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Structural Timber

SPRING 2017 | £4.95


Design Technology Sustainability Interviews News Analysis Case Studies

The latest in structural timber building design and technologies





Homes & Communities Agency

Panel Products

Modified Wood & Cladding Special

What is timber’s role in ‘Fixing our Broken Housing Market’?

The best boards, expert advice on insulation and optimising timber performance

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WELCOME TO Welcome to the Spring edition of Structural Timber Magazine. It is an exciting time for timber as a material and in particular how it fits within the wider concept of offsite manufacture.


PUBLISHER: Radar Communications Ltd, 5 Darwin Court, Oxon Business Park, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. SY3 5AL T: 01743 290001 |

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.


As most readers will know, the Government’s housing white paper – Fixing our Broken Housing Market – was published in February. Essentially it outlines how the Government hopes to solve a problem that has been generations in the making – you can read more on this from Sir Edward Lister, Chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency, who outlines why offsite methods can play a major delivery role through the Home Building Fund and Accelerated Construction programme. Interest in the ways that factory-controlled methods of manufacture can deliver a more sustainable, streamlined and cost-effective built environment is higher than ever. Both timber frame and SIPS in particular are in prime position to capture a wider housing market share. A recent conversation with a timber industry chief executive centered around how the timber industry now needs to concentrate its efforts to help solve the perennial problem of insufficient numbers of new homes and poor quality of finish. On a strategic level the timber sector needs more collaboration and collective effort to make the most of a construction opportunity of a lifetime.

This edition is the largest since our launch issue over three years ago. Suffice to say that there is something for everyone interested in any aspect of the timber sector, ranging from the Confederation of Timber Industries 2017 strategy, Andrew Waugh’s clarion call for sustainable solid wood construction, to SIPS in education and why BIM could – or should – be far higher up the design agenda for those working with timber technology. Special mention in this issue for two dedicated sections covering panel products and a range of different board options and also cladding – where you will find some detailed coverage of the many timber and alternative modified materials that can bring a winning finish to the building envelope. Finally, a quick shout for the Structural Timber Awards 2017. The submission deadline is the 31 May – don’t miss out on what will be the biggest timber event of the year. 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 - MEDITE SMARTPLY Ever-increasing safety standards of timber frame structures are continuing to contribute toward a promising outlook for the sector with latest industry reports showing that timber frame units of all types are now up to 50,355 in the UK – a growth of 17%.

P10 | HARNESSING THE POWER OF BIM Andrew Orriss, Board Member of the STA and Sales Director of SIG360 Technical Centre, discusses the positive impact of BIM and digital technology but also adds a cautionary note. P12 | UK & OVERSEAS NEWS A quick round-up of some recent news stories from the timber and construction sectors that you may have missed including FastHouse’s modular offsite timber system, Powys County Council’s Wood Encouragement Policy and the new STA/TRA MoU. P28 | T&G LINE SET FOR MAJOR GROWTH EGGER recently opened up the doors at its Hexham plant to unveil the latest developments in its building products division and the multimillion investment in its new tongue and groove (T&G) panel processing line. P32 | BUILDING FOR A BETTER FUTURE Sir Edward Lister, Chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) outlines why offsite methods could play a major role in improving housing delivery and helping create successful communities.

P40 | CONSTRUCTION FOR THE POST-INDUSTRIAL AGE Everything we do now should be done with our planet in mind, says leading architect Andrew Waugh – this especially includes our built environment – whose practice Waugh Thistleton is at the forefront of tall timber design with its pioneering use of CLT. P44 | DFMA - SUPPORTING YOUR DESIGN DECISIONS Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) is used as the foundation for concurrent engineering processes to simplify and fully optimise the structure wherever possible. B & K Structures Managing Director, Andrew Goodwin outlines the huge opportunities. P50 | THE ROAD TO NET ZERO CARBON SCHOOLS Neil Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Net Zero Buildings (NZB), describes its energy efficient Schoolhaus design and how SIPS play a pivotal part in achieving exceptional energy performance. P54 | PANEL PRODUCTS A special section dedicated to a range of board solutions explaining how to achieve excellent insulation and thermal performance and a report on MgO boards and its fire-resistant properties.

P66 | THE TIME IS RIGHT… Alex Goodfellow, Chairman of the Structural Timber Association (STA) and Group Managing Director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS), discusses the opportunity for offsite manufacture and the benefits of structural timber. P70 | MODIFIED WOOD AND CLADDING SPECIAL A dedicated section concerning the specification and options available for the building envelope with comment from a range of industry specialists on timber, modified materials and brick slip systems. P72 | A DURABLE AND STABLE ALTERNATIVE Phil O’Leary, Head of Timber Technology Investigations at Exova BM TRADA, discusses developments in the modified wood sector and what it means for the wider construction industry. P74 | WEATHERING DETAILING Janet Sycamore, Director of Operations at the Timber Decking and Cladding Association (TDCA) highlights a few options to secure the long-term aesthetic of timber cladding. P98 | TIME FOR TIMBER AND BIM TO COME TOGETHER Although it often seems that BIM has been a topic of conversation for ever, the reality is that many timber frame manufacturers haven’t had to worry much about BIM. Jason Ruddle, Chief Operating Officer for Elecosoft, outlines why that might be about to change. P100 | ST AWARDS 2017 The Structural Timber Awards 2017 are open and ready to receive entries. This year there are two new categories – Installer of the Year and Project/Construction Manager of the Year. Don’t miss out.

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Protecting Timber Frame Market Growth Ever-increasing safety standards of timber frame structures are continuing to contribute toward a promising outlook for the sector with latest industry reports showing that timber frame units of all types are now up to 50,355 in the UK – a growth of 17%.

01 Urban myths surround the safety of timber buildings – especially when it comes to fire risk – and continue to overshadow proven technological advancements. It is these developments that timber frame ambassadors, and manufacturers alike, need to make heard to cut through the noise and rumours. Timber frame is fully compliant with all Building Regulations and proven safe in fire as demonstrated by BRE and TRADA with the Timber Frame 2000 (TF2000) project. Qualities include excellent thermal insulation properties, high structural strength and a predictable charring rate, meaning that wood in large sections in

buildings can often be used unprotected. “We still hear of some doubt cast against the use of timber frame use in the construction sector,” comments David Murray, Innovation Manager at MEDITE SMARTPLY. “One of the main concerns from end users is around liability, which can cause issues should something go wrong. According to the Structural Timber Association (STA), in a standard design tender contractor build process, the structural material specification and fire safety lies with the project architect, unless specially provided under contractor design proportion. In a project in which the design

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is contracted out, the responsibility for structural material choice is down to the design and build contractor who typically appoints a design manager. It is an ever-evolving topic and something that we take very seriously, especially when developing our own technologies.” Ultimately, the issue of accountability would not be a problem if the products used were of a good enough quality. MEDITE SMARTPLY, leading manufacturers of MDF and OSB panel products, used this argument as a basis for developing a high-quality reliable OSB product that could meet the need for a flame-retardant structural material used in timber frame structures. Key to its design was its ability to fit the most demanding structural applications, such as wall sheathing, flooring and roofing, while also resisting ignition from flame and slowing down early stage fire growth in the event of arson. The product, SMARTPLY FR OSB/3, underwent years of research and development before coming to fruition in 2014. The timing was very important as in the same year the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) wrote an open letter to the timber frame industry – in association with the STA – stating that those making design and procurement decisions that significantly affect fire risk, should consider and reduce said risk during the construction design phase. SMARTPLY FR OSB/3 was developed to support the HSE and STA’s move to create a safer timber frame industry. It is one of the few panel products in the flame-retardant category that can be said to be truly CE

COVER STORY – MEDITE SMARTPLY (DoP) issued after treatment to declare the improved reaction to fire classification, but also to declare that the structural properties have not been destroyed by the pressure treatment process. This must involve sampling, testing and certification all carried out by an independent ‘Notified Body’. “SMARTPLY FR OSB/3 is truly unique as it is manufactured and CE Marked ex-works in accordance with the harmonised standard EN 13986 to demonstrate suitability for structural use in permanent constructions, and is therefore fully compliant with the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) and EU law.” The Wood Protection Association – the independent UK centre of excellence for wood protection technical and quality developments – has also published a document on Flame Retardant Specification and CE marking and is promoting its proper practice campaign to UK government.

02 certified and CPR compliant. “All FR panels that we produce from our manufacturing plants in Waterford and Clonmel, Ireland are CE certified,” adds David Murray. “Our flame-retardant OSB/3 panels are manufactured with Zeroignition® technology during production. Many other OSB and plywood panels used in the industry are post-treated, leading to visual and structural degradation and invalidation of the CE mark, even though it often remains visible.” As a member of the Wood Protection Association (WPA) FR technical committee and previously a TRADA timber frame technical consultant, David Murray speaks with authority on the subject. “The topic

of CE mark validation is a really important issue that is rarely noted or fully understood by the end consumer. It is a complex issue, but we try to make it as simple as possible for specifiers and consumers by ensuring our products are manufactured to the highest quality and fit for their intended permanent use in construction. “There are many companies who cut corners to make their life easier or cut costs by ignoring the law, but such behaviour is reckless and illegal and can have very serious consequences for the building owner, not to mention adding to the negative myths. Products, which have a CE mark applied prior to treatment, must have a new Declaration of Performance

Steve Young, Director at the Wood Protection Association says: “In recent years, many site-applied coatings and post-treated products have appeared in the UK with DoP, CE Mark Construction Products Regulations compliance claims and application choices that make them appear an attractive alternative to in-line FR factory production processes. “However, it is absolutely essential that fitness for purpose is verified prior to the use of any FR treatment purporting to offer extensive fire protection performance. That’s because such products are intended to be brush or spray-applied on a building site or are superficially applied with little or no factory control. Often there is no real external verification of quality control or evidence of fire performance specific to the type, size and installation configuration of the timber elements for which long-term fire protection is required.”

