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Structural Timber

AUTUMN 2016 | £4.95


Design Technology Sustainability Interviews News Analysis Case Studies

The latest in structural timber building design and technologies





DfMA Plan of Work Overlay

Structural Timber Awards 2016

Timber Trades for the 21st Century

Harnessing offsite manufacture and mass-production

This year’s shortlisted projects in pictures

The BWF and new apprenticeships in architectural joinery

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WELCOME TO Two major events in the timber calendar will be on the verge of happening as you read this. Timber Expo will open its doors for 2016 and the Structural Timber Awards will showcase cutting edge timber technology and construction solutions.


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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: 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.

Mapped out further in the magazine are a few details on Timber Expo plus a visual review of the shortlisted entries for this year’s Awards. The judges deliberated for some time before picking out the best entries from a large and diverse group of projects and people. The winners will be announced in due course at the gala dinner on 19 October at the Birmingham NEC. An exciting development in recent weeks has been the new Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) RIBA Plan of Work Overlay document. Championed by the Offsite Management School, it clearly explains how a project design team can contribute more to driving the radical improvements in productivity that the construction industry’s future undoubtedly depends on. You can read more on page 30. Key technical content in this issue centres on the building envelope. Although Passivhaus has been on the fringes of the construction industry since the early 1990s, it is increasingly being adopted as an energy efficient – and in many ways

health driven – way to build. Kingspan Timber Solution’s Ian Loughnane explains why this is now considered the ultimate in building performance. We also have industry comment on how to build windtight and how to address moisture resistance, airtightness and thermal insulation for timber-framed buildings. Finally, the construction sector’s endless chronic shortage of skills and pipeline of future professional experts has seemingly no end. Whilst the industry can do a lot to ease the problem, Westminster needs to be mindful of not undermining decades of good work already done in the joinery and timber sectors. With imminent changes to apprenticeship funding due soon, Iain McIlwee, Chief Executive of the British Woodworking Federation has more to say on this thorny topic. As ever, many thanks to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters. Enjoy... Gary Ramsay | Consultant Editor E:


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THIS ISSUE... P6 | COVER STORY - SPSenvirowall RendaClad is a unique board and silicone render system being used across the UK to cut build times, save money and create more sustainable homes. We investigate one example of its use at Trelawny Gardens, where it is helping promote modern, faster and more sustainable buildings.

P8 | STA SHINES DURING SUMMER STORM Nic Clark, Technical Committee Chair at the Structural Timber Association (STA), reflects on a productive summer for the structural timber sector and looks forward to a busy autumn period for both the industry and the Association.

P36 | THE NEW FUTURE With the foundations laid, building future growth is the next step for Wood for Good, the timber industry’s sustainability campaign. Campaign Director, Christiane Lellig, explains more about recent successes and next steps for 2017.

P50 | TIMBERCHAP A CAVITY TO FILL? OR JUST A GAP TO BRIDGE? The cavity wall external leaf has entered in the mythical world of best practice. What does it do apart from cause no end of technical challenges? Our resident timber expert gets to grips with a key element of the building envelope. P52 | PASSIVHAUS – IS IT DESIRABLE: IS IT AFFORDABLE? Business Unit Director for Kingspan Timber Solutions, Ian Loughnane, shares his perspective on the merits of high performance building envelopes and the company’s experience of building low energy homes.

P40 | TIMBER EXPO 2016 As an integral part of UK Construction Week, Timber Expo will soon be taking place once again. It’s not too late to register and take part in the UK’s only dedicated event for the timber industry.

P54 | WINDTIGHTNESS: THE MISSING LINK IN THERMAL PERFORMANCE Fintan Wallace from Ecological Building Systems discusses the importance of windtightness in ensuring the building envelope delivers its designed thermal performance while avoiding the risk of trapped moisture.

P30 | DFMA & RIBA The Offsite Management School, in collaboration with RIBA, has developed the Plan of Work design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) Overlay to help change the mindset of designers and to facilitate greater uptake of offsite manufacturing.

P42 | STRUCTURAL TIMBER AWARDS 2016 With nearly 250 projects entered, the judges have made their decisions and you can now see the shortlist across 15 specialist categories. The winners will be announced on 19 October during UK Construction Week at the National Conference Centre (formerly known as the National Motorcycle Museum).

P56 | TIMBER TRADES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY Central to the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) manifesto and action plan for 2016/17 is a determination to finalise and launch the new apprenticeship in architectural joinery. Iain McIlwee, Chief Executive of the BWF reveals why this is so important as part of a UK-wide change in apprenticeships.

P34 | RAISING INDUSTRY STANDARDS As a new member assurance and accreditation scheme is unveiled, Bob Davis, Membership and Quality Manager of the Structural Timber Association (STA) discusses the benefits of company accreditations and raising industry standards.

P48 | COLLABORATE & DELIVER Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA) reports on the outcomes from the STA Scottish Regional Conference and how the structural timber sector plans to help deliver 50,000 affordable homes.

P58 | AVOIDING THE RECRUITMENT PITFALLS Jim Roach, Managing Director of specialist recruiter ARV Solutions, lists five things that will make your recruitment process easier and help place the right candidate in the right post.

P10 | UK & OVERSEAS NEWS A quick round-up of some recent news stories from the timber and construction sectors that you may have missed including the latest FM Housebuilder’s Survey, a new Wood Protection Manual and a stylish timber-based Passivhaus home in Manchester.


The NEW Offsite Yearbook – due out in March 2017 – not only brings news, feature articles, company announcements and industry awards into one document but it also focuses on the challenges the industry faces, the opportunity for growth and features new technology innovations coming into the market.

To request a copy of the yearbook or to feature your products and services, contact us today on 01743 290001 or email


SPSenvirowall’s RendaClad Promotes Modern, Faster, Greener Builds This unique board and silicone render system is being used across the UK to cut build times, save money and create more sustainable homes. One example is the Trelawny Gardens scheme, where RendaClad is helping revolutionise the timber construction industry and challenge out-dated procurement processes and designs.

Based in Plymouth, the new Trelawny Gardens housing scheme has breathed new life into the former South Trelawny School site, creating much-needed, vibrant, energy efficient, affordable housing for rent and shared ownership in the North Prospect area of Plymouth. Welcomed by the local community as one of the area’s most important regeneration projects, it is also a development that has challenged every tradition in the building industry from procurement and design, through to materials and construction methods.

The development’s success lies in its collaborative and innovative approach. From the start, principal contractor Galliford Try and architects ADG Architects in Plymouth, had a vision to use traditional timber frame construction in Trelawny Gardens to reduce the need for expensive and unsustainable brickwork and to provide an energy efficient, modern housing scheme. Teaming up with leading external wall insulation and render supplier SPSenvirowall, the development was transformed using RendaClad, the unique board and silicone render system developed by SPSenvirowall. SPS’ technical team, TechAssist, worked closely with ADG Architects to provide a full set of sectional details and NBS specification to help integrate RendaClad into the original contract drawings to deliver maximum savings to the scheme.

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The innovative materials and technology in SPSenvirowall’s RendaClad system ensured the 47 new homes boasted reduced heat loss and carbon emissions as well as minimising running costs. It allowed a seamless, high-performance rainscreen render on the scheme’s timber structures, replacing the need to build a brick structure finished with stone, cement or brick rendering. The system offered huge cost savings to the client, Devon and Cornwall Housing, including reduced maintenance and running costs, which was a crucial feature of the contract. RendaClad’s fully-ventilated system retains air movement behind the render system in accordance with NHBC and TRADA guidelines. The silicone render is self-cleaning and highly resistant to dirt and algae, providing a low maintenance finish. It is guaranteed not to crack and is designed to accommodate the expected settlement of new timber frame builds. It also removed the need for scaffold adaptions and extra staff, delivering a further cost savings to the scheme.


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The system also dramatically reduced build time, as there are no height restrictions per day as with a traditional block and brick finish. It can be fitted in any weather, allowing the scheme to be delivered ahead of schedule, providing early tenancy for those in need and providing Devon and Cornwall Housing with greater income than budgeted. “One of the industry’s biggest challenges at the moment is contract procurement,” says Paul Winwood, Managing Director of SPSenvirowall. “Competitive tendering has seen the industry look to ‘value engineer’ which often leads to removing quality for cost which is not a compromise that should be made. Encouragingly, Devon and Cornwall Housing has a more open method of procurement. We teamed up with Galliford Try and C&P Plastering, our recommended installer in Plymouth, to tackle this contract with a collaborative working approach using a modern build method and new technologies.

“This open book method of procurement helped us mitigate any unnecessary costs through the tendering period and allowed us more time to spent focusing on the technical aspects of the contract. The whole process was streamlined to save time and costs. RendaClad has been tried and tested by independent surveyors, is BBA approved and has proved to be more cost-effective than traditional methods of masonry construction with a rendered finish, when you take a holistic look at the scheme. It is lightweight, durable, strong, fully-tested and accredited and low maintenance – features that helped us to deliver the entire contract ahead of schedule and well within budget.” Trelawny Gardens was designed with energy efficiency at its core, aiming to reduce heat loss, carbon emissions and minimise running costs. Galliford Try was committed to a 10% reduction of CO2, following a conditional requirement by Plymouth Local Authority Planning. Working with BREEAM consultants, the technical team delivered a development that

encouraged the use of renewable energies, not only for the end user and completed build, but also for the duration of the build process. The installation of fully insulated cabins and the reuse of surface water collections helped to reduce CO2 emissions during the build. The site also included dwellings designed with photovoltaic technology to reduce the CO2 emissions over the lifespan of the buildings.

The enhanced thermal technologies adopted in the timber frame building, together with an airtightness strategy, made these houses energy efficient and low-cost to run.

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STA Shines During Summer Storm Nic Clark, Technical Committee Chair at the Structural Timber Association (STA), reflects on a productive summer for the structural timber sector and looks forward to busy autumn period for both the industry and the Association.

This summer was characterised by political upheaval that witnessed events such as the BREXIT referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron stepping down and a Government reshuffle, creating uncertainty in the construction industry. Despite this, the structural timber sector, and the STA in particular, have enjoyed a productive period, taking steps to safeguard its political influence and building ties with international timber associations. Governmental interaction is an important facet of the STA’s work for its members and its holistic strategy of promoting structural timber and shaping any future policy that may affect the association, its members and the sector as a whole. This is especially pertinent in times of political uncertainty. Thus, the STA is ensuring it is well placed to give voice to members and affect positive change for the industry across the UK’s political spectrum. As such, the announcement of a new housing and planning minister is of great importance, especially given the current housing and industry-wide skills shortage. Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central has been given the responsibility of housing and planning in England. As the leading trade association within the structural timber sector, the STA will be looking to reach out to Mr Barwell: offering expert advice to ensure the structural timber sector and construction industry move forward under his office.

Furthermore, in July, senior STA members attended a meeting with the new Scottish Government Local Government & Housing MSP, Kevin Stewart. At this meeting, discussions took place as to how the STA could assist in the building of 50,000 houses in Scotland within the lifetime of the present Parliament and a follow-up meeting is scheduled involving the MSP and prominent housing groups and associations. The structural timber sector within the UK is a highly skilled and professional sector, encompassing countless dedicated and passionate companies and individuals. However, it is always interesting, and sometimes insightful, to cast an eye further afield and witness trends within the international timber industry. For example, there is a growing trend among architects worldwide to incorporate timber in major construction projects. The strength and stability of pre-fabricated and engineered timber is enabling architects to conceptualise the prospect of timber skyscrapers dotting major cities’ urban skylines in the near future. In Paris, Canadian architect Michael Green has been commissioned to deliver the tallest timber-supported tower in the world – a 35-storey skyscraper and plans are already afoot for the erection of other major timber residential and commercial buildings in Bordeaux and Bergen, Norway.

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In keeping with motif of monitoring international timber trends, in August, the STA met with Boris Iskra of the Forest & Wood Products Australia Limited. This provided an interesting opportunity to share knowledge and best practice across two countries (and continents) and has resulted in an agreement to share each other’s technical library. Developing and solidifying collaborative links with international organisations, which align with the long-term goals of the UK’s sector, can only increase the influence, presence and credibility of structural timber from both a domestic and international perspective. This summer period, the structural timber industry has showcased its fortitude, resilience and innovation, mirroring the very characteristics of the build material it manufactures, supplies, designs and erects. The STA is entering the Autumn period in a positive manner, having recently reached the milestone of 400 members, and will continue to steadfastly work to grow the structural timber market share and promote the interests of its members and the wider structural timber sector. Nic Clark, Technical Committee Chair Structural Timber Association and Managing Director KLH UK E:

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Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS) has provided the structural timber solutions for a £3.6 million school development in Swindon alongside architect Cullinan Studio. Holy Cross Primary School is a two-form, single-storey school which was manufactured offsite, taking only three weeks to erect and 43 weeks to complete thanks to the fast build time afforded by offsite construction and timber systems. SMTS was selected by Cullinan Studio to help reach a trio of project objectives – a fast build time, high levels of energy efficiency and scope for adaptability. Cost efficiency was another fundamental goal for the project, as it responded to the budget requirements of the education sector. The main design principle was an openplan look to enhance creativity and collaboration between pupils and teachers.

