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Structural Timber Magazine.co.uk

Summer 2018 | ÂŁ4.95

STMAG

Design Technology Sustainability Interviews News Analysis Case Studies

The latest in structural timber building design and technologies

IDEAL MODULAR HOMES ASPIRATIONAL LIVING

P34

P48

P54

ST Awards 2018

CLT Durability

Tall Timber

Check out the judge's choices for this year’s awards shortlist

TRADA advice on what to remember during the construction phase

An international view from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat


Delivering efficiency and competitive advantage using offsite technology We develop and improve: Business strategies Product & service portfolios Manufacturing operations Supply-chain integration Business processes Management systems Marketing strategies Sales routes to market

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WELCOME TO Welcome to the Summer edition of Structural Timber Magazine and amongst our usual coverage of the timber sector we highlight the shortlist of the impending Structural Timber Awards.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER UNDER: twitter.com/STMagUK ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: MARK AUSTIN // T: 01743 290002 E: mark.austin@structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk BACK ISSUES VISIT: www.structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk FRONT COVER Ideal Modular Homes PRINTED ON: PEFC 16-33-576 paper stock by Buxton Press

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Structural Timber Magazine is produced and published by Radar Communications in association with the Structural Timber Association: ©Radar Communications Ltd. FOR STA ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: BOB DAVIS // T: 01259 272140 E: bob.davis@structuraltimber.co.uk DISCLAIMER: The content of Structural Timber Magazine does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or publishers and are the views of its contributors and advertisers. The digital edition may include hyperlinks to third-party content, advertising, or websites, provided for the sake of convenience and interest. The publishers accept no legal responsibility for loss arising from information in this publication and do not endorse any advertising or products available from external sources. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the publishers. All rights reserved.

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Each year the number of entries grows and the judges are consistently thrilled to see the quality of projects submitted. There are some truly inspirational buildings using timber technology of all types across the UK. It seems a shame to pick just one for special mention but the smart money (and I honestly have no idea who the winners are…) is on the flagship £140 million distillery and visitor experience for The Macallan in Speyside being highly successful – not just at the Structural Timber Awards but across the construction awards season generally. It is a sumptuous and inspiring use of timber dovetailed with a raft of wider sustainable construction thinking. Elsewhere, this issue includes a review of the recent Solid Wood Solutions event at the University of Warwick, that saw a range of experts and industry specialists debate the popularity of CLT and glulam. One topic under scrutiny was the construction of timber at height, an approach that is set to become increasingly popular. On this we hear from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) on what the future may have in store. Daniel Safarik explains how the tall timber phenomenon

has resulted in a worldwide wave of research, built projects and ever-more daring speculative proposals using ‘mass timber’. In 2008 there was one mass timber building over eight storeys tall. Today, there are nearly 40 complete, under construction or planned. As an example we highlight Norway’s Mjøstårnet that when complete in March 2019 will be the world’s tallest timber building at 81 metres. A final word. The UK’s Housing Minister switched hands as we were putting this issue together – Dominic Raab’s tenure was long enough to provide an article for us – but has now been replaced by Kit Malthouse formerly of the Department of Work and Pensions. The third incumbent of 2018 will inherit a department that needs firm leadership and focus. What Mr. Malthouse will achieve is anybody’s guess as the present Government lurches from pillar to post. Many thanks to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters. Enjoy… Gary Ramsay | Consultant Editor E: gary.ramsay@structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk

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05.03.19 05.03.19 Have you used timber technology on a recent project across any offsite construction sector in the UK? Do you use CLT, glulam, timber frame, SIPS or associated open and closed panel systems as a major factor in delivering quality and sustainable offsite manufacture? If yes, get the recognition you deserve by entering the Best Use of Timber Technology category at the 2019 Offsite Construction Awards and maximise your industry exposure by demonstrating what separates you from your competitors.

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If you answered no to these questions don’t worry, there are 22 additional categories you can enter to get involved including:

COMMERCIAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR

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CONTENTS

THIS ISSUE... P6 | COVER STORY - IDEAL MODULAR

HOMES

With housing delivery across the UK constantly under scrutiny, many solutions reside in offsite manufacture and innovative small and medium-sized home providers. Gary Ramsay spoke to Luke Barnes, Founder and CEO of Liverpool-based Ideal Modular Homes (IMH) about their recent successful entry into the marketplace.

P08 | SAFETY FIRST Health and safety remains a top priority for the Structural Timber Association (STA). Andrew Orriss, Chair of the STA Health and Safety Committee,discusses recent initiatives to help STA members ensure the workplace is safe for everyone. P10 | INDUSTRY NEWS A quick round-up of some recent news stories from the timber and construction sectors that you may have missed including the latest STA activity, a change of Chief Executive at the British Woodworking Federation, timber’s billion pound Brexit bill and homegrown timber for Welsh homes. P26 | COUNTING THE COST OF AFFORDABLE CONSTRUCTION Cost comparisons between competing materials are notoriously difficult to quantify in any sector. A recent study from independent construction, property and management consultant, Rider Levett Bucknall, sought to understand the differences between timber frame and masonry in affordable housing. P30 | IMPROVED WORKING KNOWLEDGE IMPROVES WORKING PERFORMANCE Knowledge and performance was the mantra for the recent European research trip undertaken by a group of Barratt Developments Board Directors and Senior Managers.

P34 | STRUCTURAL TIMBER AWARDS 2018 A quick taster of the shortlisted projects the judges thought were the best in class for this year’s Awards. The Awards will be presented at a special gala dinner on 10 October during Timber Expo at UK Construction Week. P44 | THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION Over the last decade a renaissance in structural timber has taken place elevating wood to rival concrete and steel. Issues surrounding this and more were discussed at the recent Solid Wood Solutions conference and exhibition. P48 | THE FOUR Ds Robin Lancashire, Senior Timber Frame Consultant at TRADA picks out some key issues surrounding the durability of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and what to remember during the construction phase. P52 | BREAKING THE BOUNDARIES Moelven are at the forefront of timber design and are presently at work on Mjøstårnet that when complete in March 2019 at 81 metres will be the world’s tallest timber building.

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P54 | A RISING GLOBAL PROFILE In the past few years, the tall building industry has become increasingly interested in the use of timber as a major structural element in skyscrapers. We hear from Daniel Safarik, Senior Editor at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) on what the future may have in store. P60 | CHANGE IS IN THE AIR Prior to his departure to become Brexit Minister, Minister of State for Housing, Dominic Raab, outlined how the Government is taking steps to stimulate and encourage the greater use of offsite methods across UK housing construction. P62 | CITU LIFE When Chris Thompson, Managing Director of sustainable urban developers, Citu, realised that outdated construction methods would hold back his ambition to accelerate the transition to low carbon cities, he set out to revolutionise the way in which homes are designed and built in the UK. P64 | A 3D SOLUTION TO THE HOUSING CRISIS Trevor Richards, Director of Cogent Consulting reveals that advancements in offsite technology is an area where the UK is leading the way and outlines the resurgence and future of low-rise structural timber volumetric modular technology. P68 | EVOLUTION NOT REVOLUTION The role offsite manufacture can play in securing a healthier housing sector has never been more important. A pivotal provider of offsite timber housing systems is Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS) who recently hosted a Roundtable Event to discuss future housing challenges and how to develop a maturing market. P78 | FLEXIBLE PRECISION With 2018 marking its 25th year in the UK, Biesse recently held a series of open days at its Daventry Technology Centre, for visitors to see the latest advances in woodworking technology and the UK launch of the SOPHIA digital platform.

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COVER STORY – IDEAL MODULAR HOMES

Aspirational Living With housing delivery across the UK constantly under scrutiny, many solutions reside in offsite manufacture and innovative small and medium-sized home providers. Gary Ramsay spoke to Luke Barnes, Founder and CEO of Liverpoolbased Ideal Modular Homes (IMH) about their recent successful entry into the marketplace.

01

02 Q: Can you tell me a little background to the creation of IMH and what has driven you to create the business? Luke Barnes (LB): Prior to starting IMH we were a medium-sized developer looking at new construction methods that would reduce time and the hassle attached to ‘traditional’ construction. After looking into timber frame systems, SIPS and even 3D printing techniques, we decided that volumetric was perfect for what we were trying to achieve. Our vision was shortlived though as we couldn’t find a supplier that offered us the key things we were after, which were quality, deliverability and price. Coming from a background

of design engineering (I used to design large manufacturing systems) and Graham Owens a software engineer, developing a bespoke operating system, we had the skills, development experience and resources to enable us to design our own factory and bring something to the market that didn’t exist.

training in-house. The accuracy and quality of engineered timber enables us to work to a tolerance of just 1mm. Coupled to this, creating a crisp and robust wall build up is a lot cleaner with wood structures as opposed to connecting wood, fire boards and cladding systems to a steel frame structure.

Q: Why have you chosen cross laminated timber (CLT) as a key material ahead of other modular framing materials – e.g. steel? LB: From the outset we had to make a choice about what we wanted to set our factory up for. We decided to move forward with glulam and CLT structures for a number of reasons. Firstly it is a sustainable material. Sustainability and minimal wastage are a huge part of our company culture and we believe every industry has to adapt in order to preserve our planet for future generations, so we had a great opportunity to embed this in from day one.

Q: Can you say a little about the IMH factory process, design, quality control and final delivery package – what kind of timescales are there for production and onsite delivery? LB: IMH offer a full package service. We have our own RIBA-certified architects in-house that design bespoke to client requirements. We also have a strong technical and project management team who work with clients and their own architects on how we can deliver housing and apartment schemes using our system.

Timber based products are highly efficient. Glulam and CLT provide great thermal properties, they don’t have issues with cold bridging like steel and they’re great for absorbing sound, particularly important when we’re creating apartments which is one of the biggest issues when building with steel. CLT is an engineered product. Having machines construct the wall, floor and roof panels speeds up the process significantly. Coupled to wood being an easier material to work with and connect to, we felt it was the best option for a workforce we’ll be

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One of the key reasons we started IMH was to bring quality to the modular and housing market. We’ve developed our own digital quality control system that ensures quality is maintained and double-checked along every stage of our factory production line. This system is maintained through our installation teams as well to ensure our clients and the end-user have a desirable home without the need of worrying about defects. Using our 24 hour operating license, we’re currently able to produce 900 modules a year. This equates to a full family home being produced in our factory in just six days and installed onsite within a day. As


COVER STORY – IDEAL MODULAR HOMES which heats up the fabric of the building rather than the air – great for health benefits and is extremely cheap to run. We like to say we’re delivering homes people aspire to live in and not settling with.

04

03 our client base and order book continues to grow, our plan is to expand our production facility over the next two years to enable us to produce 4,000 modules a year. Q: Do you plan to have in-house installation teams and offer a full turnkey package? How long will it take to install a standard home onsite from leaving the factory gate? LB: We already have our own in-house installation teams. This is key to maintaining an efficient delivery programme and continue to maintain our high standard of quality. We’ve also introduced a complete turnkey solution, where we can act as main contractor and manage the entire project including the groundworks, we found this to be in big demand from most of our clients. Q: What marketplace are you aiming for – PRS/affordable housing or private developments? Family homes or apartments? How is the module ordering process maximised for clients for best value? LB: To date all of our clients have been developers for the open market sector and PRS. This is mainly due to our product offering being a very high quality. However, we’ve also started developing an affordable range of homes aimed at registered providers. We still stand by our

values of only delivering high quality homes and only using the best quality products, however we’ve got the price point on par with ‘traditional affordable’ but delivering much more value for money and in a much shorter time frame. Using both our glulam and CLT products we’re able to deliver any house type. Whether it’s large executive homes, family homes and apartments up to 15 storeys tall. We prefer to think of modular or volumetric as a construction method and not a house type, so there’s no limitation to its capabilities. Q: What kind of finished product will IMH produce compared to other marketplace suppliers – size, finish, choice of room sizes – accommodation of lifestyle changes? LB: We design to client requirements, so sizes are completely optional dependant on the project aspirations. However, we always introduce some of our key features such as full height doors, large windows, high ceilings and high-quality products to bring a new feel to homes in the market, something homebuyers are looking for in a market compressed with the same type of home. As a company that thrives on innovation, we feel this is important to introduce to our products as well, particularly in an age when people are becoming more conscious of the way they live. As a standard our homes have exceptional U-values, use smart technology and we don’t install gas into our properties as it’s not a sustainable source of energy. Instead we offer energy efficient options such as infrared heating

Q: How are IMH progressing generally? At the recent Housing 2018 event in Manchester the show home was catching everyone’s eye? LB: We started building our factory and testing products just over a year ago. We then opened our doors to clients earlier this year in March after obtaining BOPAS accreditation and have since placed orders for 250 homes, so it’s progressing very well at present. We have three major schemes in our order book at present, a private development for high-end two, three and four-bedroom family homes in the Midlands. A PRS apartment scheme in the North West and another private apartment scheme in the Midlands, totalling 250 homes. We also have other large schemes in the pipeline which we’re looking to bring forward over the next 12 months. There’s a misconception surrounding modular and showcasing our products is great way to show people what IMH volumetric construction is about. We took one of our show homes to the Housing 2018 show in June which was our first real exposure to the market. Over three days we had over 1,200 people walk around our home and it’s great to hear people share thoughts on our approach to quality and also quite amusing to see the shock when they hear it was installed in just a day! For more information visit: www.idealmodularhomes.co.uk

IMAGES: 01-02. The modular homes are produced in the factory in just six days and installed onsite within one day 03-04. At Housing 2018, the IMH team welcomed over 1,200 people to the show home over three days

STMAG | www.structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk | 7


STA COLUMN

Safety First The issue of health and safety remains a top priority for the Structural Timber Association (STA). Andrew Orriss, Sales Director for SIG and Chair of the STA Health and Safety Committee, discusses recent initiatives to help STA members ensure the workplace is a safe place for everyone.

It is acknowledged that offsite methods of timber construction are vastly safer than traditional onsite methods. Taking the build into factory-controlled conditions reduces many risk factors such as working at height, but we cannot afford to be complacent. The wider construction industry statistics are extremely concerning, with 70,116 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR in 2016/2017. Health and safety, together with mental wellbeing is too important to overlook and for well over a year the STA have been taking positive steps to ensure our members do not fall into these concerning statistics. The Health and Safety Committee has a primary objective to identify and communicate important guidance and information relating to maintaining safe working environments. Central to this is protecting people by managing risk in a proportionate and effective way. To communicate crucial information to members, we have created a bi-monthly information bulletin – the STA Health and Safety Signpost. Furthermore, we are keeping a close eye on legislation and issues that could be of interest and reporting to members. Developed over many years to support our members, the STA’s independently audited Site Safe policy is mandatory for those member companies that are classified as Structural Timber Building System Suppliers (STBSS). This policy raises awareness of legal obligations and provides support to clients. In line with CDM regulations, the

Site Safe Policy is applicable for all projects regardless of size and location. The scale and position of a project will influence the depth and scope of the outputs needed but the processes are the same. The policy has three added requirements to the CDM obligations that make it unique to the STA and provide essential protection for members. Working at height represents one of the main risk areas in construction. It is important to mention that under the Health and Safety at Work Act, workers have a duty to ensure that they undertake all work in a safe manner, also considering the safety of everyone else around them. Most occur as a direct result of poor planning, implementation and a failure to identify the risks. Risk management, training and engineering have reduced working at height injuries to the lowest levels recorded. However, major accidents are still happening with falls from a height accountable for 49% of fatal injuries in the last five years. Statistics have identified that the main contributory factors are the choices that are made. Frequently, the risk of falling is not seen, or is simply disregarded by individuals due to other factors such as time constraints, cost and bad habits. The STA’s objective is ‘zero’ major working at height injuries in the structural timber industry. With our STA member’s commitment and support, and with proper

8 | www.structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk | STMAG

01 planning, management, instruction, supervision and best working practices, we believe this can be achieved. The STA’s website contains some valuable health and safety guidance and many of these informative documents developed by experts in the field, are accessible to non-members including STA Health and Safety Signpost publications. For more information go to: www.structuraltimber.co.uk/library go to the ‘Topic Type’ drop down menu and highlight Health and Safety. Andrew Orriss Structural Timber Association E: andreworriss@sigplc.com

www.structuraltimber.co.uk IMAGE: 01. Courtesy of Stewart Milne Timber Systems


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UK INDUSTRY NEWS BWF ANNOUNCES NEW CEO organisations in the materials supply chain and her commercial experience will help in directing the BWF through the next period as it naturally evolves. This is an exciting time for the BWF as we promote the UK’s exceptional woodworking skills and the many benefits of building with wood, and we are looking forward to the future.”

