moves.

Not only has Compriband been developed to accommodate the 37mm of movement expected in buildings up to six storeys, the system also offers buildability through ease of installation and an encapsulating sleeve that is removed once brickwork mortar has dried. Together they provide the accuracy, consistency and robustness required to enable timber frame systems to realise their potential as rapid build, well-insulated solutions for today’s construction industry. Crucially, the illbruck system helps maintain weather resistance and airtightness in line with the principle of creating Fabric First or

PassivHaus type envelopes which are moisturetight on the warm side and vapour-open on the cold side. In contrast to conventional construction techniques, the illbruck system using Compriband 450 avoids the problem of return visits to deal with cracked silicone seals or windows sticking due to pressure bearing on the frames as well as cills lifting and rotating.


NEW CHAIR FOR CTI Peter Hindle MBE has been appointed as the first chairman of the newly-formed Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI). Hindle is senior vice-president for sustainable habitat for Saint-Gobain, general delegate of Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland and South Africa, as well as also being chairman of the Builders Merchant Federation and vice chairman of the Construction Products Association. He has taken on the additional CTI chairman’s role for the next 12 months. His key roles are to support the early formation of its Board with up to six senior business executives from all parts of the timber supply chain as well as the establishment of governance and the development of its strategy for tackling some of the big issues and opportunities within the


UK’s timber industry, particularly sustainability, skills and education and the industry’s economic contribution. “I am delighted to take on the challenging role of CTI Chairman,” said Peter Hindle. “After 45 years in the builders’ merchants industry, this is an exciting and influential position. I am looking forward to working with the CTI and helping to grow the confederation within the industry. The forecast and optimism within the timber supply chain looks set to improve over the coming year and this can only bring a positive impact to the CTI.”




TIMBER TRENDS MARINE PLYWOOD UNDER SCRUTINY NEW ISO WOOD STANDARD IN DEVELOPMENT A new standard for tracing wood to sustainable sources is being developed. ISO 38001 will enable full traceability and transparency of wood products. The public awareness of the magnitude of deforestation is constantly growing. With this comes a demand for reliable and factual evidence that all wood-based products are derived from sustainable managed forests. All marine plywood contracts placed by members of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) will have to be accredited by an independent third party certification scheme as of 1st September, 2015. The move is an attempt to quell concerns that as the high quality, durable veneers required for the BS 1088: 2003: Marine Plywood standard become more difficult to source, more of the marine plywood on the market will not be up to the quality it is claimed to be. Accreditation will provide verification that the plywood fully complies with the BS 1088: 2003: Marine Plywood standard. Marine plywood was originally intended for the manufacture of marine craft but is increasingly used in building construction, in extreme climates, and in general building work where a high standard of durability is required. BM TRADA, which provides certification, testing and inspection services, has proposed its Q-Mark scheme for Marine Plywood as an example of the kind of certification that will be required under the new TTF requirements. To achieve certification under BM TRADA’s Q Mark scheme, initial type testing of the product must be undertaken and the manufacturer must also have in place a properly documented factory production control (FPC) system that


includes procedures for all the activities undertaken during manufacturing. Any manufacturer deemed to satisfy the criteria will be issued with a certificate for each factory and with certification marks to apply to their products. Certification is valid for three years and is maintained through a programme of periodic factory audits, periodic audit testing of the product and a re-certification audit in the third year. Dr Hugh Mansfield-Williams, BM TRADA’s technical manager (structural and timber) said: “BM TRADA’s Marine Plywood Q-Mark scheme aims to improve the quality and performance of marine plywood used within the construction industry. “Developed in support of the Timber Trade Federation’s initiative to require independent verification of marine plywood, the Q-Mark scheme will enable manufacturers to demonstrate that their product complies with BS 1088 and has been manufactured to exacting quality standards. It will also offer appropriate information to specifiers and regulatory and inspection authorities to help them identify suitable products.” Source: STRUC TUR AL TIMBER MAG A ZINE | ISSUE 05 | AUTUMN 2015

The new standard has now reached the first consultation phase. This means that the ISO members, who are involved in the development of 38001, now have four months to form a national position on the draft and comment on it. This upcoming standard will enable organisation to reassure their customers, suppliers and stakeholders, that the wood they are using is sustainability sourced. Dr. Jorge E.R. Cajazeria, Chair of the committee developing the standard said: “ISO 38001 will not only demonstrate that the raw material originates from wellmanaged forests, but that the final product can also be tracked through its various stages of production. This can go towards encouraging the use of traceable wood and even preventing illegally sourced wood from getting into the supply chain.” The new standard, ISO 38001, Chain of Custody of Wood and Wood-Based Products – Requirements, is expected to be published in May 2017. For more information and updates on ISO 38001 progress visit:


COST – A BARRIER TO OFFSITE? Cost remains the biggest barrier to uptake of offsite construction in housebuilding. That is the conclusion of a report for the Scottish government, which is aiming to extend the use of the construction approach. The Scottish government’s sustainable housing strategy says it wants Scottish companies to maximise the potential of innovative design and construction techniques to deliver more green homes. Its greener homes innovation scheme is supporting the construction of 319 affordable homes, promoting greener and more modern methods of construction. Trade body Homes for Scotland surveyed its members, who together deliver 95% of new homes built for sale in Scotland, to assess industry awareness, appetite and readiness surrounding alternative construction methods such as offsite manufactured systems. It found improved quality, sustainability and speed of construction were drivers for an increase in the use of offsite construction.

The report found no resistance to offsite construction in principle from homebuilders. However, the strong perception that offsite construction is more expensive was found to be the biggest barrier. Concerns were also expressed about control over programming and the capacity of the supply chain to sharply increase output. The report makes a series of recommendations aimed at improving understanding of the approach and its costs, including the greater use of offsite construction in the Scottish government’s affordable housing programmes. Homes for Scotland chief executive Philip Hogg said: “With the industry’s capacity to increase production in the wake of the economic downturn currently being hampered by shortages in both skills and traditional building materials, this report is very timely and provides a useful baseline from which to explore how the increased use of offsite construction could help overcome these challenges. However, any such ‘evolution’ must be demand-led and supported by a proven

business case that also provides the flexibility the private sector require in delivering products to their customers.” Source:


TIMBER TRENDS CONSTRUCTION TRADES CALL FOR GOVERNMENT SUPPORT Tradesmen have called on the government to protect the industry from future recessions, as part of a roundtable discussion hosted by UK Construction Week in association with Checkatrade. The event, which was chaired by TV personality and Checkatrade Ambassador Craig Phillips, brought together a cross-section of tradesmen from around the industry to discuss the key topics affecting construction professionals today. Top of the agenda was a sense of dissatisfaction with the level of support the government gives to construction, despite the industry being a driving factor behind economic recovery and growth. Discussing the prospect of another recession in the future, several participants claimed that the constant cycle of boom and bust is the biggest threat to their businesses today, with not enough being done to support construction companies during the hard times – in sharp contrast to other industries such as automotive and finance.

Craig commented: “It’s disheartening that during the last recession the British car industry received a package of benefits and funding from the government, as well as huge bailouts for the banking sector, yet the construction industry was left to fend for itself. It was the same story during the recession in the 1990s and this on-going cycle continues to threaten long-term construction productivity. As a major contributor to the UK’s economy, it’s high time the government provided the construction industry with the assurances and security it deserves.”

Kevin Byrne the founder of Checkatrade commented: “It was interesting to hear the speakers talk about how important reputation is to them and the difficulties they face with ‘cowboy’ traders out there in the market. Another issue was around effectively marketing their businesses on social media, as while all of the speakers were aware how important this is, most of them were unsure how to go about it.” Source:

Posing a major threat to the industry’s reputation, several speakers argued that there is not enough enforcement to ensure contractors deliver high quality standards of work. This means that often jobs are won on cost alone, opening the door for less scrupulous contractors to undercut genuine tradesmen by delivering substandard or dangerous installations.



The Global Timber Forum (GTF) has undertaken an international Supplier and Consumer Due Diligence Analysis, to find out just how well companies understand the concept and put it into practice. Under report author George White, a team of interviewers put a set questionnaire to 27 EU ‘operator’ importers, which have to undertake due diligence illegality risk assessment of all suppliers under the EUTR. They also quizzed 15 supplier companies (all in tropical countries), which today face a mass of due diligence documentation and inquiries from customers EU-wide. Critically, they focused on small to medium sized enterprises, which not only comprise a large part of the timber sector, but may find due diligence more of a burden as they have fewer resources to devote to it. Key conclusions included that most companies had a good understanding of their due diligence obligations, but the knowledge of some was seriously deficient. The report also ranks due diligence understanding and performance of EU company participants by country.

Howarth Timber Engineered Solutions (HTES), part of Howarth Timber Group, has bought Gloucestershire-based Paul Timber Engineering Ltd, which has operated from its current site in Fairford since 2003. It supplied Boise I Joist, metal web floor joists and roof trusses to regional builders and merchants, and is described by its new owner as having “built up an enviable reputation”. The fourth factory in HTES’ portfolio, it joins the sites in the North West, East Yorkshire, and Suffolk. “It was part of our strategic plan to expand our operations in the South West, and when the opportunity came along to purchase this well established and respected business we didn’t hesitate,” said Jim Provan, HTES’ managing director. “The team in Fairford has a wealth of experience, and the factory is well positioned to service the South and South West. We will shortly undertake substantial investment in the site, which will involve doubling the size of the existing factory, expanding the design office, and installing additional highperformance saws and presses.”

“The GTF Analysis offers a valuable snapshot of where the EU timber sector and its supply base are on due diligence. It shows encouraging areas of strength, but also points of weakness in need of improvement,” said George White.

Michael Paul of Paul Timber Engineering said: “This is an exciting prospect for my staff and myself. The investment being made by Howarth Timber Engineered Solutions will enable the business to take massive strides forward. We’re all looking forward to working as part of the Howarth Timber Group.”





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Perfect for all modern methods of construction such as SIPS panels, Glulam, Xlam, timber frame, facades and insulation ETA approved and conforms to Eurocode 5 design codes Shear strengths comparable with a bolted joint Patented combination thread of the Timber Connect secures sole plates to concrete Stainless steel available for use with oak and solar installations Design software available

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SIP SUITABILITY With an increasing drive to ensure homes are as efficient as possible – particularly where heating, cooling and ventilation is concerned – it is important to carefully consider the various housebuilding options available. Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA) examines the suitability of SIPS in residential buildings.

Structural insulated panels (SIPS) utilise composite panel technology to provide load-bearing construction elements that combine structural and thermal properties into one solution. Typically, a SIP consists of two layers of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) sandwiching an insulation core, typically made up of either expanded polystyrene (EPS) of polyurethane (PU). The composite structure is much stronger than the sum of its parts with the insulation core stabilising the OSB and preventing deflection under loading. Providing an efficient and indeed effective solution to reducing thermal losses, SIPS can help improve the energy conservation of a home. Thermal losses themselves are dictated by the hygrothermal performance – the transportation of heat, air and moisture through the building envelope.




This exchange of energy and mass is due to differentials between indoor and outdoor temperatures, pressures and humidity conditions. The greatest benefits are achieved through appropriate specification of materials combined with accurate design detailing at critical junctions. While each of these areas is intrinsically linked, the hygrothermal performance can be split into three key sections – thermal resistance, thermal bridging and air tightness – for greater analytical assessment. Thermal resistance The thermal resistance of a material indicates its ability to transfer heat. In solids, this is directly proportional to the material’s thickness since heat is transferred via conduction. Therefore to improve the thermal resistance and reduce the U-value, an increase in thickness of building elements is required. Since the thermal resistance of a building element is only one part of its performance requirement, increasing the thickness of the insulation levels without combining them into an integrated approach to the overall performance would provide uneconomically thick elements. SIPS offer the efficiency of structural and thermal performance within one product. U-values as low as 0.11 W/m2K can be achieved through the use of SIPS while also limiting the increase in building dimensions (wall thickness). Thermal resistance gains can be achieved when assessing the surround build-up of the building element such as the cavity in a cavity wall. Providing a low-emissivity surface, such as aluminium foil, on the face of the SIP reduces the radiation transfer across the cavity, so that the airspace has a higher thermal resistance and therefore an associated reduction in U-value. Thermal bridging The construction format of SIPS means there are less timber members that fill the space between the outer and inner layer of a SIP wall profile to create what are called thermal bridges. Any interference of the insulation will cause a thermal bridge. The thermal calculations

undertaken to determine the heat loss through a building’s fabric must include recognition of the thermal bridging factors. Consequently the building designer can benefit from the SIPS low thermal bridging factors. Airtightness The flow of air through a building is either controlled, e.g. through ventilation, or uncontrolled, e.g. through air leakage. Air leakage is created by gaps and cracks in the fabric of the building and leads to unnecessary heat loss, discomfort, interstitial condensation, increased sound transmission, degradation of the building envelope and increased energy costs. Air leakage (or air permeability) is the rate of leakage in cubic metres of air per hour per square metre of envelope area at a reference pressure difference of 50 Pascals (Pa). SIP systems are capable of achieving excellent air tightness figures without the need for additional measures that would be required for most other building methods. The use of two layers of OSB and a central insulation core within a SIP provides a multi-layered air barrier combining low permeability materials. Large format panels and manufacturing tolerances limits the air leakage at connections and junctions. This can assist in providing an airtight construction significantly below 3m3/hour/m2 at 50 Pa. In general, due to the large number of joints and junctions created by the majority of construction techniques, combined with the inherent permeability and porosity of the materials involved means that creating an efficient air barrier can be difficult. This often


means that the effectiveness of the air barrier is based on the quality of site workmanship – however, the SIP system reduces this reliance on onsite workmanship through its detailing. Offsite manufacturing tolerances allow it to achieve excellent airtightness values, which are more difficult to achieve with most other building methods. SIP systems provide a balanced approach to the hygrothermal performance that maximises gains in all areas without compromising others. The flexibility of the system permits a wide and varied building type and style to be built with very little restriction on size, shape and form. For more information on SIPS visit:

SIPS Pocket Guide The new STA SIPS Pocket Guide can be purchased via the STA’s online Shop. The Guide provides information for the coordination of successful projects, design-to-site details, the build sequence linked to a checklist of ‘What to look for’, best practice advice for principal details, reference papers and further reading.

SIPS Technical Bulletins A set of six SIPS Technical Bulletins can be downloaded from the STA’s online Information Centre.



YOUR HOUSE: YOUR CHOICE Custom build has the potential to deliver exciting new communities with a range of homes geared to what owners actually want. Jon Sawyer, Head of Custom Build for igloo and Chair of NaCSBA’s Developer Group, explains why developers need to think differently.

All political parties recognise the importance of raising housing supply to 200,000+ net new homes a year. During the recession, when housing supply dropped to 110,000, the Coalition Government and Lyons Housing Commission both looked at ways to improve the existing supply models. However they concluded that new models were needed as the peak had only delivered 170,000 and the


volume housebuilders had too much control over land supply. In May 2012 the former National Self Build Association organised a trade mission to Holland along with former Housing Minister Grant Shapps. What they found was a housing market in which more than 25% of homes are commissioned by their residents, unlike

the 10% achieved through self-builders in the UK. The key difference was the existence of a professional Custom Build market. Custom Build, which involves a developer helping a purchaser commission their own home, has taken off in Holland to the extent that whole communities are delivered this way. It is also used in many other overseas counties, which on average deliver more than half of their homes this way.