Priority was also placed on ensuring the building increased circulation and flow around the school. To achieve this, Cullinan Studio designed a wide corridor running through the school like a spine, with identical classroom clusters forming at either side. The Stewart Milne design team took that design and developed it for manufacture, meeting all the architects’ objectives and exact specifications in a factory quality environment. The main requirement for this project was that several timber system units could be exactly replicated, ready to erect onsite to form the identical teaching spaces. Energy performance, another fundamental factor, was built in to the fabric of the school with low-weight, carbon-sequestered timber used to maximise the efficiency of the building. The project remained cost efficient with the use of offsite construction, cutting material and labour costs overall.

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The building was weathertight in just three weeks, meaning follow-on trades had access more quickly in comparison to a traditional build programme. Alex Goodfellow, Group Managing Director at Stewart Milne Timber Systems, said: “Our work for this project clearly demonstrates the adaptability and design potential timber systems can offer to clients. The new Holy Cross Primary School building will be costeffective and will close the gap between architect design and as-built performance, to provide a high-quality environment for classroom learning. Not only were timber systems able to help Cullinan Studio achieve the desired open-plan, light-filled and creative look, they also allowed for the project to be built quickly – on time and on budget.” SOURCE:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Timber Roof for Cork Prison Visitors Centre

walls comprised of 277 trusses (some with max overall spans exceeding 18m) and 107 infill pieces. The timber structure was designed and detailed using the GN Roof and Truss software. ITW Construction Product’s expertise was called upon for both the design of the trusses and wind girders by the Gang-Nail technical support team and for the fastening of the girders to concrete walls by their SPIT fixing experts.

Cork Roof Truss Company Ltd has supplied a timber trussed rafter roof complete with wind girders and necessary concrete fixings for the Visitor Centre at the new Cork Prison – part of a €42m project to replace the Victorian prison facilities in the area. Originally designed as a steel portal roof, contractors PJ Hegarty were keen to investigate the use of timber as an alternative.

Brian Humphries, Cork Roof Truss Company’s Managing Director said: “These are the largest roof trusses we have made and presented their own unique set of problems from a manufacturing and transport perspective. Whilst we were making the necessary changes to our manufacturing process in order to accommodate these trusses the Gang-Nail office liaised closely with Punch Consulting, the consulting engineers, resolving the technicalities of the wind girder to masonry fixings.”

The irregularly pitched, rectangular hipped roof supported on prefabricated concrete

Paul Baron of the Gang-Nail team added: “The length of the wind girders meant they required fixing to intermediate masonry walls. The problem we had to overcome was to place sufficient anchors to resist the horizontal forces within a fairly small area whilst maintaining the minimum bolt spacing requirements for both timber and masonry. We did this by using larger diameter anchors for which there was no test data for the particular density of block used on site. We extrapolated test data from similar smaller diameter fixings and agreed values with the consulting engineer.” Construction of the new medium-security prison began in Feb 2014 and opened fully in February 2016. The modern facility holds up to 275 adult male prisoners in better conditions, with energy costs estimated to be 85% of the old prison.


PASSIVHAUS FOR MANCHESTER RESIDENTS of the structure. The firm worked closely with highly experienced Kingspan TEK® Delivery Partners, Point1 Building Systems to achieve an extraordinarily energy efficient design.

A stylish Passivhaus home in South Manchester has achieved exceptional levels of airtightness through a combination of careful detailing and a high performance structure, provided by the Kingspan TEK® Building System. Steve and Mel Howarth hired certified Passivhaus designers, PHI Architects, to create their dream home. After considerable research, PHI selected the Kingspan TEK® Building System to form the walls and roof

Architect, Sara Darwin, said: “Steve and Mel specified a structural insulated panel (SIP) construction in their initial brief as they were keen to utilise the benefits of offsite fabrication. The Kingspan TEK® Building System scored highly on thermal efficiency as the core insulation material has a lower thermal conductivity than other products. As a result, wall thicknesses could be minimised which was critical given the relatively tight plot. “Minimising air leakage was also essential as it allowed us to incorporate design elements, such as an L- shaped living space, which added extra external surface

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area to the home. A good airtightness result can reduce energy consumption by 1 kwh/m2/a which can make all the difference between a pass and fail. Point1 Building Systems were responsible for achieving the interface detailing we designed. They were very confident that we would meet the air-leakage requirement as the panels are inherently airtight. With the added membranes and tapes they installed, we were able to achieve an outstanding test result of 0.45 air change per hour @ 50 pa. “In addition to the high performance fabric, the Kingspan TEK® Building System also allowed us to design the first floor rooms with open ‘vaulted’ ceilings. The tall ceilings create a feeling of space and light and the overall daylight qualities in the house are excellent.” SOURCE:


Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference 2016, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced a £3 billion Home Builders Fund that is set to kick-start UK housebuilding and support SMEs, custom builders and developers.

Javid has set the target of building one million new homes by 2020 with a focus on SMEs, modular housebuilding and regenerating brownfield sites. The Government will launch a white paper later in the year with further ‘significant measures’. Javid said: “Ultimately we have a responsibility to build more houses – a responsibility not just to our constituents but to the next generation. It is for that reason that we are going to take some unprecedented steps to open up the market. We are opening up a massive £3 billion Home Builders Fund. It will also help us get more SMEs building, it will encourage custom builders and it will allow developers to build the infrastructure that is needed to support new housing.”

He also announced an initiative called ‘accelerated construction on public land’ will be piloted and will see the Government partner with contractors and investors to speed up housebuilding. Javid added: “We will take Government-owned land and we will partner with contractors and investors to speed up housebuilding. We will create new supply chains using things like offsite construction and we will encourage new models of building to make houses that people want more cheaply and at pace.” The intention is to use builders who work more quickly, with the announcement saying traditional construction firms currently “take too long to build houses.” SOURCE:


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UK INDUSTRY NEWS £6 Million Development for Scottish Students

Students in Inverness will soon be able to enjoy greater accommodation options following completion of 150 new bedrooms in the city. The University of the Highlands and Islands opened the new student residences on Inverness Campus recently with students moving in for the start of the new academic year. Built at the new Beechwood Campus by Robertson Construction, work on the new flats only started in September, with pre-fabricated timber frames provided by Robertson Timber Engineering allowing the development time to be accelerated despite sustained poor weather over the construction period. Mike Turner, Managing Director of Robertson Timber Engineering, added: “By using fully insulated timber frames, complete with floor cassettes manufactured offsite, the project team has been able to maintain progress throughout the difficult weather conditions and quickly get to a stage where the flats are resistant to the weather.” Accommodation is split between single rooms with private cooking facilities and studio rooms with shared kitchens. Specialist developer, Cityheart, is the developer and operator of the university’s new residences. SOURCE:


Two thirds of SME housebuilders are struggling to identify land for development, according to new research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). For the second year in a row, the FMB’s annual House Builders’ Survey has shown a lack of available and viable land as the biggest barrier to SMEs delivering more new homes. Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The biggest challenge facing SME housebuilders is the planning process. Councils need to find a way of allocating and granting planning permission for more small sites. The current focus on large sites is squeezing out smaller developers, which is reducing competition in the housing market at a time when we need more, not less, choice. The limited supply of opportunities for small scale development is one of a number of key structural constraints that has seen the number of homes built by SMEs decline from around two thirds in the late 1980s to less than a quarter today.” “It is absurd that the planning system treats a 300 home application in largely the same way it treats a three home application. While the Government has attempted to remove red tape in its drive to increase

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the number of homes being built, it would appear that its reforms have yet to make a difference. 95% of SME house builders report that the information demands being placed on them during the planning application process have either increased or remain as bad as they were before. Our survey shows that the primary cause of unnecessary delays is the planning process, with the under-resourcing of planning departments being the most important concern.” “SME housebuilders must be seen as a key component of the Government’s housing strategy. This means a renewed focus on granting planning permission to small sites. At the same time, the Government needs to press ahead with its proposed planning reforms, including a presumption in favour of small scale development. Planning departments also need to be adequately resourced so that they have the capacity to engage more closely with SME house builders and ensure planning applications are processed through the system as speedily and efficiently as they can be.” The FMB House Builders’ Survey 2016 is available here:

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS OUSEBURN FARM SEEKS VOLUNTEERS TO CONSTRUCT PROTOHOME Ouseburn Farm in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne is calling on volunteers to help them construct a Protohome, which has been donated to the farm. The 30-foot timber frame structure was dismantled from its previous location at nearby Stepney Bank Stables car park. Protohome is a self-build housing project created by members of Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people. The timber frame self-build housing prototype was developed by a group of individuals who have experienced homelessness using a method of building specifically designed for untrained self-builders. The aim was not to create a full housing model with services but a shell structure that offered a vision of how this could be developed into working housing in the future.

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New Timber Homebuilder Unveiled A new name in homebuilding in Shropshire and Mid-Wales has been launched with a flagship 173-home development in Shrewsbury. Sweetlake Meadow has recently begun construction of its initial phase, with the first homes expected to be occupied by early 2017. The site is the first venture by SJ Roberts Homes, which has been founded on the 30-year pedigree of its parent company, SJR Group – an already established name in contract construction and timber frame engineering with an annual turnover of £20m, which has its headquarters on the Shropshire/Powys border near Welshpool. The 173 new homes will be built to high energy efficiency standards and make use of timber construction methods, using products engineered by SJR Group company, Lowfield Timber Frames.

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Ouseburn Farm will use the Protohome to look after vulnerable adults in the winter and outdoor classrooms for visiting schools in the summer. The construction of the Protohome is being project managed by Karl Henderson who also volunteers his time at the farm at weekends. He said: “The structure will be constructed underneath one of the arches of the bridge next to the farm. This will be a great new resource for the farm and I hope many people will come forward and volunteer their time to help us rebuild it.”

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Shropshire and Mid-Wales supply chains will be a key part of SJ Roberts Homes’ approach to projects, making use of both its standing workforce and local contractors and support services, including civil engineers, architects, PR and marketing. It will also bolster an already active apprenticeship programme promoted by SJR Group across its companies which has seen a string of young people develop long term skilled careers in the industry – and for which it is currently recruiting. Michael Sambrook of SJ Roberts Homes and Managing Director or SJ Roberts Construction said: “This is a very exciting venture for us. We have a long history of building homes as a main contractor, including some very large projects, so it is a logical step to design and deliver our own developments from start to finish. In the process we will be enhancing job security for our existing loyal workforce, creating jobs, generating work for local suppliers and creating the kind of homes we know people will love to live in.” SOURCE:

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MORE RECYCLING REAPING REWARDS The UK wood recycling sector is recycling an ever increasing proportion of wood waste and moving towards a situation where all wood ‘waste’ is becoming a ‘resource’, according to TRADA’s latest Wood Information Sheet (WIS) ‘Recovering and Minimising Wood Waste’. Waste Resources & Action Programme (WRAP) previously estimated that the UK generates a little over four million tonnes of wood waste each year. However, the latest DEFRA estimates, from their UK Statistics on Waste report dated December 2015, are now much lower at 2.3 million tonnes for 2012. Market statistics from the Wood Recyclers’ Association indicate that of UK wood recycled in 2013, 35% was recovered for chipboard manufacture, while 44% was exploited as biomass, with the remainder finding applications in the home market for animal bedding, horticultural products and surfacing materials. According to the Environment Agency Waste Interrogator data for 2014, only 22,500 tonnes of wood waste was accepted at landfill in England, which is just over 1% of the 1.8 million tonnes of wood waste estimated to have been generated in England. Over half of this was from the municipal waste sector. This low landfill figure backs up the assumption that most wood waste is sent for dedicated biomass or refuse-derived fuel energy production. The Wood Recyclers’ Association has developed a grading system that provides a simple and common understanding of the quality of wood that are suitable for various reuses. Meanwhile, the waste hierarchy, which ranks prevention as the ideal and disposal as the least desired outcome, is now embodied in Waste (England and Wales) Regulations and governs how all those involved with waste must behave.