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COVER STORY – MEDITE SMARTPLY to, or through, the MgO and siding boards may corrode within a few years, the paper outlines. SMARTPLY FR OSB/3 on the other hand can be fixed in the same way as standard OSB/3 using standard galvanised framing nails suitable for service class 2 conditions. David Murray says: “The FR OSB/3 product that we’ve developed is also more lightweight and easier to cut than mineral based panels. In fact, it can be installed exactly the same as standard structural OSB/3 with the added benefit of ‘built-in’ flame retardancy. It is less dusty when cut, does not crack when fixings are inserted or shatter on impact during construction, but perhaps more importantly in today’s climate it does not contain any added formaldehyde. Furthermore, the Zeroignition® technology is non-toxic water-based green chemistry, which contributes to an overall healthier environment and assists those that are servicing areas and industries with strict regulations concerning indoor air quality (IAQ).

03 The challenge faced by designers to find panel products which comply with both fire and structural requirements is a difficult one. There are many new products hitting the market that are unproven. In June 2012, a magazine article entitled ‘OSB vs MgO’ pitted both products against each other and seemed to give timber frame designers more choice. MgO panels can undoubtedly solve the issue of flame spread but there are other important design considerations that cannot be ignored, such as racking strength, moisture resistance and increased corrosion of fixings. A paper published by the Technical University of Denmark shows that, due to

the chemical composition of these panels, corrosion of fixtures and fittings is occurring in completed buildings. The damages to these fittings are reportedly caused by the fact that MgO boards that contain MgOcl2 (magnesium oxychloride cement) as a binder have poor moisture resistance and decompose over time. This is due to the absorption of moisture from the outside air especially in periods with high outdoor humidity (90-100% RH), which also causes water drops to form on surfaces. The drops contain a high amount of soluble chloride ions, which appear on the surfaces of the boards and can run down to adjacent structures spreading the issue further afield. As a result, metal fixtures fastened

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“When it comes to the sustainability and traceability of our products we have an enviable guaranteed supply of FSC-certified timber sourced from our own forests in Ireland which removes the risk of illegal timber. It’s our goal to continue installing faith in the timber industry and bringing to the forefront the benefits and versatility of the product with continuous customer beneficial innovation and that includes SMARTPLY FR OSB/3.” For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01. SMARTPLY FR OSB 02. Site-based application of FR OSB/3 03. SMARTPLY FR OSB/3 was used at X1 The Edge, Liverpool

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Harnessing the Power of BIM Building Information Modelling (BIM) is at the front and centre of the latest digital technology in today’s built environment. Andrew Orriss, Board Member of the STA and Sales Director of SIG360 Technical Centre, discusses the positive impact but also adds a cautionary note.

Through the STA’s on-going work with major housebuilders, we are aware that many have stated that within the next six months, they will only deal with structural timber companies who utilise BIM to provide product data in a digital format. It is therefore more important than ever to get our proverbial ‘ducks in a row’. The STA maintain that there are lessons to be learnt from others who have gone through a similar ‘digital revolution’ – the oil and gas industry, for example. ‘Death by data’ is a phrase commonly used in this sector and too much incorrect information or wrong kind of information can be detrimental to the project. Construction partners should be clear on what information is required – data validation and verification is crucial to a successful outcome. There should therefore be a process of checking information against set requirements, thus reducing risk from multiple data sources and streamlining information into a standard format. The discipline and collaborative working that BIM requires and facilitates are ideally suited to the needs of prefabrication in terms of early co-ordination and three-dimensional design information – particularly when using solid wood as the core structural component. The output of the BIM design process, the IFC model – can now be directly imported into

the fabrication software eliminating the time-consuming translation of engineer’s information into cutting lists and assembly drawings. Further to this, it reduces the risk of errors in the process and the need for cross-checking. The STA firmly believe that the implementation of BIM is a progressive step that helps to challenge outdated assumptions about the construction sector and encourage more young professionals into the industry. BIM will generate savings in the long term, initially it will require investment but the overwhelming message has been that companies at every level of the supply-chain should invest in digital technology required by the BIM process sooner rather than later, or risk being left behind. However, industry understanding of BIM has not necessarily increased at the same rate as the hype, and this knowledge gap has the potential to cause problems. There are a large number of technical people operating in the landscape, many of whom have a tendency to over-complicate and a few of whom may be perpetuating the general perception of BIM as a ‘dark art’ in order to upsell their insight. Furthermore, anyone who has tried to absorb the contents of all five sections of PAS 1192 will testify the BIM process can be somewhat confusing to the uninitiated. As a result, there is a danger that companies could

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end up throwing themselves headlong into the task of integrating BIM into their business without fully understanding it, or considering what their customers’ and their own requirements actually are. BIM does not need to be this complicated or bewildering. There are many companies, including major building contractors, that are using it in a much more practical, common sense way, and moderating their usage of the technology depending on the size of each project, its value, and the customer’s interest in and/or capability of using the data. BIM is different things to different people, so it is important to be responsive to your own needs and more importantly, those of the parties you plan to work with. As an industry getting to grips with a revolutionary new technology, it was inevitable that there would be a few mistakes along the way. The important thing is to make sure that we all learn from those early explorations. There is a wealth of information available to construction professionals on the STA website, from advice on structural timber systems to market reports and an online member’s enquiry system. Andrew Orriss Structural Timber Association E:

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS SIPS DELIVER AT NEW MENTAL HEALTH HOSPITAL The Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel and Kingspan TEK Building Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) system have been used as part of an innovative £40 million mental health facility in the heart of Leigh, Greater Manchester. Atherleigh Park will be an integral part of the 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s strategy to deliver world-class mental health, learning disability and community services for the Wigan borough. The hospital has been designed by AFL Architects to provide a positive and safe space for patients and staff, that seek to engage with the local community both functionally and aesthetically. Constructed by Kier Liverpool, the 3.9 hectare site will offer high quality inpatient services for adults suffering with mental ill-health, short-stay intermediate care for patients with dementia and memory conditions, and a specialist unit for older people with mental ill-health. In the first phase of the project which comprises the adult wards, entrance area, café and staff offices, 6,350sq m of the Kingspan TEK Building System was installed as part of a hybrid

“During early design discussions, we reviewed a number of construction systems with Kier Liverpool,” says Neil Milling from AFL. “To meet the relatively short construction programme, we chose to use the Kingspan TEK Building System in order to maximise offsite construction and minimise installation time whilst also delivering excellent fabric performance.”

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structural frame. The Kingspan TEK Building System panels form the structure of the single storey areas whilst a steel frame overclad system was fitted in the two-storey areas with the Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel being used as infills.


The 142mm thick Kingspan TEK Building System and Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel installed at the hospital comprise an OSB/3 facing either side of a highly insulated core and can deliver U-values of 0.20 W/m2.K or better. The panels were pre-cut to the project’s specification and this bespoke approach, combined with the panelised system construction, allowed the construction team to establish a fast and predictable installation programme. Sarking and sheathing boards

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Jennifer McCaul, Assistant Design Manager at Kier Liverpool, added: “Being a mental health hospital, it is important that any mechanical and electrical services can be accessed and maintained outside of the patients’ rooms. Typically, you have designated routes for maintenance that require boarding or you have to find the joists. However, the spanning capabilities of the Kingspan TEK panels meant we could fit all of the services within the loft space, allowing easy access.”

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Located on Ellerslie Road in Yoker, Glasgow, this pioneering use of cross laminated timber (CLT) will consist of 42 new flats over seven storeys and is set to become the

tallest timber structure in Scotland, giving residents stunning views over the River Clyde. Due for completion in Autumn 2017, it will provide affordable living to tenants of Sanctuary Scotland. Alastair Wylie, Chairman and CEO of CCG, said: “Since the conception of our timber frame division in 2007, CCG has led R&D into the use of ‘offsite technology’ in Scotland, a product of which is our bespoke ‘offsite manufacturing’ facility, CCG OSM, which launched in 2010. We are constantly innovating and whilst we do not manufacture CLT, we have used it as an extension of our OSM product to further enhance our approach to sustainable construction. This project is not only ground-breaking for CCG in terms of the CLT construction method but it also seeks to address some of the industry challenges in terms of



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resource demand; both the labour skills requirement and also the material supply chain. In doing so CCG are pushing the boundaries of our offsite manufacture capabilities and continue to show our success in striving to deliver the national target of building 50,000 new homes within the next five years as set by Scottish Government.” CCG began the installation of the CLT superstructure in March and as this element of works progresses, so too will the exterior façade. As an extension of the offsite process, the superstructure will be clad in a lightweight solution using acrylic brick slips, replicating a traditional brick aesthetic. This solution has most notably been seen at CCG’s awardwinning Panmure Street project in Maryhill, Glasgow. SOURCE:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS MORE DESIGNS UNVEILED FOR FGR STADIUM Concept designs for Forest Green Rover’s (FGR) new 5000-seater stadium at the proposed Eco Park near Junction 13 of the M5 have been released. Zaha Hadid Architects were chosen to design and build the proposed Eco Park development near Eastington. As one of the world’s most famous architects practices it was a hugely significant triumph for the aspirational National League football club. Initial designs set out a vision for the world’s first all-timber football stadium, which would be totally unique and highly sustainable. More detailed plans have been released in a Concept Design Proposal, which has been published as part of the application on Stroud District’s Council planning website. This document lays out information on the symmetrical timber designs, VIP areas, a football academy with teaching rooms and fire safety measures. Zaha Hadid Architects say: “With the new Eco Park and its Sports Complex, FGR have an unusual opportunity to create a new home which is emblematic of their ambitions: an eco-friendly team at the heart of a vibrant community. The new stadium should capture imaginations and we believe the most effective way to do this is by making the new stadium a single, defining visual gesture.