Iain McIlwee is to stand down as Chief Executive of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) after almost seven years. Iain has worked closely with the board on a succession plan and the BWF is pleased to announce that Helen Hewitt has been appointed acting CEO with immediate effect. Helen joined the BWF as Membership Director and Wood Window Alliance Lead in November 2017 and has already made a significant impact in many areas of the business, especially in helping to improve processes and engagement with members as well as supporting the Build it Better with Wood values of the organisation. Iain will continue to work alongside Helen at the BWF until the end of September, when he leaves to take up a new role as Chief Executive of FIS, Finishes & Interiors Sectors Limited, the trade body which represents the fit-out sector. BWF President Sean Parnaby said: “Over the last seven years Iain has contributed hugely to the BWF’s step change in profile and activity and helped to ensure we genuinely are one of the outstanding performing trade associations in the UK. He leaves with our gratitude and blessing and we look forward to working with him in his new role. “We are delighted to have Helen on board, she has a strong track record in developing training and membership

Iain McIlwee added: “It has genuinely been a privilege to work in the woodworking sector, to represent the BWF membership and lead what is an inspirational, enthusiastic and talented team. Having worked closely with Helen I am confident that the BWF is not just in a safe pair of hands, but that the organisation will have a progressive, astute, strong and enthusiastic individual at the helm who understands and respects the values that unite our membership and industry. These are, without doubt, exciting times for timber and the BWF and I will continue to evangelise about the fantastic sustainable, healthy, effective and often stunning solutions that timber delivers and the importance of the craft at the heart of our manufacturing sector that is the woodworking industry.” Helen Hewitt said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be given the opportunity to spearhead the BWF through this next phase. I am looking forward to working closely with our members, the Council and Executive in developing the strategy which will build on the new Build it Better with Wood campaign; launched at our most successful members day yet. With wood delivering on so many levels and the sector boasting craftspeople and engineers of the highest calibre, the proliferation of wood in the built environment presents exciting opportunities for the construction sector. I have been truly humbled by the passion and pride the industry has for the products it produces and the people it employs.” SOURCE: www.bwf.org.uk

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PASQUILL SHOWCASES REDHILL INVESTMENT Pasquill, the largest manufacturer and supplier of roof trusses in the UK, recently invited a selection of its customers to an open day at its Redhill branch, offering an exclusive insight into the recent six figure investments made to improve how the design and truss manufacturing site operates. The Redhill branch opened in 2006 with five shop floor operatives, and today there are 50 operatives, working over three shifts, meaning that the branch operates 24-hours a day, five days a week. This not only means there is excellent customer support available, but the site also offers many job opportunities in the local area. Significant investments have been made recently to help improve productivity, quality and overall customer service. These include the latest technical Hundegger saw that allows a faster and greater flexibility of cut of timber, an AV Birch posi-press that has helped increase productivity and quality output, and a laser system which has improved the build and quality of trusses. Igor Marcius, Site Operations Manager at the Pasquill Redhill branch, said: “The open day was a great success. It was a great opportunity for us to present the significant investments made to the site that allows us to produce high quality products in a short period of time that our customers expect from us.” Ross Baxter, Managing Director of Pasquill and International Timber added: “It was a great pleasure to be at the Redhill open day and to be able to meet some of our important customers. We received some excellent feedback from those that attended, and I felt proud to be able to showcase the recent significant investments made to the branch.” SOURCE: www.pasquill.co.uk


LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL GETS TIMBER LANDMARK

HUNDEGGER ROBOT-Drive MULTIFACETED FLEXIBILITY FOR ALL TIMBER CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES

Waugh Thistleton are collaborating with the American Hardwood Export Council and ARUP to design MultiPly, a modular cross-laminated tulipwood pavilion, which will be hosted in the Sackler courtyard of the V&A from 15 September 2018. MultiPly, one of London Design Festival’s Landmark projects, will be comprised of a maze-like series of interconnected spaces that overlap and intertwine, and will encourage visitors to re-think the way we design and build our homes and cities. The three-dimensional 9m tall structure will be built out of a flexible system, made of 17 modules of American tulipwood CLT with digitally fabricated joints. Like a piece of flat-packed furniture, it will arrive as a kit of parts and will be simply and quietly assembled in under a week. Because it is built out of modules, the pavilion can be taken apart and reassembled in a new home after the London Design Festival. MultiPly confronts two of the current age’s biggest challenges – the dire need for housing and the urgency to fight climate change and presents the fusion of modular systems and sustainable construction materials as a solution. Waugh Thistleton’s ambition for the project is to publicly debate how environmental challenges can be addressed through innovative, affordable construction. “The structure will lead people on a merry dance up and down staircases and across bridges exploring space and light,” said Andrew Waugh, co-founder of Waugh Thistleton. “The main ambition of this project is to publicly debate how environmental challenges can be addressed through innovative, affordable construction. We are at a crisis point in terms of both housing and CO2 emissions and we believe that building in a versatile, sustainable material such as tulipwood is an important way of addressing these issues.” SOURCE: www.waughthistleton.com

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JOINERY MACHINE HUNDEGGER ROBOT-Drive Compact dimensions and modular design – the ROBOT-Drive offers maximum flexibility and almost unlimited processing possibilities for bars and panels. With the ROBOT-Drive, a 6-axis unit performs all the necessary work steps on the part – and in a single run. The solution for all requirements including timber glue construction from 20 x 60 mm to 300 x 1300 mm. The ROBOT-Drive is the most recent addition to the range of Hundegger joinery machines. Hans Hundegger AG Chris Osborne 2 Cuebar Court Lashford Lane Dry Sandford, Oxon OX13 6JP Tel: 01865 736444 chris@hundeggeruk.com

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS PIVETEAUBOIS SCOOP WOOD PROTECTION AWARD

Leading timber supplier Piveteaubois recently scooped the award for Best Wood Protection Project at the 2018 Wood Protection Awards. Organised by the Wood Protection Association and now in their fourth year, the WPA Awards for Wood Protection Excellence provide a showcase for the timber treatment industry and the vital role wood protection has to play in helping to make the most of wood. The Wood Protection Project of the Year Award is given for projects that demonstrate the use of preservative pre-treated wood or modified wood to deliver the durability essential to the long term performance of a structure. The winning scheme was an international project at the Plaza Serrezuela, Columbia – an impressive new cultural and commercial development due to open in September 2018. The central design of the development helps to recreate visions of the old abandoned bullring with a circular central area created with preservative treated glulam Pine columns.

Piveteaubois supplied over 570m3 of material, both TANALITH and TANATONE treated, which involved intricate and careful treatment specifications. Each layer of Pine destined to make up the laminated columns had to be moisture controlled before an initial high pressure TANALITH treatment to Use Class 4 requirements. The layers were then carefully kiln-dried in preparation for the glue lamination process to create the finished columns. Once laminated, the glulam columns were then given a further careful low pressure treatment (low pressure helping to avoid potential de-lamination issues) with TANATONE to provide the required brown colouration. Finally the columns were carefully air-dried over a few weeks to help avoid any potential mould growth or distortion during the transportation to South America. The timbers were treated and processed at Piveteaubois’s factory in Sainte Florence in France and transported in 16 containers over to Columbia.

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“This is an amazing and complicated project that benefited from the use of our DURAPIN product,” said Elisabeth Piveteau-Boley, Export Sales Manager for the UK & Ireland. “The team at Piveteaubois were thrilled to win the award. We have a wealth of experience in treating timber and glulam in particular. In France, we have 10 treatment plants and have been treating timber for over 40 years. We currently treat about 130,000m3 annually of which 100,000m3 is to UC4 under our DURAPIN brand, which is recognised for the highest standards in UC4 treated timber. All our treated timber is audited and certified CTB-B+ by FCBA, (a French independent certification body) and we look forward to supplying more high-quality UC4 treated timber into the UK soon.” SOURCE: www.piveteaubois.com/en


UK INDUSTRY NEWS INNOVATING HOUSEBUILDING FOR SCOTLAND’S FUTURE The Office for National Statistics paints a bleak picture for construction output in the UK, with recent figures for February 2018 showing the biggest month-on year fall since March 2013. “With the industry’s output continuing to decline, finding innovative new solutions to tackle the twin pressures of rising material costs and a decreasing workforce is more crucial than ever,” says John Langley, Director of JML Contracts “The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) opened its new Innovation Factory in 2017 to support the industry to help meet this challenge. Earlier this year, the facility partnered with the Forestry Commission to award £100,000 of support to seven Scottish companies, including JML Contracts, all of which are looking at innovative ways in which wood-based products and systems can help breathe new life into the construction industry.

“The Advanced Timber Products Innovation Challenge is certainly a step in the right direction, granting companies like ourselves the opportunity to take advantage of a share of 120 days’ free access to CSIC’s state-ofthe-art Innovation Factory facility. The facility, which is the only one of its kind in the UK, will moreover provide an opportunity for the industry to work openly and collaboratively. This allows innovative projects to be explored in a risk-free environment, without individual companies having to invest in expensive technology. “It has presented an opportunity for our industry to explore a wide range of groundbreaking projects that maximise the sustainable natural resources our country has to offer, e.g. timber. This ranges from developing new improved structural insulated panel (SIPS) technology to maximising thermal and structural efficiencies for use in modular housing

projects, to employing robotics in different areas of the production process to help increase efficiency and quality. Housebuilders need to recognise the value of the materials we have available on our doorstep and embrace more efficient ways of working, including state-of-the-art materials and offsite manufacturing techniques. Wider adoption of sustainable wood-based products and systems will allow us to reinvest in innovation to develop the technology further still.” SOURCE: www.jmlcontracts.co.uk

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS TIMBER INDUSTRY COULD FACE £1 BILLION BREXIT BILL

TIMBER MARKET UNDERGOES ‘BIGGEST PERIOD OF CHANGE IN DECADES’ Since the publication of their last report, Property Consultants Bidwells have released their Summer 2018 Timber Price Database which looks at the standing conifer timber prices achieved in the six months to September 2017, indicating the timber market has undergone perhaps the biggest period of change seen in decades. Returns from 79 transactions totalling over 742,000 cubic metres of coniferous timber, with a value to the grower in excess of £28 Million have been received and indicate on average significant price rises over the period.

According to the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), the UK timber industry faces a potential ‘Billion Pound Brexit Bill’ if Britain leaves the EU Customs Union.

general, include potential delays, and greater costs for storing timber at ports and in administering customs checks and documentation.

“Some 90% of timber used in construction is imported from Europe, which British timber supplies are insufficient to replace," says TTF Managing Director David Hopkins. "Under the proposed Taxation Bill, once the UK leaves the EU and its VAT area, VAT on EU imports will have to be paid up-front. This will cause considerable problems for the SMEs who make up the majority of our sector.

The TTF is asking Government to ensure timber imports are able to clear customs in the same manner as present, with no delays or up-front costs likely to penalise SMEs, or to impact Britain's housing supply chains. “The Government must also preserve the existing VAT payments system for imports from the EU, or put in place a new system which maintains the same benefits,” adds David Hopkins.

“Builders' merchants, and their builder customers, responsible for fulfilling government housing targets, rely on JustIn-Time deliveries of timber to premises and sites. Currently timber entering the UK from the EU clears ports immediately with no need for customs checks. Over 60% of the timber used in the UK comes from Europe.”

The timber sector currently employs around 200,000 people across the UK in manufacturing, distribution and construction. Every Parliamentary constituency benefits from jobs stemming from or connected to the timber industry. Timber prices in the construction supply chain to small builders have already risen by 8% in the last 12 months, according to the Federation of Master Builders. The TTF reports this is due mainly to the currency depreciation since the Brexit vote, and competitive global markets for construction timber pressurising supplies into the UK.

The Federation launched an infographic for legislators, Parliamentarians and the public, explaining what it calls ‘The Timber Tax Bombshell'. Additional problems highlighted, not just for the timber sector but for construction supply chains in

SOURCE: www.ttf.co.uk

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With Bidwell’s last commentary back in December 2017 stated that there were: “current reports of supply shortages and increasing upwards pressure on standing sales values.” This has proved to be something of an understatement as the latest set of results for October 2017 – March 2018 had clearly demonstrated. All signals are pointing towards prices having continued to increase since the end of March and there are still considerable supply pressures on timber processors. Raymond Henderson, Forestry Partner at Bidwells commented: “It is always difficult to predict the future, given the influence which global demand and exchange rates have on domestic timber values, but the overall macro-economic situation of increasing demand and tightening supplies suggests no reason to suspect a weakening of prices over the short term. “Good news for timber growers then, but possibly less so for many processors, and given the closely linked health dependence of each sector on the other, it can be in no-one’s best interests to see unsustainably high prices.” SOURCE: www.bidwells.co.uk


UK INDUSTRY NEWS FIRE DOOR SAFETY CAMPAIGN STEPS UP

CONFOR & UKFPA SET TO MERGE Following discussions between the two leading trade associations in the UK forestry and forest products sectors, the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor) and the UK Forest Products Association (UKFPA), proposals for a merger of the two organisations have been announced. Discussions about the proposed merger are now at an advanced stage and are being considered by members of both organisations.

Through the Fire Door Safety Week (FDSW), fire door safety campaigners are working to ensure public and private sector landlords and building owners stop risking the lives of tenants and ensure fire doors are correctly inspected, specified, fitted and maintained. The team behind FDSW (24-30th September 2018) is gearing up for its 2018 campaign that will continue to educate about the critical role that fire doors play in delaying the spread of smoke and fire, and keeping occupants and fire fighters safe. Now in its sixth year, this year’s FDSW campaign - Fire Door Five: Shutting the door on fire and smoke – aims to draw attention to the importance of properlyfitted and accredited fire doors as well as raising awareness of the dangers of smoke inhalation and the role that correctly installed fire doors can do in preventing the spread of both fire and smoke. Part of the activity will see campaigners explore the need to establish a Building Safety Fund to help pay for vital and life-saving fire safety improvements in Local Authority and Housing Association accommodation. Hannah Mansell, spokesperson for FDSW, says: “Through Fire Door Safety Week, we will once more renew our efforts to ensure that residents, landlords and building owners across the UK are armed with the information they need to make informed decisions that will improve safety. There

is no doubt that fire doors, fully fitted with their correct and compatible components that are properly installed and maintained play a crucial role in saving lives in the event of a fire. The legacy of neglect means more lives could be lost as a result of substandard fire protection measures. We know that the necessary corrective actions will cost and that is why we are asking the Government set up a Building Safety Fund for Housing Associations and Local Authorities to carry out replacement and repair works. Finance should not be used as an excuse. The stakes are too high. “Over the last year, there has been significant discussion about the responsibility of landlords, councils and Housing Associations to ensure the safety of their tenants but there is still a massive learning curve in terms of awareness about how fire doors that are correctly specified, installed, maintained and of course closed can limit the effect of fire and smoke, and what to do in the event of a fire. Because of this uncertainty, our focus for fire door safety week this year is “shutting the door on fire and smoke” and we want to educate everyone on how effective fire doors can be in stopping the spread of fire and smoke.” To access a free toolkit of fire safety advice resources to help run your own FDSW activities, visit www.firedoorsafetyweek.co.uk

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“This is an exciting time for the forestry and wood processing industry,” said Confor chair Athole McKillop. “We have so many challenges facing us, from Brexit to plant health, to securing future wood supply, it’s vital that we make best use of the sector’s resources to promote our interests and to provide technical advice and services to businesses in the industry.” Echoing that sentiment, Gavin Davidson and Rod Gordon, UKFPA vice-presidents, said: “In view of the challenges and opportunities facing our sector, we believe that the time is right to bring together the two trade associations, to provide a stronger and more effective voice for our industry, whilst at the same time maintaining focus on the needs of our respective members and the cost-effective delivery of services to them. This is an ideal opportunity to build on the acknowledged strengths of the two highly-regarded organisations, for the benefit of members.” Following positive discussions between senior representatives of Confor and UKFPA, agreement has been reached on a proposed merger, with the aim of launching the merged organisation in January 2019. Confor members will be asked to vote on required changes to the company’s Articles of Association at its AGM at APF 2018 on September 20 and UKFPA members will be balloted before APF 2018. SOURCE: www.confor.org.uk


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UK INDUSTRY NEWS AMBITIOUS HOUSEBUILDING PROJECT SET TO BRING 4,000 TROOPS HOME

Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS), the UK’s leading offsite timber frame manufacturer, is beginning work on a collaborative project to relocate approximately 4,000 service personnel and their families from Germany to Salisbury Plain in South Wiltshire. The prestigious housebuilding project is part of a £250 million contract awarded to housing-led regeneration experts, Lovell, by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The project will involve the construction of over 900 homes at three sites Ludgershall, Larkhill and Bulford by May 2020. Stewart Milne was selected for the project following a two-stage tender process, with key requirements including a fast build time, high levels of energy efficiency, scope for adaptability, and cost efficiency. The relocation scheme is part of the MOD’s Army Basing Programme (ABP) and each site will include construction of six different house types, each comprising of 3-4 bedrooms. Stewart Milne will deliver 467 of the 917 modern first-class homes across two of the three sites: Ludgershall and Larkhill. Each home will have an energy performance improvement of 25% over building regulations.