“With much of the waste timber produced being used for biomass, panel board production and surfacing, it has long been suspected that the previous timber landfill figures were out of date,” said Charlie Law, Managing Director of Sustainable Construction Solutions Ltd and TRADA board member. “It is great to see that TRADA have confirmed this in their latest WIS, using data from the EA which estimates that the percentage of waste timber going to landfill is now only around 1%.” SOURCE:

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DEP END ON s t r uc t u : ra v a p o u r l s t re ng t h t igh t ne ss a i r t igh t ne s s c e rt ific at i te ch n ic o n al s us t a i n s u pp o rt a bi li t y



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The Wood Protection Association (WPA) has announced publication of a new edition of its manual dealing with the fire protection of wood and wood based panel products. Verification of quality, fitness for purpose and declarations of performance are vital when specifying flame retardant protection for wood. The new WPA manual helps designers get to grips with the big specification issues and avoid the consequences of getting it wrong. The WPA manual provides architects, developers, project engineers and building control officer’s essential guidance about the flame retardant treatment of wood and wood based panel products. It will also be of value to timber merchants seeking to source flame retardant treated materials. This 35-page specification manual provides generic guidance about all aspects of flame retardant treatments for wood used in different environments from dry interiors, to humid and exposed external applications. Model specification clauses are included along with the long established WPA commodity code specification system which is widely used in the construction industry. The manual is focused exclusively on quality assured products with verifiable fire test and performance criteria that provide

long term service life. In addition, products and processors certificated under the WPA’s Benchmark FR quality scheme are listed. All of the treatments and treated materials described are commercially available and technically proven. A feature of the manual is a six-point Specification Check-list to help specifiers avoid the consequences of choosing an inappropriate or unproven flame retardant product. WPA director Steve Young said: “The introduction of Euro classes and new European Standards make it essential that specifiers check that appropriate fire performance certificates are in place for the FR treatment. The WPA is extremely concerned that some specifiers may be being misled into assuming a ‘one-size fits all’ approach is applicable to fire certificates. Specifiers need to be 100% sure that the scope of the fire certificate/ classification report quoted by the FR supplier extends to their application if there is any difference in the species size and installation design between the certificate and that which they want to use.” The WPA Flame Retardant Specification Manual costs £45 and is published in electronic format. It is available at:

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DTE Steps Up H&S With SafeWell Donaldson Timber Engineering Ltd (DTE) has increased its health and safety offering with the launch of SafeWell, a new reusable and adjustable timber stairwell protection kit. Following the success of DTE’s award-winning health and safety product, SafeStep, SafeWell was designed by DTE to remove the risk of working at height when using first and/or second floor joists as a platform during the build process. Suitable for use on all standard house types with a straight flight of stairs, the patentpending SafeWell is a cost-effective solution providing safety for workers and added value for the builder. Unlike the disposable stairwell protection kits currently on the market, SafeWell can be used multiple times – making it less expensive per use and reducing the cost of waste disposal on site. As the main beam and components can be used 10 times, the cost saving per development is substantial. Based on a 50 plot scheme, SafeWell saves builders more than £1,000 on materials, as well as 1.5 tonnes of waste on site. SafeWell is created by fixing a main beam to the flooring system with hangers and extending a notched Kerto beam across the required length of the stairwell. Supporting beams are positioned within the well to line through with the flooring system beams, allowing for various covers, including chipboard, to be used. Jonathan Fellingham, Managing Director of DTE, said: “More than half of all fatal injuries in the construction industry are a result of falls from height. Experience has proven that simple solutions are often the best, so we took a commonly used product and made it more economical using straightforward timber innovation.” SOURCE:

NEWS IN BRIEF New Face at SCA Timber Supply SCA Timber Supply has appointed Bruce McKay as Supply Chain and Procurement Director. He replaces the current Director, John Lloyd, who leaves SCA at the end of December. Bruce McKay has extensive knowledge within the timber and wood panel sector, having been employed at Kronospan for 13 years. Binderholz Focus on UK Market Austria-based timber group Binderholz is positioning itself to make greater in-roads in the UK’s sawn and planed softwood market following the formation of a new UK division. Binderholz has been known in the UK mainly for selling its glulam and cross-laminated timber. The newly-registered Binderholz UK has already joined the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) and London Softwood Club. Indonesia Confirms FLEGT License The European Union and Indonesia has confirmed that a new timber licence will come into effect later this year in an effort to combat illegal logging and associated illegal timber trade. The FLEGT license, which meets the due diligence requirements of the EU Timber Regulation, will come into force from 15 November 2016 and will see Indonesia as the first country to begin exporting FLEGT-licensed timber products to the EU. Arch Timber Protection Rebrands as Lonza Arch Timber Protection is to rebrand as Lonza from the autumn but the business is keen to say its core focus won’t be changing. The timber protection business has been part of Lonza since the acquisition of Arch Chemicals in 2011, but as part of this global alignment process the Arch Timber Protection business will now take on the full Lonza business identity.

CTI Manifesto Launch The Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) will be holding a drinks reception at Timber Expo where it will launch a new trio of manifesto documents. Co-hosted with the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), Structural Timber Association (STA) and Timber Trade Federation (TTF) the documents will cover key topics: Skills – document presented by Iain McIlwee, BWF: Sustainability – document presented by Dave Hopkins, TTF and Value & Growth – document presented by the STA’s Andrew Carpenter. Please confirm your place by booking at:

OVERSEAS NEWS Norway Europe’s Largest CLT Structure Complete

Trondheim’s latest student accommodation, is set to become Europe’s largest cross laminated timber (CLT) structure. With construction now drawing to a close, this new student village is expected to reach completion in December 2016. The sleek and stylish development also has a sustainable Kebony façade and will comprise five blocks housing up to 632 students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The vision for this student village is not only to provide simple and affordable housing, but also to make everyday life easier for students to allow greater focus on their studies. With a strong environmental and community focus, Moholt 50|50 is intended to be a valuable addition to the area which will benefit the local community, rather than being simply an extension of the university’s existing accommodation. This project aims to demonstrate that good architecture can create a sense of place

and of belonging, irrespective of such a high turnover in tenants. The main structure of the accommodation is built using cross laminated timber, a relatively new product which is increasingly popular within the building industry. Throughout the development process there has been a significant emphasis on promoting environmental construction. As a result, MDH Arkitekter chose to use Kebony wood as the main building material for the façade, offering a sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood, cement and brick. Norway has a long tradition of building with wood and Kebony’s environmental attributes perfectly complement this sustainable design. Dagfinn Sagen, MDH Arkitekter commented: “This is an incredibly ambitious project, and once completed it will be the largest cross laminated timber (CLT) construction project in Europe. We chose Kebony for the build

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as it requires no treatment throughout its whole life cycle, and is the perfect choice when you need a cladding material that is maintenance free. Over time, it also naturally develops an attractive silver grey patina, an aesthetic that we believe really works for this project.” Mette Valen, Sales Manager at Kebony added: “The project team working on Moholt 50|50 have done an incredible job, creating a large and striking building in the midst of a built up residential area. We were really pleased to see that they placed such importance on environmental values, and we hope that the size of the build will show others that even large scale projects can place sustainability as a key focus.” SOURCE:



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OVERSEAS NEWS Australia XLam Announces First Australian CLT Plant

India Sculptural Timber Arcade for Mumbai Restaurant

Australia’s first cross laminated timber (CLT) manufacturing plant will be built by New Zealand firm XLam in the Albury Wodonga region of Victoria. Representing a $25 (AUS) million investment and creating 54 local jobs, the high-tech timber facility will produce 60,000m3 of CLT each year.

XLam has been producing CLT in New Zealand for five years and shipping it to Australia, in competition with European importers. XLam has been assessing possible Australian sites for the facility over the last year, and has now selected the Albury Wodonga region, with a final site to be announced in the coming weeks. Operational by mid-2017, the new facility will be the sole manufacturer of CLT in Australia, and one of the most technologically advanced CLT plants worldwide. XLam CEO Gary Caulfield said: “For the first time Australian builders will be able to choose a CLT product that is designed and made in Australia from Australian timber, meeting a significant demand in the current market. It’ll also mean the jobs and proceeds stay in Australia, rather than going back to Europe.” SOURCE:

The ‘CRAFT’ project – a restaurant based inside the Phoenix Market city mall in Mumbai – has used timber to stunning effect. Designed by architects Sameep Padora and Associates (sP+a) the sculptural feature was assembled by stacking and rotating horizontal timber panels around a pivot point. The result sees an: “organic and fluid ‘fanning’ effect” that acts as a focal point inside the restaurant.

The warmth of the timber and the intimate scale of the booths is offset by the service bar, kitchen and alfresco dining space. The architects decided to develop a dynamic wood arcade that simultaneously serves as the façade and the seating booths inside the restaurant. IMAGE: © Kunal Bhatia SOURCE:

Canada World’s Tallest CLT Building Tops Out to Spring 2017, thereby saving nearly six month’s construction time. The final panel of the University of British Columbia student housing structure was lifted and installed earlier this month.

In Vancouver, the towering Brock Commons has just had its final panel installed making the dream of the world’s tallest timber building a reality. In just 66 days – ahead of the original scheduled timeframe – the exterior of the Acton Ostry Architects’ record-breaking design has come to fruition, which could possibly improve the projected Autumn 2017 completion date

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John Metras, Managing Director of UBC Infrastructure, stated, “Construction just went really smoothly. It was well designed and the construction sequence went smoothly.” Construction began last November, followed by the erection of the building’s freestanding concrete cores earlier this year. The structure is a hybrid system comprised of CLT floor slabs, glulam columns, steel connectors and concrete cores. When completed in 2017 Brock Commons will stand 53 metres tall. SOURCE:

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LP ® SOLIDSTART® LSL PILOT SCHEME BREAKS THE BARRIER IN MASS TIMBER CONSTRUCTION Louisiana Pacific is using advanced laminated strand technology to bring new innovative building methods to the market to further promote the use of mass timber building systems alongside cross laminated timber (CLT) and Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL).

taken into consideration. Challenges posed by these elements and the opportunity to create a ‘first of its kind’ structure made primarily from screw-laminated LSL was very appealing to both the engineer, the contractor and the owner.

01 Louisiana Pacific, Vertika Structural Engineers, and General Contractor Bill Hughes, Inc. collaborated on the design and construction of a 3,065m2 threestorey multi-use facility near Houston incorporating one of the first uses of LP® SolidStart® Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) to create mass timber panels. The building is comprised of an office, high bay garage, commercial kitchen, dance hall with stage, billiard room, and a two lane bowling alley. The engineer, Thomas A. Bellace, P.E. wanted to explore the possibilities of using LSL in this pilot project as a prototype for a larger multi-family ‘mass timber’ building. He selected the LP® LSL products for the project, explaining that their strength and rigidity would be valuable during frequent Houston hurricanes. The potential for vibration from the dance floor along with the high occupant loading were other factors. The owner’s plan to hang an A4 Skyhawk from the garage ceiling also needed to be

Floor planks and wall panels were comprised of two-plies of 89mm thick (178mm) x 1220mm, the longest being 9.5m. Floor panels were two-span with the longest clear span at 5.6m. The grade of LP® SolidStart® LSL was 1.55E which comes in at 736kg/m3. First floor wall height was 5.5m and the second floor walls reached 9.5m. Floor planks were offset in a shiplap configuration and wall panels were lapped vertically to provide a lap joint for the wall sections and a ledge for the floor panels. Wall panel edges were fastened with flat steel plates. Spandrel panels were used over doors and windows. The roof was field framed with LSL joists and beams. All planks and panels were pre-cut and assembled offsite. Floors were connected with SFS Intec screws at 45° and walls used Fasten Master HeadLok® screws installed at 90°. 518m of LSL was used in the project along with 20,000 mechanical fixings with all connections made using only hand power tools. Interior walls were furred out for electrical and utilities and lined with drywall. The exterior is covered with a moisture barrier, rigid foam and custom sandstone cladding. A single mobile crane was used for all member lifts. 3

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Mr. Bellace summarised the benefits of using LP® SolidStart® LSL vs CLT: • LSL delivered an accelerated construction process • LSL strands are longitudinally oriented providing higher axial compressive capacity and long axis bending • LSL is more structurally efficient than CLT for tall wall projects • LSL does not require a sacrificial outer char layer as may be needed with CLT. • LSL moisture content at 8% vs 12-15% for CLT means less likelihood of shrinkage at junctions thereby minimising the possibility of air and sound transmission. Mr. Bellace stated that it is not often that a project as innovative and groundbreaking as this runs so smoothly and with only six RFIs demanded, he puts the success down to the positive collaboration between all parties concerned. Vertika have two further projects on the books which will see one at five and one at seven storeys, both using LSL mass timber panels. For more information visit: Engineer Thomas A. Bellace, PE General Contractor Bill Hughes, Inc. Erector BIG Enterprises Fabricator FCA Packaging

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© 2016 Louisiana-Pacific Corporation. All rights reserved. PEFC is a trademark of Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. Sustainable Forestry Initiative is a registered trademark of SFI Inc. LP and SolidStart trademarks are owned by Louisiana-Pacific Corporation.