Turnstile entrances for fans will be located on all four sides of the stadium and sweeping curve of the bowl will create an overhanging canopy on the north and south side, providing shelter from the elements. Meanwhile on the east and west side structural beams will also create overhanging canopy to protect terraces from the rain. This specially engineered frame will be created using cross laminated timber (CLT). Both the flowing roof structure, bowl and terraced seating will be created from CLT, along with an architectural lightweight membrane.

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We are proposing a fully symmetrical seating bowl for the stadium – increasing efficiencies in construction and enhancing the overall internal atmosphere.


The architects say this will reduce the carbon footprint of a stadium in comparison to a similar steel or concrete structure. “As a material, timber is highly durable, recyclable, and beautiful,” they add. “It fits in well visually with a parkland setting lending a warm quality to the building envelope and can be left exposed to view without seeming cold or industrial.”


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The designs also address one issue many in the community had questioned – fire safety in a wooden stadium. The architects said: “Safety is a major consideration in this type of project, where a large gathering of members of the public takes place. Wood is often perceived to be unsafe when exposed to fire, largely due to concerns related to combustibility and structural stability. The reality, however, is that modern engineered timber systems perform well when exposed to fire.” SOURCE:

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Innovation in timber engineering


TURBO-DRIVE Lagan Homes Managing Director Conor Mulligan and FastHouse Managing Director Stephen Bell at Windrush Park, Antrim.

A new housebuilding solution has the potential to transform the building process and reduce housing shortages in Northern Ireland by lowering completion times by an average of 70%, according to modular construction company FastHouse. The company completed two semi-detached homes in Windrush Park, Antrim utilising offsite techniques and reducing the construction period from 16 to 3 weeks.

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Housing Growth Indicators developed as part of the Government’s Regional Development Strategy identified an estimated need for 190,000 new dwellings to be built in Northern Ireland (NI) over the period 2008-2025. FastHouse’s modular offsite timber system enables quality homes to be built more quickly and is vital in tackling the shortage of housing and skills in the local market. Stephen Bell, Managing Director of FastHouse said: “Traditional construction methods have changed very little over the decades due to the conservative nature of the industry. Even the use of traditional timber frame construction in NI only accounts for 15% of newbuild homes compared to 33% in England and 75% in Scotland. We are delighted to complete our first project for Lagan Homes which has resulted in a fully completed house within three weeks of the FastHouse installation team first moving onsite. We strongly believe that offsite manufacturing isn’t the future of the housebuilding industry, it’s the today.” FastHouse’s signature closed panel timber frames leave the factory insulated with service conduits and electrical boxes installed, windows pre-fitted and dry lined, ensuring minimal waste and maximum efficiency. Conor Mulligan, Managing Director of Lagan Homes, part of the Lagan Group added: “We are all aware of the housing crisis in NI and we can see first-hand the contribution FastHouse has been able to make to this development at Windrush Park. For the builder, in this climate of limited bank lending, the ability to increase turnover of ‘work in progress capital’ from three times a year to perhaps ten times a year will have substantial appeal.”

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Due to the increase in popularity of cross laminated timber (CLT), Exova BM TRADA has developed a new training course for spring/ summer 2017. Exova BM TRADA has teamed up with the experts from the ‘home of CLT’ at Graz University in Austria, to develop a course which explains the basics of CLT design, along with how to make the most of the product’s benefits and how to avoid any potential difficulties.

Dr Keerthi Ranasinghe, Principal Structural Engineer at Exova BM TRADA explains: “Uses of CLT in modern building systems are receiving positive comments from many building critics, and we’re seeing more and more new buildings being built using this method. With these types of buildings hitting the headlines in recent months, we were receiving a number of enquiries about CLT training courses, so we are extremely fortunate to be able to offer this course with our specialist colleagues in Austria to create this course.

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“The UK is currently one of the biggest users of CLT in Europe, yet there is incredible potential for the product in the mid-rise residential and commercial sectors where steel would usually be specified. It is one of the most exciting recent products to be used in buildings, and it will become an even more popular choice in the future as the industry realises the full potential of CLT.” The ‘Cross-Laminated Timber for Engineers’ course will be delivered by Dr Alexandra Thiel and Prof Reinhard Brandner from Graz University, Austria and will be held at the following locations: • 9 May 2017, The Institution Of Structural Engineers, London • 11 May 2017, The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Edinburgh • 4 July 2017, The Institution Of Structural Engineers, London • 5 July 2017, Chancellors, Manchester.

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS TAYLOR WIMPEY LOOK TO TIMBER SYSTEMS A competition to find a new design for Taylor Wimpey houses has been won by a London firm of architects that exploits offsite prefabrication. London-based Openstudio Architects has won Taylor Wimpey’s Project 2020 open design competition with its ’Infinite House’, a set of terrace housing prototypes. Maximising construction efficiency was one of the key criteria when Taylor Wimpey launched the competition with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) last year to find its house of the future. Openstudio Architects said that the Infinite House prototypes are designed to offer maximum flexibility, customisation and cost efficiency, and to maximise levels of natural light and the perception of space. The houses have been designed to reduce costs and control quality, maximising the efficiencies of repetitive construction, which will also minimise errors in construction. The Infinite House can be constructed from both traditional and offsite methods. CLT is likely to become more feasible over time as offsite construction becomes economically viable, the architects says, but SIPS, timber framed or brick and block construction are

Taylor Wimpey chief executive Peter Redfern said: “This has been an engaging process, and we have been delighted by the level of interest and the quality of the entries. The standard of the six finalists was very high which made our final decision a difficult one. After meeting the architects much debate was had on the merits of each entry, but ultimately we were impressed by the way in which Openstudio interpreted the brief, and the simplicity, effectiveness and appeal of the winning designs.”

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Jennifer Benningfield, principal of Openstudio Architects, said: “The level of commitment to transforming housing through this competition has impressed us. At all stages Taylor Wimpey was thoughtful, thorough and careful in decision-making. There are many pressures on housing – cost, delivery methods, sustainability and context – but fundamentally a house should provide joy to its inhabitants and fulfilment of their needs. We have focused on the quality of the houses themselves, and particularly on daylight and adaptable planning, in our submission. We believe that our Infinite House project truly offers the flexibility and customisation that home owners are looking for, and we look forward to working with the team at Project 2020 to realise and test the prototypes in the near future.”

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS MORE WELSH WOOD IN LANDMARK COUNCIL POLICY New council homes in Powys will be built and fitted out using local, sustainable timber materials. As part of the Homegrown Homes initiative Powys County Council’s Cabinet have adopted the Wood Encouragement Policy which looks to make better use of natural resources and create local employment opportunities. The Wood Encouragement Policy sets out that all new Council housing projects will look to use wood as the preferred material for both construction and fit out purposes. This pioneering approach has been developed as part of the Homegrown Homes Partnership which was set up

to encourage forestry and product manufacturing, retain and create new jobs and build better, and more energy efficient houses. Cllr Rosemarie Harris, Cabinet member for Housing comments: “Adopting the Wood Encouragement Policy today demonstrates our support for the Homegrown Homes project, highlights local timber as a sustainable building product and recognises the value of the forestry and timber industry to the economy of Powys. The forest and wood products industry is extremely important to employment and economic development in rural areas and the Homegrown Homes project provides a great opportunity for us to lead the way to help build a skilled, resilient and sustainable county.” Woodknowledge Wales champions the development of wood-based industries

The robust performance of housebuilding, a boom in construction output and shortages in other building materials have buoyed the timber industry over the past 12 to 18 months, despite the economic volatility surrounding the EU referendum.

Insolvency levels across timber have remained low despite these challenges.

Tabitha Binding of Woodknowledge Wales added: “We are delighted to support Powys County Council to deliver this exciting and unique timber sector development project. Powys, as Wales’ largest county has ample land for timber production, existing sawmill capacity and a track record of timber framed manufacturing. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop and expand the forestry, wood processing and timber construction sectors, maximising community, economic and environmental benefits. The adoption of the UK first Wood Encouragement Policy in Powys is further demonstration of Powys commitment and leadership and is a shot in the arm for local businesses.” SOURCE:

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is expected to impact the future work pipeline.


Paul Trigg, Assistant Head of Risk Underwriting and timber specialist at global credit insurer Euler Hermes, says: “Increasing input costs have been a nagging concern. Together with the rise in global timber prices, driven by strong growth across Africa and the USA, the drop in Sterling following the Brexit vote pushed up import costs by almost 20%, leaving businesses with the challenge of passing on price rises to customers.

for increased prosperity and well-being in Wales and have provided support on this Powys project.