The Government has set a target of delivering 100,000 Custom Build homes by 2021 and has offered a number of incentives to help Custom Build get off the ground. These include 12 pilot sites, CIL exemption (the average CIL charging zone is about £7,500 per unit) and a £150m Serviced Plot Loan Fund. The real game changer comes in 2016 with the introduction of the Government’s ‘Right to Build’, which requires Councils to assess demand for Custom and Self Build and make land available to meet that demand. Research


customising their home from a menu of design options. As well as greater choice another key difference is that the customer typically owns their plot whilst the home is being built for them. Developers charge less profit because of this pre-sale and this, along with other savings like lower stamp duty, helps to fund the bespoke design.

undertaken by the renamed National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) for the Nationwide Foundation has identified that about 1 in 4 Councils are already starting to explore options for creating demand registers.

There is still a big consumer education programme that NaCSBA is spearheading, but the early signs for Custom Build are promising with 700 people visiting the first marketing event at Graven Hill in Bicester and 1,000 people visiting igloo’s website ahead of the first plot release. All developers are reporting faster sales with many customers citing choice and quality as their drivers for choosing Custom Build over a volume housebuilder product. In fact RIBA research has found that two thirds of people would never buy from a volume housebuilder.

As a result of this public sector support there are already more than 20 developers offering turn-key Custom Build solutions including a number of large players like igloo, Lovell, Places for People and Swan. The customer’s experience is very simple, choosing a serviced plot and then

Although some developers are using traditional brick and block, most developers are opting for timber frame, SIPS and factory-manufactured systems. To take advantage of this opportunity suppliers will need to be willing to take deferred payments. In the case of igloo, which is


delivering the Government pilot at Heartlands in Cornwall, they will also need to form part of home manufacturer teams along with architects and builders. Igloo’s 6 home manufacturer teams for Heartlands were selected following a competition that assessed price, deliverability and quality. The timber frame suppliers within the successful teams range from local Truro-based supplier Frame UK, to national player Potton and international firm Riko. All are joining a national framework that will have opportunities on igloo’s growing number of sites around the UK. To help igloo achieve the growth it is forecasting additional home manufacturer teams will be invited to join its framework from early 2016.

For more information visit:

National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) NaCSBA was set up by network of companies and individuals with the common aim of promoting self build and custom build as a form of housing delivery that can make a significant contribution to home building in the UK. NaCSBA brings together developers, architects, planners, financial and warranty providers, manufacturers, self builders, community groups and local authorities to develop, share and promote best practice in self and custom build. The Association is run by its members and is independent, relevant and practical, and operated on a not for profit basis. For more information visit:


CUSTOM BUILD– A BETTER WAY TO BUILD Mary Riley, an expert in funding options for Custom Build and Self Build housing, picks ten important approaches to bear in mind when pursuing this vibrant way to meet the UK’s huge housing demands. The Government is committed to increase housing supply and help more people have a home of their own. The Government believes that Custom and Self Build housing will contribute towards meeting that demand and will also create growth within the smaller and medium housebuilders, thereby developing more diversity in the housing market. As we know – Custom Build funding may be delivered in a number of ways. 1. Housing Growth Partnership (HGP) is backed by the Homes and Community Agency and Lloyds Banking Group. The HGP invests its own money/capital into residential development projects together with successful housebuilders who have a proven track record. That is to say track record to be evidenced - developments of 10 – 100 house units per year over a three period. 2. Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Builders Finance Fund – designed to restart and speed up smaller housing developments. The HCA program is designed to help address problems in accessing development funding particularly smaller developers. 3. Local Authorities Mortgage Scheme (LAMS) – local authorities working closely with Capita Asset Service’s new Custom and Self Build scheme (CSB) which supports the Right to Build legislation. No requirement for stage payments, access to a wider range of mortgages up to 95% loan to value. • A partnership between local authority (LA), the self-builder and a range of residential mortgage lenders • A five year financial indemnity from the local authority to support high to loan mortgages • Self-builder secures a plot of land from the LA with a 5% deposit – contract with LA. • LA works with self-builder and with a framework of local/national builders/ construction companies. 4. Peer to Peer Finance Association P2PFA- Regulated by the FCA. • Customer money is put in segregated accounts for security


• Full disclosure to those who are lending the money that their capital is at risk • Platforms have their own measures to minimise risk • This type of investment is not government- backed under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (£85,000) • If a platform goes bust a third party must be appointed to take responsibility of the existing loan book • P2PFA are subject to additional rues ex. Net rate of interest minus defaults and charges, further changes may be announced in the autumn of this year – customers may have access to a platforms loan book – to see money flowing in and out of the business. 5. Crowd Funding • Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) • Equity Crowdfunding – people invest money for a share in the business – instead of lending their money for interest • Whether this type of investment will be allowed to sit in the new ‘Innovative Finance’ ISA is subject to consultation which closes end of September 2015 • Share Basis Crowdfunding – permits investments into multiple properties and diversifies risk. 6. ‘Traditional’ Development Finance for the Custom Build sector. • As we know in most circumstances a bank or building society will insist on having first charge on the asset with a “ranking agreement in place to accommodate additional funders” • The construction company may require to inject 10% of own capital into a project • Some high street lenders do not have an appetite to lend development funding. 7. Lending Institutions – their take on Custom Build – Offsite Manufacturing • Offsite manufacturing – still requires buy in from some banks and building societies • Surveyors to improve their understanding of offsite manufacturing • Lender Credit Policy – amendments to policy to accommodate offsite manufacturing

• Warranty providers insuring against the design life of construction. (Fit for purpose) • End User/Consumer/Purchaser. 8. ‘Community Self-Build’ – affordable housing – structure of funding dependant on when the End User/Occupier of the property takes ownership. 9. What is Custom Build? • A property customised to a client’s/home owners specific design and specification • A construction company/land acquisition company selling individual services plots of land to individuals to self-build • A construction company selling serviced plots of land to an individual – the construction company may then build out on behalf of the client staged funding • A construction company part building a property with the end user completing the build • Residential Stage Release Funding e.g. funding to assist with land purchase, interim funding during the construction period and final finds released on completion of the build • May be seen as the new ‘affordable housing’ – in most instances much of the developer profit will be negated. 10. Planning policy and guidelines on local authorities • Many local authorities have land that may be allocated to self-builders • Exemption of the Community Infrastructure Levy for Custom and Self-Builders • 10 Unit threshold for Section 106 affordable housing contributions • National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – Local Planning Authorities LPA) – evidence consideration of demand for Custom and Self Build housing has been taken into account when developing the Local Plans. NPPF presumption in favour of Sustainable Development. For more information visit:



NSTS: TIMBER’S NEW FRAMEWORK The long-awaited new National Structural Timber Specification (NSTS) document has now been published. The NSTS marks a significant step forward for the timber industry in levelling the playing field against competing materials such as steel and concrete. Both the steel and concrete industries already have National Specification publications – in fact steel’s ‘black book’ is already into its fifth edition – but the timber industry has been slower in this area – until now. Hopefully the NSTS will make the specification of timber a simpler prospect for all sectors of the construction industry and provide a set of best practice guidelines against which timber buildings can be erected. The brainchild of TRADA, the publication of the NSTS is not a small step forward but rather a giant leap. Working with industry specialists, TRADA has developed a recognised comprehensive specification that covers information exchange, materials, fabrication, erection, protection and quality assurance. It’s a real game-changer for an industry that has – to this point – relied on using documentation from previous projects to fit the latest one. The NSTS focuses on structural uses of kilndried softwoods for use in three main areas – light-frame construction – usually known as ‘timber frame’. Heavy-frame construction – typically glulam and other engineered timber post and beam structures – as well as panel construction (typically cross-laminated timber and SIPS). For each of these areas, methods of erection and tolerances are defined. It is conceivable that the specifier might choose to adopt a


‘different’ set of guidance and tolerances from that normally expected. The design of NSTS has deliberately followed Eurocode 5. There has been no provision for BS 5268 because it has been withdrawn. In future editions, it will be possible to create further modules to cover non-structural uses of timber – joinery, decking, cladding and flooring. Another area for future consideration will be hybrid construction (where timber is combined structurally with other materials). “New developments in engineered timber and computer controlled machining, mean that it is now the ideal material for rapid prefabrication and erection,” says Arup’s Andrew Lawrence. “A standard UK timber specification is a vital part of helping timber realise its potential as a standard construction material for larger buildings alongside steel and concrete.” This isn’t just a box-ticking exercise either, adds Rupert Scott, TRADA’s Membership Manager: “The consultation was opened up to all TRADA members and we’re delighted that nearly 100 individuals, with a passion for building with wood, have volunteered to provide valuable feedback.” The development and quality of the NSTS is supported by a team of expert TRADA members. Nick Milestone of B&K Structures chaired the steering group, which included representatives

from Kingspan, Arup and BM TRADA. Peer reviewing was provided by representatives from Smith and Wallwork, BAM Construct UK, Ramboll, Waugh Thistleton and NHBC, followed by a wider consultation among TRADA members. “We believe that it will make a huge difference to timber by providing a very easy way for everyone to specify all the general aspects of structural timber by just referring to this free-todownload document,” says Rupert Scott, TRADA membership and marketing manager. Visitors to Timber Expo will be able to hear a lot more about the NSTS and take part in a panel discussion during the TRADA-organised Timber Focus seminar sessions. At 11.00 Tuesday 6 October, Nick Milestone, Managing Director, B&K Structures; John Allen, Senior Engineer, MACE Construction and Alan Murray, Technical Author, RIBA Enterprises will introduce this new tool for the construction market and discuss its purpose, content, benefits, results of trials and relationship with NBS before inviting a panel and audience discussion on what could be done to make it easier to specify timber and what other guidance tools would make timber easier to specify.

Copies of the NSTS will be available to download for free in late September. For more information visit:


Dundon Passivhaus by Prewett Bizley Architects


WHY TIMBER FRAME? Timber frame currently accounts for around a quarter of new homes in the UK, with over 75% of self-builders using the product as their primary build method. The Structural Timber Association (STA) considers the benefits of building with timber frame in conjunction with its own ‘Why Timber Frame?’ guide.

to its significant time / cost saving benefits timber frame tends to be at least 30% quicker than ‘traditional’ methods of construction for example, meaning prelim costs are reduced. Where student accommodation and even hotel projects are concerned, time is very much of the essence. Many student accommodation construction projects for example normally take place during the summer break, in order to create as little upheaval and inconvenience to the university and its students as possible.

Utilised by every sector of the construction industry, timber frame is particularly popular for use in hotel and student accommodation projects – but why? Timber frame systems are an innovative choice that allow for offsite construction. It is this offsite construction technique that is of real benefit when it comes to cost (and time) saving – entire homes can be built off-site and transported relatively easily to their end location before being ‘pieced together’ in no time at all. What’s more, it is also possible to install doors, windows and insulation as required at the factory manufacturing stage, rather than on site, generating a significant cost saving too. Generally speaking, timber frame is gaining the market share when compared to other methods of construction. This is largely due


As such, time is probably the most important factor that needs to be taken into consideration when selecting materials for use. Going outside of this timeframe can of course mean a costly financial penalty – this is where the off-site build method associated with timber frame really comes into its own, helping to greatly speed up construction. The launch of the STA’s ‘Why Timber Frame?’ guide has been developed to explore these benefits in greater detail, providing an in-depth look at timber frame and its advantages over other forms of construction. The ‘Why Timber Frame?’ guide provides useful information to ensure the successful co-ordination of projects, design-to-site details, ‘What to look for’ checklists, best practice

advice and reference papers for further research into timber frame construction. Broken down into nine key areas, covering everything from technical performance and reduced waste through to health and safety considerations and whole life costs, the guide is easy to read, delivering valuable information in bite sized chunks. The guide itself includes valuable research looking into fire safety, waste reduction, whole life costs and reliability. Timber frame in the UK is a competitive and innovative building technique with the potential to meet many of the UK’s future building needs. In putting together the ‘Why Timber Frame?’ guide, the STA is doing all it can to help educate the industry, delivering a useful reference tool that will help guide professionals, providing a deeper insight into why timber is the sustainable material of choice.

For more information visit:



TIMBER CLADDING & DURABILITY Timber has the ability to soften and accentuate buildings and landscapes like no other material and offers a winning combination of versatility, economy and environmental credentials to any building project. Janet Sycamore from the Timber Decking & Cladding Association explains the options surrounding service life. To make the best use of timber there needs to be an appreciation of its properties and behaviour. Well-designed and installed timber cladding acts as a rain screen with a welldrained and ventilated cavity behind the boards. With careful detailing and materials selection, timber will perform for decades. Three common aspects to remember: • Allow for natural movement in the design, i.e. the natural cycle of expansion and contraction that occurs with changes in seasons, by having appropriate expansion gaps, suitable fixings and fixing points and adequate support • Ensure the moisture content of the timber is appropriate at the point of installation • Be aware that timber is a natural material and its appearance will change over time, eventually weather to a mellow silver grey colour. Take steps to prevent uneven weathering where possible.


There is plenty of technical information available online to help the specifier. Recently BS8605 External Timber Cladding Part 1: Method of specifying was published. This is a useful reference tool and covers aspects under the control of the manufacturer up to the point where the cladding leaves the factory. Part 2, which will cover cladding once it leaves the factory, is still being written.

Use the following as a specifier check list.

• Fire retardant treatment: if fire protection is a stipulation under building regulations, always check to ensure that the cladding species, profile size and cavity design reflects accurately the Certificates that accompany the treatment under consideration.

• Budget: price varies significantly. Naturally durable species from which all sapwood is excluded tends to cost more than less durable softwoods protected by an industrially applied wood preservative. Cost relates to availability of a species, quality, performance and level of processing involved. • Desired service life: the prediction of service life is not precise because a range of factors can affect it but generally length of service will relate to the durability of the timber against fungal and insect attack.

Durability is either inherent in the species or conveyed by a factory-applied wood preservative or modification process.

• Durability against decay and insects: cladding is a BSEN335:1 Use Class 3 application – select material suitable for this end use that will achieve the service life you require.

• Design detailing: careful detailing to prevent moisture retention and to minimise the effects of moisture movement (expansion and contraction) are essential in all designs. Materials with enhanced durability can provide an insurance against detailing failures and poor installation practice/ maintenance.



Image: Sylva Timber

• Is a natural or coated finish required: a coating will need to be maintained according to product guidelines. At least one coat, factory applied on all sides, is the best approach. • What maintenance regime is acceptable: if maintenance, repair and replacement is likely to be difficult and costly then the highest durability of cladding permitted by the budget should be chosen. All coated cladding will require recoating at some point. • Resistance to impact damage and vandalism: species with a low density (physical hardness) are susceptible to impact and surface damage and should never be used at low levels where there is the potential for abrasion, scraping or vandalism.