With a handover rate of approximately 20 homes per week, the high-volume fasttrack homes project will be the largest-ever contracting scheme for Lovell, part of the UK construction and regeneration group Morgan Sindall Group plc. Successful completion of the scheme will rely on the support and skills of a high-calibre supply chain and an accelerated construction programme. Stewart Milne has applied its in-house design expertise to successfully adapt its standard automated manufacturing process to align with the specific requirements of the scheme. Mike Perry, Sales Director at SMTS, said: “This is an exciting housebuilding project for Salisbury Plain, and we’re very proud to be associated with it. We have a proven method for manufacturing high-quality, valueengineered products, consistently on time, and will apply this to meet Lovell’s target of 20 completed homes per week. “Typical industry pace is delivery of one-to-two homes per week, so it’s a stretching target, but from the outset of this project, we have all committed to working openly and collaboratively to ensure the successful completion of this scheme. We believe that this project will be an exemplar for the industry. It will demonstrate what can

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be achieved with an offsite manufactured timber frame solution and a collaborative working relationship with all partners.” Commenting on the appointment of SMTS, Lovell’s Major Projects Director, John Leary, added: “Intelligent selection in supply chain assembly is essential in a project of this magnitude. This stands across the trades but is clearly crucial on key packages such as timber frame. The speed of build on the SFA scheme means that timber frame and thus an element of offsite manufacture was a given but the choice of provider is the challenging piece. With a company of this stature and credential exhibiting such a supportive and collaborative approach, we are extremely confident in our ability to deliver the timber frames to programme, across each site.” SMTS will begin construction of the first timber frames for the Ludgershall site in June 2018. Construction for the Larkhill site is planned from late summer 2018. SOURCE: www.stewartmilnetimbersystems.com IMAGE: Aerial photo of Salisbury Plain site. Courtesy: Lovell


UK INDUSTRY NEWS WELSH TIMBER FOR WELSH HOMES

Grŵp Cynefin Housing Association is helping to develop local supply chains by specifying indigenous timber for a new housing development. The progressive social housing provider has specified Welsh timber for its scheme of 24 apartments now under construction in Buckley town centre. And residents will also benefit from a significant reduction in energy costs, thanks to a further Grŵp Cynefin specification to optimise energy-efficiency. Built on the site of the former Buckley Medical Centre, the £2.2m two-storey timber framed building will comprise 14 two and ten one-bedroom apartments. Being developed in partnership with Flintshire County Council, one section of its roof will comprise photovoltaic (PV) panels, helping minimise running costs for the all-electric properties. The timber is from Sitka spruce tree sourced from forests around a sawmill in Newbridge, near Llandrindod Wells, mid-Wales. The frames are manufactured in Bala and delivered in small batches for assembly on site. With a current stock of 4,800 properties across north Wales and north Powys, Grŵp Cynefin also now has a total of £25m of new properties in the pipeline – its biggest ever forward-order book. Grŵp Cynefin Director of Regeneration Services, Dylan Roberts, said: “Wales has acres and acres of timber. We want to do our bit to help the forestry sector to grow,

so that it could become viable for farmers to grow more trees – and create rural jobs. Furthermore, Grŵp Cynefin has always been a supporter of using the local supply chain wherever it develops a new site. Williams Homes Bala won the tender to be the contractor, and we’re pleased that Wrexham Paving is among local sub-contractors. Williams Homes Managing Director, Owain Williams, said: “We’re a family firm that is passionate about low-carbon construction. We like working with Grŵp Cynefin because it is a forward-thinking registered social landlord.” Woodknowledge Wales (WKW) Chief Executive, Gary Newman said: “A total of 82% of new houses in Scotland are based upon timber frame. In Wales, that figure is 30%. We can massively increase construction using Welsh timber, creating rural jobs and also leading to higher energy-performance homes, which in turn supports Wales’ ambition to become a carbon-neutral economy. I absolutely love that Grŵp Cynefin is taking this lead in specifying Welsh timber.”

COUNTRYSIDE PROPERTIES PRESSING AHEAD WITH TIMBER FACTORY Leading UK homebuilder Countryside Properties has announced plans to open a closed panel timber frame factory in Warrington to help drive business growth. The private housebuilding and partnership homes business has revealed plans to create a strong modular business as it delivered strong growth in the first half of the year with pre-tax profit up 22% to £74 million on revenue ahead 14% at £400 million. The group’s mixed tenure partnership homes division is now bigger than traditional housebuilding, and will expand further following the acquisition of the Midlands- based Westleigh housing group for £135 million in April. This acquisition also included the Westframe timber frame factory based in Leicester, where Countryside plans to make further investment. Countryside plan to invest £6 million in a new closed panel timber frame factory of around 130,000 sq ft in Warrington. Equipment is due to be delivered in the second half of 2018. Once operational the new factory will service the northern and West Midlands regions with a total capacity of 1,500 units per annum.

Pictured: Gary Newman, Dafydd Lewis, Lesley Bassett, Owain Williams, Hannah Blythyn AM, Dylan Roberts.

Ian Sutcliffe, Group Chief Executive said: “We continue to deliver our strong organic growth trajectory with robust trading in all regions. We enter the second half in great shape and our acquisition of Westleigh will further increase our momentum by expanding our geographic reach and mixed tenure delivery. With continued strong growth in Partnerships and improved efficiency and returns in the housebuilding division we remain confident of maintaining our sector leading growth over the medium-term.”

SOURCE: www.grwpcynefin.org/en

SOURCE: www.countryside-properties.com

The development, which is close to Buckley town centre shopping precinct and a supermarket, is due for completion in spring 2019.

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS ROBERTSON UNVEILS ‘ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME’ PROJECT that support a natural meadow green roof. It took almost 12 months of work, using collaborative design and bespoke parametric modelling software, to define the complex geometry, and realise the fluidity of the structure. The timber elements were manufactured in Austria by Wiehag using high-precision, computer-controlled technology – one of the few companies in the world capable of this level of engineering. There were over 5,000 lifts, using four mobile cranes, to install the roof structure. In a similar way that timber barrels impart a flavour to whisky, the timber roof gives a unique character to this building.

Robertson has completed work on the flagship £140 million distillery and visitor experience for The Macallan in Speyside. Built on the Easter Elchies estate, the new distillery has been unveiled by international premium spirits company Edrington. Main contractor Robertson worked with 25 contractors to bring the vision for the new distillery and visitor experience to life. Taking the complex and unique architectural design and moulding it to complement an area of outstanding natural beauty, this challenging build saw the firm apply all of its technical skills, innovation and expertise to create a seamless connection to the surrounding countryside. During construction, up to 400 people specialising in more than 20 different trades were employed on site. Going forward, Robertson’s facilities management business will provide maintenance services at the facility. It is the first distillery on Speyside to be designed by an internationally acclaimed

architecture practice, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, which was selected to lead the project after an international competition. The striking piece of contemporary architecture is cut into the slope of the land, taking its cues from ancient Scottish hills and maximising the aesthetic beauty of the building whilst minimising the visual impact on the Speyside landscape, which has been classified as an “Area of Great Landscape Value”. The undulating timber roof structure is one of the most complicated timber roof structures in the world, comprising 380,000 individual components. Each junction and beam has a specific name and has been tested in over 160 different load conditions while ‘The Swiss Alpine Design code’ has been used to understand the effects of wind, snow and ice on the intricate structure. The roof comprises 1,750 PEFC-certified glulam timber beams, making up a 3x3m grid that carries 2,500 cassettes

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The project was announced in 2012 and the build began in December 2014. The first whisky ran through the stills in December last year and the visitor experience will open its doors to the public on 2nd June. It is expected that visitor numbers will double in the first year and continue to rise thereafter. Bill Robertson, founder and executive chairman, Robertson, said: “This once-ina-lifetime project is one that Robertson has been honoured to be part of. The complexity of the construction work required a huge effort from various teams within our business, and their passion and dedication for the project is clear when you see the completed distillery and visitor experience. Throughout, we have placed great emphasis on understanding The Macallan’s vision for their Speyside home and there has been a real spirit of collaboration between us and all other partners. We congratulate The Macallan and hope visitors to the area enjoy this world class distillery.” SOURCE: www.robertson.co.uk/project/macallan-distillery


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WOODBUILD 2018

Home Grown Success Woodbuild 2018 – subtitled ‘the offsite timber revolution’ – took place in June at Cardiff Metropolitan University. The event had a strong focus on quality and building performance and highlighted the ways of increasing the use of timber and offsite manufacture to provide a lift to the Welsh economy.

01 Welsh timber had a great part to play in the Assembly’s drive to build more homes, Ms Evans believed. And the need was urgent. “We’re still not building fast enough – and the workforce will need different skills. We want to see more SMEs participating, not just the volume housebuilders, and have set aside development bank funding to help this to happen.” She urged delegates to take advantage of the Innovative Housing Fund to develop applications that maximise local timber use.

02 The benefits of timber were outlined by Welsh Minister for Housing and Regeneration Rebecca Evans AM, who endorsed the drive to see both more forestry in the nation and more timber in construction. “The Welsh assembly recognises the need for long-term planning to promote forestry of all kind, softwood and broadleaf, large and small scale,” she said. Growing more trees and using them in construction was very much in line with Wales’ Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.

As well as offering a new approach to quality via offsite construction, timber has huge potential to reduce the emissions associated with producing building materials, as Jannik Giesekam of the University of Leeds pointed out, afforestation is a critical measure if we are to stand a chance of meeting our national and global carbon targets and limit climate change. “Afforestation is a much cheaper way per tonne to remove carbon from the atmosphere than the other ‘negative emissions’ technologies – as well as bringing many co-benefits.” The UK was currently one of the least forested countries

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in Europe, he added, with woodland cover currently around 13% of the total land area compared with an EU average of 38%. And when timber is used in construction, it is usually displacing a higher-carbon, higher-energy material such as concrete, brick or steel. “If we are serious about climate targets not only do we need to get to operational net zero buildings, we also need to drive down the embodied impact. we are already falling behind here and can see this happening, as while operational emissions have fallen, embodied impact is not budging.” Conference Chair Gary Newman of Woodknowledge Wales echoed Jannik Giesekams’ concerns: “There is no simple fix on climate, but we have all got to change – pressure for action is going to intensify. And one third of industrial emissions relate to steel and cement. We’re not saying don’t use them, but we need to use them judiciously and carefully.” Some UK local authorities – for example, the Greater London Authority – are taking the first steps by calling for embodied impact assessment to be made. While local authorities such as Powys can set ‘timber first’ policies for their own procurement, Jannik Giesekam did not expect to see timber singled out as a preferred construction material in regulations. Afforestation and timber building were both being actively promoted by Powys Council’s Home Grown Homes project that is now being co-ordinated by Woodknowledge Wales. The project aims to realise the social, environmental and economic benefits of


ADVERTORIAL high-quality housing constructed with Welsh-grown timber. James Evans of Powys Council described the origins of the initiative. Now that the council was free to build its own housing, it wanted to procure homes that were good quality and energy efficient, with a minimal carbon footprint, and that also had a long term positive impact on the local economy. Local timber was the obvious construction material, but as Evans said: “The timber supply chain in Wales is dysfunctional, and the only way we would be able to meet the objectives of the project was if we sought to transform the timber supply chain itself,” – hence the Home Grown Homes project. Activities will include supporting the design, procurement and performance of timber-built homes, creating high performance timber components and offsite manufacturing systems. At the same time, Coed Cymru would be promoting the benefits of commercial timber production to landowners and managers. Outputs would include case studies, design tools, procurement tools, guidance, training and increased skills. There will be a lot of research involved – Cardiff Metropolitan will be looking at energy performance, indoor air quality and occupant wellbeing, and TRADA’s role is to optimise construction and support improvement of the manufacturing base. All the outputs will be widely shared. The project has now received funding from Welsh Government and the European Rural Development Programme. A consortium has been appointed to deliver this with Woodknowledge Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University, TRADA and Coed Cymru. For more information visit: www.woodknowledge.wales

IMAGES: 01. Home Grown Homes Project Team 02. Architect Anthony Thistleton of Waugh Thistleton described the advantages his practice were finding with the use of offsite construction and CLT

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TIMBER & MASONRY

Counting the Cost of Affordable Construction Cost comparisons between competing materials are notoriously difficult to quantify in any sector. A recent study from independent construction, property and management consultant, Rider Levett Bucknall, sought to understand the differences between timber frame and masonry in affordable housing. study comparing timber frame to masonry for a conventional housing project.”

Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) has delivered many residential projects. The selection process over the form of construction considers a number of factors including availability, practicality and technical performance. Importantly this process also involves commercial considerations and sometimes the debate over whether masonry or timber is the most economical solution. “This deliberation is continuing throughout the industry,” said Andrew Reynolds, RLB UK and Global Board Director. “It will be intensified by structural offsite timber solutions becoming increasingly used to fulfil the growing demand for new homes across the UK. Equally there is increasing demand for cross laminated timber (CLT) which is now competing economically with steel and concrete frames. We are pleased to have been able to complete this independent

Comparing the two build methods is complex as the structures, procurement models and site operations are different. Masonry construction, in general terms, constitutes separate supply chain members and then site assembly of the constituent parts (walls, floors, roof trusses) whereas with timber frame the offsite manufacturer usually designs, manufactures, delivers and erects the whole structural shell of the home, including the roof structure. This presupposes the timber frame company supplies and erects the whole frame (walls, floor and roof).

It also assumes a continuous build onsite from commencement to completion. The location of the theoretical project for the study was Birmingham with good access to main trunk roads. From the fully designed project RLB prepared Bills of Quantities for the contractors to price. Four contractors were approached to submit their pricing and all four responded. Contractor information was received regarding the anticipated construction programmes. RLB then used the pricing to formulate the report and the costs summaries.

The study compared the buildings only, with the external works and utility services excluded at this stage as these will be very much site-specific in their content, works and any abnormal or risk areas.

Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA), said: “We welcome this report and the in-depth findings. The STA commends Ian Dacre and Rider Levett Bucknall UK for conducting this research which provides answers to questions that have been debated for many years. The Construction Cost Comparison Report for Affordable Housing will be of great interest to many members of the construction industry. Whilst cost saving and speed of build are vitally important to affordable housing providers, equally important is the enhanced quality that offsite timber frame construction brings, reducing on-going maintenance costs for social landlords and delivering energy savings for their tenants.”

Also, they are common to both structural solutions and therefore have no bearing on the analysis.

Author of the report RLB Partner, Ian Dacre – a specialist in the residential sector who has delivered over 1,100 homes – said:

The building model used for the comparison was an affordable two-storey housing design using two bedroom, four-person dwellings complying with Homes England design standards. The model was then replicated to create a single terrace block of four houses with mid and end-terrace. The affordable house type designs were provided by independent architect and engineering companies.

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TIMBER & MASONRY The report is based on prices received during Q1 2018. Markets and economies within the construction industry will change in the future and may influence the conclusions with in this study.

“We were very pleased to be able to carry out this independent study. With the recent government announcement of the presumption in favour of offsite manufacture for all publicly funded projects from 2019, and the current drive for increased housing development, we wanted to evaluate what is the most economical build solution for affordable housing.”

“The adoption of offsite manufacturing will only increase throughout the construction industry and we will be undertaking further, similar, independent studies in the future. I would like to convey my thanks to those who supported the project including the four contractors who helped price the models as well as the consultant architects and engineers and others who also added their expertise. We hope the research will be of interest to many within the built environment industry.”

A future study focusing on private house building and possibly performance standards across a range of dwelling types will broaden the analysis and conclusions reached. As with many structural solutions throughout the construction industry this debate will continue. To read the full report and detailed analysis of the building models used including cost comparisons, procurement guidance and detailed house specifications go to: https://bit.ly/2s1a2Ws IMAGES: 01. Timber & Masonry Report 02. Cost comparison summary. Courtesy RLB

Bringing a fresh perspective An independent construction, property and management consultant Cost Management & Quantity Surveying | Project & Programme Management | Building Surveying & Health & Safety | Advisory

RLB.com

Get in touch Ian Dacre e. ian.dacre@uk.rlb.com t. +44(0) 20 7398 8300


HACKITT FINAL REPORT

Building a Safer Future Earlier this year, Dame Judith Hackitt released her final report for overhauling building regulations and improving fire safety in the construction supply chain. With many positives, it drew a mixed response from construction stakeholders, with some praising its focus and some seeing it as a missed opportunity to correct decades of poor performance.