Recorded late payments fell for a second consecutive year in 2016, with businesses enjoying a strong flow of new work. Looking ahead, there will likely be mixed fortunes in various sub-sectors. The growth in housebuilding is expected to continue, which will deliver a strong stream of new work for timber frame manufacturers. Offsite construction is also set for sharp growth given the opportunity on offer to reduce project costs and address the skills gap. But, the outlook for the commercial sector is more uncertain as falling levels of

Most at risk are those businesses in the ‘squeezed middle’ of the supply chain – companies fighting rising input costs but struggling to pass them on. Small to medium-sized manufacturers unable to offer the scale or strength in negotiations of their larger counterparts are likely to be hit hardest, as they are forced to compete for work at smaller margins. This risk will be significantly increased for contractors working closely with construction who arrive on site last. Companies such as fit-out businesses or cladders are at the mercy of projects that run over budget. They are also far more vulnerable to these pressures where there is over-reliance on one customer as negotiating options are massively reduced. As a result, we see an increase in insolvency levels over the next 12 to 24 months as unavoidable.


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TRA & STA Join Forces A new collaboration in the engineered wood industry is paving the way for important product quality improvements and increased skills in wall, roof and floor construction for the benefit of housebuilders and developers. The Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) and the Structural Timber Association (STA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to reinforce the close working relationship between the two bodies.

As part of an expansion move into custom-built premises, Elite Timber Homes has upgraded their ageing crosscut saw to the Salvador SuperPush 200 and SuperAngle 600 models. Elite Timber Homes are manufacturers of engineered timber frame structures for homes, offices, student accommodation, home extensions, holiday modules and self-build projects. Following a visit to the Daltons Wadkin Wood and Panel Open House exhibition, Elite’s Operations Manager Steve Hughes and Company Director Fraser Hughes were able to see both models in operation. They were immediately impressed by the SuperAngle. With a cutting angle range of -70° to +70° it was the ideal solution for roof cassette systems. One of the key benefits of the Salvador SuperPush and SuperAngle range is the ability to program cutting lists offline, away from the machine itself. Using a simple Excel-based spreadsheet multiple cutting lists including information on lengths, angles, quantities, qualities, priorities, waste percentage and labelling data can all be compiled from the office. This means operators don’t need to waste valuable production time inputting cutting lists at the machine. They simply open up the file, load the material and press start.

Daltons Wadkin director, Alex Dalton, said: “What continually sets the Salvador crosscut saws apart from the competition is the powerful and intuitive PC-based software. The capability for offline programming is not an optional extra, it comes as standard with the SuperPush and SuperAngle machines along with full optimising and defecting facility. Whether it’s a straight or angle cutting machine, each Salvador can be customised to suit customers’ requirements. The infeed length, pusher speed, clamping arrangement and outfeed sorting can all be specified to suit the product and production volume required.” Steve Hughes added: “The design software we use automatically generates the cutting lists for our timber frames. Before, these had to be manually inputted directly into the machine itself. Now, we simply copy and paste the information into the Salvador’s office based spreadsheet and click save. It has made the whole process quicker, and crucially more accurate without the possibility for human error’. SOURCE:

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Jonathan Fellingham, Chairman of the TRA and Managing Director of Donaldson Timber Engineering, said: “The TRA and STA have much in common, including requirements for third-party supervised quality assurance and professional indemnity insurance for members, helping to ensure quality and peace of mind for housebuilders. What matters now is that we can grow the market for timber products through sharing our knowledge and collaborating on research and technical development on areas such as fire safety, site practice and construction safety.” Alex Goodfellow, Chairman of the STA and Group Managing Director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems, added: “This agreement helps establish a sustainable, long-term cooperation between two professional and proactive trade associations, for the direct benefit of the broader construction industry, our members and our customers in commercial and new housing sectors. We are working to boost health and safety onsite, to increase skills and knowledge, and to promote improved technical guidance, certification and product quality. Together we can ensure increasing standards in timber structures across thousands of new homes and commercial buildings in the UK and Ireland.” SOURCE: |

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS BRITISH GYPSUM SUPPORTS NEWHAM COUNCIL The London Borough of Newham Council has taken an innovative approach to developing a sustainable solution, working with British Gypsum to produce affordable housing with minimised maintenance costs. Central to the council’s ambitious plans has been the opening of its own offsite manufacturing facility – with the capacity to provide two new homes per week. Key sections of each housing unit produced at the facility – such as the walls and roof – are built with timber frame. Using specialist plasterboard from British Gypsum throughout has maximised maintenance cycles. The end result is high-quality homes, which deliver significant time and cost savings compared to traditional-builds. Tony Abbs, Operations Director RMS, London Borough of Newham Council, explains: “With the cost of homes and rents rising higher

BeA Sets Sights on Glue Gun Success BeA, the manufacturer of fastening technology, tools and consumables for the offsite construction industry, has made a new addition to its product portfolio. The business has introduced a new cordless glue gun that combines impressive performance with exceptional flexibility and versatility. Known as the b-tec 807 Glue Gun, the new BeA product is ideal for a wide range of light to medium duty fixing applications. As it is battery-powered, the b-tec 807 Glue Gun frees users from being tied to a mains power source. It employs the same RYOBI® 18V 1.5Ah lithium+ battery that’s commonly employed in other power tools. This battery also has a 4-stage charge indicator - which enables easy monitoring of remaining battery life - and delivers fast recharge times. A full recharge takes just 60 minutes. In addition, the b-tec 807 uses 12mm (1/2”) glue sticks which are a standard and widely available size. Further benefits include a rapid warm up time enabling almost immediate use and helping to reduce unwanted battery consumption. Once its illuminated power switch is turned on, the b-tec 807 Glue Gun is ready for use in only 3 minutes. The tool is also comfortable and easy to work with. It features an adjustable full hand lever trigger and a soft grip handle. It also has a narrow profile and extension nozzle that makes it easier to apply glue accurately. BeA is offering the b-tec 807 Glue Gun as a complete kit with a battery, charger and case or as individual guns. Separate battery and charger sets are also available.

and higher, particularly here in London, increasing the supply of affordable housing is hugely important to ensure local people have a place they can comfortably live. An offsite, timber frame home is up to 40% cheaper to develop than a traditional build. These savings mean we can deliver more units within the same development budget, helping more residents across Newham access high-quality affordable housing.” Supporting the requirement to reduce long-term expenditure on property maintenance, British Gypsum’s Gyproc Habito plasterboard has been specified as standard across the new homes. Tony Abbs added: “Our repairs team are in high demand across our housing stock and, as a result, we’ve struggled to keep up with maintaining the walls in our properties. This means we need a robust, longlasting product, which is also easy to install and replace when it is time to undertake maintenance on a home. We were impressed by the strength of Gyproc Habito. Its ability to help in significantly increasing maintenance cycles makes it the perfect product for the development of high-quality social housing.” Following a successful test-house - which now accommodates Newham Council’s highway maintenance offices - the first development, featuring six three-bed homes, had its first residents move in late 2016. This initial development is expected to be followed by an additional 32 timber framed homes using Gyproc Habito as standard.


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OVERSEAS NEWS Sweden Martinsons Ups CLT Production Martinson. “Including investing heavily in training designers and appointing a product manager for CLT. We know that those who begin using the material frequently increase their purchases over time and that is naturally an excellent testimony.”

Swedish firm Martinsons is commissioning its new production line for cross laminated timber (CLT). This will increase the company’s production capacity for these components to a total of 22,000m3 per year. “Demand is strong,” says CEO Lars Martinson. “There is a lot of construction going on throughout Sweden and CLT meets the need for efficient industrial construction with the lowest possible climate impact.” Martinsons has so far manufactured panels with a width of 1.2m but with the new line in Bygdsiljum it will also be able to offer storey-high panels, with a width of three

metres. “We have been manufacturing CLT since 2003 and know the product inside and out, so we feel confident about this launch. We will implement a controlled start-up and then gradually increase production,” said Production Manager Olov Martinson. CLT has long been established as a building material in Central Europe, but has been less commonly used in Sweden. Use has increased sharply over the past year, not least because it meets the growing need for time-efficient and simple building processes. “We have done what we can to spur on development in Sweden,” adds Lars

New Zealand Christchurch School Wins Out The winners of New Zealand’s top timber and architecture awards were announced in March, with the overall supreme winner of the Resene Timber Design Awards 2017 going to Cathedral Grammar Junior School in Christchurch. The winning team was Ruamoko Solutions and Andrew Barrie Lab with Tezuka Architects, Ohno Japan and Contract Construction. The Awards featured many buildings with extensive use of LVL and CLT in residential homes to multi-storey commercial buildings. The judges praised Cathedral

Grammar, saying: “It stands out as an example of what can be achieved with effective collaboration and innovation in timber design, fabrication and construction. Outstanding BIM modelling and CNC machining was used to craft an integrated spatial and structural delight for its young occupants.” Speaking to Architecture Now, Designer and professor at the University of Auckland, Andrew Barrie, said: “We used timber elements that were notched

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Martinsons has had environmental product declarations for its CLT and glulam construction components produced by EPD Norge (The Norwegian EPD Foundation). They show that one cubic metre of CLT, taking into account extraction of raw material and transport, sequesters a net total of 658 kg CO2-eqv. “These are figures we are proud of and are the result of our substantial efforts to minimise our environmental impact. Our plants, for instance, are wholly powered by renewable electricity from hydropower and our transport activities use fossil-free diesel,” added Olov Martinson. SOURCE: capacity_51048.html

into each other and bolted together, which creates rigidity. It’s actually a very traditional method but not one used much now because of the level of accuracy required. This very high level of craft means it’s usually very expensive, but we were able to take advantage of the new CNC technology – so all of these elaborate joints could be cut with robots. There are a couple of places in New Zealand that have the right technology for this and it’s very, very precise. One of the other key decisions is that all of the walls are actually non-structural, so in a hundred years you can take them out and lay it out differently. IMAGE: © Patrick Reynolds SOURCE:

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OVERSEAS NEWS Germany Timber Teaching for Refugees Architecture students from Germany’s University of Kaiserslautern have teamed up with 25 refugees to build a timber community centre in Mannheim, Germany. Completed as part of the ‘Building Together—Learning Together’ program, the 550sq m structure prioritises ecological and cost-effective design without compromising construction quality. The timber community centre was created in response to the desolate conditions of the Mannheim refugee camp located on the former American Spinelli Barracks. To help, 18 architecture students teamed up with 25 refugees to design the new building, from

Norway More Tall Timber Planned

AB Invest and Norwegian contractor Hent have entered into a turnkey contract to build Mjøstårnet in Brumunddal, Norway, constructing what is set to be yet another contender for the world’s tallest wooden building. At the same time, Hent has entered into a contract with Moelven Limtre. Based in Moelv, Norway, it will be

concept to final build. The students lived at the refugee camp and worked intensively for six weeks from mid-August to the end of October to realise the project and help teach their new co-workers basic building skills and German. The community centre is made almost entirely of lightweight untreated timber, with the larger components prefabricated in a hangar of the former military facility and later assembled onsite. The main walls are clad in Douglas fir while the latticework walls are used as structural support, allowing for natural ventilation and light while also creating a beautiful dappled play of light and shadow.

space. Built-in seating is arranged around this area, shielded from the elements by a wall, canopy and partitions. The centre also includes a pair of storerooms that can be adapted for different uses in the future. IMAGE: © Yannick Wegner SOURCE:

The centre wraps around a small garden courtyard as well as a large outdoor events

the turnkey sub-contractor and supplier of glulam, Kerto and cross laminated timber (CLT) for the tower structure and swimming hall. Marketing and development director of Hent, Knut Alstad said the project was the result of a development collaboration between AB Invest as client, Hent as project developer and turnkey contractors Voll Arkitekter and Moelven Limtre. Mjøstårnet will cover around 15,000m2 and will span 18 storeys including apartments, a hotel, offices, a restaurant and associated common areas. The total height will be more than 80 metres. The value of the contract to Hent is around NOK 500 million (€56 million). Planning is under way, and work at the building site will start on 1 April 2017. The project will also include a 4,000m2 swimming facility with the Mjøsa Lake as its closest neighbour.

glulam and Kerto and façades as wooden elements. This is a response to the ‘green shift’ and proof that wood is a material that can compete with traditional solutions in high-rises too, enabling climate-friendly building as long as one has the right mindset.” Moelven Limtre CEO, Rune Abrahamsen added: “Mjøstårnet will have wood-based slab elements in the bottom ten storeys in the form of Moelven’s Trä8 elements. Moelven Limtre will supply and install all wooden structures. Installation will take place from September 2017 and until April 2018. Sweco AS in Lillehammer is responsible for planning and design of the structure for Moelven Limtre. Ringsaker Takelementer is assembling the wood elements for Moelven Limtre AS. SOURCE:

Client Arthur Buchardt said: “The main structure is based on glulam, with slab elements consisting of a combination of

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USA New Timber Innovation Act for USA

A new piece of bi-partisan legislation has been tabled by the United States Senate and House of Representatives named the Timber Innovation Act. The bills were put forward to further the development of tall timber buildings in the US and supporting the nation’s timber market and rural manufacturing jobs. “The United States has an opportunity to bring new, sustainable mass timber technology to our construction industry,” said Robert Glowinski, President and CEO of the American Wood Council (AWC). “The Timber Innovation Act directs technical assistance and research components already in place.” The bills aim to create a focused research and development program to aid in the advancement of tall wooden structures in the US. Federal grants will be awarded to fund the research undertaken on state, local, university and private sector levels including the provision of education to architects and builders in relation to timber construction. The act will also introduce educational and technical programs on timber design and applications, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture and state foresters. Valerie Johnson, President and CEO of leading US CLT producer D.R. Johnson Wood said: “We applaud the members of Congress who co-sponsored the Timber Innovation Act bill and encourage others to sign on. As the nation’s first certified manufacturer of CLT, my team has worked with architects, engineers and researchers to pioneer mass timber construction in the US. We’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish thus far and know that focused investment in this emerging sector can be a game changer. Mass timber construction can drive the green building revolution of the 21st century and catalyse job creation in rural areas. It is a win-win.” SOURCE:


T&G Line Set for Major Growth EGGER recently opened up the doors at its Hexham plant to unveil the latest developments in its building products division and the multi-million investment in its new tongue and groove (T&G) panel processing line – one that produces over 6.5 million EGGER Advanced Structural Flooring panels every year.

01 EGGER UK, Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood-based panels, has announced that the first quarter of 2017 will see the commissioning of major investments totalling in excess of £10 million within its building products division at its UK headquarters. The new T&G panel processing and packaging line also includes further processing facilities with a lamination line and the development of an onsite demonstration rig and testing area for its structural flooring products. At a cost of approximately £5 million, the new T&G line will enable EGGER to strengthen its position and commitment within the UK construction industry. “Investment in our new T&G line means we are utilising the very latest technology to boost productivity,” said Bob Livesey, Commercial Director at EGGER UK. “This

also gives us the capacity to further secure supply to the UK market for many years to come. This enables us to lead the way in a challenging marketplace and reinforces our commitment to our customers. The new T&G investment also involves the installation of a new Peel Clean surfacing facility to bring production of our EGGER Peel Clean Xtra boards in-house. This means we can continue to develop our product portfolio for UK housebuilders at a time when there is a recognised need to build more homes.” The new investment will also bring benefits for raw board production at EGGER’s Hexham facility. The new T&G line is designed to process a larger master panel, utilising the full press width and giving added flexibility to produce additional products. The company has also invested

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approximately £6 million to replace one of five lamination lines. The new line is set to secure and grow production capabilities of melamine faced boards including EGGER Protect, its market-leading structural flooring product. It replaces a production line which started life in 1986 and has served EGGER and the market well pressing over 19 million boards – around 200 million m2 in terms of production – the same as 28,500 football pitches worth of board. The new lamination line will increase output and board quality when the housebuilding market needs to grow considerably to hit government targets and public needs. “In recent years we’ve seen a change in demand,” adds Bob. “From basic raw P5 flooring to either EGGER Peel Clean or EGGER Protect, driven by the needs of housebuilders. In 2010, the majority of our T&G structural flooring sales were traditional raw P5 boards. Since then the combined sales of EGGER Peel Clean Xtra and EGGER Protect have grown year-onyear, so much so, that our T&G boards now make up the majority of sales. There’s no doubt that this has been helped by the introduction of our Advanced Structural Flooring System and growth in the UK housebuilding industry. “Through continued investment in new technology and the production of marketleading products we aim to give our customers confidence in the knowledge that they’re being supplied with the best quality materials which have been manufactured in the most technologically advanced facility in Europe. This also serves to reaffirm our commitment to the UK market and provides our customers and end users with security and peace of mind that we are here for the long term in all areas we supply.” The company has also invested in a new Customer Demonstration Area & Testing Rig

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02 which has been created to replicate onsite conditions. The rig consists of a concrete base with a joist system as you would find on a typical building site. This allows EGGER to run real-time condition tests on all its structural flooring products to provide the market with confidence and security that EGGER boards are the best available for the job. It is also used for customer visits to provide live, hands-on training, so customers can observe how easy EGGER structural flooring panels are to lay, and how they can benefit from the EGGER Advanced Structural Flooring System lifetime guarantee – another industry first. The Advanced Structural Flooring System is designed to save time, money and manpower on projects without compromising on quality. It is based on the EGGER portfolio of structural P5 grade flooring boards – EGGER P5, EGGER Peel Clean Xtra and EGGER Protect and suitable for traditional masonry, offsite modular and timber frame builds. The boards have enhanced moistureresistant properties with a precision T&G profile created using diamond-tipped tooling. This strong, tight fitting joint minimises air gaps preventing water entering the core of the board. Unique in the market, it provides a consistent joint on every board, giving customers the confidence that every EGGER T&G panel will fit together perfectly. This is only possible due to the high-grade formula used to make EGGER P5 core board which provides the market with the best possible structural flooring boards to meet their needs.

03 EGGER has also invested in a new state-of-the-art Design Forum at Hexham. The facility has been designed to enhance its customer service offering by providing visitors with an interactive display of the entire EGGER product range and matching components. Building product customers benefit from the opportunity to experience the decorative side of the business in relation to fitting out kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. Dan Soulsby, Category Manager for EGGER Building Products, said: “Our new investments, particularly in the value-added structural flooring boards EGGER Peel Clean Xtra and EGGER Protect, come at a time when the UK needs housebuilding to increase dramatically. It is high on the agenda of the Government as detailed in the recent Housing White Paper. Since the 1970’s the UK has averaged around 160,000 homes per year and we now need

04 250-275,000 annually to catch up and keep up with demand. “The various incentives and funds set up by the Government show how serious the UK is about building more homes, and being more innovative in the ways in which we build. From traditional masonry, to increasing timber frame and offsite methods, now more than ever is the time for manufacturers of key products in the market to step up and secure the supply of these products as well as continuing to develop and be innovative to assist the builders in achieving these numbers.” For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01. The Hexham Plant is one of the most advanced of its kind in Europe 02- 03. T&G foiling line 04. Quality checking of tongue and groove on finished boards

How it Works – the New T&G Line A master panel is fed from the automated storage warehouse onto the T&G line where it is rip cut into eight flooring blanks. The blanks are then sent down the line to a profile cutter which cuts the long edge T&G profile then the short edge. Once profiled on all four edges the profiles are quality checked then sent down to ether the Peel Clean foiling line for further processing or to the packaging line to be packed and put into stock. Once profiled the P5 boards can be diverted down the foiling line to produce EGGER Peel Clean Xtra. Two boards joined by the long edge are heated then a specially developed adhesive is applied to the entire board surface. The EGGER Peel Clean Xtra foil is then rolled onto the board surface and adhered to just the right level – meaning the foil stays down until it is peeled off upon completion of the build.