CHANGING THE SHIFT OF BALANCE LITERALLY Summer 2016 saw the launch of the latest innovations from Simpson Strong-Tie aimed at providing racking resistance to timber structures – Steel Strong-Wall and Steel Strong-Portal.

01 Following a recent installation using the Steel Strong-Wall, here’s what Simon Horn, Technical Development Manager for the timber frame provider had to say: “With the demand to build more housing, site densities are increasing in order to achieve the maximum land potential, as well as deliver financial return. Add to this the desire for open plan living to improve comfort standards by enabling the outside to come in, together with the flexibility of design by offering different floor plan arrangements within a core footprint, fully embracing the Custom Build philosophy, and you start to compound the issue of structural stability for what is effectively an open, unrestrained box.

02 Floor plan designs and building footprints are often becoming longer and thinner, as well as taller, so that the necessary internal floor areas are still achieved. But how can you make that open structure stable and resist horizontal forces, or tension from imposed elevational features, at the same time as architecturally providing a spacious environment internally, and all whilst observing commercial, thermal and acoustic performance? Not easy. It needed to be a considered and designed structural option that incorporated the factors required, in one solution, and that is when we proposed the ‘Strong-Wall’. Through the development of the ‘StrongWall’, together with ‘Strong-Wall Portal’, Simpson Strong-Tie has enabled all aspects of the architectural design, to be achieved within the structural design more easily. The product is engineered to provide maximum

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performance, for minimum section and intrusion, being comfortably accommodated within the depth of the external wall panel. Thermal performance is not compromised where the Strong-Wall is located, as due to the profile, insulation can be fitted simply within and around the product. Service distribution through an external wall is not hampered either by use of the Strong-Wall, as here too thought has been applied with pre-formed service access holes included in the engineering of the Strong-Wall, at useable locations vertically and horizontally. With regard to the onsite installation the process was straight forward and completed by two operatives, without the need for specialist lifting equipment as the profile of the Strong-Wall is lightgauge steel and so the overall weight much improved compared to conventional steelwork. The Strong-Walls were erected at the same time as the Soleplates were fitted, ensuring correct location and levelling was all completed for the Strong-Walls, before the Ground Floor Wall Panels commenced.” Engineering Technician, Pemely Payne adds: “What really stood out throughout the project was the support the SST team provided. They listened to our technical requirements and helped us develop solutions that worked for our build system and were on hand to provide technical support throughout our design and engineering phase. They even provided advice on the foundation requirements when we needed to deviate from their technical guidance, which in turn enabled us to support our client and their engineer.” A new Racking Solutions catalogue is available from Simpson Strong-Tie, on request or via download from:

IMAGES: 01. Steel Strong-Wall installation in progress 02. Engineering Technician Pemely Payne (left) and Technical Development Manager Simon Horn (right)


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Integrating an Offsite Mindset The Offsite Management School in collaboration with RIBA, has developed the Plan of Work Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) Overlay to help change the thinking processes of designers and to facilitate a greater uptake of offsite manufacturing.

The new DfMA Plan of Work overlay document has been created to show how the design team can contribute to the process even further and help to drive the radical improvements in productivity that the construction industry so desperately needs.

The global construction industry is worth £5 trillion and demand is growing rapidly. Independent research by KPMG shows that construction productivity has been flat since 1997, while in the UK generally, productivity has risen by 25%. The construction industry is reinventing itself, implementing significant changes in the way that projects are delivered. The government’s 2025 productivity challenges are a core driver of change and the industry has already made progress towards adopting Building Information Modelling (BIM) by harnessing new digital technologies.

Contractors are working with enlightened designers to innovate in many ways, adopting lean thinking and offsite manufacturing processes. The Offsite Management School is helping sub-contractors and their supply-chains to learn new skills, but this needs the support and innovative thinking of design professions to drive further, more radical changes with even greater efficiencies. As well as delivering projects faster, lowering costs and improving quality, the use of DfMA techniques will also result in better operational and in-use outcomes. There is no downside. Buildings need to suit specific uses, users and locations. This presents a potential barrier to harnessing the benefits of offsite manufacture and mass-production – DfMA changes this. It enables the mass-customisation of solutions already used by other industries to become commonplace in the built environment industry. By harnessing new digital design processes and aligning those with offsite manufacturing facilities, new and profoundly different design processes will be generated.

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Over recent years, DfMA has become more widely adopted in a number of sectors, including healthcare and in particular in hotel design. Increasingly, clients, designers, contractors and operators are becoming convinced of the benefits of DfMA and are keen to apply the approach to more complex and bespoke buildings. To be successful, DfMA requires the design team to think differently at the RIBA Plan of Work Stage 2 Concept Design, in particular about the buildability aspects of their designs. DfMA might not impact on a building’s appearance, but if the design is to be suitable for developing for offsite manufacturing during Stage 3 Developed Design and Stage 4 Technical Design, it is essential that DfMA is considered at Stage 2. Consistently embedding DfMA into Concept Design at RIBA Plan of Work Stage 2, will permit designers to help drive productivity gains at the ‘coal face’ as well as operational and in-use outcomes. Fundamentally, DfMA requires the design team to shift their thinking away from traditional means of construction to scenarios where buildings are assembled rather than constructed. DfMA presents an opportunity for the transformation of the construction process. Substitute the term Construction for Assembly in Stage 5 of the RIBA Plan of Work and you will see how the use of offsite manufacturing techniques can help to transform the way buildings are designed.

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RIBA DFMA PLAN OF WORK RIBA has worked with the Offsite Management School to develop an online library of resources, containing e-learning modules, videos, case studies and a skills tool to enable any designer to benchmark their knowledge of DfMA. On the website you will find hundreds of resources classified as beginner, intermediate and advanced levels and also catalogued by media type. For full details visit: For the latest news, publications, jobs and events in the offsite sector visit the Offsite Hub: BIM is facilitating a culture of innovation and collaboration that assists the adoption of DfMA. The efforts made to create highly detailed, data-rich, fabricationquality models, which bring together many design disciplines and the design work of manufacturers and specialist subcontractors will continue to deliver better outcomes year-on-year. It is rapidly becoming the norm that a client expects to procure a project, design team or contractor that uses innovative digital design-toconstruction processes. The number of ‘construction innovation’ questions in tender documents continues to increase along with their complexity. These allow innovators to differentiate themselves from their competition, as BIM on its own becomes less of a differentiator.

Those who consider DfMA as part of their BIM processes, who examine innovative ways of using digital tools to transition more effectively from design to construction and adopt more collaborative ways of working will secure more work. By developing solutions that are ‘assembled’ rather than ‘constructed’, DfMA offers the prospect of using fewer people onsite. Those who are required onsite will have broader skillsets, providing greater resource for the construction industry to draw from. DfMA also creates a more controlled and safer working environment for those people to work in, away from traditional construction sites. Combined with the increased productivity generated by manufacturing in a factory, this approach eases the pressure created by the skills shortage and also eliminates or reduces some of the problems typically associated with traditional construction.

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Levels of DfMA • Component manufacture • Sub-assembly • Non-volumetric preassembly • Volumetric preassembly • Modular buildings Benefits of DfMA • 20-60% reduction in construction programme time • Greater programme certainty • 20-40% reduction in construction costs • >70% reduction in onsite labour, with subsequent improvements in health and safety • Reduced need for skilled labour onsite • Better construction quality • Better environmental outcomes, including reduced waste • Fewer queries from site.

What can DfMA do for you? Design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) is an approach that facilitates greater offsite construction. It allows buildings to be constructed more quickly and safely, and more resource efficiently and cost-effectively. But it requires us to think differently throughout the design process. RIBA and the Offsite Management School have worked together to produce a DfMA Overlay to the Plan of Work, which sets out what you need to be doing from Stage 0 right through to Stage 7. To launch this update to the Plan of Work we have a range of FREE, CPD accredited workshops across the UK. Attending will enable you to: • • • •

Learn from Dfma case studies, how they can reduce costs, save time, improve safety and increase quality Build your understanding of DfMA Recognise why DfMA is an essential current topic for designers Understand some of the typical processes of DfMA

In addition you will be able to hear from developers, clients and contractors such as Carillion, Costain, Laing O’Rourke, Skanska and United Utilities on why they believe adopting smarter construction techniques is essential for the sector. Forthcoming events: 14th October 21st November 28th November 27th January 2017

10:00 – 12:00, Swansea 14:00 – 16:00, Warrington 10:00 – 12:00, Birmingham 10:00 – 16:00, Hamilton, Scotland

All these events are free of charge as is the Offsite Management School to find out more email, call the team on 020 7697 1977 or go to


Raising Industry Standards As a new member assurance and accreditation scheme is unveiled, Bob Davis, Membership and Quality Manager of the Structural Timber Association (STA) discusses the benefits of company accreditations and how they continue to raise industry standards. The rapid market share growth experienced by structural timber solutions in the last 12 months is a clear demonstration of the benefits the building material presents. Now used in 27.4% of newbuild houses across the UK, up from 24.8% last year, structural timber solutions have proportionally increased their market share by 10%. Ideally suited to the current demand for high-quality housing produced within short timescales, structural timber offers increased speed of build, reduced onsite labour requirements and offsite capabilities. Structural timber solutions provide housebuilders and developers with a cost effective solution that mitigates the effects of the ongoing skills shortage and delivers low carbon, energy efficient properties. In a sector where there are a multitude of companies involved in the construction of a structural timber property, including designers, manufacturers, erectors/ installers as well as support services and follow on trades, it is essential that every participant is knowledgeable and proficient in their trade. However, as a specific area of business becomes profitable and popular, new companies often flood the market, with little experience promising to deliver high quality products. This can often lead on to issues with projects, where vital expertise

and experience are missing, and below-par quality is delivered. Unfortunately, this sub-standard workmanship can tarnish the perception of the construction industry and consequently, the use of structural timber solutions. Although this perception may be spread and exaggerated through the media, there are in existence unskilled enterprises that taint the reputation of the majority of the skilled and dedicated construction industry professionals. It is therefore paramount when choosing a structural timber solution provider to select a company with the appropriate experience and accreditations. Offering transparency and credibility by displaying independently verified accreditations such as Exova BM TRADA certifications, BBA certifications, BOPAS accreditation and NHBC registration etc. provides customers and clients with confidence when choosing a project partner. Accreditations and product certifications also show that as a company, rigorous professional standards have been met, which can include minimum practice hours, safety requirement checks and the provision for continuing professional development as well as technical expertise. As recommended by the UK charity, Citizens Advice, one way of making sure a build partner has the integrity, professionalism, technical skill and support structure required is to check whether they are a member of a trade association. Introduced to benefit both customers and members, the STA Assure member accreditation scheme is a straightforward ‘staircasing’ system consisting of three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) that makes it simple and convenient for customers to match project requirements with an STA member’s technical skillset and competency. Considering in-house quality procedures, management systems and

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product performance as well as external accreditations, STA Assure offers a robust evaluation method of a member company against a defined set of standards. The STA then provides a support framework for members to encourage the highest standards of quality to be met for the market in which they operate. This provides a clear benchmark of high quality standards within the structural timber sector and offers further assurance for clients that members of the Association are continually striving for best practice. Providing transparency, credibility and accountability, the membership levels safeguard the interests of end users, enabling them to partner with a reputable supply-chain partner that will harness a multitude of inherent benefits that structural timber solutions offer. Furthermore, supporting members to progress up the member levels, the STA provides regular technical guidance, support documents and seminars, ensuring that all members are kept up to date with the latest legislative requirements and best practice. A framework of approved management systems consultants are also available to Association members if specific support is required. The choice of project partner is vital to the success of any project. After investing significant time, energy and capital into a project, providing a high quality service and product is essential. The STA Assure membership accreditation scheme, therefore provides an industry-recognised level of quality and professionalism, which can be easily used to identify a suitable project partner that matches the performance requirements of the project, whilst providing transparency, credibility, accountability, and ultimately safeguarding the interests of the client. For more information visit:

Join today and reap the rewards of membership...