01 In a long and detailed report, the issues identified by Hackitt: “Have helped to create a cultural issue across the sector, which can be described as a ‘race to the bottom’ caused either through ignorance, indifference, or because the system does not facilitate good practice. There is insufficient focus on delivering the best quality building possible, in order to ensure that residents are safe, and feel safe.” Those key issues underpinning the system failure include: • •

Ignorance – regulations and guidance are not always read by those who need to, and when they do the guidance is misunderstood and misinterpreted. Indifference – the primary motivation is to do things as quickly and cheaply as possible rather than to deliver quality homes which are safe for people to live in. When concerns are raised, by others involved in building work or by residents, they are often ignored. Some of those

02 undertaking building work fail to prioritise safety, using the ambiguity of regulations and guidance to game the system. • Lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities – there is ambiguity over where responsibility lies, exacerbated by a level of fragmentation within the industry, and precluding robust ownership of accountability. • Inadequate regulatory oversight and enforcement tools – the size or complexity of a project does not seem to inform the way in which it is overseen by the regulator. Where enforcement is necessary, it is often not pursued. Where it is pursued, the penalties are so small as to be an ineffective deterrent. Hackitt recommendations include a simpler but more robust approach to the construction and on-going management of high-rise residential buildings. Key to this is the new regulatory framework focused,

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in the first instance, on multi-occupancy HRRBs that are 10 storeys or more in height and a new Joint Competent Authority (JCA) comprising Local Authority Building Standards, fire and rescue authorities and the Health and Safety Executive to oversee better management of safety risks in these buildings (through safety cases) across their entire life cycle. A more effective testing regime with clearer labelling and product traceability, including a periodic review process of test methods and the range of standards in order to drive continuous improvement and higher performance and encourage innovative product and system design under better quality control. This regime would be underpinned by a more effective market surveillance system operating at a national level. Creating a ‘golden thread of information’ and obligating the creation of a digital record for new HRRBs from initial design intent through to construction and including any changes that occur throughout occupation.


HACKITT FINAL REPORT This package of building information will be used by the dutyholders to demonstrate to the regulator the safety of the building throughout its life cycle. “At the heart of this report are the principles for a new regulatory framework which will drive real culture change and the right behaviours,” says Hackitt. “We need to adopt a very different approach to the regulatory framework covering the design, construction and maintenance of high-rise residential buildings which recognises that they are complex systems where the actions of many different people can compromise the integrity of that system.” For more information and to download a full copy of the final report: Building a Safer Future: Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: visit: https://bit.ly/2Ksl1ik

IMAGES: 01. Building a Safer Future report 02. Dame Judith Hackitt

Reaction to Hackitt “It’s very disappointing that this review of building and fire regulations has not recommended sprinklers or other similar systems to be made mandatory in all buildings above 18 metres. The Fire Commissioner said introducing sprinklers in this way is a ‘no-brainer’, so it’s deeply concerning that the Government continues to overlook the seriousness of this issue.” Navin Shah AM, London Assembly Planning Committee “The British Woodworking Federation, whose members manufacture around three million fire doors in the UK each year, welcomes the recommendations of the highly anticipated Hackitt Review and urge Government to crack on with embracing these recommendations as soon as practicable. Tightening and clarifying regulation, enforcement, responsibility and control processes is long overdue.” Iain McIlwee, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation “It’s a thorough report on the current state of the regulatory system and construction industry, but it offers no changes whatsoever to the actual regulations or baseline guidance. Focusing on just a small number of very high buildings is a major missed opportunity.” Jane Duncan, Chair of RIBA’s expert advisory group on fire safety “We have a once in a generation opportunity to save lives by ensuring buildings are built and maintained with proper fire safety measures and so we are very pleased that Dame Judith has included so many of our recommendations. Context is as important as raw materials when it comes to making buildings safe. For example, a type of material used in a low rise office block could be safe but dangerous if used in a high rise block.” Dan Daly, Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, London Fire Brigade

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OFFSITE RESEARCH TRIP

Improved Working Knowledge Improves Working Performance Knowledge and performance was the mantra for the recent European research trip undertaken by a group of Barratt Developments Board Directors and Senior Managers plus key UK suppliers who all visited Germany and Holland to study offsite manufacturing techniques and new housebuilding technologies. Developments technical and innovation team managing the deployment and measuring key performance indicators in collaboration with the selected regional management team.

01 The intensive three-day research trip, organised by Radar Communications and leading offsite experts Cogent Consulting, took in a range of offsite manufacturing facility visits and live construction sites with the aim of understanding technologies and techniques in two European countries that have parallel housing demand profiles and many similarities with the UK in terms of traditional construction skills shortages. With a declared strategic intent of achieving 20% offsite construction by 2020 the research trip was arranged three years in to a significant offsite strategy that has seen Barratt Developments embrace timber frame technology, floor cassettes and panelised roofing systems. “This is a marathon journey that we are on – not a sprint,” said Steven Boyes, Barratt

Developments Chief Operating Officer. “Our move to embrace offsite technology is based on addressing the likely long-term skills shortage that we are witnessing in the UK housing sector and to ensure predictability of build cost and programme. We are pacing ourselves to ensure that all of the technologies and offsite supply chain partners that we select can work with us in a structured manner and with a real focus on continuous improvement.” The process of selecting the technologies and offsite supply chain partners that Barratt Developments currently work with in the UK, including timber partners Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS), and SIG Roofspace, has been a structured one, involving a completely open dialogue, prototyping and trial builds, with Barratt

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Oliver Novakovic, Technical and Innovation Director at Barratt Developments has spearheaded the offsite technology and supplier selection approach since joining the company in 2014. “We recognise that the offsite supply chain holds an immense amount of knowledge about their processes, materials and technologies and the key for us is to tap in to that knowledge rather that approaching them with a dictatorial culture. They recognise that we know housebuilding and that we understand the demands, likes and dislikes of our customer-base. We also intimately understand our cost-base and the performance specifications required.” A key timber visit was to Streif, in Weinsheim, Germany. Streif manufacture advanced timber systems in a panelised format and have been at the forefront of offsite manufactured building in Germany since 1929. The technology manufactured using semi-automated timber frame equipment has many parallels with structural timber technology in the UK, but Streif take the concept of advanced timber frame further by factory-fitting insulation, windows, internal fire linings, external sheathing boards, external insulation and cladding/render solutions, as well as requisite breather membrane and vapour


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OFFSITE RESEARCH TRIP

02 control layers, choosing to focus on factoryadded value rather than pure volume output. This focus on added value means that Streif have a turnover of circa £195 million from a volume output of just over 300 housing units per annum. Each of the units are highly customised and there are many parallels with the UK custom and self-build sector. Completed panels are transported to site in bespoke stillages – described as ‘toast racks’ – loaded inside curtain-sided vehicles for complete protection during shipping. Floor and roof cassette systems are delivered in packs lying flat on the vehicle bed (like the norm in the UK) and completely wrapped in polythene during the delivery process. All the panels and floor cassettes contain conduits and draw-wires for accommodating second fix electrics and many panels are pre-installed with plumbing pipework and slimline cisterns, thus reducing the dependency on follow-on trades. This cavity-less construction method is the norm in Germany but is rare in the UK and different climactic conditions would need to be considered in exploring the fitting of external cladding solutions in the factory. Likewise, the integration of building services within the primary structure, rather than

behind the inner skin of finishing board, minimises the level of future adaptation for the property, a point that was not lost on the Barratt Developments representatives – stating that there is a level of expectation around the adaptability of housing in the UK and any innovations around advanced panel techniques would need to consider this. Witnessing the installation of the Streif system on a construction project local to the manufacturing facility, it was clear that the structural timber ‘kit of parts’ was well engineered, with tight tolerances and demonstrable robustness. The selling model adopted by Streif, and many of their competitors in Germany, requires a wide network of ‘sales agents’ operating from 33 offices throughout the country. This selling model is underpinned by networks of Show Villages – typically shared by a wide range of competing companies – a distinctive feature of the customer interface in Germany. “This model is the polar-opposite of our model,” observed Steven Boyes. “We typically build speculatively and have to develop our sites based on demand. We take on the entire commercial risk and in many instances are negotiating on land several years in advance of achieving planning permission. In Germany the landowner approaches the system building supplier and has a choice around the method of build and who they

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03 choose to procure their house from. It is a fiercely competitive market for the offsite manufacturers who fight for each unit, where we will be typically annually purchasing circa 2,000 timber frame units per annum and can leverage greater standardisation and volume procurement benefits.” “The research trip has served a number of purposes – it has inspired, it has validated some of our technology choices and it has underpinned our approach to modern methods and offsite construction techniques. We cannot thank our host companies enough for the efforts that they have gone to to make us welcome and to accommodate our busy schedule. We look forward to returning the gesture by welcoming them to view our sites in the UK and to visit some of our offsite manufacturing partners.” For more information visit: www.streif.de For further dialogue with Barratt Developments please contact Oliver Novakovic oliver.novakovic@barrattplc.co.uk

IMAGES: 01-03. The units seen at the Streif HQ are highly customised and there are many parallels with the UK custom and self-build sectors.


ALPINE


ST AWARDS SHORTLIST

2018 Finalists Announced – see the shortlist

10.10.2018

The Structural Timber Awards is a celebration of innovation, best practice and expertise in timber technology. Taking place on 10 October 2018 at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham – the Awards will showcase innovative solutions and ground-breaking developments from across the UK timber industry. Once again, the Awards will be hosted by compere Mark Durden-Smith and as anyone who has attended will know – his sassy humour is just one of the reasons this event is a fantastic night out. With 16 categories, nearly 250 entrants and 94 companies shortlisted, the Structural Timber Awards have not only grown in popularity but also in stature. The list of finalists not only includes acclaimed architects, engineers and housing developers but also less well-known innovators who are taking the industry by storm by developing truly unique systems and highly creative projects.

Timber is one the leading contemporary low carbon building materials and the Structural Timber Awards shines a spotlight on the future of sustainable construction everywhere. Engineered timber is a sophisticated structural material, with unmatched versatility and able to span large distances, create timber towers and outstanding homes.

Tables are already selling fast, if you want an opportunity to attend and network with some of the industry’s most influential people – then you will have to move quickly to secure a place at this sell-out event.

Now in their fourth year, over 600 national business leaders and high-profile decision makers from the construction industry will gather in Birmingham to celebrate the great, the good and the simply outstanding.

amy.pryce@structuraltimberawards.co.uk

For ticket information visit: www.structuraltimberawards.co.uk or email Amy Pryce:

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06


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ATTEND

Tickets for the Structural Timber Awards are NOW ON SALE

There are limited tickets remaining, so book now to avoid disappointment:

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42 | www.structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk | STMAG

10.10.2018 NATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE

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01 Balfour Beatty | 02 Eurban | 03 Galliford Try | 04 Kier Construction | 05 Robertson | 06 Speller Metcalfe

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SOLID WOOD SOLUTIONS 2018

The Future of Sustainable Construction Over the last decade a renaissance in structural timber architecture has taken place with the development of new building systems and design strategies, elevating wood to a rival of concrete and steel construction. Issues surrounding this and more were discussed at the recent Solid Wood Solutions conference and exhibition. built environment, but it goes beyond that. As offsite systems, solid wood solutions promote a better construction culture, facilitating a safer and cleaner working environment, offering job security for local labour and economic viability.

01 The Oculus building at the University of Warwick formed the magnificent backdrop for the recent Solid Wood Solutions event which featured the UK’s principal engineered timber buildings together with presentations from leading academics who are at the forefront of research in cross laminated timber (CLT), laminated veneered lumber (LVL) and glue laminated timber (glulam).

Robert Hairstans, Head of The Centre for Offsite Construction and Innovative Structures at Edinburgh Napier University, kicked off proceedings. In his presentation, ‘Mass Timber: an Introduction to Solid Laminate Timber Systems’, Robert offered an international perspective, highlighting the growth of engineered timber manufacturers across Europe to meet the increase in demand.

We are faced with two major issues of our time – climate change and a soaring population. Before us we have immense construction challenges whilst mitigating the environmental impact for a variety of building types. The UK is steeped in conventional construction and for some, it is hard to envisage a future in a different direction.

He discussed how Napier students are encouraged to see the value of mass timber beyond the environmental context and in addition, consider the social and economic benefits, combined with the value and ‘adaptability proposition’. Delivering consistency of process, improved quality and enhanced predictability, means mass timber systems deliver great benefits to the

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Robert concluded by highlighting some of the barriers to uptake, which are generated from a lack of understanding of mass timber’s benefits combined with sectoral resistance to change, which are impinging on progress. To overcome these barriers Robert called for greater collaboration between industry, government, trade organisations and academia. Neil Eaton, Director of Berman Guedes Stretton – the architects behind The Oculus, with its outstanding roof featuring massive glulam arches – presented a case study on the design and construction journey of the building and described how they created a new civic landmark for the University of Warwick. By arranging the structure with a sequence of new striking acoustically excellent lecture theatres, together with teaching and amenity spaces, the University has been totally transformed and modernised. A new public front entrance leads to the tripleheight foyer spaces with spectacular views over the surrounding landscape. The £15m project was funded by a grant from the HEFCE, and philanthropic donations and is designed to be BREEAM ‘Excellent’.


Timber Engineering Static calculation Building Physics Tailor made solutions R&D


SOLID WOOD SOLUTIONS 2018 The architects’ approach was to design the internal teaching spaces from the ‘inside out’, looking at the acoustic and theatrical function as the major drivers, whilst addressing the ‘outside in’, through a focus on civic presence and its urban context close to Warwick Art Centre. Neil said the best approach is to consider engineered timber as a pallet of materials and play to the individual system’s strength, to create a lightweight buildings with excellent visual appeal, low embodied carbon which minimises the environmental impact, whilst also considering human wellbeing. Timber architecture is more fashionable than ever before and is a trend that has major potential for the future of building design and development. This was clearly demonstrated by David Lomax, Senior Associate, Waugh Thistleton Architects.

02

Tall timber skyscrapers are becoming an international phenomenon. By using engineered timber as a construction material for residential developments, nature can re-enter urban spaces. A highlight of the conference programme – David presented a case study featuring the award winning Dalston Lane project, which has been making global headlines. This high-density, low-carbon mixed-use scheme in East London is thought to be the world’s largest CLT structure in terms of volume. David enthused about the benefits of CLT stating – ‘it even smells nicer’. He described the design process as a book of decisions and how CLT, as a robust yet lightweight material did not negatively impact on the underground infrastructure such as HS1 and Cross Rail – permitting extra storeys, delivering a better return on investment for their client, Regal Homes.

and the impact this could have on migrant workers. Gavin stressed the urgency of the situation – time is running out and there is a pressing need to improve productivity to help resolve the housing crisis. Modular CLT houses, such as those Ramboll are developing with Stora Enso for Swan Housing Association are a progressive option. Modular CLT construction can be used in any sector where there is standardisation.

Thinking beyond the panelised nature of CLT – modular CLT construction was the focus of the presentation from Gavin White, Director of Ramboll. Gavin considered future challenges with a retiring workforce and the UK’s impending exit from the EU

Heyne Tillett Steel have been providing early stage options to office developers for timber construction, alongside steel and concrete. Although some have been reluctant, Associate, Kelly Harrison, presented some case studies where they have chosen

Gavin White stated: “Offsite construction using CLT is only in its infancy, but it has so many potential benefits that we see this form of construction becoming more and more prevalent. It is up to the industry to maintain the architectural interest when designing with modular units – a challenge which I am sure we will excel at to help solve the housing crisis.”