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Building for a Better Future The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is tasked with helping create successful communities by making more homes and business premises available to the residents and businesses who need them. Sir Edward Lister, Chairman of the HCA outlines why offsite methods could play a major role in improving delivery.

As the Government’s recently-published Housing White Paper set out, we have got to build more homes and build them faster. Since the downturn, construction rates have steadily climbed to around 190,000 homes a year but continuing to rely on volume housebuilders and housing associations won’t give us the sustainable growth in supply we need over the long term, through ‘thick and thin’. We must innovate and my organisation, the Homes and Communities Agency, intends to lead the way in partnership with industry. We are already actively supporting the use of offsite construction for both social homes and private sale and we want to encourage any construction innovation that speeds up the delivery of new homes, diversifies the supply chain or improves value for money. The Housing White Paper confirmed that the Government is particularly keen to develop capacity for advanced housing manufacture, whether through offsite factories or dedicated onsite facilities. We will support the whole range of techniques, from structural insulated panels (SIPS) through to volumetric components. We are discussing plans for new factories with a number of developers and we will consider taking a direct stake in factories or provide

loans for others to build and manage them. We will also put our own land forward for modular construction factories and we have already identified one site on which a factory will be built. In his statement to the House of Commons announcing the Housing White Paper, Secretary of State Sajid Javid said that: “we will make it easier for small and medium-sized builders to compete.” This is crucial because currently about 60% of homes are produced by just 10 builders. So we are also encouraging and supporting SME developers to use modern methods of construction to increase supply and speed up the time it takes to complete a home as well as encouraging new players to enter the industry. Our £3 billion Home Building Fund – which launched in October 2016 – is available to developers that want to use offsite manufacture and we have already had more than 40 enquiries from companies in the sector. We completed the first deal in February with Skye Homes, a start-up company that is building a five-home development in the North West that will use SIPS provided by Neatwood Construction, another SME based in the Midlands. This is a small site being developed by

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01 an SME developer, showing that you can profitably undertake small-scale offsite manufacture and we will actively support small businesses that want to do this with the loan finance they need. Modern methods of construction aren’t new – as shown in recent NHBC Foundation research – three quarters of new homes in Scotland use them, so it is high time that in England we caught up since we are only using it for 15% of our new homes. The HCA is here to help and we are looking to everyone in the housing sector to take up this challenge and ensure that we build the homes people need.

Get Involved with a HCA Loan Now Applying for a loan from the HCA couldn’t be easier – simply visit answer five questions and we will get in touch – no complicated forms or long documents to read, but real people to talk to. You just need to have a site which can deliver five homes and we would like to talk to you about the funding we can provide for new homes whether built traditionally or using offsite methods.

IMAGES: 01. Sir Edward Lister, Chairman of the HCA

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Are We Entering A Golden Era For Timber?

new potential clients, you are potentially storing up problems for the future. We want Timber Expo to be your industry showcase, your chance to connect with the whole supply chain, and to make sure timber stays central to the plans of builders, merchants, self-builders, architects for years to come.

Nathan Garnett, Event Director for Timber Expo, gets ready for an exciting period ahead for the show and for the timber industry and supply chain as a whole.

Key to this will be education, and we will be putting added emphasis on this at Timber Expo this year for all aspects of the trade. We will also be talking about collaboration, at the only event where all of the timber sector’s key trade associations convene. We will be explaining to the ‘outside world’ how the timber supply chain works plus all the advantages of using timber as the debate over design and quality intensifies. Last of all, we will be explaining how architect and broadcaster George Clarke and others are leading the charge to recruit the next generation of construction professionals who will be crucial to the whole sector and future growth.


02 We recently convened a Timber Expo steering committee for this year’s only dedicated timber event for the industry at the NEC in Birmingham. What was overwhelmingly clear from this meeting was the optimism in the sector and the amount of work and projects currently underway that have placed timber at the heart of their plans. It truly feels like timber construction is at a turning point, and that the whole industry is moving quicker than it ever has before in

03 adopting an offsite construction approach, and crucially, recognising timber has a crucial part to play in that. Coupled with the self-build revolution that is currently taking hold thanks to a variety of long sought after government initiatives – it looks like we could be in for a very busy few years ahead. This is when dedicated industry shows like Timber Expo can provide the whole sector with the chance to lay foundations for long-term growth. It’s great to be busy today, but if you are not seen and meeting

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I hope you will agree this is an exciting year for Timber Expo as we gather to embrace offsite construction and the vital role timber is playing in that, celebrate excellence at the Structural Timber Awards, learn and share from industry experts at the TRADA theatre, champion the architects of tomorrow with the Architectural Association School of Architecture and welcome the collaboration of the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) as they produce new content and networking opportunities. We look forward to seeing you there. Registration for Timber Expo opens 1 June 2017 at:

IMAGES: 01. Architect and broadcaster George Clarke 02-03. Timber Expo 2016 – an integral part of UK Construction Week


STA member exclusive! Save 10% on your stand at Timber Expo PART OF UK CONSTRUCTION WEEK 2017

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Picking up the Pace of Construction The Government’s White Paper – Fixing our Broken Housing Market – was published recently promising ‘radical, lasting reform’ on the ways homes are delivered. These reforms are set to include offsite construction and the use of more reliable and faster building methods.

In short, we have to build more of the right houses in the right places. And we have to start right now.” Essentially the White Paper outlines how the Government hopes to solve a problem that has been generations in the making. It intends to resolve the housing crisis through a series of measures including releasing more land, easing planning pressures and increasing productivity levels and types of housing being built.

01 On launching the White Paper, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid told the House of Commons. “Our housing market is broken. The symptoms of this broken market are being felt by real people in every community. It’s one of the biggest barriers to social progress this country faces. But its root cause is simple. For far too long, we have not built enough houses. To meet demand, we have to deliver between 225,000 and 275,000 homes every year.

Every local area will need to produce a realistic housing plan and review it at least every five years. Currently 40% of local planning authorities do not have an up to date plan that meets the projected growth in households in their area. Fixing this will help make sure enough land is released for new homes to be built in the parts of the country where people want to live and work and ensure developments take heed of local people’s wishes, while continuing with maximum protections for the green belt. Many of the construction ‘radical reforms’ rest in the wider adoption of offsite manufacturing techniques. “The

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housebuilding industry is less productive than the wider economy,” the Paper states. “Partly because it has been slow to modernise and make use of more efficient and faster ways of building. By increasing innovation and making greater use of modern methods of construction, we can change this. Industry reports suggest homes constructed offsite can be built up to 30% more quickly than traditional methods and with a potential 25% reduction in costs. They are high quality, reliable, more productive and can be highly energy efficient. They can require fewer people onsite, helping to mitigate the skills shortage. Some firms are increasing their use of these methods, but we need to go further.” The Paper acknowledges the huge potential that the offsite industry has to offer and expects the industry to raise its game and do far more. “The industry has the potential to expand significantly, but a lack of demand from housebuilders means that large firms tend to focus on manufacturing hotels, student accommodation and schools. Firms have told us that the most significant barrier to growth is the lack of a pipeline. A forward view of future orders and more information about the land available for development would allow them to secure investment to scale up production. International evidence suggests that as production increases the cost per unit falls. Scaling up production would allow industry to explore and deliver efficiencies, driving down costs. In turn this will encourage more builders to use these methods as it becomes economically sensible for them to do so. “To underpin the growth of this sector we must ensure that homes built offsite can access finance on the same basis as traditionally built homes. The Buildoffsite Property Assurance Scheme, which provides assurance to lenders on methods of construction, has existed for some time


02 but there is limited take-up among lenders partly because of a lack of data to support them in making decisions.” The Government are proposing they will stimulate growth through their Accelerated Construction programme and the Home

Industry Vox Pops “We welcome the government’s commitment to act as a catalyst for change in the wider housing market, through supporting offsite manufacturing techniques. Offsite manufactured structural timber systems have advanced greatly in recent years and can offer housebuilders cost, programme and performance assurances. Shortages in other traditional construction materials will continue to encourage larger builders and specifiers to look to alternatives. Innovation in the structural timber product range has broadened the appeal – the industry is no longer defined simply by the supply of timber frame kits and panelised solutions. Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association

“Today’s housing white paper includes many of the recommendations that I set out in my review into the construction industry. From a capacity building perspective there is a welcome recognition of the challenge of

Builders’ Fund (see page 24 of this issue for more on this). The fund will help to build more than 25,000 new homes this Parliament and up to 225,000 in the longer term by providing loans for SME builders, custom builders, offsite construction and essential infrastructure, creating thousands of new jobs in the process. This will hopefully create new opportunities for the use of offsite and encourage investors into the housing market. With the Government’s endorsement of offsite methods – particularly modular units – prefabrication and factory-controlled manufacture is seemingly perfectly placed

transforming skills development and training as well as strong support for modern, more efficient construction techniques. On a broader front, the central measures to better diversify tenure, especially through affordable housing and build to rent will drive a more resilient a cyclical demand profile for the construction industry which in turn will enable longer term thinking and investment in higher productivity capacity building. It is critically important in my opinion that government has not only looked at increasing supply but is considering the physical means by which that will be delivered ensuring high quality construction.” Mark Farmer, CEO of Cast and author of the Farmer Review