• Sustainability certification: source certification schemes from managed forest resources are now well established for both home grown and imported species. Look for materials from FSC and PEFC accredited sources for absolute reassurance. • Quality: for any given species, appearance, strength and durability are determined by the quality selected. Knot size, knot frequency, grain orientation, type of machining and whether sapwood is included or excluded all have a bearing on quality. Where naturally durable, preservative treated or modified woods are specified, the TDCA recommends that the cladding is processed using a Factory Production Control system (FPC), with third party accreditation such as ISO9001.

• Supplier support services: make sure that the supplier you select has the ability to provide the range of support services required prior to, during and after installation. Samples supply, supply volume and quality consistency, technical expertise on the chosen material, handling advice and snagging and quality dispute resolution policies are all critical service factors to be considered. Look for suppliers with the TDCA CladMark quality accreditation which means their capabilities and policies have been independently assessed. With any treated timber be it fire retardant or preservative protection, the TDCA stresses the importance of obtaining evidence of treatment.



Natural Durability Natural durability classes relate to heartwood only – the sapwood of all species is not durable i.e. class 5. If sapwood is present then pressure treatment is recommended to improve durability. Pressure treatment of some species, particularly hardwoods, is not always possible because they are difficult to treat. Desired services life options are 15, 30 and 60 years and these assume good design and maintenance. The default industry specification for cladding is generally 30 years.

Desired service life

Heartwood durability class

Examples of suitable species



Siberian Larch, home grown western red cedar



Canadian WRC, Yellow Balau, Red Louro



Cumaru, Angelim

Examples of wood species with naturally durable heartwood that can achieve specific desired service lives. Note - some modified timber species such as Accoya and ThermoAsh and pressure treated softwoods can also achieve these service lives. Class 3 is heartwood classed as moderately durable Class 2 is heartwood classed as durable Class 1 is heartwood classed as very durable Durability classes should not be confused with use classes which group end uses of similar exposure risk together – ref: EN BS 335-2

Image: Owatrol

Useful Resources There is a very useful reference table (table3) in BS8714, the latest version of which is 2014 + A12:014, which sets out the desired service lives that can be achieved for timber whose heartwood is classified as naturally durable asdetailed in BS EN 350-2. The Wood Protection Association produces a preservation manual which is must have reference document for anyone involved in specifying treated timber. (£45 to non-members). For more information on issues surrounding cladding and decking visit: Image: Lathams Timber STRUC TUR AL TIMBER MAG A ZINE | ISSUE 05 | AUTUMN 2015




Howarth Makes Waves at Mercia Marina

Thermally treated redwood cladding and decking from Howarth Timber and Building Supplies has been installed at Mercia Marina in Derbyshire, to create a stunning finish which remains in keeping with the natural surroundings of the building. The marina, in Willington, is Europe’s largest inland marina and boasts a plethora of biodiversity and wildlife. Howarth’s cladding and decking therefore suits the surrounding natural environment whilst ensuring a sleek appearance in its high profile location.

it was also specified due to the lack of use of chemicals during production, which enhances the environmental qualities of the building. It was also bespoke to the project, having been UV treated and then brushed to reveal the grain.

The high quality Thermo-D cladding, which was installed at The Boardwalk – the marina’s retail accommodation – co-ordinates aesthetically with the thermally treated redwood decking that was also selected for the marina.

Further benefits of the cladding and decking include its ability to maintain the same size and shape, its durability, stability and strength. The timber is PEFC-certified has a decreased risk of mould and improved thermal and hygiene qualities. Along with this, the timber offers improved wood preservation and weather resistance and can be painted, stained and fire treated to class 0.

The Boardwalk boasts a bar and restaurant in which customers can wine and dine, along with a farm shop and a host of boutique retailers. Not only was the premium thermally treated redwood chosen for its aesthetic properties,


word colour and be robust. The Howarth Timber wood we used promises both. The building is now a landmark in South Derbyshire and looks fantastic.” Phil Barman of Howarth Timber, said: “Timber cladding and decking is increasingly being specified by local authorities, architects and developers, largely in part for its environmental credentials, but also for its ease of working, natural beauty, performance and competitive price. “Timber is one building material that has unrivalled pedigree for use in construction, which is why timber is an ideal choice for use as an external cladding and decking.”

Robert Neff, partner and general manager at Mercia Marina, said: “To suit the location, we very much wanted a wood cladding that would maintain its natural


For more information visit:



LP® SmartSide® Extra Protection Through and Through

Beautiful. Durable. Workable. LP® SmartSide® trim & cladding products offer all the warmth and beauty of traditional wood, along with all the advantages of LP engineered wood. Our advanced technology actually improves upon nature, creating products that are far more durable and more consistent than traditional wood materials. Free of knots and common defects, LP® SmartSide® products resist twisting, warping, cupping and shrinking. They work and cut just like traditional wood, taking nails and screws with ease—with no special tools required. And they’re backed by a *5/15-Year Limited Warranty. (*Substrate Warranty).

The SmartSide of McDonalds Aesthetically-pleasing, durable and virtually maintenance-free. These are just some of the reasons why SmartSide rainscreen cladding was specified for a new McDonalds outlet in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. With limitless durable colours available, Sierra with a rich Cedar grain was chosen for this project.

In addition to the impressive consistency and outstanding workability, LP® SmartSide® cladding products offer the remarkable protection of the proprietary SmartGuard manufacturing process. Every step of the SmartGuard Process is designed to create the most durable product possible. This includes the application of zinc borate throughout the substrate to create materials that resist both fungal and insect decay.

BSP Holdings were looking for an easy to install wood façade product, which would perform to the highest standards in the British climate and require low maintenance. Their decision to use LP® SmartSide® was underpinned by the product’s unrivalled performance, ranging from the sub-zero climate of the Canadian Northern Territories to the tropical heat of Tahiti, French Polynesia.

Diamond Cote Pre-Finish We feel so strongly about the performance of our finish that we have improved our warranty to prove it. Diamond cote pre-finish limited warranty is now a 15/30 year No-Fade warranty. That means you have 15 years of labour coverage with the first seven years at 100% value. No other warranty can match the Diamond Cote bulletproof warranty. To us this is priceless.

Simple installation instructions meant the product could be fixed with standard carpentry equipment, off-the-shelf fixing and accessories, so that the market-leading LP® SmartSide® warranty is retained. Combining the self-aligning spline with 4.8m lengths meant that large areas could be clad in short periods – consequently saving time and money. Understanding the technology and forward investment by LP Building Products in


engineered wood strand products gave BSP Holdings the faith and assurance that using LP® SmartSide® was the right choice.


Project: McDonalds Restaurant, Ilkeston Client: BSP Holdings McDonalds Restaurant Consultants: R&J Projects Main Contractor: Coxmoor Projects Ltd. For your next project, think smart, think SmartSide. LP® SmartSide® is stocked and distributed by Hawthorn Timber Ltd, Wyke Street, Hull, HU9 1PA. For more information contact: Darren Smith email: Tel: 01482 228 159 Sales & Technical: 07970 821184 Visit:

The Unrivaled Beauty Of LP® CanExel® Prefinished Cladding

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Tel: 01482 228 159 • Web:


TIMBER EXPO 2015 SHAPES UP As UK Construction Week sets out to transform the way the built environment is perceived, preparations for Timber Expo – one of its key shows – is gathering pace. Together they promise to deliver the most comprehensive display of products, innovations and developments the construction market has seen. Dedicated exclusively to timber technology, Timber Expo has welcomed a host of new exhibitors signing up for the show, and is busy preparing a wide range special show features. Interest surrounds the launch of TRADA’s new National Structural Timber Specification that is set to provide the timber sector with a document it has been sorely missing. This will be discussed in detail during the Timber Focus seminar sessions. For regular attendees the TRADA-organised programme is a central part of the show. “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring together professionals from around the industry to explore the exciting and creative developments taking place in the timber sector currently,” says Rupert Scott, Membership and Marketing Manager at TRADA. “The seminars will allow us to really engage with the audience and we hope it will provide a valuable space for sharing ideas and inspiration with our industry colleagues.”

or the events industry but for the economy, for policy makers and for everyone working in the construction industry. Each of the component shows will have a wealth of content so when you combine this nine-fold we will end up with an event that no visitor or exhibitor in the construction sector – from architect to designer to builder to specifier can afford to miss.” Two regular and highly successful interactive feature areas return this year, offering a faceto-face chance to speak to industry experts. The Toolbox Talks Theatre sponsored by dhh Timber will host a number of presentations from exhibitors about their products, systems and materials, which visitors can use as a basis for more in-depth discussion. Another key attraction returning will be the Timber Buyers & Specifiers Forum sponsored by Europe’s premier timber supplier, Vandecasteele. Hosting networking breakfasts and a VIP lounge, as well as organising prearranged appointments with active buyers, the forum will provide a real opportunity for business to network with regular customers and also to forge potential new business relationships in the relaxed atmosphere of the Forum lounge.

Richard Morey, Group Events Director at Media 10, the producers of UK Construction Week, commented: “With the support of our event partners including TRADA and the Structural Timber Association, I think we have pulled together a really useful and informative programme of content that will challenge, educate and inspire visitors in equal measure.

Award Winning Designs

“The impact of UK Construction Week is going to be enormous, not just for the timber sector

Providing a real melting pot of products and systems, information and ideas, not to mention the opportunity for discussion and networking,


Timber Expo will also be showcasing the entrants to three leading industry awards. The inaugural Structural Timber Awards, who will be announcing their winners on 6th October 2015 and the annual Wood Awards, which has a new dimension that is unique to Timber Expo this year: the designers and judges will present the 2015 awards shortlist with a discussion addressing what it takes to win an award. There will also be the Wood in Architecture Awards. These will showcase the global reach of timber and will complement the UK Wood Awards and include a judges’ panel discussion covering international developments. The 2015 winner will be announced at a special session on 8 October 2015 and will honour the most daring, innovative and visually attractive buildings that highlight the unique qualities of timber. This year’s jury included Ann Marie Aguilar, Associate Director at Arup Associates, James Greaves, Partner at Hopkins Architects, Dmitri Jajich, Associate Director at Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Mikko Viljakainen, Director of Puuinfo. Among some of the top timber industry names taking the stage is Coillte Panel Products, the UK and Ireland’s leading distributor of timber panel solutions, which will be showcasing products from across its range of brands, including Medite, Smartply and Medite Tricoya.



06.10.2015 NEC Birmingham



buildings using timber systems. Our team of technical experts can provide the necessary knowledge, advice and guidance on the right interior solutions for a fit out that complements the optimum performance of any building.” On the back of a highly successful programme of live activities in 2014, BM TRADA will once again be showcasing its timber testing and inspection credentials at this year’s Timber Expo with an exciting range of demonstrations

and displays as part of its Live Zone. All demonstrations will be delivered by a team of specialists in their field who will also be on hand afterwards to answer any questions. This was extremely popular last year and visitors are advised to arrive early at the Live Zone.

Register for Timber Expo at: Follow updates at: @UK_CW on Twitter.



Mike Harrison, Marketing Manager from Coillte Panel Products says: “It’s an exciting year for Timber Expo as it joins up with the wider industry for the first time as part of UK Construction Week. For us, this is a positive development as it opens the show up to a much wider audience than the timber industry alone – giving us more opportunities to interact with buyers and specifiers from across the entire built environment.” Another major name joining the exhibition is British Gypsum, the UK’s leading manufacturer of interior lining systems. The leading manufacturer of interior lining systems will be showcasing its range of plasters, partition, wall lining, floor, ceiling and plasterboard systems for the residential, commercial and offsite sectors.

UK Construction Week will have influential broadcast journalists John Humphrys, Steph McGovern and Krishnan GuruMurthy host the main stage seminar programme. Bringing their significant insight and journalistic experience to the show, the hosts will play a vital role in steering the conversation, tackling the key issues facing the industry today through a comprehensive content schedule of high profile debates, panel discussions, CPD seminars and practical workshops. John Humphrys will take to the stage on day one as topics such as governmental

With a comprehensive product range underpinned by a strong heritage in industry development and training, visitors to the British Gypsum stand can gain valuable insight into the technical detailing, products and systems most suitable for their timber frame applications. “We are looking forward to meeting Timber Expo visitors on our stand,” said Andy Watts, Business Development Manager, from British Gypsum. “This is an important date in the calendar for the timber frame industry and for anyone involved in the design, specification and detailing of



policy, the housing crisis and the economy are discussed. Day two of the main stage will be chaired by Financial Correspondent for the BBC Steph McGovern. Well known for winning the title of Young Engineer for Britain after saving Black & Decker over £1 million on a design for their Leaf Hog product. Krishnan Guru-Murthy will lead the final day of proceedings on the main stage as topics such as procurement opportunities, BIM and unifying the industry are addressed.


BUILDING A BETTER BUSINESS The Timber Buyer’s & Specifiers Forum returns for a fifth year. Don’t miss out on this specialised way of meeting potential business partners in the relaxed atmosphere of Timber Expo.

Timber Expo provides a platform for exhibitors from across the globe to showcase the latest innovations in timber technology – however the event is now recognised as being more than just a ‘market stall’ to promote products and services, it is also an important platform for thought leadership, networking and knowledge transfer. At the heart of Timber Expo each year, is the Timber Buyers & Specifiers Forum – a purposeful environment for building business networks. This focused approach has proved to be highly successful in creating new business relationships, facilitating meetings and most importantly, generating business. All participants in the Forum have a strong desire to engage at the highest level with decision makers with direct influence over procurement decisions. The 2014 Forum was hailed a great success by all those taking part, with 74 buyers and specifiers attending a total of 296 meetings with exhibitors.

Binderholz, forms the X-LAM Alliance – it’s having that all-important business focus. “It’s all about creating a forum to bring the right people together to conduct meaningful business meetings,” says Nick. “We have exhibited every year since the launch of Timber Expo at the Ricoh Arena in September 2011. Last year the Buyers Forum was extremely successful for the X-LAM Alliance. Buyers meet with the right exhibitors and can get straight down to business. The Forum generated inroads and openings with companies we would not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet and do business with.” This exclusive gathering is by invitation only and is co-located within Timber Expo, taking place on 6-8 October 2015 at the NEC, Birmingham as part of UK Construction Week.

The Buyers Forum has proved itself many times and is a key element in the expansion of Timber Expo year on year. According to Nick Milestone, Managing Director of B & K Structures, who with Austrian partners



Exclusive VIP Benefits In addition to organising meetings on your behalf, invited participants to the Buyers & Specifiers Forum receive VIP Status including: • Free parking in close proximity to the hall • Free lunch and refreshments • Access to the VIP Visitor Lounge and business centre and free Wi-Fi connectivity • Opportunity to meet key industry experts • Invitation to the exhibitor networking party • Distribution of your literature at the event • Access to the press lounge for media interviews • Reduced rates for overnight accommodation. For more information on the Timber Buyers & Specifiers Forum and the exclusive benefits of taking part – contact: Alexandra Whitelegg: e: t: 01743 290 047



+44 (0) 3335 771 700

• BBA & NHBC approved; suitable for OSM

• Designed for new build timber applications • Can accommodate a range of cavity depths • Fire performance - A2 rated • Delivers accelerated build programmes • 10 Year Warranty Visit Us At Timber Expo Stand T3/730


TIMBER FOCUS SEMINARS 2015 TRADA is once again organising the most comprehensive and in-depth seminar programme on wood in the construction industry calendar. A wealth of experts are being drawn from key sectors to tackle six exciting and relevant topics. The audience can add to the debate in the final session of each theme by joining in the conversation and posing questions to the gathered panellists.