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timber, mainly on refurbishments as more storeys can be justified on existing foundations. Main issues tend to arise from deep structural zones in addition to services dropping below the beams rather than through them. In her presentation Kelly considered how to improve this without spending large amounts in fabrication. “We’ve been looking at using the CLT compositely with the glulam beam via inclined screws, to reduce the overall structural depth,” said Kelly. “Initial testing has given no failure to the screws and a tensile failure in the glulam above the calculated failure load. When deflections are plotted against load the results are much improved than the beam only calculation, equating to the results you would calculate for a beam 20% deeper than that used. Parallel research in New Zealand has indicated that full composite action can be achieved by 40 inclined screw fixings on a 6m beam, but the calculation of effective width of the top flange is key, which depends on the specification of the CLT. We intend to continue our testing using their finding on the effective width calculation


SOLID WOOD SOLUTIONS 2018 and assess the effect of using less screws. We hope that our research will inspire the industry to start to use this approach as standard and for a future version of the Eurocode to include a method for calculation for use by the wider industry.” Technical Director for Buro Happold, Jonathan Roynon discussed the benefits of hybrid timber structures. He advocates that timber should be considered as a palette of materials and viewed on an equal basis to all other construction materials. Benefits of various structural timber systems should be taken into account and used to their full advantage, such as the lightweight nature, longer span capability and low embedded carbon. By taking a holistic approach, each material ought to be selected for its particular benefit and by combining the best solutions, as hybrid timber systems can achieve the optimum aesthetic and performance, as well as minimising the environmental impact. Max Garcia, Design and Engineering Manager for Carbon Dynamic – who design and manufacture beautiful timber modular buildings – enthusiastically presented an inspiring case study on the Dyson Student Village. Designed by Wilkinson Eyre, Carbon Dynamic recently delivered the prototype, the first of 78 cross laminated volumetric modules to be manufactured. The volumetric modules were developed using the same prototype approach as Dyson used to develop their technological products: cutting-edge DfMA engineering was combined with a 1:1 loading test. In this way, the buildability of the connection details for the three-storey module stack with cantilevers was tested and optimised to maximise efficiency on the building site. Austrian timber construction specialist Wiehag is constantly pushing the boundaries of what can be done with timber. This time with a project to build the largest and most complex timber roof ever built in Scotland. Wiehag, who hit the

03 headlines for their massive glulam gridshell roof for the Canary Wharf Crossrail station, has now completed a 200m long glulam timber roof for the prestigious Macallan Distillery in Scotland. John Spittle of Wiehag detailed the design and construction challenges. Located in the Scottish Highlands the new distillery is partly inserted into the landscape and features an undulating green roof. This unique design is reference to the region’s mountainous topography and acts to preserve and enhance the unique landscape. The roof itself is not really curved but based on a triangulated 3m matrix. Its complex geometry was modelled using parametric software to ensure stability and loadbearing capacity. Austrian timber specialist Wiehag, converted this geometry into 1,800 individual glulam beams and 2,500 triangular timber elements that make up the roof’s surface. As no two components of the roof are alike, they were numbered and assembled individually. The Solid Wood Solutions programme featured a range of case studies of completed projects, but Fernando Perez, from Smith and Wallwork Engineers, shared the vision for the proposed 300m high Oakwood Timber Tower 2 (The Lodge) – which will provide a mix of functions to create a vibrant new area of the City of London. This is another project that has grabbed headlines across the world. The intension is to create new WELL Certified office space, a first for the region. The WELL Building Standard® is the world’s

04 first building standard focused exclusively on human health and wellness. It marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research plus it harnesses the built environment as a vehicle to support human health and wellbeing. The building will also contain high quality residential space and numerous shared amenities to support the community. The Oakwood Timber Tower 2 is an attempt to discover the wider possibilities of the aesthetics of wooden structures. It is recognised anecdotally that people respond in a positive way to exposed wood. While there is no direct evidence that people distinguish between structural and non-structural wood in this regard, it is hard not to feel that exposure to the working material is rather more interesting, and more authentic, than exposure to purely decorative timber finishes. Solid Wood Solutions appeals to a wide range of construction professionals and is relevant to all those with an interest in future developments in offsite construction. Solid Wood Solutions will be back in 2019. Keep an eye on developments at www.solidwoodsolutions.co.uk

IMAGES: 01. The Oculus, University of Warwick and event venue 02. The striking Macallan Distillery, Speyside, Scotland 03. Jonathan Roynon, Technical Director, Buro Happold 04. Kelly Harrison, Associate, Heyne Tillett Steel

STMAG | www.structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk | 47


SOLID WOOD

The Four Ds Robin Lancashire, Senior Timber Frame Consultant at TRADA picks out some key issues surrounding the durability of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and what to remember during the construction phase.

wetting and pooling of water can raise core moisture contents, particularly on horizontal surfaces. If materials that don’t offer high levels of breathability are installed over saturated timber, this moisture takes a very long time to escape and in the meantime there is a risk of fungal decay developing. The large volumes of timber used in CLT mean that large quantities of moisture can be absorbed. Glue lines and the cross-laminations mean that CLT absorbs moisture and dries differently to solid timber. There is further work to be done to fully understand how moisture moves through CLT panels and the time it takes to dry if saturated and/or above the fungal moisture content threshold. The CLT industry in the UK is now mature and there are many examples of successful buildings using this method. However, as in other forms of construction there have also been failures – and with CLT this has tended to be caused by high moisture levels. The problems have been traced to either trapped construction moisture, poor design or leaks from the failure of other components.

01 Building in Britain means that we need to manage the effects of moisture, both during the construction phase and when buildings are in use. This is particularly important with timber which can be at risk of decay when it is exposed to high levels of moisture for a prolonged period of time. Fortunately, with good design and robust working practices this does not need to be a problem. The UK has a maritime climate, with warm moist air from the Atlantic Ocean keeping temperatures mild throughout the year and regular rainfall making the UK wetter than many places in continental Europe. This creates challenges for the construction industry when using modern methods of

construction, as weather sensitive materials arrive onsite earlier in the build programme and may need extra care before a weather tight shell is achieved. While cross-laminated timber (CLT) buildings can be erected quickly, it still takes several weeks to build larger structures. During this phase, and when the erectors depart leaving the building in the hands of the main contractor, it is essential that good water management procedures exist. Short term surface wetting is generally acceptable as the moisture has insufficient time to penetrate deep into the timber before wind and sun lead to evaporation, but long-term

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It is likely that many main contractors are used to working with other structural materials which are not so sensitive to trapped moisture and they do not appreciate the importance of installing a weathertight shell as soon is practically is possible. The CLT industry should increase the help and advice that they provide to main contractors, so that they fully understand this importance. They can work with them to minimise exposure through good water management and discuss phasing of critical weatherproofing works. The timber species that we typically use to build CLT is classified as not durable to slightly durable and CLT is not typically preservative treated. Protecting it from the effects of moisture is therefore critical. Preservative treating CLT is possible, but


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SOLID WOOD While preservation offers comfort against the risk, we must rely on good design, workmanship and maintenance to deliver longevity. When building with timber there are Four D’s to consider – deflection, drainage, drying and durability. These apply equally to the construction phase and the in-use phase. Deflecting moisture away from timber elements helps to stop the problem at source. If moisture comes into contact with timber, a drainage route prevents pooling and reduces absorption. Details that allow drying through ventilation help wet timber to dry. Finally, the durability of the timber species and the long-term performance of other materials too, help deliver longevity.

02

Many TRADA member companies at the forefront of CLT building design in the UK have helped with the development of our new landmark book ‘Cross-laminated timber- design and performance. The book is an introduction to CLT, showcasing its uses for architects, building designers and their clients. It shows design principles, including studies of several exemplar buildings, CLT product performance, including structural design, connections, fire, thermal, and acoustic performance, sustainability and appearance. It also includes 13 case studies representing a variety of building types. TRADA and Exova BM TRADA continue to work closely with all those involved with CLT, to help understand this material better, develop new ways of working with it and increase its robustness and durability through good design.

03 is a challenge, an additional process and an additional cost. The use of chemicals also raises questions of a material which is promoted as natural, healthy and recyclable. While preservation may buy valuable time

to allow the identification of a leak or high timber moisture content before significant damage occurs, it will not prevent decay if conditions persist for long enough.

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For more information visit: www.trada.co.uk

IMAGES: 01-02. The CLT industry in the UK is now mature and there are many examples of successful buildings using this method 03. When building with timber there are Four D’s to consider – deflection, drainage, drying and durability


TTBS

Helping Hands Ivan Savage, General Manager & National President of the Timber Trades Benevolent Society (TTBS), gives a reminder to everyone operating within the timber industry about what the organisation can provide.

01 Assisting the retired and less fortunate from the timber industry – the registered charity TTBS has been operating throughout the UK since 1897 – and has a UK central office based in Staffordshire. Originally founded in London in 1897 and thereafter with voluntary Regional Committees covering London, Home Counties & East Anglia, Southern, Bristol & Western Counties, South Wales, Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside, North West, North East & Cumbria and Scotland. The Society is an active member of the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) which is the national umbrella body for Trusts & Foundations that give grants and welfare support to individuals in need. For more information on this visit: www.aco.uk.net The Society is funded by annual dividends from a well-managed investment portfolio,

built up since the 1897 formation, together with national and regional fundraising activities, which provide a calendar of social events for the timber trade throughout the year, donations from companies and individuals connected to the timber trade and also, over the years, from some extremely generous legacies from past members of the timber trade. The TTBS not only assists aged and retired timber trade members and their dependants, but also some much younger who have fallen ill, have become severely handicapped or who have lost their partners and are still caring for their children. The timber trade sectors covered by the TTBS charity criteria includes companies engaged in the trading and distribution of wood based products, such as timber importers and agencies, timber merchants, timber-based sheet material importers and merchants and more recently,

trussed rafter association (TRA) fabricator member companies and accredited timber preservative processing companies, with employees involved with treatment of bulk timbers for the above end users. All TTBS benefits are discretionary charitable payments, which can be reviewed or revised by the Trustees at any time and as such, should not normally affect any other entitlement to benefits provided by the State. TTBS benefits are numerous, but include regular quarterly allowances, telephone rental allowances, TV licence payments, a winter warmer fuel grant, Christmas and Spring payments, luxury Christmas hampers and occasional respite and funeral grants, together with one-off purchases of white goods and televisions. The TTBS would welcome new applications from employees from the timber trade sectors listed earlier, who have been employed in the industry for at least 10 years (or five years in exceptional circumstances) and who require assistance. These applications will then be referred to the Regional Committee closest to the applicant’s home address and employment and a visit arranged by the local representative to discuss specific needs. Thereafter, the Regional Committee will make benefit recommendations to the TTBS General Manager, which will then be considered by the Trustees and Board of Management. For further information or an application please contact: Ivan Savage, General Manager, National President, TTBS, 19 Church Lane, Oulton, Stone, Staffordshire ST15 8UL. Telephone 08448 92 22 05 or Email: info@ttbs.org.uk Registered Charity No 207734 Visit: www.ttbs.org.uk

IMAGES: 01. Ivan Savage

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TALL TIMBER

Breaking the Boundaries Moelven are at the forefront of timber design and are presently at work on Mjøstårnet that when complete in March 2019 will be the world’s tallest timber building at 81 metres.

02

01 “With a wider building, it will be possible to build a timber building taller than 100 metres. 150 metres should also be possible. Possibly even taller,” says Director Rune Abrahamsen of Moelven Limtre AS and the man behind Mjøstårnet. The building that many people in the international construction industry are seeing as a yet another example of what can be done with solid wood. He’s supported by Director Sverre Tiltnes at Bygg21, the Norwegian government’s body to promote an efficient and sustainable industry across Norway. Bygg21 is a partnership between the government and the entire Norwegian construction and

real estate industry. Tiltnes also previously headed the introduction of BREEAM in Norway. “The project is an important contribution to make the international building industry more environmentally friendly,” says Tiltnes. “When one proves and documents that one can build a taller timber building that what one previously thought was possible, there’s no doubt that this is world-class engineering.” “Unfortunately, many industry players have previously had an unfounded fear that wood has poor load-bearing properties and high risks in the event of fire. Mjøstårnet is contributing to more people realising that wood is very safe with regard to fire and has a load-bearing capacity that allows for significant heights. I believe the upcoming world record of 81 metres is just the start of a megatrend.” A number of players are vying for the world record for the world’s tallest timber building, and a need for a proper definition of a high rise timber building has arisen.

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Dr. Robert Foster, on commission from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has put forward a proposal that buildings with braced concrete cores be defined as wood-concrete hybrid buildings. He has reason to believe that this proposal will be adopted in the first half of 2018. If the rules come into force, HoHo Tower in Vienna and Brock Commons in Vancouver will be defined as ‘wood-concrete hybrid’ buildings rather than timber high-rises. Mjøstårnet will be 81 metres tall across 18 storeys. Up to 1997 it was prohibited to build timber houses taller than three storeys in Norway due to fire concerns from a previous era. “The fire safety measures that have been implemented in Mjøstårnet make the timber building far safer than a corresponding building with a traditional steel and concrete structure,” says Even Andersen, fire consultant with Sweco Norge AS, the company responsible for fire safety in the building. “Mjøstårnet is one of the safest buildings along Lake Mjøsa, and can withstand even an extensive fire.


TALL TIMBER

04

03 “The glulam structures retain their load-bearing ability in a burnout fire. Our fire tests show that glulam acquires a protective layer of coal that denies the fire the ability to keep going, and it dies out. Even after long exposure to fire, a glulam structure with such sturdy dimensions as used in Mjøstårnet, will have a sufficiently great load-bearing core of fresh wood. The structures are also positioned at a sufficient distance from each other so that a fire cannot keep going by itself when only the structures are on fire. This prevents the building from collapsing, even in the event of a burnout fire in fittings and furnishing.” In addition to Mjøstårnet being designed to withstand a burnout fire, a number of additional measures have been implemented that one ordinarily wouldn’t have in a regular steel and concrete building. For example, the façade is protected against fire spreading, the building has an upscaled sprinkler system, and each individual room on each floor is designed as an individual fire cell. This has been done to prevent fire from easily spreading to the next room. The global trend for building tall with timber is a truly international phenomenon,

driven by the greater need for sustainable construction, low carbon design and use of renewable materials. As structures grow taller and more complex, the knowledge gained from these trailblazing projects will provide invaluable for future generations of construction and engineering professionals.

For more information visit: www.moelven.com

IMAGES: 01-04. Mjøstårnet will be the tallest timber building in the world and showcase what can be done with solid timber technology and engineering. Courtesy Moelven.

6 reasons Mjøstårnet is Fireproof •

The glulam structures: The glulam structures have such huge dimensions that they retain their load-bearing ability in the event of a burnout fire. The glulam structures are positioned such that they won’t affect each other in the event of a fire.

Sprinkler system: A state-of-the-art sprinkler system covers the building inside and out. It differs from a traditional sprinkler system in that it is scaled to provide a greater water volume, it has an independent extra water supply, as well as a greater degree of monitoring.

• Facilitation for the fire brigade: Dedicated control room with graphical overview that enables fast and efficient extinguishing. The fire alarm is linked directly to the fire brigade, and the fire brigade’s water supply is doubled. •

Fire strips: The weakest point in a timber structure in the event of fire is the steel used for the actual connections in the structure. The glulam structure therefore has fire strips to protect the steel sheets and dowels in the junctions and joints. The fire strips consist of a material that expands 20 times at 150 degrees Celsius. The strips protect the steel from the increase in temperature, close openings and prevent fire from spreading.

• Fire cells: Each individual floor, apartment and each hotel room, are designed as separate fire cells that will restrict fire from spreading. • Protection against fire spreading in the façade: The outer wall elements have been treated with a fire retardant material and cavities in the façade are broken on each floor.

STMAG | www.structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk | 53


TALL TIMBER

A Rising Global Profile In the past few years, the tall building industry has become increasingly interested in the use of timber as a major structural element in skyscrapers. We hear from Daniel Safarik, Senior Editor at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) on what the future may have in store. This interest in tall timber has resulted in a now worldwide wave of research, built projects and ever-more daring speculative proposals using ‘mass timber’ – engineered wood products that are just as robust as their concrete and steel counterparts. In 2008 there was one mass timber building over eight storeys tall. Today, there are nearly 40 complete, under construction or planned. The reasoning behind building tall in timber lies in the inherent sustainability of wood as a building product. Foremost, wood is a renewable resource. By absorbing carbon dioxide, trees sequester carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. If wood is used – or re-used – as a building material, the carbon stays sequestered. This has always been true of wood, of course, but the reason it’s now considered scalable for taller construction has to do with the advancement of manufacturing methods that can bind and compress fragments of lower quality or waste wood into consistently strong glue-laminated panels. Such engineered systems, can provide structural integrity and fire resistance far beyond what is possible with ‘platform’ framing, which uses studs, wall plates and headers (dimensional lumber) to build structural platforms floor-by-floor. Most importantly, engineered timber systems are comparable to the fire resistance and loadbearing attributes of materials that most skyscrapers are made of – concrete and steel. Having said this, significant obstacles to widespread adoption remain. The key to mass timber’s viability as a structural material for tall buildings lies in its name. Massive wood walls and

structural beams and columns comprised of engineered panels have demonstrated fire performance equal to concrete and in some cases, superior to steel. Wood unquestionably burns, so there would be smoke issues, which would require proper sprinklering, pressurisation and other tactics used in tall buildings today. But mass timber has to burn through many layers before it is structurally compromised – basically, it chars long before it collapses. As more jurisdictions come to appreciate the aesthetic, economic and environmental advantages of tall timber, this is expected to change. Successful implementation of projects around the world – particularly in areas where forestry is a major regional industry such as in Scandinavian countries, the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. and British Columbia in Canada – will provide additional reference studies for practitioners elsewhere. The second biggest obstacle is a lack of standardisation of construction materials, methods and definitions. There are many forms of mass timber and a wide degree of variance in approach when it comes to supporting tall timber structures. So there is a range of techniques from assemblages of highly similar panels for both floors and walls, to complex column/beam/ outrigger combinations, such as are found in high-rises of steel and concrete. There are numerous proprietary systems and the connections between elements also vary widely. Often it is the location and orientation of the steel connectors between wood elements that can make all the difference to how long a structure can withstand fire or seismic action, and so determines its feasibility under local codes.