The primary benefits relate to:

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

Over 400 members - reflecting a significant percentage of UK structural timber technology and system providers

Quality assurance through the STA Assure scheme

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

Direct representation for your trade within the construction sector

Highest quality technical standards - driven by our robust committee structure

Relevant and best-in-class training and education

Networking events, trade shows and conferences

Direct communication with your target customers

Peter Ball, Sales Manager Building Products, Kronospan

“Raising the bar with all their initiatives the STA, has been a great assistance to us and our sector in professionalizing the supply and installation of structural timber.”

John Dickie, Director, Dickie & Moore

Contact Bob Davis Membership and Quality Manager on 07889 702 559 or


The New Future With the foundations laid, building future growth is the next step for Wood for Good, the timber industry’s sustainability campaign. Campaign Director, Christiane Lellig, explains more about recent successes and next steps for 2017.

Wood for Good’s aim is to promote the use of timber in the construction sector, creating market demand for commercial forestry and growth opportunities for all areas of timber manufacture. As the world’s only carbon-negative building material, to hit global sustainability targets and increase development, timber must be given a solid role in the sector. This is what we’re championing, and when it comes to sustainability, timber speaks for itself.

01 Providing the Evidence In 2014, we created the Lifecycle Database – an information hub containing the average carbon efficiency of all timber products. This was pioneering for the industry, and for the first time provided data to accurately prove and measure timber’s impact on sustainability. Quantifying the benefits of timber with the Lifecycle Database has provided validity to sustainability claims, and has given contractors, architects, specifiers and timber professionals the tools to argue for the use of timber in new buildings. Our next campaign, ‘Build With Carbon’, aimed to visually demonstrate how the use of timber in delivering housing could act as a carbon capture mechanism. This cemented the argument for timber’s sustainability by showcasing how actual developments can translate into carbon storage and promoted timber as a building material. Statistics from the Lifecycle Database show that the average timber framed, three bed semi-detached house could store roughly 19 tonnes of carbon. With the government pledging to build 200,000 new homes per year, if all of these were built with timber, this could lead to the storage of an additional 4 million tonnes of CO2 – a considerable dent in the UK’s current target of reducing its emissions by 29%.

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The series of short animations created as part of the ‘Build With Carbon’ campaign were shown at conferences around the UK and the findings highlighted in industry trade press across the construction and housing sectors as well as national newspaper titles. To this day they’re also being used in CPD courses for specifiers and contractors. The visual campaign highlighted the sustainability merits of using timber in a way that is hard to argue against. Unlocking the Potential of Sustainable Housing Building on the momentum of these previous campaigns, and using political attention and economic opportunity of the UK housing shortage, the campaign is currently championing the huge role timber could have in helping deliver sustainable homes at the rate required. With the government’s housebuilding targets, and the upcoming London Plan Policy demanding that any new housing development in London meets zero carbon home standards, it becomes more important than ever that new developments must be sustainable, quick to build and cost-effective. The latter is particularly relevant, with skills shortages and the price of bricks sending construction costs skywards. Recent data has shown that 60% of small and mediumsized construction firms faced a two-month wait for new brick orders last year.

WOOD FOR GOOD Our work so far has done much to increase the use of timber in construction, and our future plans will encourage this even further. However, for wood to really make strides in housebuilding, our role must be part of a collaborative effort from all sides of the industry. The benefits of timber are obvious and it’s gaining recognition among the broader construction sector.

02 Looking to the social housing and affordable homes sector, it is essential that new stock is as cost efficient as possible as Right to Buy legislation puts urgent newbuild demands on already stretched housing associations. Opportunities for timber also lie in the rising custom build market. Site by site, these represent a smaller volume of units, but are cumulatively a large part of housebuilding potential. And, with the predicted £5 billion government fund for custom build sites on the way, the market signifies a valuable opportunity for smaller developers and for timber. The gap left by traditional methods of construction is why our current campaign’s focus is on highlighting the advantages of timber to the housebuilding sector, emphasising the benefits of offsite assembly for cost and speed, and not just sustainability. To support this, in 2016 we’ve held a number of events across the country, for professionals from the housebuilding, design and timber communities. These seminars have been a fantastic opportunity to not only promote the advantages of timber in construction, but also collate knowledge from around the industry on how to solve the housing crisis.

Creating Momentum Through Collaboration Through collaboration with major timber industry associations, specifiers, developers, local authorities and planners, Wood for Good aims to create further momentum for timber in construction throughout the UK. We’re already looking at how we can help enhance the budding custom build market, and how we can support communities and their local authorities provide necessary homes that are affordable and fit for the future. We will also highlight health and wellbeing benefits of timber more strongly, this includes wood in all its applications, from interior design to structural timber. To support this Wood for Good’s re-launched website will feature new innovative uses of timber in housing, and showcase timber as the material of choice for specifiers and developers. Case studies will contain information on types of timber, application, supplier, architect and contractor with links to the individual companies for further information. The website will also provide direct links to relevant practical tools and sources of information, and will feature a calendar of training events relevant for its key audiences, including links to providers. This will make the website a key hub for businesses to familiarise themselves with benefits and different methods and applications of using timber.

As sustainability and housing demands grow ever larger, the campaign is positioning wood as one solution to the UK’s challenges, this message needs to be championed by the industry to build on the success to date. For more information visit:

03 IMAGES: 01-02. A series of short animations created as part of the ‘Build With Carbon’ campaign highlighted the sustainability merits of using timber. Courtesy Carbon Visuals. 03. Christiane Lellig, Campaign Director, Wood For Good

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The Timber Trade’s Event of the Year Timber Expo is the only dedicated UK event for the timber industry and will soon be taking place once again as an integral part of UK Construction Week. Timber Expo will take place on 18 – 20 October at the Birmingham NEC.

01 In 2015, Timber Expo attracted more than 6,000 visitors, with 60% of the UK’s top 100 architectural firms represented. Exhibitors cover the breadth of timber applications from timber frame, sawmills, merchants, glulam, SIPs, CLT, fixings and fastenings, timber cladding, doors/windows, mouldings, skirtings and flooring. The show will also provide the ideal platform for exhibitors and visitors to network, learn new skills, find new products and trade. The show is also fully supported by the industry’s leading trade groups and associations, including TRADA, the Structural Timber Association (STA), the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Construction Products Association (CPA). As a result of the strong support

of the show by leading associations, its comprehensive seminar programme is full of high quality content. The show will be the perfect opportunity to get to grips on the latest developments in the industry and represents the first major event in the industry following the EU referendum. “As the UK’s only dedicated timber event, Timber Expo 2016 provides a fantastic opportunity for the collective industry to converge on one location, network together and build new avenues for business,” says Nathan Garnett, Event Director for Timber Expo. “What’s more, with the continued support from TRADA this year, we’ve developed an educational seminar programme guaranteed to benefit professionals at every level within the industry. The role of timber in the construction industry has never been more important

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and it’s great to see so many new innovations being launched. Timber Expo will be full of new products, services, workshops and competitions making it a valuable day out for those within the industry or looking to learn more about the sector.” Leading industry association TRADA will co-ordinate the Timber Focus Theatre, providing three days (18 – 20 October) of insightful seminar sessions across a broad spectrum of industry trends and issues. With opportunities for the audience to join the debate, the programme offers a unique chance to converse with influential speakers from across the timber industry. Day One of the seminar schedule will focus on pushing the boundaries of what is possible with timber and will be chaired by David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF). Topics will include building timber skyscrapers, innovation and growing the timber market with speakers such as Michael Ramage, Senior University Lecturer in architectural engineering at Cambridge University and Jon Shanks, Associate Structural Engineer, Buro Happold and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Bath. In the afternoon the focus turns to skills. Led by David Campbell, Membership and Training Director at the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the session will look at how the industry can attract and keep new recruits. Day Two will tackle the challenges of making it easier to specify timber. Panellists will discuss the introduction of TRADA’s new Timber Pre-Scheme Manual, how the UK’s National Structural Timber Specification (NSTS) has helped get timber specifications right for major sub-contractors and what the industry can do to make it easier to specify timber. The second day will also look at timber’s role in the custom and selfbuild market with Richard Bacon, MP for South Norfolk and instigator of the ‘Right to Build’ Act, which has radically changed the commercial landscape in this sector, joining the speaker line up.


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TIMBER EXPO 2016 Day Three of seminars will explore the possibilities of hybrid construction from both an engineer’s, architect’s and CLT supplier’s perspective. Speakers from Buro Happold engineers, Bennett’s architects and KLH will draw on case studies to bring out their key points. The other topics covered on the third day look at the continuing innovation for structural timber frames and UK manufacturing, with speakers including Alex Cook, Technical Project Co-ordinator at Barratt Developments PLC, Alastair Parvin, Co-founder of WikiHouse Foundation, Calum Murray, Director at CCG (Scotland) Ltd and Alex Goodfellow, Managing Director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems. “We thoroughly enjoyed working with Media 10 to organise the Timber Focus seminar programme this year,” said Rupert Scott, Marketing Manager, TRADA. “UKCW organised an incredibly generous seminar theatre programme which certainly provided show attendees with all the inspiration and information they could possibly want.” In addition to the Timber Focus Theatre there will also be a Timber Flooring Workshop. In conjunction with the Flooring Industry Training Association. Top master fitters will create informative presentations covering products from all areas of contact flooring, including wood, carpet, vinyl, laminate, tools and accessories. Joint-trade organization France Bois Forêt, FrenchTimber is in charge of promoting French lumber and wood products meet on international markets. It has chosen Timber Expo 2016 as the ideal event to provide commercial and technical information on the French wood industry and its products. It will be distributing technical information leaflets at its stand. Thibaud Le Moign, Export Development Manager for French Timber said: “As an association dedicated to promoting French wood within export markets, Timber Expo 2016 is a perfect opportunity to network and forge new business relationships. It will be our third time exhibiting at the event and we’re very

excited to meet so many key players in the UK timber market. We’ll be presenting various samples of French hardwood and softwood products at the stand.” The main stage at UK Construction Week will also be a buzz of high-level debate and discussion. Covering the major challenges and opportunities facing the construction industry such as skills, investment and Brexit, the seminar content will be hosted by some of the biggest names in broadcasting and beyond including architect and television presenter George Clarke, business journalist Steph McGovern and news presenter and business journalist Victoria Fritz. The event will also provide the unique opportunity for key visitors to take part in a hosted buyer scheme. Designed to offer active buyers a structured and highly effective show experience, the scheme will allow buyers to efficiently cut through the ‘noise’ by going directly to the suppliers and vendors that are most able to meet their needs. Following an in depth consultation to establish the buyer’s requirements, the UK Construction Week team will organise a bespoke programme of handpicked supplier meetings, seminars and networking events, all designed to help the visitor fulfil both their immediate and longer term project needs. This focused approach allows participants to get maximum return on the time they invest in attending the show. What’s more, this service is completely free of charge.

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03 Taking place at the Birmingham NEC from 18 – 20 October, UK Construction Week combines nine shows in one location. With over 24,000 trade visitors last year – a figure expected to double at this year’s event – the show boasts over 650 exhibitors. Visitors are able to attend Timber Expo, the Build Show, Civils Expo, the Surface and Materials Show, Energy 2016, Plant & Machinery Live, HVAC 2016, Smart Buildings 2016 and Grand Designs Live. For more information or to register for your free ticket to attend please visit: Or follow: @TimberExpo on Twitter.

IMAGES: 01-02. Visitors will be able to see a wide range of exhibitors and disciplines at Timber Expo 03. A hosted buyers programme will help boost business to business meetings

OPTIMISED HYBRID SOLUTIONS As the UK’s leading sustainable frame contractor, specialising in design and delivery of hybrid structures, B & K Structures offers a complete service from design to installation. Offering a complete package of material services, across a wide range of structural products including Glulam, Cross Laminated Timber, Timber Cassettes and Steel Frame as part of hybrid structural solutions - B & K Structures have an outstanding, award winning portfolio across all commercial sectors.

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Get ready for the Structural Timber Awards and celebrate the best in building with the world’s leading mainstream, low-carbon construction material. With nearly 250 entries it is the largest and most prestigious Awards specifically targeted to structural timber. The Awards reward outstanding projects, innovative products and dynamic people that are promoting excellence in structural timber across the UK. Across key sectors of construction, the Awards showcase innovation, celebrate best practice and

recognise expertise in timber technology and the ways it contributes to an attractive, energy efficient and sustainable built environment. To get you in the mood and whet your appetite here is a quick look at this year’s shortlisted entries. Winners of the Structural Timber Awards will be revealed at the awards ceremony on Wednesday 19 October at the National Conference Centre (formerly known as the National Motorcycle Museum) during UK Construction Week.