Tuesday 6th October

Tuesday 6th October

Wednesday 7th October

Morning: Specifying Timber Made Easier

Afternoon: Custom-build: the perfect opportunity for timber?

Morning: Pushing the Envelope of What is Possible

10.00: Top tips for specifying a great timber building A good specification helps in delivering a great building. As a seasoned practitioner specialising in timber buildings, Andrew Lawrence will pull together some top tips that have proven themselves effective over time.

13.00: What opportunities does custombuild present to timber and how do you take advantage of them? Custom-build, which sits somewhere between self-build and standard development is seen by government as an important new model for increasing the supply of new homes more effectively. Craig White and John Sawyer begin to unpack what this means for timber.

10.00: New possibilities in wood: structural bamboo and super-tall timber Cambridge University has an excellent programme of research into building technologies. Michael Ramage, who heads up many of the projects, shares with us the results to date on two exciting projects relevant to timber.

Andrew Lawrence, Associate Director, Arup 11.00: TRADA’s new National Structural Timber Specification (NSTS): purpose, content, benefits, results of trials and relationship with NBS TRADA’s new free-to-download NSTS is set to make specifying timber considerably easier. Nick Milestone, John Allen and Alan Murray, who were all involved in its creation and peer review, introduce this valuable new tool to the construction market. Nick Milestone, Managing Director, B&K Structures John Allen, Senior Engineer, MACE Construction Alan Murray, Technical Author, RIBA Enterprises 12.00: Panel and audience discussion: what could be done to make it easier to specify timber? Having identified and delivered the NSTS, TRADA is keen to hear from the panel and audience on what other guidance tools would make timber easier to specify. Chair: Simon Smith, Director, Smith & Wallwork John Allen, Senior Engineer, MACE Construction Andrew Lawrence, Associate Director, Arup Nick Milestone, Managing Director, B&K Structures Alan Murray, Technical Author, RIBA Enterprises

Jon Sawyer, Head of Custom Build Housing, Igloo Regeneration Craig White, Partner, White Design 14.00: What is driving Local Authorities to encourage the adoption of custom-build? As two practitioners working on Local Authority developments, Paul Maddock and Helen Town explain the government drivers that have encouraged the developments that they have worked on. Paul Maddock, Senior Associate, HTA LLP Helen Town, Regeneration and Housing Development Manager, Cherwell District Council 15.00: What needs to change for timber to realise the full potential of custom-build? Custom-build is truly exciting for timber – but is the industry ready to fully capitalise on this? The panellists debate their views with the audience on where change may be needed. Jim Dyer, Delivery Director, HAB Paul Maddock, Senior Associate, HTA LLP Jon Sawyer, Head of Custom Build Housing, Igloo Regeneration Helen Town, Regeneration and Housing Development Manager, Cherwell District Council

Michael Ramage, Senior University Lecturer, Cambridge University 11.00: Why is social housing leading the way in high-rise timber? Waugh Thistleton have made it their ambition to build taller timber buildings. Andrew Waugh looks at why, in his experience, the private sector is unusually lagging well behind the social sector. Andrew Waugh, Director, Waugh & Thistleton Architects 12.00: Panel and audience discussion: what might be possible with wood in 5-10 years’ time? Significant strides have been made by wood in the last 10 years in terms of new techniques and designs. Peter Wilson, who heads up the Wood Studio at Napier University, introduces our panel discussion on what might be possible in the future, by describing what has already being pioneered in his team. Chair: Rupert Scott, Membership & Marketing Manager, TRADA Michael Ramage, Senior University Lecturer, Cambridge University Andrew Waugh, Director, Waugh & Thistleton Architects Peter Wilson, Director, Wood Studio, Napier University

16.00 Airspeed: TRADA’s national student design competition Airspeed is TRADA’s second annual national student design competition, following the success of Velocity in 2014. The winners and runners-up present their exciting concept designs for a new exhibition building at Yorkshire’s Air Museum. Elizabeth Turner, University Engagement Manager, TRADA plus selected students




Wednesday 7th October

Thursday 8th October

Afternoon: Celebrating the UK’s most beautiful building designs in wood: Wood Awards 2014/2015

Morning: Wooden Cities

13.00: Wood Award Winners 2014: House Number 7, Tiree and Alfriston Swimming Pool. As wood becomes ever more popular as the aesthetic material of choice, the entries to the Wood Awards keep improving. Murray Kerr and Andrew Downey share two beautiful case studies which were category winners in 2014. House Number 7, Tiree, Scotland: Murray Kerr, Partner, Denizon Works Alfriston School: Andrew Downey, Partner, Elliott Wood Engineers 14.00: The shortlisted construction entries for 2015 A talented group of designers and journalists make up the group of judges which are called upon to visit all 20 shortlisted buildings. Ruth Slavid, who is an independent journalist and member of the judging team, talks us through the 2015 shortlist, prior to us knowing the final results later in the year. Ruth Slavid, Architectural Writer and Editor 15.00: Panel discussion with Wood Awards judges: what is involved in judging and what does it take to win? The Wood Awards supplement is published by RIBA Journal in November. Their executive editor, Eleanor Young, chairs a discussion with past winners and judges on what it takes to win these important awards. Chair: Eleanor Young, Executive Editor, RIBA Journal Andrew Downey, Partner, Elliott Wood Engineers Jim Greaves, Senior Partner, Hopkins Architects Murray Kerr, Partner, Denizon Works David Morley, Partner, David Morley Architects Ruth Slavid, Architectural Writer and Editor

Thursday 8th October

Afternoon: Wood in Architecture Awards 2015: global competition winners 2014/2015

10.00: Aspire to build whole cities in wood: Case study from Sweden: Växjö Whilst UK attitudes have grown very positively towards building with wood, our aspirations are still not on a par with our Scandinavian colleagues. Using the Växjö experience, Hans Andren will show us just what is possible when you think beyond individual buildings to whole communities.

13.00: Case study: 2014 winner of ‘Sustainable building’ category: VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre, Vancouver, Canada. All the way from Canada, Jim Huffman presents this beautiful case study on his practice’s winning project in the 2014 WAN Sustainable Buildings Category before showing us the other shortlisted entrants in the same year.

Hans Andren, Project Coordinator, Växjö Kommunföretag AB

Jim Huffman, Design Principal, Perkins + Will Architects

11.00: Aspire to build whole cities in wood: Case study from Norway: Trondheim Looking at a second grand Scandinavian project of Trondheim in Norway, Aasmund Bunkholt will consider the issues involved with co-ordinating district heating plans, methods of construction and the response of the residents. Aasmund Bunkholt, Managing Director, Wood Focus Norway

14.00: Case study: 2014 winner of Wood in Architecture category: Sky’s Believe in Better Building. The winner of the 2014 WAN Awards for Wood in Architecture coincidentally and conveniently comes from London. Tim tells us more about this high profile timber building where most of us witnessed the now infamous seven-way political debate prior to the recent UK General Election. He will also present the other shortlisted entrants.

12.00: Panel and audience discussion: what’s the future for building cities in wood? David Hopkins will introduce the panel discussion by considering the effect that regulations, planning, custom and practice have had on UK plans to grow the use of wood. Can we match the aspirations of Scandinavia in the future?

Tim Snelson, Associate Director, Arup

David Hopkins, Director, Wood for Good Hans Andren, Project Coordinator, Växjö Kommunföretag AB Aasmund Bunkholt, Managing Director, Wood Focus Norway Wayne Probert, Sales and Marketing, Building Solutions UK & Ireland, Stora Enso

15.00: The 2015 Wood in Architecture shortlist, followed by panel discussion: what are the most interesting developments in timber around the world? Michael Hammond presents the 2015 shortlist before discussing with the assembled group of designers, judges and past winners, the most striking developments in timber around the world. Chair: Michael Hammond, Chief Executive, Built Environment Media Judge: Dmitri Jajich, Associate Director, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP Judge: Anthony Thistleton, Partner, Waugh Thistleton Architects Jim Huffman, Design Principal, Perkins + Will Architects Tim Snelson, Associate Director, Arup 16.00: Winner Announcement of the Wood in Architecture Awards 2015 Having seen the shortlist and probably worked out who you think should win, join Built Environment Media for drinks and find out who the judges chose as this year’s winning entry.




BM TRADA’S LIVE-ZONE BM TRADA is expecting that a packed programme of live demonstrations and a whistle-stop tour of some of the timber industry’s latest innovations will draw the crowds at this year’s Timber Expo.

This year BM TRADA will showcase its timber expertise to a broad-based audience from its expanded 100sq m Live-Zone. Taking centre stage on the stand will be a fully functioning timber strength testing demonstration model which will test the strength of various samples of timber – including those containing knots, slope of grain and even holes.

doors in a 30 minute video of a fire test, being presented in the Toolbox Talks theatre at 3.30 each day. They will also be able to discover the intricacies of timber frame construction with another model, this one a scaled down version of a timber frame house, with cut away sections showing important detailing, including cladding and insulation.

The original scaled-down model proved a big hit when it was unveiled for the first time at Ecobuild and BM TRADA is equally confident that visitors to its stand at Timber Expo will be impressed by the new model, which also helps to demonstrate failure modes of timber beams based on different types of timber defects. Similar to its full-size cousin located at BM TRADA’s High Wycombe testing facility, the model will demonstrate how beams behave when subjected to a gradually increasing load. Upon failure, the structural performance can be ascertained and the failure results analysed.

Visitors will also be able to observe the process of timber species identification, with a member of BM TRADA’s technical team undertaking examinations of different species and demonstrating the methods employed to verify the wood species in a product. In addition, they will get an insight into the intricacies of timber strength grading – and the difference in approach between softwood and hardwood. Each activity will last around 20 minutes, with additional time set aside afterwards for questions. There is no need to book – delegates just turn up five minutes before the start of each session.

As well as the strength testing model, visitors to the stand will be able to learn about BM TRADA’s wider range of timber related services, from timber frame inspection, and timber condition and structural surveys to fire and security testing of timber doors and windows. BM TRADA’s technical experts will demonstrate in dramatic fashion, elements of the PAS 24 test on an enhanced security timber window, as well as the difference in performance between two seemingly identical timber fire


Alongside the programme of demonstrations, BM TRADA will also be hosting an innovation zone on its stand. This zone will present a range of new and innovative products to the industry and will comprise 30-minute presentations delivered by the winners and shortlisted entries for this year’s TTJ Timber Innovation Award.

sponsored by TRADA and Timber Expo, five of whom will be talking about their products and market developments in presentations to take place on the BM TRADA stand as part of its Timber Expo Innovation Zone. The 2015 competition has again been split into two categories: Innovative Product Development, where some aspect of the whole or part of a product needs to demonstrate that it is innovative in its sector and Innovative Market Development, where the innovation will have been applied to show how the market for a given product range has been exploited to greater effect. In the Product category, the shortlisted entries being displayed are: Tweddle Engineering, for its Excalibur R incising technology: Donaldson Timber Engineering for its SafeStep scaffold system; and Danzer UK Ltd for its 3D-Veneer. Tweddle Engineering worked in partnership with Arch Timber Protection to develop its innovative Excalibur R incising technology that will incise machined round, bowed, irregular, tapered and peeled posts of any diameter from 63mm to 200mm in a single pass. Incising of round timbers has always been a difficult problem: the new Excalibur R’s focused design features aims to achieve a consistent and effective incising result across curved and often uneven surfaces.

TTJ Innovation Awards Shortlist Seven companies have made the shortlist for this year’s TTJ Timber Innovation Awards, joint

For Donaldson Timber Engineering, developing the SafeStep scaffold system was designed



to drastically reduce the risk to construction industry workers of falls from height. The simple scaffold system provides the safest method for installing roof ridge stability bracing on tall finkstyle trusses over 2.5m in height.

In the Market Development category, the shortlisted entries being displayed are: Arch Timber Protection for its BARamine application technologies; and MBM Forest Products for its Simply Better Stud laminated strand lumber.

Meanwhile, Danzer UK Ltd’s 3D-Veneer allows moulding manufacturers to create a 3D veneer using their existing machines, enabling designers to create 3-dimensional shapes from multiple layers of the veneer. The veneers can be pressed using a standard hydraulic press with specially designed aluminium moulds and in smaller runs and, in specific case, a vacuum press.

Arch’s BARamine is a unique blend of several components that work together to offer the advanced benefits and greater confidence to users of its Tanalith preservatives, designed to protect against wood decay organisms and extend the service life of timber. Meanwhile, MBM’s Simply Better Stud has been developed specifically for the UK market, offering better straightness,


stability, predictability and easier cutting than traditional timber. Each of the shortlisted companies above will have their products or models available for demonstrations on BM TRADA’s stand throughout the duration of the show. In addition, they will be giving a 30-minute presentation on what makes them so innovative!

For more information visit: Visit BM TRADA’s stand at Timber Expo T3/760




A Beacon for Timber

Earlier this year, Walker Timber completed work on the fastest housing project in Europe. Managing Director, Nigel Simpson, illustrates how teamwork and a tight supply chain were crucial to its success. In summer 2014, Walker Timber Group was contracted by Lovell Partnerships Ltd to design and supply the structural kits for 346 units for MOD Stafford. A housing development was being built at Beacon Barracks in Stafford to accommodate soldiers and their families returning from Germany as part of the British Army’s relocation back to the UK. With families

scheduled to move in from September 2015, the large scale project needed to be delivered in just six months, without compromising on quality. We provided a complete engineered timber solution for the project, designing and supplying not just the timber kits, but also insulated wall panels, floor cassettes and roof trusses. To meet the scale and time limitations, we utilised two of our factories – one in Stafford and one in Cambridgeshire – which gave us good coverage, as well as back up and continuity of supply. The frames for all 346 units on the super garrison were erected in record time, averaging at 64 plots per month – equivalent to an incredible 15 homes per week. Undoubtedly, the impressive speed of build on this project was possible thanks to early engagement, collaboration and an extremely well organised build programme.


Teamwork between Walker Timber and Lovell was key to this success. We worked seamlessly together to ensure the programme was on schedule and the deadline was met with no compromise on quality. We also handpicked two erector companies based on past experience, and all deliveries were managed in an efficient manner. The programme was planned and executed to ensure space was available for each delivery without stockpiling. For me, this project really highlighted the value of early collaboration and planning with clients. We worked closely with Lovell from day one. Once the order was placed, the teams collaborated on the project design and we procured additional materials from trusted suppliers. The production and manufacture of the components was then coordinated in line with the programme, and all was delivered accordingly.