“What is not to like? Rather than seeking a magic bullet (the Housing White Paper…) is a broad strategy that covers all parts of the housing sector, ensuring that the volume housebuilders are free and encouraged to build on available land and vitally creating an easier mechanism for the custom

to rival and surpass ‘traditional’ building techniques that are in many ways slowing the delivery of the desperately needed levels of homes required to meet the UK’s shifting national demographics. For more information and to download a copy of the report visit: housing-white-paper

IMAGES: 01. The White Paper ‘Fixing our Broken Housing Market’ 02. Timber systems are playing a critical role in housing delivery. Courtesy SMTS

housebuilder to literally fill in the gaps. And through repeated reference to quality, it reaffirms that it is not just a numbers game, but seeks to ensure we are building quality properties that will stand the test of time. The whole timber supply chain is ready to support local authorities in developing policies to support this approach and to ensure that the natural advantages of wood are put to good use in delivering the sustainable housing stock we so desperately need.” Iain McIlwee, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF)

“It is good to see the Government finally wake up and acknowledge the need for greater stimulus in the housing market. The efforts toward greater use of offsite manufacture, along with moves to bring more SME builders into the market will go a long way toward easing pressure in the sector. It is good news for the timber sector.” David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF)

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Timber – a clear road ahead After an internal reorganisation and a revamped strategy, the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) has started to intensify its initiatives with the aim of growing the UK timber industry in 2017 and beyond.

As announced in an industry manifesto last autumn, CTI’s backbone now includes major trade associations including the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), the Structural Timber Association (STA) and the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) offering their support and expertise. These four organisations – in collaboration with major companies and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Timber Industries – are called upon to promote collaboration, share best practise and promote the Timber Industry case to key policy makers. The first demonstration of the new CTI strategy was unveiled through a seminar held at the House of Commons in February 2017. Focused on the Housing White Paper issued by the Government and promoted by the Structural Timber Association (STA) and the Timber Industries APPG, the event showed how offsite timber frame construction could represent an effective and proven solution to meeting housing demand. Industry figures show that the current production capacity is around 100,000 units per year and could easily scale up to 150,000 given the right policy frameworks.

Speaking in the House of Commons in front of an audience of policymakers, industry stakeholders and housing planners, Stewart Dalgarno, Director of Product Development at Stewart Milne Group said: “Housing is arguably the biggest social issue of our times and a huge economic opportunity. The timber industry already has the capacity to help meet this demand and is already delivering around 60,000 units per year using proven offsite construction methods. This is not something for the future, we’re doing this now.” However, to fully realise the potential of delivering over 150,000 offsite timber frame units per year by 2020 a more certain and long term commitment and policy framework is needed, Dalgarno warned: “Our sector is ready to invest and recruit. We can create a housing industrial revolution, creating UK jobs, UK prosperity and UK homes. But, we need that long-term commitment from Government and clients, the visibility of demand that comes with it, to really make this happen.” The audience was shown a wide range of community developments that have been delivered across the UK using offsite

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timber frame construction, including Bicester EcoTown, Glasgow Commonwealth Legacy Village and Derwenthorpe Village, York. In addition, case studies of local authority housing, affordable housing, private housing and private rental sector and student villages were presented to highlight the variety of designs and developments which can be achieved using existing UK offsite timber businesses. Thomas Hoepfner, co-founder of the New Garden Cities Alliance, and David Birkbeck, Chief Executive of Design for Homes, also presented examples of exemplary design and development using offsite timber-construction methods. Chairing the meeting of the APPG, Ian Paisley MP said: “It is clear the timber industry has proven capacity and ability to deliver solutions to the housing crisis, now and in the future. This is a powerful message that needs to get to the heart of Government, particularly the Housing Minister and the Treasury. Myself and other members of the APPG will do our best to help you achieve this.” Just a few weeks later, the CTI joined forces with Wood for Good to showcase the natural advantages of working with wood at Ecobuild 2017. For three days, experts from the STA, BWF, TTF, TRADA and Wood for Good were on hand to answer queries about this rapidly growing section of the construction market. The CTI/Wood For Good joint stand also hosted two successful initiatives: the launch of the BWF Life Cycle Assessments through the new BRE LINA tool and the presentation of the new guide on the ‘Robustness of CLT Structures’ produced by the STA. The event clearly showed how a co-ordinated and targeted approach across the UK timber industry can help put the sector in the wider construction spotlight. With this in mind, the CTI is going to undertake several tailored initiatives throughout 2017. The next project will

CONFEDERATION OF TIMBER INDUSTRIES be led by the BWF and will focus on apprenticeships and skills. The seminar – to take place again at the House of Commons in late April 2017 – will see the participation of policy makers, industry leaders and sector experts. Later, in autumn 2017, it will be the turn of the TTF, called to organise and coordinate a debate on sustainability and quality of standards across the whole timber supply chain. As underlined by many commentators, the 21st Century is definitely emerging as the ‘Timber Age’ and what the timber industries need is a mouthpiece to push this message forward. For this the CTI is ready to play a pivotal role. For more information visit: IMAGES: 01. The APPG met in Westminster to discuss how timber frame construction could provide an effective solution to housing needs

New CTI Chairman Appointed Roy Wakeman OBE has been appointed as the new Chairman of the CTI succeeding Peter Hindle MBE, who stepped down last autumn. Roy Wakeman will co-ordinate the new CTI strategy encouraging best practise and boosting a wide collaboration among the leading trade organisations and companies across the Supply Chain. Mr Wakeman is a leading figure and driving force in the timber and joinery industry. He has led the industry as President of the BWF (British Woodworking Federation) three times in his career, 1987, 2001 and 2013. He was Chairman of the Construction Confederation in 2001 and has previously chaired the Networking Forum for the CPA (Construction Products Association) for 11 years. Commenting on his appointment as new CTI Chairman, Roy Wakeman said: “I am delighted to accept both the role and challenge of the Chairman of the CTI, and very much look forward to helping everyone involved in this great industry to consolidate and improve the leading position that timber holds as a modern material of choice. Having spent my whole life in the distribution, manufacture and marketing of timber and its end products, I will use all my experience to make sure that we continue to lead, innovate and increase our reputation.”


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Construction for the Post-Industrial Age Everything we do now should be done with our planet in mind, says leading architect Andrew Waugh – this especially includes our built environment. His practice Waugh Thistleton is at the forefront of tall timber design with its pioneering use of cross laminated timber (CLT) and proving that positive mantra can be achieved.

01 Through the 1980’s and 90’s engineers and scientists in Switzerland and Austria worked with sophisticated harmless new adhesives laminating timber planks in perpendicular layers to form large panels. The genius of these simple panels is to create a building material that is light, adaptable and very strong. Commercial production began in Austria in the late 90’s. By 2008 50,000m3 a year were produced in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and by 2017, more than a 1 million cubic metres will be produced across the world. In 2003 my practice built the first CLT panel building in the UK – a 45sq m, threestorey extension for classical musician Joji Hattori in South London. It was a small but

perfect experience. Three carpenters built this accurate little building on a Saturday afternoon, craned directly off the delivery truck. We took the notion of that modest building and extrapolated it. To face the two challenges for contemporary architecture – climate change and urban densification – how can we build up our cities without exacerbating climate change? Through our experience of the Hattori building we contemplated of a city built from timber and of a new timber age for architecture. We drew a lot of timber buildings over the next few years but no one was interested. So we honed our argument. We demonstrated that this a very quick method of construction – very quick. We

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demonstrated to our clients that we could build buildings in half the time with half the people onsite, less deliveries and less foundations. We got better and better at this argument. Alongside this we got better at politics. Politics with our clients and local politics. We were able to encourage local politicians that by using timber we could build truly sustainable buildings quietly and with half the construction traffic. In April 2007 we presented our ideas to a housing co-op for a building in Shoreditch, East London. We took the principle of the design to the local authority and were permitted two extra storeys – we presented this at the feet of our client and with other facts – it was faster, less expensive and cheaper – they bit. By January 2008 we started construction and by January 2009 the first people were living there. It was a fast ride. Proposing a nine storey timber building was a challenge in many ways and we had only weeks to demonstrate it was feasible. Between us, the Engineer Techniker, the manufacturer KLH and finally our client, we raced around the UK persuading, encouraging and cajoling people not into immediately signing off the structure but into becoming part of the design team. We could not have built this building without the enthusiasm and passion of everyone involved. The completion of Stadthaus changed the perception of timber construction forever. Our vision to demonstrate that timber is a viable alternative to concrete and steel was built. Every September we give a public talk about timber architecture outside Stadthaus as part of the Open House weekend. Invariably a resident of the building will come down and tell us all what it’s like to live there – that they can’t hear the neighbours or they have never used the heating. Because beyond the fact that we are using this wonderfully renewable carbon



03 based material, is that timber is a beautiful material to build in. Timber builds healthy breathing buildings – buildings fit for people to live in. We are learning more about how the material works on each building we complete. To meet energy-use codes the envelope of the building must meet a certain thermal resistance. We know that timber has a completely different thermal dynamic to masonry – timber manages a temperature equilibrium, cooler in summer and warmer in winter. In each of our timber buildings the thermal performance outstrips expectation. We shouldn’t be surprised, timber is a natural material, prone to the same climatic conditions that we are. Since 2009 we have built seven more CLT buildings, I now live in one! Our latest project Dalston Lane is 17,000sq m, ten storeys tall and built for a large UK housebuilder. On this project another piece of the puzzle was completed – we were able to transfer the 3D design drawings from our computers directly to the engineer and then the same file was migrated to the CLT factory where the timber panels were cut precisely to size, with window and door