Good luck to all of the finalists and thank you for entering. Also look out for the special commemorative Awards publication featuring all of those shortlisted for the 2016 Awards.

Full details on the event and venue directions can be found at:






01 Gilbert and Goode | 02 Kingspan Timber Solutions | 03 Sutherland Hussey Harris | 04 T2 Architects | 05 Worthing Homes








07 08


09 10 01 2020 Architects | 02 Allford Hall Monaghan Morris | 03 Autor | 04 Elliott Wood | 05 Frame Technologies | 06 Gresford Architects | 07 Lendlease | 08 SHS Burridge | 09 SIPCO | 10 Urban Splash

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03 01

07 08





09 10

01 2020 Architects | 02 Arup | 03 Carpenter Oak | 04 Glosford SIPs | 05 Kingspan Insulation | 06 Milner Associates | 07 Potton | 08 Sanei Hopkins | 09 SIPCO | 10 Timber Innovations



01 02

08 09

03 04

10 11 12

05 06


01 B & K Structures | 02 Cullinan Studio | 03 Cygnum Timber Frame | 04 Earle Architects | 05 Engenuiti | 06 Gilbert and Goode | 07 Jestico and Whiles | 08 Roderick James Architects 09 Saint Gobain | 10 Sarah Wigglesworth Architects | 11 Squire and Partners | 12 TP Bennett



03 04 05

01 02 01 Castleoak | 02 Foster and Partners | 03 Kingspan Timber Solutions | 04 Studio 4 | 05 WSP Parsons

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01 Allford Hall Monaghan Morris | 02 Arup | 03 B & K Structures | 04 Glosford SIPs | 05 Llowarch Llowarch | 06 McVeigh Offsite | 07 Metsa Wood | 08 Momentum Consulting Engineers 09 Paragon Oak | 10 Sylva | 11 Tonkin Liu




04 05

08 09

02 03

10 06 07

01 A Proctor Group | 02 B & K Structures | 03 Cygnum Timber Frame | 04 Deluxe Developers | 05 Gilbert and Goode | 06 Kingspan Insulation | 07 Momentum Consulting Engineers 08 MRA Architects | 09 Saint Gobain | 10 Scotframe



01 02

06 07

03 04


08 09


01 Arup | 02 BuroHappold | 03 Elliott Wood | 04 Engenuiti | 05 Eurban | 06 Momentum Consulting Engineers | 07 Peter Dann Associates | 08 Smith and Wallwork | 09 Thornton Tomasetti | 10 WSP













01 2020 Architects | 02 Allford Hall Monaghan Morris | 03 Cullinan Studio | 04 Fairhursts | 05 Foster and Partners | 06 Hatcher Pritchard | 07 Maber | 08 Roderick James Architects 09 ShedKM | 10 Studio 4

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01 02



07 08


03 04 05 01 Abbeyfield | 02 Cornwall SB Trust | 03 GSK Nottingham Uni | 04 Lendlease | 05 Maggies Centre | 06 Ocean Housing | 07 Pinewood Group | 08 Sky | 09 University of East Anglia 10 Urban Splash




03 04


09 10

05 06

07 08 01 R G Carter | 02 Constructional Timber | 03 G Frame and Morrison Construction | 04 Gilbert and Goode | 05 Keepmoat | 06 Lendlease | 07 Mace | 08 Morgan Sindal | 09 Sir Robert McAlpine 10 Willmott Dixon



04 01 02








01 Moduloft | 02 Aptus | 03 Donaldson | 04 Joyner Bolt | 05 MEDITE SMARTPLY | 06 Passivhaus Homes | 07 Recticel | 08 Rothoblaas | 09 SAM | 10 Smartroof

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01 Innovare Systems | 02 Kingspan Timber Solutions | 03 Medite Smartply | 04 Metsa Wood | 05 Radar Comms


04 02

07 08





09 10

01 Milner Associates | 02 Arup | 03 Cygnum Timber Frame | 04 Elastegrity | 05 Mace | 06 MEDITE SMARTPLY | 07 PLP Archictects | 08 Roderick James Architects | 09 Urban Splash | 10 ZED Factory



02 03

04 05







06 07



01 Arup Sky | 02 Arup Woodchip | 03 B & K Structures | 04 Brown and Brown | 05 Castleoak | 06 Cygnum | 07 East Architecture | 08 Foster and Partners | 09 Gilbert and Goode | 10 Glenn Howells 11 Jestico and Whiles | 12 Lendlease | 13 Simons Group | 14 Thornton Tomasetti

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HOUSING Affordable housing has been highlighted as an important issue within the context of the Scottish housing crisis, especially in Scotland’s rural and remote island regions. To combat this, the Scottish government recently set an ambitious target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes over the coming five years. Expected to produce on average 20,000 jobs per year and generate more than £10 billion in economic activity, the pledge was made in an effort to tackle poverty, the housing crisis and to provide high quality, affordable housing. As the newbuild material of choice, structural timber frame currently accounts for approximately 80% of new Scottish properties. Acknowledged for its speed of build, thermal efficiencies and sustainable nature, structural timber frame is commonplace within the Scottish residential construction sector. Considering the delivery of the affordable properties and the expected growth and capacity within the structural timber frame sector, a panel discussion at the STA Regional Scottish Conference, noted several key challenges including the need for industry collaboration, the availability of skills and infrastructure as well as standardisation.


Collaborate and Deliver Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA) reports on the outcomes of the STA Scottish Regional Conference and how the structural timber frame sector plans to help deliver 50,000 affordable homes.

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Speaking following the panel discussion, Stephen Good, Chief Executive of 02 the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) said: “The role of CSIC is to champion innovation and connect Scotland’s construction industry to deliver transformational change. Helping businesses exploit key opportunities by mainstreaming an innovation culture and embracing collaboration is key. “The Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 homes over the life of this parliament is a huge opportunity that Scotland’s

HOUSING construction, house building and timber frame sectors cannot pass up and rising to the challenge will require ambition, organisation, structure and a change in culture. “The expertise and collaborative mindset required to meet challenging objectives like this already exists in Scotland, typified by recent high profile projects like the 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village. This challenging project was delivered at scale, to exacting energy standards, employing cutting-edge innovation by a consortium of leading STA members who worked collaboratively with a wide range of partners. “At the STA Scotland conference this month, CSIC, alongside Homes for Scotland, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and STA discussed how best to coordinate and articulate a coherent response and proposition to the 50,000 homes challenge. Gathering evidence and intelligent data around the current capacity of the sector is an important first step in establishing the baseline position, from which we can build a credible proposition as an industry. “Delivering 50,000 affordable homes in a little under five years is a challenge that is unlikely to be delivered alone by STA members, and overcoming hurdles will require a bold and collaborative approach to things like land availability and statutory consents approvals. With an underpinning culture of partnering and collaboration, CSIC believes the latent potential exists within the Scottish construction industry to not only meet this target, but far exceed it and establish a sustainable innovation model that can transform the entire industry for the better.” A key aspect of collaboration is early involvement of structural timber system manufacturers in the initial design phase. This was discussed to be essential to smoothing the supply chain and also highlighted the importance of potential

standardisation of timber frame ‘kits’. By providing a ‘standard’ or base model structure of a property, more homes can be constructed within the original budget due to reduced costs associated with design and manufacturing. These properties can then be finished to various specifications and standards, leading to the same base properties being sold at a premium, standard market cost or as affordable housing. Furthering the discussion on the need for collaboration surrounding the 03 skills shortage, Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive of industry body Homes for Scotland added: “The Scottish Government’s ambitious 50,000 affordable homes target provides an opportunity for our industry to collaborate more effectively and consider new, innovative ways to deliver the warm, sustainable homes our country desperately needs. As many as 80% of Scotland’s homes are built using timber kits and the demand experienced by this sector will only increase as the Government endeavours to reach its affordable homes target over the next five years. “If we are to provide the thousands of homes of all tenures which meet the diverse needs and aspirations of our growing population, we must work together to remove barriers to delivery. This includes addressing skill shortages, which continue to hamper the home building industry’s ability to increase production. From apprentices to grounds workers, building control officers to architects – all have a vital part to play, so we must ensure we have enough of these highly skilled individuals to meet demand.”

Ensuring the availability of skills resource to deliver the homes is an essential link in the chain of delivery, as outlined by Nicola, a collaborative industry drive is needed to tackle the skills shortage head on. This will ensure a single message is disseminated by more voices, across more sectors and regions, reaching more people and encouraging them into a career within the construction industry. The challenge of delivering 50,000 affordable homes within the lifetime of the current Scottish parliament is not unrealistic. It is an achievable and potentially exceedable feat. However, collaboration is integral to successfully deliver this target.

By pooling resources, industry intelligence and overcoming bureaucratic and administrative barriers, key industry bodies, associations and companies can unify around a common goal that highlights the professionalism of the Scottish structural timber frame sector as well as having an overwhelmingly positive social impact. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01. Timber is the newbuild material of choice for approximately 80% of new Scottish properties 02. Stephen Good, Chief Executive of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) 03. Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive of Homes for Scotland

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A Cavity to Fill? Or Just a Gap to Bridge? The cavity wall external leaf has entered in the mythical world of best practice. What does it do apart from cause no end of technical challenges? Our resident timber expert gets to grips with a key element of the building envelope.

The need for this invention, or should we say intervention in the early 1900’s was to avoid damp internal walls. The call of the cavity wall can be linked to our wig-wearing Georgian ancestors who moved from breathable external walls to the fashion of cement based stucco wall cladding over the traditional timber frame walling. This construction trend trapped moisture in the walls and lead the way for our industry-obsessed Victorians, for whom their appetite for modern factory produced materials was all encompassing. The mass produced solid brick external wall was the normal way to build as the cure to remove rotting timber frames left by the Georgian builders. While the buying public saw solid timber walls as the answer to poor damp construction the Victorians secretly used timber in their solid wall construction. The use of bonding timbers is a debated topic and some regard the use as means of overcoming concerns about the structural stability of slow setting lime mortar bonding the bricks – hands up those that think it was more to do with providing something you could fix to inner wall linings? As the great screw and plug was yet to be invented. However, bonding timbers in the brick work together and the damp created by these water absorbing brick sponges led to a repeat of damp internal walls. Eventually in the early part of the nineteenth century our Edwardian cousins introduced a cavity

where the weather rainscreen facing brick was now separated from the dry internal brick and latter block inner leaf – and we all slept dryly in our beds until the iron wall ties corroded in the damp outer brick and a panic of replacement wall ties hit the second half of the twentieth century. As timber frame re-emerged as a building method it was natural process to adopt the same building technic of the cavity wall – the outer brick leaf as the rainscreen keeping the timber frame dry and safe from rot decay. But now in the energy conserving 21st century home we have filled the cavity with insulation if using masonry or for the timber frame champions, kept the cavity using technical breather membrane foils. Except that the real building assessment tests have shown that the energy performance is not what we thought it was in these ‘fabric performing’ homes. We now have unwanted thermal bridging, unwanted cavity ventilation and aging insulation values. For our masonry walls there is the combined problem of insulation gaps in masonry cavity filled walls, damp ingress through poor construction and water tracking across missing cavity trays into the cavity, as if to mimic a spirograph picture as it mixes with the inbuilt moisture trapped by the wet trade construction process. For timber frame walls the checking of cavity trays, correct installation of cavity barriers, wall ties locations and ripped breather membrane repairs all lead to a

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sigh of relief by the site manager when the brickwork is up and covers the mess of work behind the cladding. The most telling problem of our cavity wall is highlighted in the Building Regulations and Standards. The regulations call for the reduction of hidden passage of fire and smoke. The fire performance of our cavities and combustibility of the materials in cavities is a concern for insurance companies, fire service and property managers for which the issue is not a timber frame problem, but a cavity wall issue and one found on all material type buildings. The call to keep our national heritage cavity wall comes from the insurance and warranty providers who cite the ingress of damp from bad detailing around windows and eaves level parapets, as examples of why the cavity walls must stay. However this just continues to invite poor construction practice as builders all know the cavity will save their blushes of unintentional damp showing them up. We have several points here: • Cavity walls provide an assumed level of resistance to bad workmanship to stop damp ingress • Cavity walls have unintentional consequences of providing passage of fire spread • Cavity walls mostly reduce the energy efficiency of the fabric and does not improve it. But clearly you shout the cavity is there to keep the timber frame from getting wet? Perhaps the early Georgian builders with their breathable walls should be reconsidered. Could it be they realised that the cavity actual causes more problems than it solves. Just imagine a building process without the troubles of wall ties, service vents, cavity trays and cavity barriers and let’s not even go to the horrors of gas membrane detailing now needed on more and more developments.