Timber – speed and stability Many developers look to timber frame to benefit from the combination of speed and the ability to build high performance building envelopes. By choosing to build in timber, Lovell knew they would get speed of build and a more stable and predictable building programme than with other materials. They also knew that the final homes would be of a high quality, thanks to the factory controlled manufacture and the expertise and experience of the Walker Group. The performance and high quality of the units was managed during manufacture, thanks to the level of offsite prefabrication. It is not only easier to monitor quality in the factory environment, but in addition, the all-critical insulation is positioned to work more effectively – thereby reducing the risk of environmental conditions, or work from another trade, negatively impacting on it. The complete structural timber frame resulted in buildings which had low embodied carbon;

airtight construction; proven products and details; calculated thermal bridging psi-values; and minimal waste. The houses achieved an external wall u-value of 0 .19 W/m2K, utilising Kingspan Thermawall TW55. The resulting homes are high quality and energy efficient, with no need for renewable add-ons. Client, John Leary, Project Director at Lovell Partnerships Ltd said: “The working partnership with Walker Timber Group was incredibly beneficial in helping us complete the super garrison ahead of the soldiers and their families’ arrival. “Speed and expertise were key and Walker Timber met with our rigorous and uncompromisingly high standards for such a prestigious project. This project has been frequently cited as the fastest show in town. In my 35 year career I haven’t seen anything that comes near the ‘15 a week’ homes that have been erected here in Stafford.”


The partnership with Lovell was a huge success and it was encouraging to see a project of this scale using timber frame. The hope is that it will give others an opportunity to see the benefits of using timber frame and engineered wood products. No other material would have been able to compete with the build time and resulting quality and energy efficiency of the houses on this development. We managed to complete 346 homes in under six months, and we are incredibly proud to have been able to accomplish this impressive feat.

For more information visit:



BETTER HOMES – A SIMPLE SMART CHOICE Can consumers drive better quality in homes? With the overhaul of standards, legislation and the Zero Carbon homes target now no more – what next for high performing homes? Gwyn Roberts, Head of Housing standards at BRE, explains how the Home Quality Mark can help. Over the eight years I have worked in this sector a lot has changed. ‘Normal’ housing has moved on considerably. Building Regulations have helped lift up the baseline, while innovations in products and skills have changed the conversation on what is possible. Often though, the end consumer has been forgotten in the conversation. What does ‘good’ look like for all manner of households? We know that it is possible to build a zero net CO2 home – and even one that is CO2 positive. However, a truly sustainable, high-quality home is a home that doesn’t only perform well on one particular issue. The home must also perform for the people who live in it – as this is its most basic function, there is no point only performing well on paper. The Code for Sustainable Homes, as a Government driven standard, and the Zero Carbon homes ambition helped to drive the conversation forward, however, it didn’t really achieve its ambition of invigorating the general public to want and value higher standards. Homes will always be different to other products and services. Choice is often more constrained


as location and land will always be fixed. However, this shouldn’t mean that people should not have a choice on the things which they are able to make comparisons on – the features of homes. We can give people more information on wider areas such as costs (for example energy, insurance, maintenance and potential mortgages), positive impacts on our health and wellbeing, and of course our environmental footprint. Furthermore we need to understand how our homes are going to be impacted by a changing climate, digital age and demographic changes. Websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla give us the basics on new homes, and many developers are articulating the benefits of certain features of their homes to people. However, it is difficult for the home buyer or renter to understand how these claims compare, or if they are backed up by any real science or verification. The Home Quality Mark which we launched at Ecobuild will help to address this. It will provide householders with the tools to make the smart choice, with an independent brand that they can trust. Signs

are that consumers have an appetite for this. In our recent survey with 500 users of web comparison portal, 97 per cent of respondents (over 500 people) said they would welcome a quality mark for housing. Homebuilders also support its introduction – over 30 have signed up to pilot the mark because they know it will drive their businesses, allowing them to differentiate themselves. Using a simple star rating, the mark will give a householder clear indications of the home’s overall running costs, how it will protect their health and wellbeing, its resilience to flooding and overheating, and its environmental footprint. It will demonstrate how digitally connected a home is and it will help everyone understand the long term quality and performance of a newbuild home. It is our long term goal that the Home Quality Mark will become the de facto sign of a better home.

For further information visit:



EXPERIENCE COUNTS The LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Partner Authority Scheme is a service shared by all local authority building control teams throughout England and Wales. Philip O’Connor, from Camden Building Control outlines a few ways it can help. The scheme enables architects, contractors, developers or owners to work with any local authority building control surveyor of their choice. They can advise and give guidance at the design stage prior to making the building control submission, regardless of the project’s geographical location, acting in an account manager role. This can extend to that same surveyor dealing with the building control application itself and undertaking the site inspection work too where circumstances allow or, more likely, by providing guidance to a colleague in the location Local Authority on what to inspect. All types of organisations can join the LABC Partner Authority Scheme ranging from large corporate clients to small and medium-sized enterprises. The benefits of having a dedicated, familiar building control surveyor whom is able to answer questions, offer advice and help throughout the feasibility, design, planning and beyond to the building control submission and inspection stages is immeasurable. The chosen surveyor would work with colleagues at the project location to discuss sitespecific issues such as drainage, contamination and liaison with the local fire service and the scheme can be extended to Northern Ireland and Scotland if required. In the London Borough of Camden we currently have 54 partners signed up to the LABC scheme and we contact them regularly inviting them to CPD’s, regulations updates and other events of interest in addition to helping with their projects. Camden building control surveyors work as


closely as needed with the Partners to assist with design work. Some partners work extremely closely with us on most of their projects, others on an as needed basis, we’re flexible and adaptable to working with everyone at the level they are happiest with.

wide portfolio and have considerable expertise in pretty much every type of building imaginable from a small extension to a new University campus and our surveyors work as a team sharing knowledge and helping each other with issues.

One of our key partners, Robert Hopkins of Monahan Blythen Hopkins Architects, 166 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5DE defines working in Partnership with Camden as: “a steady reassurance throughout the project.” The MBH Architects team used to get nervous about working with strangers, having to familiarise themselves with the different ways of working across local authority building control teams but the scheme has enabled them to choose Camden every time due to the excellent continuity of service. “We like the confidence of working with people we know and the level of service we get from Camden from the very start of a project is exceptional. We appreciate the confidence that our relationship with the Camden team gives us in terms of providing crucial input to our schemes at early preplanning stages.

For more information and to register visit: partner-authority-scheme

For example Monahan Blythen Hopkins will consult with Camden’s Access Officer at the feasibility stage of a project around building accessibility and the means of escape, to ensure it is viable and that they haven’t dropped any clangers. “It’s a critical part of the relationship as it means problems are anticipated and dealt with early on enabling the planning application process to run smoother.” The Camden Building Control team have huge experience in checking the regulations across a


Benefits of being registered with the LABC Partner Authority Scheme • A single point contact for all your building control work in England, Wales and Scotland • Competitive pricing on high volumes of repeat work or major developments • Site inspections from a local professional team with invaluable local contacts and knowledge • Simplified fees and invoicing arrangements • Electronic submissions and e-working • The use of LABC Partner logo on all of your marketing materials • Easy access to the planning department, the highways engineers and local fire service • In-depth expertise on structure, fire, acoustics, warranties, access, contamination, energy and sustainability from LABC specialists.

Sustainable construction products

Timber Engineered Construction Solutions


Laminated Veneer Lumber

✔ Versatile laminated beams for multiple uses ✔ Stronger than Glulam or solid timber ✔ Straighter than timber ✔ Efficient use of logs ✔ Billets up to 18 m × 2.45 m ✔ Thickness from 21 mm

High strength laminated veneer lumber (LVL) for use as beams, rafters, rim boards and trimmers in floor, roof and timber frame or industrial applications.

✔ Pine & spruce raw material ✔ Can be cut to tight tolerances ✔ Dimensionally stable ✔ Calibrated sanding available ✔ Cross veneer construction for panel applications


For full details and nearest distributor call 01727 515120 or visit

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POPUPHOMES In order to help meet the challenges that currently face the UK’s housing crisis, Climate Energy Homes is pioneering the lead in the MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) market with a cost effective, affordable interval housing solution, supported by the BuildOffsite Property Assurance Scheme (BOPAS). For the UK residential market, many concerns around the use of MMC have been addressed by the implementation of BOPAS, which provides assurance to mortgage lenders, their valuers and the ultimate homeowner. The system accreditation which is jointly carried out by BLP Insurance and Lloyd’s Register, evaluates and facilitates the adoption of best practice by manufacturers and constructors in key performance areas such as risk management, competency management, configuration management, procurement management and process control at each stage of project development, through concept, design, manufacture and construction.


PopUpHomes is a cost effective, affordable interval housing solution, bridging the gap between: • The removal of dilapidated housing stock and new home builds • Homelessness: studio options for homeless adults of all ages and situations • Garage sites • Fast track quality housing solution that can be used to tackle the huge need for sustainable, affordable housing in the UK that is quick to deliver • The ecoTECH Build System, used to create the innovative PopUpHomes, uses MMC, offsite manufacturing to provide a high quality, factory engineered, integrated build system that uses closed timber stud walls made from sustainable, high grade timbers. The unique ecoTECH Build System has many benefits not only for the client/ asset owner, through build cost savings (circa 11% against traditional build methods) and build programme reductions (circa 60% against traditional build methods) but also for the future resident, in reduced energy costs (circa 70% reduction on current energy costs).

Using an innovative pod design, PopUpHomes can be configured to deliver a range of homes, from studio apartments to five bedroom houses which carry a low maintenance cost whilst providing a robust, high quality, healthy living environment. Due to the flexibility of the ecoTECH Build System we are able to work with small and large scale developments including infill sites, whilst matching local planning policies. This highly insulated, energy efficient removable housing solution can be erected within days to ‘move in’ standards and then be dismantled, removed and rebuilt if required. PopUpHomes are recognised as a permanent address which supports the requirements of getting homeless people back into the work place. Full funding is available to Local Authorities and Housing Associations from our fund partners for both lease and purchase options (subject to terms and conditions). For more info visit:



REALISING THE TRUE U-VALUE OF YOUR TIMBER FRAME The aluminium foil forms a radiant barrier when facing a ≥20mm air space (≥13mm in roofs) creating a low emissivity cavity which significantly reduces heat loss. Protect VC Foil Ultra raises the thermal resistance of the airspace from 0.18m2K/W to 0.78m2K/W in the wall (0.53m2K/W in the roof) when fixed as per standard timber frame practice/stud and rafter centres. This provides a significant thermal improvement to the construction without adding to the wall/roof thickness. The installation success of any AVCL is in the sealing of laps and junctions, not just the integrity of the membrane itself. Protect VC Foil Ultra is also available with integral “lap and seal” technology to ensure a full proof seal at the laps. It is now widely accepted that insulation plays a vital role in modern properties, in simple terms, improved levels of insulation and airtightness mean that more heat is retained within the building for longer at less cost – subject of course to good construction methods. Matt McAndry, Director of Technical at Building Product Design Ltd (of which Protect Membranes is a division) explains more. Design U-values can often be very different to those achieved ‘as built’. Research has shown that convection paths or gaps through the building construction can lead to significant heat loss as well as mass moisture vapour migration with the associated risk of harmful condensation forming. Therefore, to truly gain the best performance from any insulant, the aim is to deliver an air and vapour control layer/barrier on the warm side. Timber frame has been traditionally designed with an integral air and vapour layer (AVCL) in the form of the polythene sheet on the warm side of the insulation. The need to maintain the integrity of the AVCL to prevent it being compromised by penetrations has led to the widespread use of a service cavity between this layer and the internal lining boards. Protect VC Foil Ultra, an air and vapour control membrane, with its high purity, solid aluminium foil facing and tough nonwoven spunbond core, combines the necessary AVCL qualities with low emissivity technology


Protect Membranes have also applied their low emissivity reflective technology to the breather membrane, Protect TF200 Thermo, which is fitted on the outer face of the sheathing board and provides a similar thermal improvement to the external air cavity. This combined Protect membrane solution can achieve an increase of up to 25% thermal efficiency, the equivalent of up to 60mm of 0.035 W/mK insulation to the wall U-value without adding to its overall thickness, thereby maximising the available floor area internally.

Both Protect VC Foil Ultra and TF200 Thermo are independently certified by BMTRADA through their Q Mark certification scheme. The Protect membrane solution is completed with a complementary range of high tack, untearable adhesive tapes. The “lap and seal” range ensures that junctions between walls and floors/ceilings are fully sealed, providing a cost effective solution to seal any necessary service entry penetrations or repair any accidental site damage. The key advantages of flexible air and vapour control membranes to the developer are ease and speed of installation, as well as the ability to facilitate a first fix air pressure test in order to provide an assurance of airtightness prior to the application of the internal lining. To the owner/occupier, the long term integrity of the air and vapour control layer and breather membrane will ensure that the full design benefits of a thermally efficient envelope and heating system are achieved. The reflective technology of both the Protect VC Foil Ultra and TF200 Thermo further enhances this benefit. As the industry looks forward to further regulations and standards targets to limit air leakage, we must also look more closely at our methods of construction. The designed air spaces available within timber frame construction provide developers with a rare opportunity to not only meet these requirements but to far exceed them without affecting their normal construction processes or significantly increasing costs. For more information: visit: Tel: 0161 905 5700



Canjaere Classic Natural

Timber Cladding Your building will not only look beautiful externally but will remain in excellent condition for up to 10 years* due to our Timber Cladding range being pre-treated and offering comprehensive warranties. The right choice helps you achieve your unique design through a selection of wood, texture, colours & profiles. In an environmentally conscious world all of our products are PEFC or FSC certified and increasing the timber content of a building can dramatically reduce its carbon footprint. Two great ranges to choose from - painted or natural. Key Features

Two ranges

Natural look

Extensive warranties

For more information on Timber Cladding please visit: | +44 (0) 1250 872261 *conditions apply

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BUILT-IN FIRE PROTECTION Fire can break out on most construction sites and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates around 11 construction fires occur every day in the UK. Flame retardant (FR) boards are essential to successful and safe project delivery. With all construction sites and buildings undergoing refurbishment vulnerable, it’s vital that every flooring, wall or roofing specification using a flame retardant (FR) wood based product is proven to deliver predictable long term performance backed by independent verification. While some manufacturers of timber products for roofing, flooring and wall applications treat wood panels with flame retardant after the manufacture of the board, these products are not always re-tested and certified for their end use applications. In some cases, the postmanufacturing treatment of wood panels can compromise their structural integrity. David Murray, Innovation Manager, Coillte Panel Products says: “When wood panels are posttreated you cannot be certain of the structural strength of that panel. Forcing FR liquid into a wood panel under pressure often results in edge swelling of the board and it totally devalues the mechanical strength of the panel. In a nutshell, the quoted structural properties are null and void unless re-tested after treatment and supplied with a Declaration of Performance (DoP).” Manufacturer of OSB SmartPly has introduced SmartPly FR Flame Retardant OSB3 panels. Developed in response to the STA’s Design guide to separating distances during construction for timber frame buildings over 600m2 and the growing market requirement for FR OSB that meets the European fire classification standards for reaction to fire – the new panel from SmartPly has fire retardance built in.