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But this has not stopped a steady stream of proposals and construction projects, each taking on some of the vernacular characteristics of local conditions. Although on the one hand this is a limiting factor of mass standardisation, on the other it is a positive condition that encourages designers to exercise creativity and sensitivity to the local built and natural environment. CTBUH have developed an international committee with a plan to ultimately produce a CTBUH technical guide on high-rise timber construction. For clarity, the structural types mentioned earlier indicate the primary structural system only, e.g. core, floor beams or horizontal trusses, and vertical columns. In reality, most mass timber buildings use some combination of timber, steel and concrete. Many rely on a concrete core or concrete slabs in order to provide stability and fire protection that will satisfy local codes. ‘All Timber’ generally means the core and the horizontal and vertical structure are all composed of timber. Some of the more intriguing projects – completed, currently underway or on the drawing board – can be found overleaf. A not-for-profit organisation founded in 1969 and headquartered at Chicago’s historic Monroe Building, the CTBUH is the world’s leading resource for professionals focused on the inception, design, construction and operation of tall buildings and future cities. For more information visit: www.ctbuh.org


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TALL TIMBER

Tall Timber: an international trend This map highlights several examples of tall timber buildings currently built, under construction or proposed around the world.

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TALL TIMBER

For more information visit: www.ctbuh.org www.skyscrapercenter.com IMAGE: Reproduced by kind permission of Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)

STMAG | www.structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk | 57


TIMBER EXPO 2018

Timber Tops Out As Material of Choice

area within the Build Show. With an everincreasing interest in offsite construction, this is a must-visit area.

Timber Expo takes place later this year and will once again aim to bring together the best the timber sector has to offer and showcase the strength of the UK’s leading mainstream low carbon building material.

01

02 Recent reports place timber as the fastest paced sector of the UK housebuilding market. With the latest innovations and products making wood the first-choice construction material, this is an industry fast changing the face of UK construction. That’s why this year’s Timber Expo is an unmissable opportunity for timber merchants, joinery manufacturers and their architectural clients to boost knowledge, discover products, network with colleagues and take part in debates and topical panels as part of UK Construction Week (UKCW) at Birmingham’s NEC between 9-11 October.

Exhibitors include Ambrovit S.P.A, Capital Holz100, Glennon Brothers, Hanson Plywood, Rothoblaas SIGA 1966 UK and Steico. The dedicated Timber Focus Theatre, brought to you by TRADA, showcases a lively seminar programme with a focus on fire design for timber cladding and fire resistant doorsets, CLT and designing for durability and critical considerations for ‘building tall with timber’. Confirmed speakers include: Kevin Flanagan, partner at PLP Architecture, Will Mawson partner at Mawson Kerr Architects and Anthony Thistleton, founder of Waugh Thistleton. The Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) workshops is a new feature, with the Structural Timber Association, Timber Trade Federation, Trussed Rafter Association and British Woodworking Federation delivering a programme of CPD workshops and networking events, supported by the timber industry’s campaign, Wood for Good. Timber Expo will also link with the Offsite

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Timber Expo joins Build Show, Building Tech Live, Civils Expo, Energy 2018, Plant & Machinery Live, HVAC 2018 and the Surface & Materials Show to form the UK’s largest trade show for the built environment. Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said: “Timber Expo consists of three days brimming with the latest products, innovations and developments across the timber sector both within the UK and internationally. “The show covers a wide range of timber applications, from structural uses of timber frame, glulam, SIPS and CLT through to the joinery industry’s best products across timber cladding, stairs, doors and windows, mouldings, skirtings and flooring. There is not a more comprehensive representation of the timber industry in the UK.” Other highlights include the Beer & Ale Festival sponsored by Velux, the Structural Timber Awards and the announcement of Role Model of the Year – following the shortlist of 37 inspiring men and women. Last year was UKCW’s most successful yet with more than 30,000 trade visitors. This year is set to be even bigger with a forecast of 35,000 visitors. Exhibitors can still enquire to exhibit via the Timber Expo exhibitor’s page. Free tickets for trade visitors are available now from: www.timber-expo.co.uk Keep up-to-date about the latest exhibitors, product launches, industry awards and speakers at: www.timber-expo.co.uk and Twitter at @TimberExpo or tweet using #TimberExpo2018.

IMAGES: 01. George Clarke with students at Timber Expo 2017. Courtesy UKCW 02. The Timber Focus Theatre will host a lively seminar programme. Courtesy UKCW


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MINISTER FOR HOUSING

Change is in the Air Prior to his departure to become Brexit Minister, Minister of State for Housing, Dominic Raab, outlined how the Government is taking steps to stimulate and encourage the greater use of offsite methods across UK housing construction.

01 Since I became Housing Minister in January, I have been struck by the enormous opportunities to be far more innovative in the way we build new homes. From Tokyo to Stockholm, countries across the world are using new technologies to increase housing supply and deliver high quality homes. If we want to achieve our ambition to be building 300,000 homes a year and deliver homes that are fit for the future, then we must make sure we are at the cutting edge of this innovation. For too long, productivity and innovation in construction have lagged behind other industries. So, modern methods of construction (MMC) are a chance to change that, creating capacity in industry to build more homes, deliver greater economies of scale, and put quality at the heart of the building process. For consumers – whether renting or buying – these innovative practices can offer

02 better homes, lower energy bills, fewer maintenance issues, smart technology as standard, and a much greater choice of design. Back in February 2017, the Government’s Housing White Paper recognised the potential to diversify the market and we have been actively implementing the commitments we made. Earlier this month, I heard from our MMC working group about their proposals to increase confidence in products, ensure homes built using new technology can access insurance and mortgages, and support the uptake of MMC across the housing market. This brilliant group, chaired by industry expert Mark Farmer, is developing a unified quality assurance scheme for assessing these technologies to guarantee acceptance of the final homes for warranty and mortgages. The working group has made great progress in its first few months, and

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is aiming to be in a position to launch the scheme later this year. This work is a key part of making sure that as use of off-site construction expands, quality remains at its heart. We need to stay vigilant in agreeing and enforcing technical standards, ensure we are not stifling innovation, and support smaller builders as well as larger developers to harness new technology. I hope this scheme will build confidence across the sector and open up mainstream mortgage finance and building insurance availability. We are also providing finance for developers using MMC. Our £3bn Home Building Fund offers finance to these builders, in addition to custom builders and new entrants to the market. So far, more than £120m of loans have been agreed for projects using MMC. The Chancellor’s Autumn Budget added a further £1.5bn to


MINISTER FOR HOUSING

03 the Fund, specifically targeted at supporting small and medium-sized builders who cannot access the finance they need to build. I have been told by many in the offsite industry that the number one factor to expansion is a clear and visible pipeline of demand. As Government, we have started to take steps to address this, by encouraging the growth of sectors of the market that make greater use of MMC, such as Build to Rent and custom-build. Our Accelerated Construction Programme will help ensure surplus central and local authority land is built out more quickly, with a focus on support for SME builders and MMC. The Affordable Homes Programme also encourages bidders to use innovative ways of building. We are working with the Construction Leadership Council to increase demand for these homes, improve standardisation of products and support developers. Last year we announced a presumption in favour of MMC across Government construction programmes. If possible, I want to do something similar for the housing industry. Most recently, the promotion of greater density in homebuilding – through the revised National Planning Policy Framework

– is an opportunity to ensure regulatory reform allows the building sector to make the best use of innovation like MMC. A number of developers have made clear the opportunities for MMC in this area. There are challenges, of course, such as finding people with the right skills. There is a real opportunity for those already working in construction as well as new entrants. The more we modernise the process of building and make construction an exciting place to work, the more we will keep experienced staff in the industry and attract a new, diverse workforce of talented young people. Government has commissioned Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to assess what skills are needed for MMC so that it can inform the curriculum for future training and apprenticeship schemes. There are still many out there who have yet to see how using MMC can benefit them and their customers. We want to support the industry to showcase what it can achieve, to demonstrate how new technology can improve quality and potentially drive cost efficiencies. In the coming months, Homes England will be working with key development partners on a range of pilot projects to showcase different technologies on a number of different sites. The purpose of the pilots is to provide a test bed for research and data collection to

04 support both the objectives of our working group on assurance, insurance and finance and the wider industry. As Government we are technology neutral. We want to see solutions that increase productivity and quality. We also want to challenge the public perception of MMC homes, and give customers information about new technology, how it works and what the benefits are. I am excited to see what the offsite industry has in store over the next few years. I believe it will play a key role in building better homes and stronger communities. Keeping quality at the heart of homebuilding will be an essential part of our strategy. Britain can become a world-leader in MMC – and I want to work with the sector to make that ambition a reality. For more information on the work of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government visit: https://bit.ly/2KRrP9E. The new Housing Minister is Kit Malthouse.

IMAGES: 01. Dominic Raab 02-04. The offsite industry is destined to play an enormous part in solving the UK’s housing crisis. Courtesy AHMM, Pocket Living and CCG (OSM)

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TIMBER FRAME

Citu Life When Chris Thompson, Managing Director of sustainable urban developers, Citu, realised that outdated construction methods would hold back his ambition to accelerate the transition to low carbon cities, he set out to revolutionise the way in which homes are designed and built in the UK.

behind other sectors in terms of innovation and productivity – and that’s inefficiency. The issue is two-fold: there’s inefficiency in terms of the quality of the product which causes heat loss and emissions from the houses themselves. But there is also inefficiency in terms of the construction process, caused by delays in transporting materials to site and poor communication between multiple contractors. Our first project, Greenhouse, involved the renovation of a former hostel in Beeston, close to Leeds city centre – creating a mixed-use building of 177 apartments, office spaces and leisure spaces. The scheme, one of the few developments in Leeds to go ahead during the recession, offers a whole range of eco-friendly elements including wind turbines, solar panels, ground source heating and rainwater harvesting to reduce energy and water use.

01

02 This spring, work began on the construction of the first low carbon homes at our Climate Innovation District in Leeds’s South Bank. This marked a major milestone, not only for the scheme itself – which will be the largest ecologically pioneering district of this scale in the UK – but also for Citu and our ambition to build zero carbon neighbourhoods that provide healthier, smarter and better-connected cities.

The district marks the next chapter in Citu’s story, which began back in 2004 when I founded the business. With my background in construction and a passion for urban design, I wanted Citu to be a company which challenges industry norms and embraces innovation and new technology. This meant addressing the key issue which has led to the construction industry falling

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The success of Greenhouse (which is fully let) gave us the confidence to up-scale our ambition. Our next project, Little Kelham in Sheffield, is a development of 250 low-carbon apartments and family homes alongside repurposed listed buildings and commercial spaces. At first, we used a contractor to deliver the homes, but we quickly realised that traditional construction methods couldn’t achieve the high standards we’d set both in terms of efficiency and energy performance. We’d need to develop a model which integrates the entire supply chain so that we could control every element of the design and construction in-house. To do this, we had to look outside the construction industry for inspiration. I learned a lot from looking at companies like Tesla and Apple in terms of how they embrace innovation and control every element in the manufacture of their product. We’re now harnessing the best talent from a range of sectors, from digital coders and architects to universities and automotive


TIMBER FRAME

03 experts, and repurposing their skills to change the way homes are built. We’re fortunate in Leeds that we have a wealth of research and development opportunities with two major universities on our doorstep. We partnered with Leeds Beckett University to develop the Citu Home – a new timber framed housing system which will create one of the most airtight and energy efficient homes in the world. Having developed the product, our next challenge was increasing productivity. With Little Kelham well underway, we knew that we wanted to go bigger and better once again and forged ahead with plans to build an entire district which promotes a sustainable way of life. I’ve seen first-hand the benefits of taking a Scandinavian approach to place-making in helping create neighbourhoods that can withstand climate change and will outlive our generation, and the next. Well-being is at the heart of those neighbourhoods, combining homes that feel light, bright and well designed with outdoor spaces and innovative public spaces. That’s why we decided to work with leading Swedish architect, White Arkitekter, who are behind many of the progressive new neighbourhoods in Europe. The Climate Innovation District, which will offer the first family homes in Leeds city centre for almost a century, will include 520 low carbon homes alongside leisure, offices

and climate-resilient public realm, created on a 15-acre brownfield site close to Leeds city centre. Key to its success is Citu Works – a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility where the Citu Homes are now being manufactured under controlled conditions. We’ve also employed Citu Squads – teams of skilled tradespeople including plumbers, electricians and joiners who are employed full-time by Citu, alongside 24 apprentices recruited from Leeds College of Building. Every employee will benefit from ongoing training and development, creating a skilled workforce in low-carbon construction. More local authorities and other developers are now looking to more sustainable approaches and there has been an explosion in offsite housing construction over the past 18 months. Most have gone down the modular route, but we’ve chosen to take the component route which gives us much more flexibility of design and greater control over the energy-performance of each property. I’ve long been inspired by the car manufacturing model where the product is built in a factory to exacting standards, to be delivered on time to a set price and quality. It’s one of the reason we hired our new Operations Manager, Steve Savage, ex manufacturing boss at BMW, to integrate this approach and streamline the construction process. When any business is innovating, they will come up against a number of challenges. The way in which we are approaching every

04 element of the build is ground-breaking, from the architectural design of homes, the fabric performance, how we manufacture them and even the buyer experience, employing virtual reality technology to show customers inside before the home is built. The Climate Innovation District is still in its early stages and there maybe further challenges ahead, but we want to lead by example and set the standard for a sustainable approach to place-making for generations to come. Once Citu Works is up to capacity producing 750 homes a year, we plan to sell the Citu Home to other developers and local authorities around the UK, offering a low-cost, climate-conscious solution to the UK’s housing crisis. To put it in perspective, if the Government’s target of 300,000 new homes built every year by 2050 were manufactured using our Citu Home design, we could reduce carbon emissions by more than 550 million tonnes compared to conventional methods of construction. Leeds is setting the pace for creating low carbon cities and with our approach, every newbuild housing development could be designed and manufactured in a way that accelerates this transition. For more information visit: www.citu.co.uk

IMAGES: 01-03. Climate Innovation District 04. Citu Works facility

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MODULAR TECHNOLOGY

A 3D Solution to the Housing Crisis Trevor Richards, Director of Cogent Consulting reveals that advancements in offsite technology is an area where the UK is leading the way and outlines the resurgence and future of low-rise structural timber volumetric modular technology. The future is a far cry from the dust and dirt of a traditional building site and looks more like something out of a futuristic movie where entire homes are produced and delivered to site complete in a volumetric format – the ‘plug and play’ equivalent for the construction sector. Once thought to be the domain of budget hotels and student accommodation – volumetric modular technology is now penetrating the low-rise housing industry – across all price ranges and sectors, from architecturally designed homes to affordable housing projects.

01

02 For every crisis there is at least one resolution, but the best solutions often go through many incarnations before reaching the optimal performance. The shortfall in quality housing stock is driving innovation in the structural timber arena but as the crisis unfolds, the best brains are looking at practical solutions that will not only deliver at scale but also increase quality and productivity.

Once, traditional brick and block was the mainstay of the volume housing sector, however driven by an escalating need, many housebuilders turned to panelised structural timber systems – first with open panel and now increasingly with closed panel systems. Some early adopters are now looking to the latest advancements for further improvements and create ‘added value’ from offsite systems.