TECHNOLOGY TALK // TIMBER CHAP Of course our third-party insurance that warrant our homes are not for budging on the need for cavity walls in timber frame on account of problems in west coast America and hand me down wisdom. But maybe we can start to consider options to make it easier to achieve durability of our built environment and at long last achieve buildings of quality.

By providing solutions that allow poor quality we get what we deserve. If we design, detail and insist on better quality to make it work then we will get the performance of buildings that we could expect in the 21st Century.

01 IMAGES: 01. image courtesy of Tenmat

Cavity Wall Ventilation – improving performance Solutions to improve the performance of the cavity wall have changed and developed many times over the generations, from solid walls with breathable coatings to vents and weep holes, to new innovative ways of dispersing internal water vapour. What can be done when approaching this issue when building with timber?

Ventilated Cavity – through flow of air maintains a dryer cavity space and essential for moderate to high rain index locations

The intermediate floor example of cavity barrier and details to keep the inner leaf dry

Timber frame without a cavity

Through ventilation supports dryer cavities from errors of cladding and window installation errors.

The cavity wall technics requires additional details materials, processes and care to do it right.

Removing the cavity omits the problems and a breathable solution has been used across Europe for many years.

Through ventilation must be seen as the way forward for our outdated cavity wall construction process.

Failures in fire spread regardless of the structural medium are attributable to cavity wall construction.

The window and service penetration detailing needs attention to do it right but why wouldn’t you?

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Passivhaus – is it desirable: is it affordable? Business Unit Director for Kingspan Timber Solutions, Ian Loughnane, shares his perspective on the merits of high performance building envelopes and the company’s experience of building low energy homes.

In 1991 Wolfgang Feist and Bo Adamson applied the passive design approach to a house in Darmstadt, with the objective of developing a prototype low energy home. The design proved successful both in terms of energy consumption and comfort and Passivhaus is now considered the ultimate in building performance. Passivhaus fundamentally requires a balance of three elements: energy, quality and cost – encompassing heating, cooling and thermal comfort which all have to be met cost effectively. Achieving the design performance as detailed in the build specification can present challenges – eliminating the gap between design and as-built performance is a key issue within the construction industry. 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. Whilst renewable technology has its place, there is no doubt that the energy performance of the building’s external fabric is the most cost effective, reliable and longterm, low-maintenance solution. This is what Fabric First and Passivhaus principles are all about – high performance insulation, good airtightness, the minimisation of thermal bridging and harvesting the sun’s energy through solar gain via south-facing windows. In essence this means that the building does the work, rather than relying on occupiers operating and maintaining costly renewable energy devices.

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Whilst the benefits of the Fabric First principles are well documented, we still find some projects that only specify U-values whilst the SAP rating of a dwelling is driven by the interlinked properties of U-values, Psi values and airtightness. This is likely to be because U-values are readily calculated whilst the overall Y-value can only be determined once the building details are known and the individual junction Psi values input against actual junction length. Passivhaus is a building standard that is truly energy efficient, comfortable and ecological plus when the reduction in long term operating costs are taken into consideration, affordable. It is a construction concept that follows a set of rigorous and certifiable principles that have stood the test of time and practice.

BUILDING ENVELOPE Kingspan Timber Solutions are pushing the practical application of new technologies to create high performance building envelopes. Prefabrication and lean design expertise is invaluable when dealing with the enhanced thermal and airtightness requirements of Passivhaus projects, such as the Greenhauses in Sulgrave Gardens. Greenhauses represents a significant step forward in bringing Passivhaus into common use in the UK, in an affordable and deliverable format. The development comprises a terrace of three-storey houses together with two five-storey apartment buildings all of which have been constructed to Passivhaus principles. The development is completed with four mews houses with roof terraces. These homes are not only designed to save residents a significant amount on energy bills – up to 90% in the case of the certified units, but also to provide considerably improved indoor air quality. To complement the architecture in two adjacent conservation zones, brick was chosen as the primary facade material for the buildings. Given the tight urban nature of the site, minimising the thickness of the remaining wall build-ups was key, whilst still attaining the required level of thermal performance. Each of the four blocks required a specific design response so as to meet the challenges of the planning and architectural context, and the energy use and heat loss targets of Passivhaus. Two main construction methods were used both utilising the high performance Structural Insulated Panel system (SIPs). Kingspan TEK® SIPs produce the primary structure of the 10 houses, with a concrete frame insulated with Kingspan TEK® cladding panels being developed for the 20 apartments. Both build-ups achieve outstanding thermal performance with final external wall U-values of 0.10 W/m2K. The proprietary jointing system featured on both Kingspan




TEK products, in combination with the additional airtightness detailing on the project, ensured that air loss is below the 0.6 air changes per hour @ 50 Pa. To maintain a constant flow of fresh air, mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) systems were installed, using heat from the outgoing air to warm the incoming, fresh air. Building performance evaluation is currently underway together with occupier wellbeing research. The transition to a low-carbon economy presents our industry with great opportunities for growth. Environmental considerations will transform how our buildings are constructed, what materials

are used and the methods employed. We are now on the cusp of the predicted ‘sea-change’ and the time is right for the construction industry to embrace innovative timber technology and offsite techniques to develop better buildings at a rapid rate to enhance lives, minimise the environmental impact and reduce energy costs for occupants for many years to come. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01-02. Sulgrave Gardens presents a significant step forward in bringing Passivhaus into common use in the UK 03. Kingspan TEK® Building System 04. Kingspan TEK® Building Cladding Panel System

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WINDTIGHTNESS Windtightness: the Missing Link in Thermal Performance Fintan Wallace from Ecological Building Systems discusses the importance of windtightness in ensuring the building envelope delivers its designed thermal performance while avoiding the risk of trapped moisture.

The simplest way to explain windtightness is to imagine wearing a woolly jumper on a windy day. The jumper may keep you warm for a while, but the wind will blow the warmth out of the fibres, reducing the jumper’s performance as an insulator. With a windproof jacket over the top, however, the jumper can do its job much more effectively, helping to ensure that the trapped warm air between the wool fibres stays close to your body. The same principle applies to insulated roof and wall build ups. However, the problem with preventing cold air from entering a building is that this could potentially also result in trapping moisture within the building envelope, creating an increased risk of interstitial condensation. If rafters and battens have got wet during the construction phase, this condensation risk is increased. Consequently, the building’s timbers could be at risk of failure unless a fully windtight membrane has been installed that also reliably allows moisture to exit.

Microporous Risks The conventional approach to achieving a windtight barrier is to install a microporous membrane that allows moisture to escape by means of a passive air exchange, which works efficiently when there is a relatively high vapour partial pressure gradient. However, the more significant the amounts of water vapour trying to escape, the more quickly moisture particles move towards the available escape route and the micro pores are susceptible to becoming saturated. This can cause pores in the membrane to become blocked, resulting in a film of moisture that prevents vapour from escaping. The performance of a microporous membrane can even be compromised during construction because factors such as wood contents (e.g. turpentine) or solvents in the roof timbers, can contaminate water, reducing its surface tension. This can reduce the water resistance of a microporous membrane enabling driving rain to penetrate.

Monolithic Benefits Conversely, a wind and watertight membrane with a monolithic structure provides a pore-free solution that prevents moisture from penetrating from the outside, while ensuring the active transport of internal moisture vapour to the exterior via its molecular chain. The pore-free structure offers maximum protection against driving rain and enables roofing contractors to use the membrane as both a wind proof barrier and a temporary covering. The active moisture transport of a monolithic membrane results in a dry structure with significantly less risk of condensation. Even a slight difference in vapour pressure between inside and outside will engage the membrane’s chain reaction and ensure the monolithic membrane actually becomes more open to vapour – and, therefore, more effective – as it becomes wet: a great advantage in climates like that of the UK, where construction projects often have to contend with driving rain.



Building regulations have helped to improve the thermal performance and construction integrity of UK homes but there is still much to be done to ensure that the design values of roof and wall build ups deliver their full potential. Installing an effective and permanently vapour open windtight membrane is an important step in achieving that goal. For more information visit: IMAGES: 01. In the case of pore-free membranes, moisture is actively transported along the molecular chains to the outside. 02. Porous membranes allow moisture to escape by means of an air exchange. They offer average reliabilities for diffusion and watertightness against driving rain.

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Insulating Cross Laminated Timber Wall High per formance CLT wall utilising pro clima air and windtight system and GUTEX wood fibre insulation. The optimum combination for thermal performance, vapour permeability, environmental rating and building system compatibility.

Setting the highest standard for Low Energy and Passivhaus Construction

T 01228 711511 F 01228 712280 The Brown Building, Cardewlees, Carlisle, Cumbria UK CA5 6LF

Intelligent Airtight and Windtight building systems


Timber Trades for the 21st Century Central to the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) manifesto and action plan for 2016/17 is a determination to finalise and launch the new apprenticeship in architectural joinery, to replace the old bench joinery apprenticeship. Iain McIlwee, Chief Executive of the BWF reveals why this is so important as part of a UK-wide change in apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are designed to give school leavers the real-world skills and recognised qualifications needed for a career. Apprenticeships often also include off-the-job learning in a college or training centre. The Government’s goal is to reach 3 million people enrolling for apprenticeships between 2015 and 2020. Central then to the BWF’s manifesto and action plan for 2016/17 is a determination to finalise and launch the new apprenticeship in architectural joinery, to replace the old bench joinery apprenticeship. This aims to provide employers and new entrants to the industry with a higher quality qualification and greater flexibility of training. Work is progressing as quickly as possible on the employer-led ‘Standard’ which is required to get this new qualification into the market. It’s more rigorous and so more expensive to deliver, but the proposed new system is promising to recognise this by allocating higher funding bands to such apprenticeships after May 2017. The next task will be the development of the wood product manufacturing apprenticeship, also with its own Standard, which will serve the medium and large end of the joinery market.

01 While public debate rages around the role of grammar schools and the right way to boost the education of our children, a similar maelstrom is underway within the further education sector and the adult training and skills framework for joinery businesses and timber trades. Indeed, as a devolved policy issue, the regimes for training and skills are diverging rapidly in different parts of the UK. For example, while devolved governments will continue for now to support the continued updating of National Occupational Standards (NOS) or current Minimum Technical Competency standards (MTCs) that you often find underpinning many

construction-related qualifications, the Westminster-based administration believes this is something industry should manage. The apprenticeship system is a major focus of current reforms. Westminster sees such changes to training and skills as critical to its strategy to improve the UK’s productivity which currently lags behind that of the major G7 advanced economies. In England, the old apprenticeship frameworks are being dismantled to be replaced by new ones, and employers in England are being required to get much more involved in the way their workers are trained and funded through qualifications.

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As the larger end of the industry will start paying the government’s apprenticeship levy from next April, it will be crucial that this particular Standard is available as soon as possible so that employers can claim their money back, particularly as the current framework is being withdrawn in December 2016 as part of the Skills Funding Agency’s review of existing apprenticeships. The BWF has long articulated and lobbied for its vision of a fully trained, qualified and professional workforce for the woodworking industry, and its members are highly committed to apprenticeships. In the BWF’s latest survey, more than 60% of its members indicated that they have at least one factory or workshop-based apprentice and about 50% intend to take on

SKILLS & RECRUITMENT apprentices over the next 12 months. This is consistent with CITB figures which show there is one apprentice for every two BWF members registered with CITB – this is the highest in the specialist trades. Careers advice needs to be an intrinsic part of teacher training and the necessity to consider vocational routes into teaching to help bolster understanding and respect for the apprentice’s journey. It is important that all qualification standards have simple, fast, yet rigorous mechanisms for employers to enact changes in the syllabus so that the industry can react quickly to new skill needs. The potential for a ‘clearing system’ for apprentice applications similar to that for universities would also prevent wastage and help to target interested parties with information and informed choice. Westminster needs to be aware of the risk of undermining decades of good work in the timber sector by the imminent changes to apprenticeship funding. Government has made it clear that a new apprenticeship levy will apply to all UK employers in both the public and private sector who have annual pay bills of more than £3 million. Those paying into the levy should be able to use these funds for their apprentices. The good news for many SME employers (those under the £3 million threshold for the new levy) seems to be that the cost to of putting someone through an apprenticeship programme should be lower than expected, with at least 90% covered by the government. However, the picture from the colleges’ point of view looks somewhat different. Based on the funding reductions for some apprenticeship frameworks, there is a risk that training providers across England may significantly reduce apprenticeship training capacity in high cost sectors such as joinery and timber construction, instead focusing on low cost apprenticeship training, full time learning, and adult upskilling where they

02 can make easier money. Apprenticeships in many wood trades will find themselves suddenly fighting for college space with other occupations. Under the new proposals training providers will also be able to raise additional charges against employers for training above the funding cap. Providers may potentially use this to recover any funding reductions from government/levy funding. And faced with either increased charges or a lack of local provision, there is a very real risk that employers may simply drop the apprenticeship training model for an NVQ only (i.e. assessment only) route. So to ensure the survival of quality apprenticeship training for the joinery industry, a new Centre of Excellence network of colleges and training providers was launched in July by the BWF and the National Association of Shopfitters (NAS). Four training providers have committed to the pilot: Building Crafts College (Stratford, London), Didac Limited (Bristol), Leeds College of Building (Leeds), and NPTC Group (South Wales). Each apprentice working with these providers will be on

a nationally recognised apprenticeship framework and will have the option of bolting on additional modules needed for their training to meet employer needs, which will be packaged together as a BWF/ NAS Apprenticeship, raising the bar on government requirements.