In addition to satisfying the requirements determined by the STA for FR/FR Build performance, SmartPly FR OSB also meets the standards for Euroclass C reaction to fire performance for wall, ceiling, roofing and freestanding applications and Euroclass B performance for structural flooring applications. Used for flooring, roof decking and wall sheathing applications in both new build and renovation projects, SmartPly FR OSB3 is manufactured using Zeroignition Solution - a water based, eco-friendly, fire retardant. This penetrates into the wood strands during the panel manufacturing process to ensure best in class fire performance, fully maintain structural integrity and enable SmartPly FR OSB to be CE marked at the point of manufacture. The award from the Wood Protection Association (WPA) of the WPA FR Benchmark accreditation confirms that the SmartPly fire retardant treatment process has been independently audited for quality assurance. The Edge - a Textbook Application During the construction of The Edge – a new seven-storey, timber frame accommodation building for students of John Moores University and University of Liverpool – SmartPly FR OSB3 was specified over conventional posttreated flame retardant wood panels due to its guaranteed consistency and excellent flame retardant properties. Main contractor Bardsley Construction worked with timber frame engineers and fabricators, Datum, to specify 1,000 sheets of 18mm SmartPly FR OSB3 panels to be used as the

floors throughout all seven storeys. Ross Archer, Technical Manager at Datum explains: “For the developer, fire safety and quality of build were of paramount importance as they really wanted The Edge to stand out as an exemplar of high quality student accommodation in the city. When building the timber frame part of the structure, we looked for a flame retardant flooring panel that wouldn’t be affected when the edges were cut to the specification of each storey. SmartPly FR OSB3 enabled us to meet this requirement so we chose to use it throughout the building and we are delighted with the result. “The product was easy to handle, delivered quality and consistency with no degradation of structural properties and, ultimately, gave us peace of mind that we were meeting fire safety and environmental requirements throughout the project.” With the increased use of OSB in timber frame construction and roofing projects, the SmartPly FR OSB3 product range presents the specifier and contractor with high performance, flame retardant solutions that can be widely used for flooring, roof decking and wall sheathing applications in both new build and renovation projects.

For more information visit:



REDUCING FIRE RISK Due to misconceptions surrounding the use of timber and the risk of fire, there are instances where the material may be perfect for the project but wrongly avoided under a common misunderstanding. With that in mind, what needs to be considered in order to mitigate any disasters during a timber build?

Where sites are still under construction, exposed materials and methods of working may contribute to an increased risk of fire however, completed timber frame buildings, which are constructed in line with building regulations and related standards, are entirely safe and very well protected against fire. It is this differentiation between ‘under construction’ and ‘completed’ however where the confusion lies when it comes to fire risk. Fires can be started on any construction site – sadly, all sites, regardless of the form of construction, can be targeted. The Government’s annual UK fire statistics in fact shows that two


thirds of fires in construction industry premises are started deliberately.

all similarly vulnerable to the effects of fire at this early stage.

In order to help reduce this risk, consideration must be given to both deliberate acts of ignition and accidental causes too.

A large fire on a construction site can generate significant heat from which a fire can spread beyond the site boundary by igniting neighbouring properties or fuel sources. The STA document ‘Design Guide for Separating Distances’ provides risk mitigation against fire spread beyond the boundary by selecting the appropriate category of structural frames.

For structural timber building systems, which are still under construction and where fire protection cladding is yet to be installed, exposed timber can provide fuel for fire to spread. It’s important to bear in mind however that all kinds of ‘in progress’ construction sites, regardless of the material used, pose this same risk, with brick and stone, concrete and steel

There are of course ways to help overcome this issue – in terms of robustness against fire spreads during the construction process,


Site Safe

the STA has developed frame categories so that the choice of structural timber building system at the design phase can be determined appropriate for the site fire risk assessment. These categories are:

members with knowledge and information, which in turn supports the design and construction team to procure and construct fire safe buildings.

Category A – standard timber building system: walls, floors and flat roofs Category B – reduced fire spread: walls, floors and flat roofs Category C – fire spread resistant: walls, floors and flat roofs Category CLT – walls, floors and flat roofs.

The STA advice is for commercial building projects and is relevant for construction sites with a total floor area above 600m2. The advice given is suitable for buildings below 600m2, but single house developments should be assessed on the scale of the house and location for fire risks, and the principles of this guidance should be used.

Along with this, the STA has also created its own Site Safe 16 Steps to Fire Safety document, helping to promote good practice on structural timber construction sites. The document is designed to support the on site fire risk assessment. Site Safe strategy includes all advice and documents, to provide the STA

With these points in mind, it is worth employing the services of an STA member when working on any commercial or residential project where timber is at the core since members are required to adhere to the STA’s compliance guidelines on a day to day basis.

Site Safe has been developed by the STA to ensure its members work closely with principal contractors/clients to give clear concise information and assistance to the principal contractor regarding fire safety on construction sites. A raft of guidance and information is available to download from the STA website including 16 Steps to Fire Safety. This document provides advice for commercial building projects and is relevant for construction sites with a total floor areas above 600m2. The advice given is suitable buildings below 600m2 but single house developments should be assessed on the scale of the house and location for fire risks. The guidance relates to construction sites where timber is used as the structural method of build, but may also have benefits for all other types of sites and methods of construction. For more information on issues surrounding fire safety visit:


KEEP SAFE: FIRE PROTECTION OPTIONS As timber frame construction becomes ever more popular in the UK, the need to protect timber substrates from the threat of fire increases. How can this be done easily? Robert Baylay from Dupre Minerals explains further. Active fire solutions, such as sprinkler systems, can be installed during the final stages of construction, but the need for passive protection to mitigate the risk of fire both during and post construction should always be at the forefront of the industry’s mind. The threat of fire is never more abundant than during the initial construction phase when the timber frame is subject to both accidental and malicious fire damage. Not only is this an immediate danger to the build site, but has the potential to cause residual damage to the surrounding area. Whilst the timber industry accepts the need for FR timber products, the cost of manufacturing can often be uneconomical. The ratio of Standard to FR OSB boards produced is 100:1 at best and making changes to the manufacturing process such as incorporating separate production lines or altering binder formulations to allow for FR additives are not always commercially viable. So what are the options? Paints and Coatings applied post manufacture mean there’s no need to alter production or binder formulations. It also allows the option to have FR treatments carried out by specified suppliers or contractors either post build or directly on site during construction.


Intumescent paints offer one solution, and are already widely used in the industry. However with a push towards eco-friendly, non- toxic products, alternative coatings should be considered. Regardless of the coating or manufactured FR product you choose to specify, it’s important to be mindful of exactly what you’re being supplied. Always ensure a product has been tested by a recognised test house and specifies what accreditation has actually been achieved. Some products will state they have reached accreditation in accordance with EN or BS standards, but which standard and what was the actual result? Even with the correct information you must ensure that the accreditation is appropriate for your intended use. For example, a product which has achieved a 60 minute timed resistance rating in accordance with BS1364-1 is an excellent result; however the accreditation is only applicable to non-loading bearing walls, not floors or ceilings. The same goes for pre-treated FR products, manufacturers may state the product is fire resistant but to what temperature? Does the product need to be used in conjunction with specific ancillaries or as part of a system? Dupre Minerals Ltd has recently formulated Micashield DM651, an aqueous dispersion of

exfoliated Vermiculite (a naturally occurring fire resistant mineral). Micashield DM651 protects timber substrates from the threat of fire in temperatures up to 1000°C. Receiving B-s1-d0 status in accordance with EN13501-1 and Class ‘0’ status in accordance with BS476 Parts 6&7 ,DM651 is a one coat, inert, non-toxic and environmentally friendly product that lends its self to both automated and manual application. Looking to the future, fire incidents that occur during timber frame construction will undoubtedly raise insurance premiums, ultimately increasing the cost of a build. Safer working practices and correctly specified FR products can keep costs down and ensure the timber frame industry continues to thrive. For more information visit:



AUBREY STREET FOR MARCH HOUSING ASSOCIATION STA guidance was helpful on a housing project in Herefordshire where issues surrounding timber frame construction and the risk of disproportionate collapse had to be considered. Aubrey Street in Herefordshire is a substantial project for timber frame specialists Taylor Lane. The £1.4 million, five-storey development of 1,700 square metres, accommodates 23 individual apartments. Taylor Lane had been engaged by the main contractor Speller Metcalfe, an awardwinning sustainable construction company, with expertise in BREEAM, Passivhaus and the Code for Sustainable Homes. The Project The development, for client Marches Housing Association, was to be constructed in close proximity to several existing properties on three sides. As is often the case with developments where space and access are restricted, offsite construction methods present an attractive solution. Prior to Aubrey Street, Taylor Lane’s timber frame panels incorporated an external sheathing layer comprising, typically, either OSB or plywood, depending on the application. Indeed, the specification for Aubrey Street had specified just these kind of materials. Taylor Lane decided that something more was needed. The Challenge The close proximity of the site to other buildings and the risk of disproportionate collapse meant that the consequences of accidental fire or even a possible arson attack had to be taken very seriously. This is a particular hazard faced by timber frame construction projects. The Structural Timber Association (STA) has launched several initiatives to combat this phenomenon, including detailed guidance stating: “All buildings should have appropriate fire protection designed and built-in as early as possible and maintained throughout the entire construction phase... For smaller or low-risk sites, the general good housekeeping and standard approach may be more appropriate. For other sites the sub-division of the frame by fire-resisting barriers must be considered as part of the strategy for minimising fire spread risk during construction.”


The Solution Aubrey Street certainly didn’t fall into the “smaller or low-risk” category. Consequently, Taylor Lane opted to use Euroform’s Versaliner instead of the specified OSB. Versaliner is an A1 non-combustible Magnesium Oxide sheathing board with excellent tensile, compression and breaking strengths, and high resistance to impact, moisture and insect attack. Excellent racking resistance means it is particularly suited to timber frame applications, offering additional stability. The fact that Versaliner is a ‘score and snap’ material means it can be fabricated on-site without the need for additional cutting equipment or can be seamlessly incorporated into the streamlined processes of off-site, factorybased construction. Taylor Lane worked closely with Euroform’s technical team, taking advantage of their expertise and experience in the complex area of passive fire protection, to ensure Versaliner was the appropriate product for this particular application. Duly satisfied that all their criteria had been met and all their concerns addressed, Taylor Lane began incorporating Versaliner into their timber frame panels as part of their offsite construction process. A spokesman for Taylor Lane said: “Versaliner enabled us to safely build on a site where fire risk was a significant factor. Without it, we’d have struggled to proceed. We’re more than happy with the product, it’s very competitive pricing and ready availability.” For more information visit:



BRITISH GYPSUM OFFSITE SOLUTIONS With offsite manufacturing showing continued growth within the UK, British Gypsum continues to develop its offsite solutions range to meet the exacting manufacturing and assembly requirements whilst ensuring that sustainability remains key. Andy Watts, Offsite Business Development Manager at British Gypsum said: “With the UK construction market showing strong recovery and concerns regarding labour and construction skills availability, any method of project delivery — such as modular or panellised — that can accelerate project completion and therefore ROI, whilst meeting the highest levels of build quality and performance levels, has to be taken seriously. Many of our existing customers are developing their own offsite strategies or partnerships. We have recognised this trend and are working extensively with them to ensure our products, systems and associated services are developed to add value to their new methods.” “The growth in offsite — as with any shift in building technology — brings new challenges and performance requirements for products and systems alike. British Gypsum offers a range of innovative offsite solutions and

associated services whilst maintaining focus on the next generation of intuitive innovations to meet our offsite customers’ evolving needs.” As markets and activities evolve, it is also important that companies, and clients, remain cognisant of their responsibilities around sustainable manufacture and procurement. “Sustainability is a priority for almost every building project” said Paul Campbell, Commercial Sector Manager at British Gypsum. As the first in the industry to achieve BES 6001 ‘Excellent’ for a plasterboard and metal partition systems, we are able to further support our customers in achieving the required BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes standards.” British Gypsum’s offsite solutions range includes: Rigidur H Rigidur H is a gypsum fibre-board available in UK standard or bespoke sizing to the nearest mm up to and including sheet formats of 6000mm x 2500mm, allowing whole wall panel assembly and negating a high level of taping and jointing. It offers enhanced fixing capability and increased mechanical strength, and a smooth factory finish making it ready for decoration.

ACTIVair ACTIVair technology absorbs formaldehyde, a common volatile organic compound (VOC), converting it into inert compounds, preventing its re-emission. The ACTIVair range encompasses Rigidur H, Gyproc Duraline and the Gyptone acoustic ceilings ranges. Glasroc H TILEBACKER Glasroc H TILEBACKER is perfect for use in areas subject to high levels of moisture such as kitchen and bathroom pods or modular shower cubicles and wet rooms. Gyproc SoundBloc F Gyproc SoundBloc F features a high density noise-insulating core that reduces the transmission of sound between rooms, boosting the building’s overall acoustic performance whilst providing 60 minutes of fire resistance in a single layer to either side of a partition. Thistle Magnetic Plaster This innovative plaster provides a smooth, high quality surface, creating an interactive wall that attracts magnets, making it ideal for meeting rooms, classrooms, office and home environments.

For more information about British Gypsum and its full range of offsite solutions, visit:





SmartPly is set to revolutionise the way timber frame structures are designed and built with its latest technological innovation – the SmartPly VapAirTight structural OSB panel. With integrated vapour control properties and airtightness engineered into each panel, SmartPly VapAirTight has performed six times better than PassivHaus standard for air leakage, making it the ideal panel system for ultra-low energy buildings. The result of three years of rigorous development by SmartPly and extensive testing at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, SmartPly VapAirTight is recommended by the Passive House Institute as a product for providing airtightness. Each panel features alternating layers of wood strands coated with a high quality formaldehyde-free resin and wax to deliver outstanding levels of airtightness. A specialist coating is then applied to add vapour resistance and provide a premium performance OSB solution for super-insulated and passive buildings. “OSB is assumed to be airtight, but tests prove a huge variation in performance, between manufacturers and even between different production cycles,” explains David Murray, Innovation Manager at SmartPly. “Developed

from our OSB3 system, SmartPly VapAirTight has integrated vapour control and unrivalled air barrier properties and will help to close the gap between design and as-built performance.” Available in a standard 2397mm x 1197mm size, the panel uses a newly developed high performance coating to ensure consistently high vapour resistance across its entire surface. The smooth and durable surface has also been developed to provide superior bonding of airtight tape at panel joints. Where air and vapour control layer (AVCL) membranes are notoriously difficult to seal, SmartPly VapAirTight offers excellent seal adherence to prevent air leaks, condensation and structural damage.

cost-effective alternative to specialist AVCL membranes. With minimal risk of damage during assembly, transport and installation, airtightness should not be compromised thereby ensuring the panel performs as well on the construction site as in factory controlled conditions. By the very nature of the product, SmartPly VapAirTight can also reduce waste and man hours, as site applied, or factory applied, air and vapour control layers are not required. The panels can be readily cut and fixed using standard timber frame fixings, removing the need for additional membranes, sealants and foams. Suitable for both new build and renovation projects, SmartPly VapAirTight is a versatile, strong and cost-effective OSB panel system. If the UK is to meet its target of an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050 with all new homes built to be ‘zero carbon’, SmartPly’s latest innovation could play a vital role as part of a highly sustainable and fabric first approach.