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At the beginning of the year, analysts working on behalf of The Times newspaper, predicted that 2018 will be the breakthrough year for modular housing, stating that more than 15,000 homes in Britain are built this way each year, but the government wants to increase access to finance for offsite manufacturers, with the aim of raising the figure to 100,000 a year by 2020. Once only available as a kit of parts and more recently as a flat pack panelised solution – timber frame systems have evolved and now some of the more innovative manufacturers have developed fully finished volumetric modular units. For example, ModularWise is one such company – they have dedicated the last two years to developing fully finished volumetric house modules, with 90% of the building, both internally and externally – completed within highly controlled factory conditions and only 10% commissioning and finishing work completed onsite. Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) manufacturers are also seizing the


MODULAR TECHNOLOGY One of the critical concerns for the construction industry is its extremely poor levels of productivity. For years we have scarcely got out of second gear – we must now ramp it up. When assessed against other industries, especially manufacturing led ones, the disparity is stark.

03 opportunity. Delivering rapid and robust energy efficient buildings, with superior insulation, structural strength and airtightness – volumetric modular SIP technology, is considered a viable option when working to meet the shortfall in low-rise housing stock. An accelerated build time reduces site prelim expenditure and provides a quicker return on capital outlay. Ramping up volume can be achieved without the same capital employed as traditional means. According to Legal & General Modular Homes – a revolution is coming, and they are certainly leading the way. The company’s vision is ambitious and investment in the world’s largest modular homes factory is testament to their commitment to inject capital into the housing sector. Located in Selby, near Leeds, their 550,000ft2 factory produces a range of typologies with the capacity to produce up to 3,000 homes per year. Legal & General has a long heritage in providing housing in the UK and sees modular construction as a natural evolution and extension to its position in the offsite market. In a recent interview James Lidgate, CEO of Legal & General Homes, said: “As well as addressing the chronic shortfall of housing

in the UK, Legal & General Homes is looking to regenerate the UK’s landscape for the better and build vibrant communities where people want to live. To do this, we want to challenge public perceptions of new homes by delivering a product that surpass buildings of the past in terms of quality, efficiency and comfort, whilst ensuring the homes are carefully integrated into the community, providing much enhanced public realm, facilities and infrastructure.” Volumetric modular comes in many structural forms and leading structural timber engineers Ramboll, are thinking beyond the panelised nature of cross laminated timber (CLT). Together with Stora Enso, Ramboll have developed CLT modular housing units for Swan Housing Association. The new CLT modules are being constructed by Nu Build, a company set up by the Swan Group to manufacture homes for its development projects. A progressive evolution, the modules are being fitted out internally in the factory, including partitioning, electrics, plumbing, floor finishes, kitchens, bathrooms, painting and internal finishes, based on a fully customised specification. Once the modules are built, they are delivered to site where they will be connected to services, clad in a selection of materials and roofed.

Other industries have embraced and harnessed process improvements and technical advancements and have effectively metamorphosed by driving and reinventing their end-to-end delivery. Volumetric modular construction is set to revolutionise the housebuilding sector by introducing new methods and processes used in other industries, such as automotive and aerospace, to raise productivity and help address the UK’s chronic shortfall of new homes. For more information visit: www.cogent-consulting.co.uk IMAGES: 01. Marlborough Park Development. Courtesy ModularWise 02. SIP volumetric modular homes 03. Low-rise volumetric modular CLT. Courtesy Swan Housing

For those interested in discovering more about innovative building technology, Darren Richards, Managing Director of Cogent Consulting will be chairing the Modular Matters conference and exhibition. Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on the 30 October 2018, the event will focus on the latest developments, innovations and investments in the volumetric modular offsite sector. For more information go to: www.modularmatters.co.uk

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HOUSE OF LORDS REPORT

Taking the Build Offsite The STA has declared their full support for the recent report - Offsite manufacture for construction: Building for Change – published by the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee. As key contributors, the STA’s Chief Executive, Andrew Carpenter, discusses why they are backing the report. One of the report’s key recommendations was that the Government should promote the use of pre-manufactured solutions through policy measures, so in theory there is a lot of positive content in this Lords Committee report but there are some barriers to overcome. The time is right for the construction industry to embrace offsite manufacture. We can demonstrate the positive role that innovative timber technology and offsite techniques can play to meet the report’s ambition to develop better buildings at a rapid rate to achieve Government targets and overcome the shortfall in housing stock and produce energy efficient buildings – particularly important for the social housing and private rental sectors.

encouraged larger builders and specifiers to look to alternatives but potentially, new policy measures will further increase the specification of offsite technology. We think it is crucial that Government funding for research and development focuses on showing the value that offsite construction can bring over the lifetime of buildings – not just in the construction phase. Developers, architects and engineers are beginning to recognise the impact of building details and specification on in-use energy performance and are keen to promote best practice. Energy efficient buildings are achieved through

good building fabric design, optimising the performance of the building envelope. There is a vast array of options within the timber technology portfolio that can deliver high performance buildings. Whilst we see this report as very positive we would also point out that there are other areas that need to be addressed for this to deliver in line with expectations. We need to have a joined-up approach if we are to succeed as an industry and deliver much-needed housing in the UK. For more information visit: www.structuraltimber.co.uk

Radical Overhaul of Construction Sector Needed In recent years, many stark warnings have been issued about the problems characterising the construction sector. The combined effect of these problems is that the construction sector, as it is currently constituted, cannot efficiently meet the need for housing in this country. Offsite manufacture for construction could help the sector to meet these needs. It provides clear and tangible benefits which make a compelling case for its widespread use. Offsite manufactured structural timber systems have advanced greatly in recent years and can offer housebuilders cost, programme and performance assurances. Structural timber solutions outweigh other sectors in regard to volume of materials – the sector is quick to respond and can add capacity at a relatively rapid rate to meet demand. Shortages in other traditional construction materials has

Speaking on the publication of the report 'Off-site Manufacture for construction: building for change', Lord Patel, Chairman of the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee said: “There are clear and tangible benefits from offsite manufacture for construction which make a compelling case for its widespread use. We heard evidence that OSM could increase productivity in the sector by up to 70%. The construction sector’s business models are no longer appropriate and are not supporting the UK’s urgent need for new homes and infrastructure. The construction sector needs to build more trust and create partnerships so that companies can work together to improve the uptake of offsite manufacture, and the Construction Leadership Council should provide the necessary leadership. “The role of the Government and the wider public sector is pivotal in a move to greater use of off-site manufacture. The report sets out actions that the Committee thinks the Government should take including implementation of the Construction Sector Deal, committed execution of the ‘presumption in favour’ of offsite manufacture and a greater move to procuring for whole-life value rather than lowest cost.” The report is available on the Parliament website: https://bit.ly/2mvhCW0 To speak to a member of the Committee on the findings of the report please contact Anouska Russell on 0207 219 8535 or email: russellaf@parliament.uk

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STEWART MILNE TIMBER SYSTEMS ROUNDTABLE

Evolution Not Revolution The role offsite manufacture can play in securing a healthier housing sector has never been more important. A pivotal provider of offsite timber housing systems is Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS) who recently hosted a Roundtable Event to discuss future housing challenges and how to develop a maturing market.

The need to provide more homes of all tenures and types across the UK is well understood but perhaps even more important is to raise the standard of delivery and building quality. It is here that offsite manufacture is marking itself as a clear step-change to the traditional – and for many commentators – the tired way of building. Undoubtedly a boost has come over the last 18 months with the endorsement of central Government through its Housing White Paper – Fixing our Broken Housing Market – and the London Assembly in particular on the requirement to embed a greater percentage of offsite manufacture in project assessments. “The Government has made it very clear since the White Paper that offsite is the way forward,” says Michelle Hannah, Director at Cast Consultancy. “From a policy perspective and in particular planning, I think there needs to be more work done on educating what offsite construction

actually means. Sometimes the time taken to process a planning application actually hinders one of the key benefits of using offsite.” Technology Talks It would seem that for those unfamiliar with offsite technology, a wider rollout of training is required – through a wider factory tour programme – so offsite technology is not seen as an isolated process, irrespective of it being based around timber, steel or concrete. This skills deficit and lack of knowledge can be viewed at many different levels. Whilst many visual aspects of the design process and architectural approach are easier to digest, there is not enough concentrated effort on understanding the structural and ‘precision engineered’ ways that buildings are created within the factory environment. Gaps persist on what offsite can do. But most developers and housebuilders are savvy enough to know a greater percentage

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of factory-driven building design should be part of what they offer – without the government having to tell them. Major volume housebuilders are already seeking to increase the amount of offsite as a business necessity. “The drivers are well understood and are there already. We are adopting more offsite because we need to,” says Oliver Novakovic, Technical and Innovation Director for Barratt Developments. “Many construction site managers are still only attuned to brick and block and don’t understand enough about offsite, so where Government can possibly help more is with pushing some construction cultural changes.” Understanding Offsite Standardisation Standardisation brings many cost benefits but may not always deliver choice and what the vast majority of clients and customers want when choosing a home is choice. So will the focus on greater standardisation create a potential ‘turn-off’ for clients? There is sometimes a perception with the


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STEWART MILNE TIMBER SYSTEMS ROUNDTABLE Lessons & Outcomes Learning Curves – all levels of the construction industry need to improve its working knowledge of how offsite manufacture works and what it delivers when arriving onsite Planning Policy – more education for planners to understand what offsite construction actually means. Sometimes the time taken to process a planning application is hindering its key benefits Standardisation & Harmonisation – a better collaboration is required when dealing with certain common elements of design and construction outside of the ‘competitive edge’ Money Markets – institutional lending and mortgage providers are becoming more comfortable funding offsite developments Don’t Overcomplicate – complex regulatory requirements could stop innovative products coming through that make offsite cost-effective successful Not the New Kid Anymore – the atmosphere is changing within housebuilding and offsite feels less like a ‘new approach’ with incremental but important changes happening Delivering Better Data – more needs to be done to provide statistical evidence and hard data to prove the benefits and cost advantages of offsite manufacture Responsible Growth – housebuilders are holding back on volume as it could potentially swamp providers of offsite systems and site installation teams

architectural and construction circles that standardisation is a bad thing. Certainly some architects are wary of standardisation and fear that it can stifle creativity. For a manufacturer, standardisation is the perfect scenario. But what is standardisation? Is it optimisation, rationalisation or even harmonisation? Standard house portfolios and the integration of standard products and building elements can all drive costs down within the factory. Onsite they can take different forms – standard house shape and layout or standard external cladding and finish. Is it just about simply optimising the land use and what can best be done with a particular plot? “Standardisation isn’t always compatible with brand values,” says Michael Westgarth, Head of Property Procurement: Enterprise and Development, Home Group. “We have to consider the final sale and that adds complexity. As long as you can externally treat differently and have a range of products we can place-make with to create a community that helps.”

“We also have an opportunity to harmonise with our client base,” adds Stewart Dalgarno, Group Product Development Director at SMTS. “Key elements such as wall panels with window apertures that are not part of the client critical path would be a start. Clients can then personalise these to their own brand profile and house type or particular finish when required. As an industry we can work a lot more together and a lot smarter.” Collaborate to Succeed Underpinning any form of standardised or harmonised process is collaboration. Something that the construction sector needs to do better across the board. Within offsite circles better collaboration on common designs and products can deliver massive advantages when a pipeline and certainty of demand is driving the relationship. How do we facilitate greater collaboration around the procurement of offsite systems and technologies? Can buying power be created through consortiums and group procurement schemes? In this instance it is an easier option for public sector rather than private housebuilders.

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As in many aspects of the construction sector the pace of change is slow. However the adoption of offsite manufacture and the ongoing pattern of change management and engaged leadership behaviour is there, but is marked by the pace of patient change rather than rapid transformation. An often-repeated stumbling block is the lack of statistical evidence and hard data that proves the benefits of offsite manufacture. It is very difficult to underpin the numerous benefits of offsite without the statistical data to prove it. Some aspects are easier to prove than others – e.g. energy performance and consumption. For public sector developments and the affordable housing sector, those procuring and specifying offsite system builds are ‘crying out for more information’ on build quality, cost of maintenance and whole-life forecasts. Volume and Demand As the offsite sector continues to mature and expand with acceptance of timber frame and panelised systems perhaps at an all time high, some industry commentators have mooted that the offsite supply chain


STEWART MILNE TIMBER SYSTEMS ROUNDTABLE the UK. Traditional masonry methods of building will not provide the thousands of new homes the UK requires by itself. Only the rich mix of offsite factory-controlled methods and its range of precision technologies can provide the answers to the increased supply of better quality homes. Importantly it is a way to enable a response to the UK’s housing crisis that befits the 21st Century and propel the wider modernisation of the construction sector that is long overdue. Many thanks to SMTS for hosting the Roundtable Event and thanks to all participants for their time and contributions to the discussion. For more information on SMTS visit: www.stewartmilnetimbersystems.com is in danger of overheating and potentially creating ‘systemic failures’ if the pressures and expectations become too high. Certainly, the levels of anticipation about what offsite construction can deliver in high-density conurbations in particular London and the South East of England is huge. The burgeoning offsite sector is an exciting one – organisations such as SMTS have become stalwarts of timber technology and a pivotal name with the housebuilding sector – but there are lots of new entrants into the offsite sector and anxieties surround their longevity with the fear that many are undercapitalised businesses that could potentially fail creating enormous problems and an offsite public relations disaster! “My observation over the last two years has been that lots of companies were struggling with the volume of enquiries but not getting that much work,” says Michael Westgarth. “They couldn’t price or identify real opportunities. That feels like it is changing. I do worry about the time it takes to get projects from concept to onsite, as all of these companies are spending money employing staff and doing design work and

some of these projects take 2-3 years to actually materialise.”

For more information on offsite related activity visit: www.offsitehub.co.uk

Organisations such as SMTS with a long history of product development and evolutionary success is unlikely to struggle with satisfying volume demand. More homes need to be built – that is beyond question. Offsite has an acknowledged pivotal role in providing more homes for

Attendees Darren Richards – Managing Director, Cogent Consulting (FACILITATOR) Michelle Hannah – Director, Cast Consultancy Oliver Novakovic – Technical and Innovation Director, Barratt Developments Michael Westgarth – Head of Property Procurement: Enterprise and Development, Home Group Ian Millard – Technical Director (Development), L&Q Counties Michael Cleaver – Director, Housing Forum Darren Jones – Managing Director: Midlands and Southern, Miller Homes Will Jeffwitz – Policy Officer, National Housing Federation Stewart Dalgarno – Group Product Development Director, Stewart Milne Timber Systems Martin Brackpool – Head of Sales, Stewart Milne Timber Systems Steve Kane – Pre-construction Director, Hill Residential Gary Ramsay – Editor, Offsite Magazine

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MACHINERY

Championing Young Talent at W Exhibition The W Exhibition is the UK’s leading show for the joinery and furniture industries. Taking place every two years, it is an opportunity for the whole industry to come together at the NEC, Birmingham to network, watch live demonstrations of woodworking machinery and see all of the latest products and developments.

The woodworking industry is big business and has an estimated worth of £3.8 billion in the UK alone. With figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) suggesting an annual requirement of more than 3,000 new positions needing to be filled every year to support the sector’s continual growth, the need for fresh new talent has never been more fundamental to the success of the industry. But, when faced with a challenging new apprenticeship levy, common misconceptions of the industry and strict health and safety legislation restricting work experience, how do businesses attract and retain young talent? Boasting its biggest footprint to date, visitors to the biennial event will be the first to see the latest product launches, technological advancements and innovations to enter the UK market, whilst also being able to talk to the experts first hand and watch machinery and tooling

demonstrations throughout the show. Big names will be returning to the show this September, with leading machinery companies like Biesse, SCM, Homag, Weinig, Felder, Schelling, Daltons Wadkin, AMS, RW Machines and TM Machinery among a solid exhibitor line-up. The W Exhibition will also welcome a host of new exhibitors in 2018 including CNC specialists CNC Software. The exhibition will also feature a host of interactive features for visitors including a brand new Education Zone. Run by industry bodies, it will provide support and advice on legislation, health & safety, productivity, careers and apprenticeships within the furniture industry, whilst promoting the importance of young talent in the industry. This year, the W Exhibition and sister show, Elements, are continuing their pledge to help champion the industry’s future and promote new talent. Lisa Campagnola, Event Director for the W Exhibition and Elements explains: “When I joined Montgomery in 2014 and took over the running of the W Exhibition, the first thing I did was go out and speak with the industry. Unanimously, there was one area that exhibitors and visitors alike wanted to hear more about – apprenticeships. It quickly became apparent that apprenticeships were vital for this industry but people were left feeling baffled by jargon and lots of questions were being left unanswered.