It’s a critical step to ensure the timber and joinery industries maintain the opportunity to access high quality and flexible training. How well the industry will respond in the face of such significant change to the training and skills system in England will be closely scrutinised. For more information and to stay up-to-date on apprenticeship policy changes visit:

IMAGES: 01-02. A fully trained, qualified and professional workforce is essential for the joinery industry

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Avoiding the Recruitment Pitfalls According to Jim Roach, Managing Director of specialist recruiter ARV Solutions, there are five things that will make your recruitment process easier and help place the right candidate in the right post.

The recruitment process is strewn with potential pitfalls. It is by its nature, carried out when you are busier than usual, from lack of staff or growth. Trying to tackle the recruitment process, from calls with agencies, reviewing CVs and holding interviews alongside busy ‘day job’ commitments can be challenging. There are lots you can do to make the process easier but let’s start with these five: Don’t fall at the first hurdle the wrong job description? In order to avoid hurdles further down the line, developing a precise and considered job description is the best way to start. It is easy to get off on the wrong foot with the definition of your role. Job descriptions can tend to reflect skills of the previous incumbent to a role or a default ‘mini me’, rather than being based on the true needs. It is important to consider what variables are must haves rather than specifics that could be taught to an otherwise strong contender. Often someone with the right behaviours will pick

up skills rapidly, however someone with the right skills but wrong cultural fit may never change. Some of the best candidates I have placed over the last 27 years are those that differ from the initial job description, on face value their CV may not have ticked all the boxes but clients have taken a recommendation to meet them and subsequently realised they are the best overall fit for the job. One of the best things my old Manager taught me was: “It’s often the different that gets the job.” I’m not suggesting you can take people completely out of their area of expertise (I’m reminded of the Reed TV Adverts). It is worth considering what really is important, where alternatives could be considered and discussing these with an experienced recruiter. Time is a killer – lay the foundations for a robust recruitment process The biggest disruptor and often killer of successful recruitment outcomes is time. Having a thorough recruitment process in place will ensure you recruit the right person within your timeframe. A difficult

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and time consuming task when this involves numerous time poor stakeholders. Recruitment takes time, it requires thought, reflection, decision making, negotiation and allocating time for this will lead to a robust and efficient process. Bad processes allow agencies and candidates to potentially assume that there is a lack of commitment, prevarication and poor management, thus presenting you as a bad employer. An efficient process presents employees with a positive experience of your company, one they will want to work for. Don’t make assumptions – why read CVs? You will feel a need to take time to review CVs, especially if you have done your own advertising, rather than a qualified shortlist from your agency, but having decided you are recruiting based on behaviours you are now selecting based on skills you see on the page. Additionally you will be tempted to make assumptions about job moves, travel or relocation, and will have your own subjective views about other employers. Think about why you would discount a candidate, is it a deal breaker, do they possess other beneficial skills which you hadn’t considered? Gain opinions – consider the new hire’s colleagues Gaining the opinions of those the new recruit will be interacting with the most and not just their Manager will help you find someone who is a ‘good fit’ and may provide further insight into the role.

Candidates have their own timeline – don’t miss out on a new hire to a competitor Losing the best candidates to another employer is currently the biggest factor of the skills shortage, rather than actually finding the skills in the first place. Some candidates will be well down a process with other employers, some come late to the process. Even if timelines align, other employers may make decisions more quickly. Over longer timescales further tempting opportunities will crop up and distract your candidates before you gain their full commitment.

There are no successful short cuts, the recruitment process is likely to take the same amount of time whether recruitment is at the top of your to-do list or the bottom. Placing it as a priority will help avoid many of the pitfalls mentioned. As is often the case, the more effort you put in the greater the outcome. So go on, move recruitment up your to-do list. For more information visit:


FOR TIMBER MANUFACTURERS To meet increasing demand we require someone to design and sell roof trusses and open web beams in the Eastern counties. Full training will be given using our bespoke software which can be taught to a computer-literate person in 3 months. The job will require diligence, accuracy, numeracy and a practical approach working from home with back-up from the office in Wisbech. We need an outgoing person who can communicate easily with builders. A background in house-building as a foreman or site manager with some experience of interpreting plans would be useful but not essential. Must be confident in ability to sell essential components to builders. Established in 1896 we still lead the industry with a reputation for competitive pricing and on-time delivery from our well-equipped freehold factory in Wisbech.

CAR, SALARY NEGOTIABLE, COMMISSION AND EXPENSES If you would like to know more ask in absolute confidence for details: Rick Fitch - General Manager, Walker Nene Truss Co, Osborne Road Wisbech PE13 3JS Telephone 01945 582215 or email:

Adding Real Value in Recruitment Specialists in offsite manufacturing, construction and supply chain

ARV Solutions are the UK’s leading recruitment consultancy for the offsite construction sector and it’s supply chain. We are your trusted recruitment partner for permanent, contract and interim staffing needs in all forms of structural timber, timber supply, modular build and wider offsite manufacturing and construction sectors, throughout the UK and internationally.

Contact our team for a confidential discussion on career opportunities: • Sales & Marketing • Business Development • Estimators • Buying • Quantity Surveyors • Manufacturing • Production • Operations • Site • Project • Contracts Management • Cad • Draughting • Design • Process • Graduate to Executive • Director level

Call us now 0117 9592008

FUTURES NEC, Birmingham - 24 November 2016

EXPLORE THE FUTURE OF OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION The need for faster, leaner and smarter construction is becoming more and more apparent in the UK and with only 63% of site based developments completed on time and an even smaller 49% delivered on budget, it is clear that traditional build fails to meet the major challenges facing construction today. Explore Offsite Futures examines the opportunity for offsite construction technology to play a major role in addressing the issues of skills shortage, sector image and productivity through product development and innovative application.

Motel One - FP McCann

hoUSe by Urban Splash


Banyan Wharf, B & K Structures


Explore Offsite Housing Event

Tom Bloxham MBE - Urban Splash Sam Stacey - Skanska Jason Whittall - One Creative Environments Ken Davie - Carillion Building Stephen Bradbury - Wates Group Chris Foad - Whitbread Tim Houghton - Heathrow Airport Andy Sneyd - Portakabin Mark Davey - Lakesmere Peter Foster - CoBuilder Ian Loughnane - Kingspan Timber Solutions Neil Magner - FP McCann Simon Underwood - Elements Europe Robert Clarke - Fusion Nick Hayes - Unite Dale Sinclair - Aecom Tom Klingholz - Chapman Taylor

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? The event is aimed at attracting construction clients; construction professionals: architects, surveyors, engineers; facilities managers; building product manufacturers and suppliers.

BOOK Ticket prices for the event are listed below:


Grand Felda House - Vision Modular

£95 + VAT


Industry Partners:

To book your place go to


ForgeFix announces Timber Expo plans Distributor of fixings, fasteners, power tool accessories and hardware, ForgeFix has announced its plans for Timber Expo 2016, which runs from 18th to the 20th October at the NEC Birmingham. The business will use its inaugural appearance at the UK’s only event dedicated to the use of timber in construction to showcase its impressive capabilities and its extensive product range. In particular, it will focus on a number of recently launched products. It will also stage special promotions aimed at both professional users and potential resellers. Specifically, visitors to the ForgeFix stand – Stand T3/135 – will be able to learn more about the company’s new ForgeFast elite performance woodscrews. Visitors will also be able to learn more about the recent accreditation of ForgeFix decking screws under the DeckMark scheme. Finally, ForgeFix will also be giving away free merchandising on its stand and running special, show only deals. This includes the chance for potential resale partners to benefit from free 1m merchandising units on loan when they order a set amount of ForgeFast products. For more information on ForgeFix and its extensive product range visit:

The 2016/17 edition of Simpson Strong-Tie’s flagship catalogue is here Alongside the UK’s largest range of connectors for timber and masonry construction, sit over a dozen new products and several range extensions, including: • Post Bases • I-Joist hangers • Angle Brackets • Structural screws • Masonry Ties

Snows Timber - Promoting CO2 benefits of timber building The climate benefit of locking away CO2 through the use of timber in buildings prompted Snows Timber’s first engagement with sponsoring the Structural Timber Awards. Working with major contractors, providing bulk timber supplies of certified timber products direct to site, Snows Timber recognised an opportunity to reduce the significant carbon emissions currently emanating from commercial buildings through sponsoring the category.

The catalogue is also brimming with installation advice, performance characteristics and safe working loads. Sales Director, Jon Head explains: “It’s been a busy year for Simpson Strong-Tie, with all new ranges for Light Gauge Steel and CLT construction, as well as our significantly expanded nails and screws ranges. We’ve really pushed the boat out to increase our core range though, which, coupled with our rapid made-to-order service, we really can say that if we don’t have it – you don’t need it”.

With global business now evaluating the value of natural capital, demonstrating the triple bottom line benefits of using sustainably-grown timber in commercial construction can only increase interest in timber as a truly renewable, sustainable material.

The first choice for house builders, truss and timber frame manufacturers, as well as the repair and maintenance and DIY professionals, we offer innovations to make traditional building methods easier and connectors designed from the ground up to meet changing legislation and the needs of emerging construction methods such as Glulam, Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). The latest version ‘Connectors for Timber and Masonry Construction’ is available from Simpson Strong-Tie on request and can be downloaded at:

Snows Timber has four regional distribution and production centres serving construction hubs across England and Wales. Its local bases and Investors in People accredited employment practices enable contractors to gain a measure of social value in the supply chain. Snows is also a recognised responsible purchaser, with a decade-long track record of certified timber supply. Currently Snows Timber’s purchasing is around 99% certified timber. Sponsoring the Commercial category in the Structural Timber Awards is part of Snows Timber’s responsibility to future generations. To find out more about our 100+ years’ of wood expertise please contact us: CALL: 01458 836400 VISIT:

BRICK SLIP FINISH FOR FLYING GABLES Building contractors and housing developers seeking a brick finish on flying gables in timber frame buildings, have found the ideal solution thanks to leading brick slip cladding specialist Eurobrick Systems.

The lightweight and easy-to-install alternative to traditional brickwork provides a seamless finish to intersecting rooflines, eliminating the potential cost of complex engineering detail. Eurobrick’s X-Clad system has been specified by house builders in such circumstances for over 25 years. Managing director of Eurobrick, John Mayes, explained: “The slim line profile of our X-Clad system makes it the perfect choice for gable ends. The backer panel is easy to

handle and cut to shape and is lightweight so avoids adding too much additional weight to the timber structure. “We stock brick slips in a wide range of colours and textures, but crucially, we also provide a brick cutting service where we collect whole bricks from site and have them cut to fit our panel system and returned to site for installation. This ensures continuity with the adjoining traditional brickwork, something which is very important to our customers.”

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Eurobrick’s X-Clad system, used extensively on new build projects, is a tried and tested product with third party certification from the British Board of Agrément (BBA). It has a system weight starting at 36kg/m² and a profile thickness from 33mm. For more information on Eurobrick’s systems and products, visit:


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Structural Timber Magazine Autumn 2016 - Issue 9  

Structural Timber Magazine Autumn 2016 - Issue 9

Structural Timber Magazine Autumn 2016 - Issue 9  

Structural Timber Magazine Autumn 2016 - Issue 9