Manufactured from FSC-certified timber to the specification detailed in BS EN 300:2006, the rigid panel is a sustainable, robust and


For more information on the new SmartPly VapAirTight panel system, visit: www.



OFFSITE AWARDS 2015 Celebrating the Finest in Offsite Construction and Technology Launched in July during the Explore Offsite event in Birmingham, the Offsite Construction Awards 2015 are set celebrate the best in precision building design and delivery. The Awards will reward outstanding examples of products, systems and disciplines that increasingly strive to develop this streamlined way to deliver a better built environment. Offsite manufacture removes much of the construction process from the construction site, leading to far-reaching and vital benefits. Offsite methods and materials geared towards prefabrication and factory-based production are increasingly being regarded as an important way to deliver a cost-effective, sustainable and quality construction. Offsite is becoming a key ingredient in solving the UK’s many construction problems. Across key sectors of UK construction, the Awards will showcase innovation, celebrate best practice and recognise overall expertise in offsite construction through landmark projects, influential people and manufacturing excellence in this progressive arena.

Award categories will range from specific material and systems use e.g. concrete, steel, timber and volumetric technology, to encompass building sectors such as housing, commercial/ retail, public sector schemes and varied infrastructure projects. The Awards will be judged by an independent panel of experts drawn from all four corners of the world of offsite manufacture and connected disciplines. The judges welcome a diverse range and examples of offsite use. The Awards are open to public and private organisations and projects, either of which must be located in the UK and whose businesses/project or product is related to offsite manufacture and related disciplines. Entry Submission Deadline: 30 October 2015. The Offsite Awards takes place on 1 December 2015 at the Inmarsat Conference Centre, London.

Best Use of Concrete Best Use of Steel Best Use of Timber Best Hybrid Construction Project Best Use of Volumetric Technology Best Use of MEP Prefabrication Housing Project of the Year Commercial/Retail Project of the Year Public Sector Project of the Year Infrastructure Project of the Year Product Innovation Award Offsite Professional of the Year. A full description of each category and entry information is available on: Sponsorship Opportunities There are a number of sponsorship packages available to support the Offsite Awards.

This prominent event provides one of the most effective platforms for targeting the offsite industry, presenting the ideal opportunity to maximise exposure and penetrate this economically important market. The Awards will take place on 1 December 2015, at the Inmarsat Conference Centre, London and is set to become a major event in the offsite calendar, attracting national business leaders and high profile decision makers from the across the construction and offsite industry.


The 12 Award Categories

For more details on sponsorship opportunities contact: Julie Richards E: T: 01743 290001


Timber Frame


High Performance Envelopes

Solid Wood Solutions

High Performance Buildings

Kingspan Timber Solutions is project and performance centric. Our focus is firmly on value engineering and by using the ultimate combination of timber systems – we deliver award winning hybrid structural timber solutions, optimised in terms of cost and performance.







Delivering Low Carbon Solutions • Advanced Timber Frame Systems, Structural Insulated Panels, Glued Laminated Timber & Cross Laminated Timber Solutions • Cost effective, high performance, rapid dry building envelopes with excellent airtightness and minimal thermal bridging • PEFC or FSC with Full Chain of Custody

T +44 (0) 1767 676400 F +44 (0) 1767 676444 E



Timber Technology – Leading the way in Modern Housing Construction

By 2030 we will be looking at a shortage of around two million homes in the UK, if current factors such as population growth remain constant. In order to address this and rectify the current housing shortfalls, modern and innovative methods of construction must be adopted to provide quick, sustainable and energyefficient homes. Kingspan Timber Solutions’ Business Unit Director, Ian Loughnane, offers his perspective on the opportunities within the housing industry. “The market is definitely showing high levels of optimism amongst the structural timber manufactures and suppliers, with positive signs of investment and an increase in activity levels. Unemployment is decreasing and people generally feel more confident about their prospects. Mortgage lending is much less restricted now and lending rates are reasonable, so that pent up demand for houses is finally mobilising and housebuilder’s sales rates are recovering rapidly. The need to satisfy that demand is being hampered by a lack of bricklayers and no doubt many housebuilders are finding timber frame a useful way of delivering efficient build rates whilst minimising their reliance on traditional skills. The other driver is the recovery of Section 106 affordable housing provision - in the slump of many 106 Agreements were being renegotiated on affordability grounds. As affordable housing is not sales driven, many developers find it is a quick return on capital to build these units using offsite construction methods – primary timber frame. The excellent thermal and environmental performance of timber frame also suits the


Registered Providers energy performance and sustainability standards well. Housebuilders are material agnostic but at the moment market conditions mean that the use of offsite timber solutions is delivering value to the developer. Currently the majority of housebuilders see no commercial reason to build in energy performance beyond meeting Part L of the Building Regulations. Indeed there is always a flurry of plot registrations to avoid the next round of increased Part L performance. Many purchasers have no perception that their new home may be five years out of date as far as energy performance is concerned. The need to bring these matters to the fore is why the BRE developed the customer facing Housing Quality Mark scheme, which includes energy performance. The sooner the house buying public begins to look at home energy running costs in the same way as car buyers look at MPG, the better. Delivering improved levels of thermal performance and associated airtightness is cost effective when using offsite construction methods which offer the potential of commercial benefits to those who wish to promote the advantages to the market. The trajectory of regulation sends a clear message to developers, investors and housebuilders that the homes of tomorrow must be sustainable.

surrounding the interlinked properties of U-Value, Psi Value and airtightness. Even now we find specifications that only discuss U-Value with no indication of Psi Values or airtightness performance. There is justified concern about highly efficient building fabric producing overheating and poor air quality. However, these issues are entirely avoidable as long as they are properly considered during the design stage. The risk of a gap between in use and designed performance is much reduced by adopting a quality controlled factory installed insulation specification and we expect to see the rise in demand for factory insulated frames to continue in the future There are many reasons as to why the structural timber industry is thriving in the modern world. A key benefit, beyond speed, strength and sustainability, which timber provides is the underlying ability to meet industry requirement without being constrained by manufacturing capacity or indeed raw material availability. In a world where there is demand for buildings to be constructed at such great speed, volume and quality – whilst at the same time as taking consideration for environmental impacts and energy costs to the end user – it is no wonder that timber is leading the way.”

Today the benefits of fabric first are well documented and understood within the industry, however, there is less understanding


To find out more about Kingspan Timber Solutions please visit: www. To book a CPD session, please call: 01767 676400 or email: info@



Nairn Church

Pasquill has manufactured and supplied unusually large-scale Posi-attics for a historic church in Nairn near Inverness, as part of a conversion of the Grade Listed building into a children’s nursery. Local people will warmly welcome the renovation of the church, which has lain empty for 40 years and had been added to the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland. Located on the main Inverness to Aberdeen road, the historic church had been boarded up for many years and had been considered a local eyesore. The exterior of the building will be sympathetically restored with the only significant visible changes involving creation of additional windows and an external door on the East elevation. With a clear span of over 14 metres – supported only at the external walls – and a height of seven metres, the Posi-attics are possibly the largest ever manufactured by Pasquill and were too large to transport to site in single sections. Attic trusses are manufactured in a similar way to standard trusses, but due to the increased loadings, and their lack of full triangulation,

normally they have large timber sections. The traditional configuration of attic trusses sees solid structural timber members used. In the case of Posi-attics the bottom chords are replaced with Posi-joistsTM, i.e. a combination of the strength of a steel web with timber flanges. With their superior spanning capabilities, Posi-joistsTM facilitate better design freedom, and are ideal for large room in the roof applications. Usually used in domestic housing applications, the strength of a Posi-joistTM floor provides increased living space within an attic. When it comes to the installation of pipework, services and in particular MVHR systems, Posi-attics offer unparalleled ease of access. Since Posi-attics are manufactured offsite and craned into position, they offer distinct health and safety advantages. There are no manual off-loading issues to contend with, and lowering


the number of times that sub-contractors have to climb up and down ladders and scaffolding has got to be a positive. Sheridan Peter MacRae of Metric Architecture said: “The use of Pasquill’s Posi-attics allowed this great old building to be saved. All other options were not economically viable and we were at a point where the project might have had to be abandoned. However, Pasquill’s team made a solution that allowed the project’s huge loads to be spanned and some original trusses to be retained in-situ, which was a ‘win-win’ for all concerned.”

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Actis Insulating Breather Membrane Passes New BRE Wind Uplift Resistance Test

A roofing underlay, insulating breather membrane Actis Boost ‘R Hybrid, has passed a specialised BRE test aimed at helping British builders construct roofs which can withstand increasingly windy conditions. The test for wind uplift resistance is part of a new labelling system brought in as part of the radically updated building standard BS5534 which was introduced in February this year. NHBC sites have had to comply with the revised version, which now addresses every component of the construction of a standard roof, since the beginning of July. The labelling will ensure that builders can easily identify the correct underlay for the geographical region in which they are working. This is particularly relevant for roofing contractors in Scotland, the North of England and ultra windy parts of the UK. The test, carried under controlled conditions at the BRE HQ, concluded that Actis Boost ‘R Hybrid is suitable for use across all five regions, or zones of the UK identified under the new system, from the most northerly islands of Scotland to the most southerly point of England. Not all underlays can cope with the windier conditions of Scotland or the far North of England.


The test was introduced in the light of evidence showing wind conditions are worsening, and the criteria outlined on the label will ensure builders can minimise the ‘ballooning effect’ which sees the underlay force tiles and slates off the roof in high winds. Underlay is not allowed to balloon more than 35mm. The new labelling system has been welcomed by the NFRC and will clearly identify in which zones each type of underlay can be used and how it is to be installed. The Actis Boost ‘R Hybrid wind uplift resistance test saw the product trialled under strict laboratory conditions and it has been certified for general use across the whole of the UK including the windiest zones.

with the addition of a 38mm counter batten. The BS5534:2014 slating and tiling for pitched roofs and vertical cladding code of practice calls for a minimum wind uplift resistance of 1600 Pa for a 345mm batten gauged roof covering, rising to 2350Pa for roofs with no ceiling and a permanent dominant opening. The map shows the zones in which Boost R Hybrid can be used. It has been approved for use in zones 1- 5 while some underlays only achieve zones 1 – 3 approval. © IHS, reproduced with permission from BRE DG 489, 2014 edition

Tests concluded that the wind uplift pressure achieved by Boost ‘R Hybrid was way more effective than that required under the revised BS standard – with an average of 3054Pa when used with taped lap alone and 5748Pa STRUC TUR AL TIMBER MAG A ZINE | ISSUE 05 | AUTUMN 2015

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Could the altitude clause in BS5534 leave contractors high and dry?

BS5534:2014 highlights the role of a roofing underlay’s wind uplift resistance in protecting against stormy weather and preventing costly damage. BS5534:2014 highlights the role of a roofing underlay’s wind uplift resistance in protecting against stormy weather and preventing costly damage. The considerations it outlines (based on a combination of meteorological, geographical and building physics data) not only establish the minimum standards in the new code of practice, but are also essential to long term peace of mind. However, while much is being made by various underlay manufacturers and suppliers of achieving BS5534:2014 compliance, the picture may not be quite so straightforward – especially when you consider that a key part of the revised standard refers to altitudes not greater than 100m – and that large areas of the UK are at often surprising heights above sea level. For example, one might expect parts of Cumbria, Wales and Scotland to exceed that benchmark… but how about Milton Keynes? Or swathes of Essex, Surrey, Nottinghamshire and Northern Ireland? Could this factor expose some unsuspecting developers and contractors to unnecessary risk and make them vulnerable to falling short of the code – and therefore potentially liable in any insurance claims?

With world weather looking increasingly unpredictable (and litigation on the rise) anyone specifying a membrane would do well to ensure that, like their project’s roof, everything is covered by a membrane with proven reliability and compliance with all conditions, altitude included.

• 2,350 N/M2 when no ceiling or no well- sealed ceiling is present and a permanent dominant opening is present on an external face of the building. But, is it that simple? The new standard also requires compliance with the following conditions: • Ridge height not greater than 15m • Roof pitch between 12.5° and 75° • Site altitude not greater than 100m • No significant site topography

All underlays are required to clearly state, in literature, certification and on roll labels, the declared wind uplift of the material, and on this basis, the end user can determine the suitability of the material for the site’s location. BS5534 splits the UK (including Northern Ireland) into 5 zones, and to be “fully compliant” at a batten gauge of 345mm, the following test parameters must be met: • 1,600 N/M2 when a well-sealed ceiling is present • 1,900 N/m2 when no ceiling or no well- sealed ceiling is present


Clearly, comprehensively meeting all the requirements of BS5534:2014 could prove challenging for contractors also looking for a reliable, easy-install, trouble-free solution. Fortunately, however, there are products which allow unrestricted use anywhere in the UK, in all building characteristics and under all site conditions.

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Crome Court, University of East Anglia Crome Court, a new 232-room, five to seven-storey student accommodation building on the campus of University of East Anglia, has recently been completed using Stora Enso PEFC-certified Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) for the superstructure.

of delivering BIM Level 2, the project has also delivered an asset information model for facilities management. Martin Lovatt describes himself as the University Estates ‘BIM champion’ and keeps it high on the agenda. “A lot of people pay BIM lip service and just use it for 3D modelling, but it’s a lot more than that,” he says. “It’s really a platform allowing people to collaborate - not so much a design tool, though that’s at the heart of it, but a management tool for transferring and communicating ideas and data. It is the future.” Wayne Probert, Sales and Marketing, Stora Enso Building Solutions added: “This is a fantastic building in keeping with the University’s world renowned reputation as a heritage architecture site. It has broken new ground in terms of BIM and we’re very excited to have played our part in this achievement.” The new residence, which achieved BREEAM Excellent, is described by the University as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of its student accommodation and is widely acknowledged as an exemplar of BIM in the UK, having recently won a national Construction Computing Award. The new building is designed by LSI Architects and constructed by Kier with timber engineering and installation by Eurban. CLT was specified for a combination of reasons: in addition to its sustainability benefits, CLT’s suitability for building on a small site with existing residential buildings in use during construction was a key factor. CLT is a quiet method of construction and the University received only one complaint in more than 64 weeks of construction. The programme was extremely challenging and CLT’s speed and ease of construction was also a major consideration – building with CLT enabled the project to be delivered within a very tight 26 month programme, from initial briefing to turnkey handover to meet the start of a new academic year. This timing was crucial as Senior Estates Project Manager, Martin Lovatt explains: “We had 232 students waiting to take up residence. If the building hadn’t been ready we would have had to find accommodation for them


within the city which would have cost us a lot of money and a loss of reputation, so it was high stakes.” Crome Court was actually completed 4 weeks ahead of schedule. Mr Lovatt continues: “The quality and the cost of the building is exceptional – we had a £12m project budget to start with and the project was brought in £900,000 under budget at £11.1m – so a good story all around.” UEA has a 25 year masterplan of construction works and aims to grow in student numbers by 6.7% in the next 4 years. This measure of growth needs additional accommodation and Crome Court is an important part of its delivery. The project is the first on the UEA’s estate to implement BIM Level 2 which it has delivered two years ahead of the Government schedule for Level 2 delivery. The project has a specific focus on delivering a complete 6D Asset Information Model and its collaborative use by the project team enabled a rapid design programme with minimal errors. The CLT data supplied by Eurban was checked using modelling checking software rather than drawings, comparing the structural engineers and architects modelled information. As part