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Where do you find the talent? How do you pay for this talent? And more importantly, how do you retain that talent? “We’ve addressed this problem and this September, the W Exhibition and Elements will be launching its first Education Zone. With the support of our show partners – Didac Limited, the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and the National Association of Shopfitters – we will be introducing an area within the exhibition that will be specifically dedicated to apprenticeships and careers within the furniture and joinery manufacturing industries. Whether you’re an employer looking to offer an apprenticeship, an employee looking for your next step in the industry or a student who is interested in the sector, industry specialists, career advisers and business gurus will be on hand to answer questions and offer sound advice.” Taking part in the Education Zone, BWF’s Iain Mcllwee says, “It is critical that we do everything we can to promote apprenticeships in the woodworking sector. The industry relies heavily on a skilled workforce, with apprenticeship figures around seven times higher than the national average. The introduction of a dedicated careers area means that we can help to support the industry, highlight the benefits of working with young talent and promote the importance of businesses engaging with students who are considering a role in this industry. It’s a fantastic opportunity and one the BWF are proud to be a part of.” The W Exhibition and Elements will be taking place from the 30 September – 3 October 2018 at the NEC Birmingham. For more information visit: www.wexhibition.co.uk


SU

PP STO OR CK TE ED DI & NT HE

Aptus Fastener Systems have developed the most comprehensive range of certified fastening solutions for the modular housing market.

UK

Power Clamp – lifting device for transportation of solid panels and beams. HECO-Topix Countersunk & Flange Head – German innovated CE compliant structural screws through ETA. Pitzl Connectors – certified wood connection systems manufactured according to the highest quality “Made in Germany”

T: 01773 740410 E: sales@aptusfasteners.co.uk @aptusfasteners

www.aptusfasteners.co.uk


MACHINERY

Home Automation on a New Level We have all become accustomed to automation in its many guises across our everyday lives, from manufacturing the cars that we drive to having automation around the home. With Güdel’s innovative gantry robot concepts, robots and automation can actually build a home. The architect or builder produces the design, the connection points and the apertures for windows, doors and electrical equipment in the CAD system. This then sends the production data directly to the Güdel six-axis robot. In this way the system can either produce high volume quantities of a particular set of components, as might be the case for smaller affordable housing units, or one-off components for a bespoke design.

01

02 The UK’s housing crisis is never far from the news, and despite a number of ongoing initiatives from Government over recent months, the number of homes actually being built still falls woefully short of our needs. The Government manifesto of 2015 promised one million new homes by 2020, however between April 2015 and the end of

All of the handling, cutting, drilling and assembly operations are undertaken fully automatically by the robot system using a suite of interchangeable tools including grippers, saws, drills, routers, nail guns and measurement sensors.

March 2017, a total of just 287,600 homes were built, so to reach a million homes by 2020, there will need to be a considerable increase in the coming years to achieve this target. Once the decision is taken to start building however, the speed and progress of the build will be influenced by a number of factors including the availability of skilled labour post-Brexit and the unpredictable British weather.

The open concept of the system, which is over 50 metres in length, offers a highly-flexible solution for the accurate and cost-effective manufacture of a wide range of timber structures. Given that we clearly need mass production of new houses across the country, the adoption of automated manufacturing can help the UK building industry to build the new homes that are so urgently needed.

Güdel’s WoodFlex system is able to address these issues by automatically prefabricating many of the timber frame and wall panels required for newbuild properties, indoors and through offsite manufacture. This can reduce build times and the need for skilled labour in the process. The solution, which is based on a six-axis gantry robot from Güdel, is a highly flexible handling and cutting system for prefabricating house walls, floors or roofs.

For more information visit: www.gudel.com

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IMAGES: 01. Timber frames and wall panels can be produced quickly and repeatedly by the Güdel system 02. A comprehensive array of interchangeable tools allow the system to perform multiple machining and assembly tasks


Gantry Robot Technology You Can Build On

“Talk to Gudel about your challenges and aspirations for handling, fastening and finishing heavy timber elements automatically� Robot assembly of Timber Frame components Reliable solutions for handling and finishing wooden building elements Handle long, heavy beams quickly and accurately Improve productivity through automation Benefit from repeatability and accuracy

+44(0)7669 5444

sales@uk.gudel.com

uk.gudel.com

Gudel Lineartec UK Limited, 5 Wickmans Drive, Banner Lane, Coventry, West Midlands, CV4 9XA


MACHINERY

Weinig – Your Sustainable Construction Partner Current trends to offsite manufacture have seen many different systems appear in the press, but the one that seems to be gaining the most traction is mass timber – principally in the form of cross laminated timber (CLT).

01

02 One of the most compelling reasons for architects to use CLT is its ability to be manufactured from local resources, further enhancing the green credentials of an already environmentally friendly product. To date, in the UK there is one large CLT manufacturing facility to be installed at the Legal & General Modular Homes factory near Selby. This multi-million investment

includes an integrated Weinig CLT layer production line with a capacity of 160m3 per shift, but not every plant needs to be on such a large scale. The Weinig Group, worldwide leaders in machines for solid wood processing, is the expert in the field of CLT production and offers plants from 5,000m3 per shift/year

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right through to large industrial plants of 50,000m3 per shift/year. While the scale of these is impressive, the fundamental steps of production remain the same in all cases. The first step in any production system is to grade the timber and remove any defects that fall outside desired quality criteria for each layer. In low volume production plants this process can be done manually using a Weinig Opticut S90 defect cutting saw, or using the latest scanning technology with a Weinig CombiScan scanner coupled with a very fast through-feed saw model Opticut 450+. The output from these saws is a defect-free material in random lengths, maximising material yield. These boards are then transferred either manually to a Weinig Ultra finger jointer, or fully automatically to an HS3000 finger jointer in high-volume plants to create the appropriate finger profile with automatic glue application. The individual lengths are


MACHINERY

03 then pressed together to produce the long ribbon of material matched to the size of panel being produced – typically these can be between 6m and 20m in length. These individual boards are then accurately planed to precise dimensions and in perfect shape with perpendicular sides and parallel faces suitable for edge gluing. Speeds of planing can range from 20m/min to over 100m/min, subject to capacity requirements and are typically performed on a Weinig Powermat moulder.

vacuum press for low volumes or massive hydraulic presses for the highest output. The finished panel is then ready to be CNC-routered to create the window and door openings, form connecting joints and machine any service channels that may be required. At this point the panel is then ready for assembly into a modular box or can be sold as a machined product ready for site assembly.

These planed boards are then presented to the ProfiPress edge gluing press where glue is automatically and precisely applied to the edge and the boards pressed together to form the glued-up CLT layer. This can either be done according to layer width by leaving ‘dry joints’ or can be an endless mat of laminated board which is then cut to width on the outfeed of the press. The techniques of the ProfiPress produce top quality laminated layers with no mis-match between lamels and no over-application of glue that has to be cleaned off.

Key to all of this is the balancing of output from individual machines and also a flexible modular approach to the investment level available. Weinig appreciate that not all entrants to the market will wish to invest at the highest level and their modularised production systems have been developed to cater for all levels of production. Numerous advantages of this method of construction will ensure its increasing popularity in the coming years. Having worked extensively in the field of mass timber production, Weinig is well placed to offer advice to any company considering entering this exciting and growing market.

To actually produce the CLT panel, these layers are face-glued together in either a

For more information visit: www.weinig.co.uk

04 IMAGES: 01 & 03. The techniques of the ProfiPress produce top quality laminated layers 02. Finger jointing creates super bonding and strength 04. CLT panels are now an everyday part of timber construction

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MACHINERY

Flexible Precision With 2018 marking its 25th year in the UK, Biesse recently held a series of open days at its Daventry Technology Centre, for visitors to see the latest advances in woodworking technology and the UK launch of the SOPHIA digital platform.

01 Since Biesse UK started its UK operations in 1993, with the sole purpose of providing the best possible support to the UK woodworking industry, the UK team has grown from three employees in 1993 to over a 100 with a fully equipped training facility and a comprehensive range of machines in the demonstration Technical Centre. As a subsidiary of Biesse Group S.P.A, based in Pesaro, Italy – a world leading manufacturer of high technology industrial machines for the woodworking and other sectors – Biesse machines have been familiar products in the marketplace for some years. As well as having a range of its successful machines on show, the day saw the important launch into the UK of SOPHIA, where Biesse will be making a significant impact on the ‘Internet of Things’ and the platform will become officially ‘active’ in October 2018. SOPHIA is a digital platform that provides users with access to more machine information and initiates concrete actions to optimise performance and monitor the quality of the work produced, anticipating the causes of faults and providing clear solutions to resolve any anomalies. The data gathered and analysed by artificial intelligence is transformed into useful data to help optimise customer production and

product quality, providing extremely valuable opportunities for growth. This information also provides customers with tools to prevent problems that could damage production. Thanks to SOPHIA, Biesse can take proactive steps to contact customers, reducing machine stoppages and inefficient time-wasting. “Machines are not the same, and never stay the same, so we are continually developing our machines and understanding our customer’s needs,” says Commercial Director, Robbie O’Neil. “SOPHIA is Biesse’s cloud-based platform that creates a connected environment between the machine, the customer and the supplier. It will allow customers to understand how to get the best out of the machine and allow us to create operational data.” The flow of data is developed solely by the machine to network, never the other way around. The security of the information collected is guaranteed by two different systems: a https communication protocol, namely a protocol for secure communication over a network via an encrypted connection and access to the cloud with two step authentication. This will mean that Biesse’s entire global service network is interconnected and has access to the SOPHIA web portal, ensuring customers all over the world

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receive quick and decisive responses and solutions. Through this tool Biesse technicians are able to constantly monitor possible problems, generating in realtime the solutions required to solve them. Distribution of the SOPHIA loT software is extremely straightforward and rapid. The platform consists of two powerful areas: IoT and PARTS, integrated with each other. These are connected to two apps that provide customers with easy access to SOPHIA’s capabilities. The IoT – SOPHIA app, provides a comprehensive overview of the specific machine performance features, with remote diagnostics, machine stoppage analysis and fault prevention. The service also provides a continuous connection with the Biesse control centre, the option of calling for assistance from within the customer app with reports of issues managed as a priority. The second area of SOPHIA is PARTS - the new easy, intuitive and personalised tool for ordering spare parts. The portal provides customers, dealers and branches with the opportunity to view regularly updated documentation relating to their own machines and allows customers to create a spare parts cart with information on real-time warehouse availability. “Biesse live in a world of constant improvement,” says Robbie. “We align ourselves with our customer expectations and one thing we are really good at is relationships.” For more information visit: www.biesse.com/uk/ IMAGE: 01 . SOPHIA will provide a comprehensive overview of specific machine performance features


CON STRU CTION STRATEGIC TECHNOLOGY: OUR EXPERIENCE IS YOUR STRENGTH.

Accuracy, reliability and high performance are guaranteed, with an extensive range of machinery and equipment dedicated to the timber construction sector.

Uniteam E Mix - For effective processing of CLT and SIP panels.

BIESSE.COM


O

The future of Offsite

Offsite

Bringing offsite construction to life The Offsite hub in partnership with Explore Offsite will feature a ground-breaking exhibition of offsite construction solutions and the largest gathering of the growing industry’s professionals, summing up the importance of offsite technology for the future.

@FuturebuildNow

• Explore Offsite seminars, focused on the latest innovation in offsite technology • Larger exhibition – from product launches to full-scale builds • New for 2019 Guided technical tours • The best in precision building design and delivery at the Offsite Awards • New for 2019 Offsite forum brought to you by Cogent

/FuturebuildNow

/FuturebuildNow

Be part of the future Contact Trevor Crawford on +44 (0)20 3011 2548 trevor.crawford@futurebuild.co.uk

/FuturebuildNow

FuturebuildNow


26,590 overall visitors

+5% increase in visitor attendance

1,500+ 7,400 Offsite & Timber seminar attendees

visitors attended specifically for offsite and timber technologies

78%

88%

of visitors authorise or specify products

of visitors managerial or above

This is definitely the busiest event we’ve exhibited at and we love the different hubs. We’re looking forward to developing the brand even further and coming back to showcase its journey in 2019! Kathryn Legg, Marketing Services Manager at Marley

Join the leading offsite construction suppliers in 2019

HUB BROUGHT TO YOU BY

HUB


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY If you are interested in learning more about offsite construction in the timber sector and the associated manufacturing processes then choose from some of the timber specific events taking place in 2018:

DATE 12 September

EVENT

VENUE

WEBSITE

Explore Offsite North West

Manchester

www.exploreoffsite.co.uk/2018-events

The first North West regional conference and exhibition in the Explore Offsite series will bring together a range of offsite technology supply chain specialists and industry leaders to discuss the uptake of offsite construction within the region. This event will focus on the key themes of: offsite technology options; regional offsite supply chain resources and opportunities; and project case studies. 09-11 October NORTH WEST

10 October

Timber Expo

NEC, Birmingham

www.timber-expo.co.uk

Timber Expo, part of UK Construction Week, is the UK's only dedicated timber trade show covering a wide range of timber applications from timber frame, engineered timber products, cladding, decking, fixings and fastenings, doors and windows, coatings, mouldings, flooring and much more. Structural Timber Awards

NCC, Birmingham

www.structuraltimberawards.co.uk

The Structural Timber Awards are back for 2018, celebrating it’s fourth year rewarding the very best in structural timber construction. Over 600 construction professionals will gather at the prestigious ceremony to celebrate the great, the good and the simply outstanding. 30 October

Modular Matters

NEC, Birmingham

www.modularmatters.co.uk

New for 2018, Modular Matters will be showcasing exemplar projects across commercial offices, public buildings, hotels, airports, sport stadiums, hospitals, universities and schools and debating how far this innovative technology can push the boundaries of design and manufacture. 28 November

Structural Timber Showcase

Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport

www.structuraltimber.co.uk/events

Hosted by the STA and in partnership with the Structural Timber Awards, the Structural Timber Showcase Conference will shine a spotlight on the ‘best of the best’ in structural timber featuring a stellar speaker line up of 2018 ST award winners. The audience will have the chance to hear more from the project delivery teams about the projects which demonstrate the best in innovation, best practice and diversity across a range of sectors. 04-05 December

Spotlight on Offsite

NEC, Birmingham

www.offsitehub.co.uk/spotlight-on-offsite

Spotlight on Offsite brings together distinguished speakers from a broad spectrum of pioneering organisations representing clients, construction professionals and suppliers. Speakers will draw on their commercial experience and technical knowledge on offsite construction, using real life case studies to showcase key issues, innovations and technologies at the forefront of this fast moving sector.

Structural Timber Showcase Conference 28 November 2018 Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport In partnership with the Structural Timber Awards, our Structural Timber Showcase half-day conference will shine a spotlight on the ‘best of the best’ in structural timber featuring a stellar speaker line up of the 2018 Structural Timber award winners. Our audience will have the opportunity to hear direct from the teams who helped to deliver these outstanding projects that demonstrate the very best in innovation, diversity and best practice across a range of sectors.

Who should attend? This event is aimed predominantly at: Members, Housebuilders, Contractors, Social Housing Providers, Clients, Architects and Engineers

Book Tickets cost just £50 to attend (FOC to STA members) To book, go to: www.structuraltimber.co.uk/events/book?eventid=276

Exhibition and Sponsorship Opportunities

For more information please contact Bob Davis at bob.davis@structuraltimber.co.uk

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Network with over 600 business leaders and high proямБle decision makers

SOCIAL HOUSING PROJECT OF THE YEAR

PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARD

PRIVATE HOUSING PROJECT OF THE YEAR

CLIENT OF THE YEAR

EDUCATION PROJECT OF THE YEAR

COMMERCIAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR

RETAIL & LEISURE PROJECT OF THE YEAR

LOW ENERGY PROJECT OF THE YEAR

CUSTOM & SELF BUILD PROJECT OF THE YEAR

INSTALLER OF THE YEAR

ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR

CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR

ENGINEER OF THE YEAR

PROJECT OF THE YEAR

PIONEER OF THE YEAR

PROJECT MANAGER OF THE YEAR

EVENT DATE 10.10.2018 National Conference Centre, Birmingham

To book your tickets, visit:


Imagine what a tree can do

Building concepts based on CLT and LVL are a new way of building with wood, balancing today's needs with the needs of future generations. We offer a structured approach to your dreams and ambitions. Find out more: www.storaenso.com/woodproducts Proud sponsor of the Architect of the Year Award – Structural Timber Awards 2018

Structural Timber Magazine Issue 16 (Summer)  

The latest in structural timber building design and technologies.

Structural Timber Magazine Issue 16 (Summer)  

The latest in structural timber building design and technologies.