For more information visit:



Herefordshire and Ludlow College

This is a sustainable newbuild workshop sporting an innovative and highly-efficient ‘flat-pack’ timber structure. The project is situated on the Holme Lacy campus of Herefordshire and Ludlow College and is designed to complement the nearby Straw Bale Cafe, Fast-Track Classrooms and LRC refurbishment. It is used primarily for the maintenance of tractors and other agricultural machinery. Unusually for an industrial building, the workshop sports a ‘flat-pack’ timber structure, which takes advantage of cross laminated timber (CLT)’s omni-directional loading capability to cut all beams, columns, walls, and roof from a single 200mm thick board. This pre-fabricated, sustainable and attractive self-finished material allowed for a rapid onsite build (important as the College had a limited window of construction opportunity) with reduced foundation sizes, the flexibility for services to be fixed anywhere and the creation of a high-quality internal environment (with excellent acoustic properties). The frame was designed to be as efficient as possible, using a standard CLT panel in square-cut sections, with simple (but elegant) connection details. The portal frame is formed from 200mm thick CLT columns and beams. The same material, in the same thickness, is then used for the wall and roof panels. This means that the whole building could effectively be cut from a single board type in one operation - true ‘flat-pack’ fabrication. The CLT structure was chosen for a number of reasons: • It allows for a rapid on-site build (important as the College has a limited window of construction opportunity). 92

• It is effectively self-finished (with Class 0 clearcoat), requiring no additional lining or applied finishes. • It gives the flexibility for services to be fixed anywhere, without the coordination issues normally associated with steelwork (welding of additional brackets, etc.) • It is carbon-sequestering, with only certified timber from sustainably managed forests being used (along with formaldehyde-free adhesives). The timbers are also reusable, recyclable and easily disposable (as biomass fuel) • It creates a better environment than a steel framed workshop; the surface quality is warmer / softer and the acoustics are superior, with improved reverberation times. • It is cost-comparable with a conventional steel frame, once savings on site preliminaries, secondary framing, linings and finishes are considered.

of FSC-certified marine plywood help to soften the building at low-level, whilst extensive use of polycarbonate glazing at high-level allows light deep into the pale timber interior.

Time and budget were both tight on this project - the workshop was delivered for a rate of just £1,500/m2 including specialist M&E equipment (e.g. vehicle exhaust extraction) and within a six month timeframe (of which approx. 5 days was spent erecting the timber frame). The choice of cladding materials has sought to make the most of the College’s natural resources. The western red cedar cladding was forested from the college’s 150 acres of woodland. This was cut to size on-site, by College contractors, just a few hundred yards from the building. Elsewhere, variegated panels STRUC TUR AL TIMBER MAG A ZINE | ISSUE 05 | AUTUMN 2015

For more information visit:



Skano Fibreboard – for use in construction and interior applications Our natural woodfibre products are manufactured from FSC-managed resources. The wood is chipped and mulched and formed into continuous wet fibreboard that is cut to length and dried slowly in Europe’s longest continuous dryer at 87m long. This slow drying process produces very high quality wood fibreboard with excellent wind resistance.

Skano have a range of woodfibre boards for use in construction and woodfibre underlay for interior use to improve acoustic insulation and thermal insulation between floors (ISOPLAAT and ISOMODUL) and decorative interior panels for new buildings and renovation (ISOTEX). ISOPLAAT wind barrier boards are used as a windtight, insulating and racking element in the construction of exterior walls, ceilings and roofs. Wind barrier boards may also be used between thermal insulation layers for blocking the wind and reducing thermal bridging. The boards are impregnated with a polymer wax that gives them weather durability. The boards protect buildings by preventing moisture from getting into thermal insulation layers and they function as a weatherproof protection layer on houses with external cladding. Wind barrier boards have a thermal storage capacity helping the building to retain warmth and stability to temperatures within. This is known as thermal decrement delay.

ISOMODUL fibre board insulation elements are a smart profiled solution feature properties that are necessary not only for ecological buildings: they are open to diffusion while having excellent thermal insulation properties and can be used for balancing the height of, or giving weight to ceilings or floors. Due to the ingeniously simple border profile of the Isomodul fibreboard insulation elements, they can be used in a wide range of applications as sound or thermal insulation materials. ISOTEX interior ceiling and wall panels have thermal insulating and sound-muting qualities. This is due to their porous but dense structure. Thanks to these structural qualities, they improve the acoustics of the room significantly, preventing the outside noise from coming in and muting the noise and echo that are produced inside the room. An average sound reduction insulation of ISOTEX panels is 22 dB. ISOTEX panels retain all beneficial characteristics of wood – durability, viscosity, warmth and healthiness.

Advantages • Additional thermal insulation and reduction of thermal bridging • Protects construction from weather conditions • Windproof and breathable board • Increases construction rigidity • Additional sound insulation • Eco-friendly, 100% natural wood product • Easy to install, no special tools needed • Does not increase the thickness of the wall significantly. • Supports insulation materials e.g. cellulose, woodfibre and glassfibre. Skano Group is a value-adding wood processing company established in 1945. We produce home furniture, insulation fibreboards and interior finishing panels. We have two wood fibre soft-board factories in Estonia, a furniture factory in Estonia, and 11 furniture retail stores in Ukraine and Baltics. Turnover 2014 was over 20 million Euros, 85% is Export sales to 40 Countries. Skano Group AS is ISO 9001 certificated, and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Tallinn stock exchange.

For more information please contact Skano Fibreboard Sales director Tiit Mölder +372 44 51 821 e:, or visit:





Swift Garden Buildings

Expert knowledge saves costs

Over the 17 years since the Egan report, many construction reviews have called for integrated teamwork. Cost-saving is the key driver, yet there are further costs to be saved by early inclusion of timber specialists, says Andy Jones, Regional Manager at Snows Timber. With BIM rapidly becoming integral to construction, understanding not simply the outward-facing benefits of a material but also the underlying needs that accompany it, during the build and in-use, is vital to achieving the best whole-life costing outcome. Take Cedar claddings as an example. Rightly popular for their aesthetics and insulating properties, if they are not correctly fixed to battening appropriate to their weight, using stainless steel fixings, their natural durability and longevity in use will be compromised. It is on such issues where supplier knowledge can ultimately influence costs and long-term building outcomes. Counter battening for Cedar claddings can start at 38x38mm ranging up to 50x75mm and beyond depending on the

cladding weight. Fixings can be needed at centres of 450-600mm depending on the length of the claddings. Contractors should regularly seek our detailed advice. Just as we do not expect to know more than the professionals about our medical health and available treatments, those who procure timber products need to fully utilise the supplier expertise available to them, from the design phase onwards, for maximum cost benefit. Having suppliers who are also manufacturers, rather than merely aggregators of supplies for delivery, is arguably a better choice, since they deal with of the realities of the specified material every day. They can also give the most honest answer on delivery timings for your build plans. As manufacturers of timber products, Snows Timber’s deliveries of standard profiles in Cedar and ThermoWood® claddings can arrive within two days. Machining bespoke profiles in these materials will see delivery within two weeks. Fire retardant timber treatments may have longer


lead times, so it is wise to ask. The earlier you can involve and inform your supplier, the more likely they are to be able to accommodate changes to the build plan as the project progresses and thus keep costs to a minimum. It may sound obvious, but timber storage and handling on site can also impact project costs. Whilst ThermoWood® claddings may have a 25-year guarantee, and Cedar claddings a much longer life if correctly fixed, no project manager will want the extra cost of cleaning bespattered claddings left uncovered on a muddy site. So whether you use BIM or more simplified forms of performance analysis, making your timber and claddings supplier a part of your integrated team from the outset can only be of benefit.

For more information e-mail:




Riverside Clubhouse

Riverside Clubhouse is a new community centre at Avon Park, Stratford-upon-Avon, providing a bar, restaurant, offices and conference facilities. Sylva was commissioned to provide a full structural and civil engineering package and oversee the construction. The building is situated upon the banks of the river Avon in a high risk flood plain, demanding that it was raised well above any potential flood levels. 15m deep reinforced concrete piles were used to give a very strong foundation, which minimised excavations and the associated impact on the beautiful site. The steel transfer structure was designed with smooth circular steel columns, and no internal cross bracing, to offer minimal resistance to the passage of flood waters.


The building is constructed from timber in many forms. A Russian logshell build system is used for the majority of the external walls and this is mated to a heavy timber frame carpentry system, very similar to those found in historic green oak construction. These traditional solid timber components were integrated with modern structural timber composites and glulam timber portal frames sourced from Germany. The project gave the opportunity to apply structural engineering based on UK, European and international standards. Integrating these, and in some cases working with Russian colleagues to seek translations and test data, was no small undertaking. Fortunately engineers, designers and manufacturers shared

a passion for the project and it became an exemplar for collaborative working. Sylva undertook site supervision from groundworks through to completion of the timber build, providing details and drawings as issues were found and overcome on site. While our Russian may not have improved much during this process, we did enjoy working with the international team on site. The building was completed in late 2014 and has already hosted a number of weddings and other social events.


For more information visit:

Conference & Exhibition What

FABRIC FIRST is a one day conference & exhibition platform for designers and technology providers to present the benefits of adopting ‘fabric first’ methodologies in respect of modern energy efficient construction. A comprehensive programme of regulation, technology & project case study presentations. The conference programme is supported by an exhibition of 25 technology providers and networking sessions.


It is ideally suited to developers, architects, contractors, registered providers and house-builders looking to deliver high performance building fabric using thermally efficient airtight structures.


18 November 2015


Inmarsat - London

Note: a full Conference Programme will be published online


If you are interested in exhibiting or for more information contact: or by calling 01743 290001

To book your delegate place go to:


Optimised Hybrid Structures - CPD

Don’t Compromise…Optimise!

Offering a complete package of material services, across a wide range of structural products including glulam, cross laminated timber, timber cassettes and steel frame, as part of their hybrid structural solutions - B & K Structures has an outstanding, award winning portfolio across a range of sectors. By selecting the most effective combination of systems and materials to meet the brief and performance specification, B & K Structures, as the UK’s leading sustainable frame contractor, specialise in the design, manufacture and delivery of optimised hybrid structures.

Kingspan Timber Solutions is project and performance centric. Through their extensive product portfolio, Kingspan Timber Solutions focus is firmly on value engineering and performance. By using the ultimate combination of timber systems – Kingspan Timber Solutions deliver award winning hybrid structural timber solutions, optimised in terms of cost and performance. With a collaborative culture, Kingspan Timber Solutions are dependable partners who, by using a combination of the highest performing materials, design, manufacturer, assemble and project manage the construction of cutting-edge timber solutions.

For more information or book an Optimised Hybrid CPD session, please:

For more information or to book a CPD please:

Call: 01773 853400 Email: Visit:

Call: 01767 676400 Email: Visit:

The Engineered Facade Solution for Timber Frame Construction

Toolfix Joinery and Construction Supplies

The Alumasc Ventilated System provides an engineered, stylish and commercially viable solution for structural timber applications. The system is designed to provide a fully ventilated cavity, which keeps the timber substrate moisture-free. Rigorously tested, AVS is BBA and NHBC approved. With a wide choice of final finishes, the aesthetic requirements of architects, designers and developers are achieved. Any brick can be replicated through the use of lightweight acrylic brick slips and the system is also approved for use with a range high performance silicone and dashing renders.

At Timber Expo 2015, Toolfix Joinery and Construction Supplies launches the Invoke Universal Pocket Door Gear System, which transforms any room with limited space. Available in standard UK door sizes, the adjustable pocket door gear systems cater for different door heights, widths and wall thicknesses. Whether you want a traditional architrave finish, a minimalist finish or even a flush ceiling finish, there is a kit to suit you. The Invoke pocket door gear system uses high quality components manufactured to the strictest standards ensuring smooth and silent opening. After all, pocket door systems should be maintenance free and simple to fit – in just 30 minutes!

For more information please: Call: 03335 771 700 Email: Visit:

Call us today on 08001 613 613 or email us at

AirSpace…Build onto an existing structure The Modular AirSpace build system is ideal for adding storeys onto existing structures – a block of flats, a bungalow – even a car park! Our superstructure system is built offsite using Kingspan TEK® SIPS as our primary build component – tough as concrete but a quarter of the weight. Working alongside a main contractor the superstructure is ready for external finishing of windows, (which can be factory installed), with the internal refinement including first and second fix, kitchen and bathroom.This leads to reduced build times, minimal site disruption and a high performance building. Contact: Modular AirSpace Systems Call: 03333 110050 Email: Visit:

Sustainable Structures – CPD Committed to research and innovation, the X-LAM Alliance are specialists in the design and delivery of sustainable cross laminated timber (CLT) structures across all construction sectors – from commercial and educational projects to medium rise residential accommodation. With over 50 highly experienced and dedicated experts in structural analysis, building physics, planning and consultancy the X-LAM Alliance provide informative CLT CPD sessions. For more information or book a CLT CPD session, please: Call: 01773 857512 Email: Visit:

Benefits of membership

Being a member of the Structural Timber Association brings genuine commercial benefits through technical insights, client referrals, access to unique training and industry recognised credibility. It is also about being part of an organisation that influences government and industry on behalf of the timber sector; extolling the role the material can play in the current drive for sustainable construction. With a collective ambition to develop the timber frame sector as the ‘first choice’ concept for construction - working with the STA is helping Kronospan to reach our business objectives – it’s simply better together! Peter Ball, Sales Manager Building Products, Kronospan

Raising the bar with all their initiatives the STA, has been a great assistance to us and our sector in professionalizing the supply and installation of structural timber. John Dickie, Director, Dickie & Moore

The primary benefits relate to: •

Over 300 members - reflecting a significant percentage of UK structural timber technology and system providers

Code of conduct - a standard of operating by which all companies within the sector are compared

Direct representation for your trade within the construction sector

Highest quality and technical standards - driven by our robust committee structure

Relevant and best-in-class training and education

Networking events, trade shows and conferences

Direct communication with your target customers

Having the right tools to build your business is Simplicity itself A growing business is a vulnerable one, and a bad debt is the biggest danger. That’s why affordable credit insurance you can tailor to your turnover is more than just advisable. It’s essential. So why wait? Complete the speedy online application, let our experts do a few checks, giving you a whole new perspective and the confidence to build your business. Simplicity itself. Find out more and apply now at or call 0800 197 1190

The protection your business needs

Euler Hermes UK is a branch of Euler Hermes SA(NV), Avenue des Arts 56, 1000 Brussels, Belgium. Company no. 0403.248.596 RPM Brussels. Insurance firm, registered under code 418. Branch registered in England and Wales with no. BR015404, registered branch address 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DX. Authorised by the National Bank of Belgium and the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority, and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request. * Calls may be recorded. Calls are free from a BT landline but charges may vary from mobiles and other network providers. Lines are open Monday - Friday 8am - 6pm.

Structural Timber Magazine  

Issue 5 - Autumn 2015

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