04 openings cut out and recesses routed for services. Prefabrication this precise allowed the panels to be assembled onsite with accuracy unknown to twentieth century construction methods. Prefabrication takes preparation. A little more time spent at the earlier stages of the job ensured that all the pieces were present and correct. Through this digital connection the architect is brought so much closer to the process of construction. We are learning at a faster rate than I thought possible in architecture, we are once again beginning to understand how the materials we build with can influence the architecture we create. We are at the beginning of an evolutionary process, as the first cars resembled carriages, our buildings are very similar in conception to their concrete forebears. The typology developed a hundred years ago through the re-discovery of concrete is deeply embedded in our creative psyche, the visual references that we hold for buildings are concrete ones. Beyond this, the processes of construction are still steeped in concrete and the disciplines, the contracts and the building sites we see around us are those of an ‘industrial age’. Moving rapidly forward

into a climate-sensitive culture these processes by necessity must be completely re-configured. We are truly seeing the emergence of a timber age in architecture. We are now working alongside architects such as Richard Rogers in the UK, SHOP in the USA and with Shigeru Ban on a project in London. We have students and professors from around the world knocking on our door every week with bags full of questions. It is exciting times. For now we need to do two things: we need to quickly learn how to re-build our cities naturally, beautifully and efficiently. And we need to grow more trees. We need to fill our planet full of trees, soak up the carbon and re-fuel the soil. We need to do this now, because although our timber buildings go up quickly trees really do grow very slowly. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01-02. The ten-storey Dalston Lane. Courtesy Daniel Shearing 03-04. Murray Grove (Stadthaus) changed perceptions of timber construction in the UK. Courtesy Will Pryce

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The CLT Revolution Structural timber systems including cross laminated timber (CLT) are playing a major role in delivering precision-designed, sustainable construction. Nic Clark, Managing Director of KLH – specialists in CLT – shares his opinions on why this material is becoming so popular.

01 Europe is full of timber framed structures dating back hundreds of years whose architecture and techniques of construction have evolved over the centuries, but in my opinion, some of the greatest innovations have been made over the last decade. We have been on the cusp of change for some time and now, with such factors as the recently published Housing White Paper and the Government-commissioned Farmer Report calling for the industry to ‘Modernise or Die’ – offsite manufacturing is taking centre stage.

02 used to form walls, roof and floor panels as well as shear walls and can be supplied as FSC® and PEFC-certified. CLT is produced by laminating and finger jointing soft wood timber lamellas at 90° to the layer below, this can encompass between three and seven layers. The structural benefits of CLT include its large bi-axial and flexural loadbearing capacity when used as a wall or slab, together with its superior acoustic and structural performance properties.

Timber technology is becoming the vital component in shaping city skylines. From Canada and the USA to Australia and here in the UK, architects and specifiers are realising the full capabilities of structural timber. Innovations such as CLT are the driving force behind this change and one of the primary reasons why we are seeing the creative and technical boundaries being pushed.

CLT is five times lighter than concrete and distributes concentrated loads as line loads at foundation level, which reduces the requirement for localised pad foundations. In practice this offers a greater return on investment for developers, as the reduced loading can result in taller timber structures which equates to more storeys offering enhanced profit margins. This is particularly beneficial in city locations with complex underground infrastructures and where land is at a premium.

For those still unaware and to get a bit technical, CLT is a structural two-way spanning timber panel solution that can be

CLT structures of 10 storeys have already been constructed in the UK. Current knowledge supports up to 15-storey

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designs, but the feasibility of building a timber structure up to 30 storeys tall has been investigated by Canadian architect Michael Green. Structures are typically built using a ‘platform frame’ approach, meaning that walls are temporarily braced with raking props before floor panels are lowered onto them and fixed. In addition to excellent sustainability credentials, good thermal insulation performance and sound insulation properties – it is speed of construction where CLT is in a class of its own. It is a rapid, robust and reliable offsite manufactured solution, delivers many benefits during the construction process and beyond. Manufactured to exceptional levels of accuracy in factory-controlled conditions ensures minimal defects and improves construction and project delivery time, reducing costs and maximising efficiency on all levels – providing cost and programme certainty. Solid wood products such as CLT are natural, renewable and are far less energy-intensive to produce and apply. Not only is it a renewable material, it involves very little waste during production and is extremely carbon efficient to transport. When we consider the whole manufacturing processes for the production of each m3 of CLT, -676kg of CO2 will still be stored after the production process. All facts, figures and environmental arguments notwithstanding, a key reason why architects and their clients are turning increasingly to CLT is the sheer design flexibility, adaptability, aesthetic value and all round quality of a modern engineered timber solution. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01. Mayfield School 02. Frampton Park Baptist Church. Courtesy KLH UK

• Timber Merchants • Roof Truss Manufacturers • Easi Joist Manufacturers • Timber Frame Specialists The Bartram Group was originally established in 1998 as a timber merchant based in Hitchin. Since then the group has grown to include a Manufacturing company supplying trusses and joist to the building industry and a Timber Frame company making bespoke timber frame buildings to the domestic and commercial industries. They have a complete design department that frequently assists and advises companies and individuals on their design requirements, whether it’s a full site design or an individual bespoke design. The Bartram Group has ensured that standards and quality are consistently maintained through their ISO9001:2008 status. They also hold Timber accreditation certificates in the form of FSC and PEFC, hold FORS Bronze and are Constructionline members. The Bartram Group are ideally situated on the A1 in Bedfordshire and frequently deliver as far as Kent, across to Buckinghamshire and through into east Anglia. They have worked on many projects in and around central London, recently providing the cladding for the tallest CLT building in the UK based in Hackney. Being specialist in Timber and Timber Design allows the Bartram group to provide a wealth of experience to all customers and their experienced staff are always on hand to ensure all aspects of your timber project are covered. High Road, Beeston, Bedfordshire SG19 1PB | T: 01767 699699 | E:


DfMA - Supporting Your Design Decisions B & K Structures Managing Director, Andrew Goodwin, illustrates how to integrate Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) processes into structural design and development.

01 DfMA is an approach that facilitates greater offsite manufacturing, minimising onsite construction. Buildings are constructed with higher levels of safety and speed – the process delivers both resource and cost efficiencies but does not impede creative design aspirations or compromise on quality. As well as delivering projects faster, lowering costs together with improving quality and sustainability - the use of DfMA techniques also results in better operational and in-use outcomes. The recent RIBA Plan of Work incorporating DfMA, was developed to help the industry take the next evolutionary step towards ‘assembly’ rather than ‘construction’. Historically many have questioned why the built environment sector does not reflect the manufacturing methods of the aerospace and automotive industries – where cars and planes are assembled in huge factories predominantly by robots. Innovations in panel and modular components, supported by new offsite manufacturing technology

with semi-automated assembly production processes now make this achievable to some extent. However, size limitations are dictated by transportation restrictions and there has to be a mindset and process change, now that buildings no longer have to be constructed in situ – this is where the RIBA Plan of Works and Assembly overlay comes in. The Plan identifies seven core stages of the build process, from the preparation of the brief and concept to technical design and construction stages. These stages are mapped out against core objectives such as the DfMA strategy, the integration of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and procurement tasks for DfMA. Crucial to DfMA principles, information transfer and share – designing with BIM is a collaborative way of working, underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of creating and maintaining assets. BIM embeds key

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product details and asset data to create 3D Models that can be used for effective management of information throughout a project lifecycle – from earliest concept through to operation. 3D Models can be shared by construction partners with further detailing being added along the design journey. BIM technology and CNC machines ensure structural components are manufactured to exacting tolerances to guarantee the details of connections are precise. This is of particular relevance in hybrid structures where high levels of technical advancement, innovation and rigorous planning through a strict programme of works are required to finish builds on time. At a time when our industry is facing a skills shortage, taking the build offsite into a factory controlled environment, reduces the levels of resource required and is not dependent on traditional construction skills. Developing solutions that are ‘assembled’ rather than ‘constructed’ offers the prospect of using fewer people in a more controlled and safer environment. When combined with increased productivity and enhanced quality – it is easy to see why the recent Housing White Paper and the Farmer Report aptly sub-titled Modernise or Die – outlined the government’s commitment to support offsite factory-built homes. The alignment of market need and political will is clear and compelling, signalling a real opportunity for a step change in the adoption of offsite construction methods, as evidenced by Sajid Javid’s statement to Parliament, where he said: “We will support efficient, innovative and under-used methods of construction, such as offsite factory builds.” For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01. The GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory of Sustainable Chemistry for The University of Nottingham


EBS Team Up With Experts for UK’s First CLT Masterclass

Sustainable building products and Passivhaus project supplier, Ecological Building Systems (EBS), will bring together experts from across Europe on Thursday 11 May 2017 to hold the UK’s first ever masterclass in cross laminated timber (CLT) design and construction. Designed specifically for architects, Passivhaus designers and construction professionals,

the Masterclass shares insights from some of Europe’s leading experts in natural wood fibre insulation, intelligent airtightness, windtightness and specialist fixing systems. The itinerary will include an opportunity to review CLT projects with the architects that designed them: including Will Garner from the Midas Group and Bernard Tulkens from Tectonics architects alongside fellow Masterclass presenter, the certified Passivhaus designer Peter Ranken, who won the Passivhaus of the Year award (Passivhaus Trust – Urban Category) and a Hackney Design Award in 2016. Speakers include: Christiane Lellig, Campaign Director for Wood for Good and EBS’s Senior Engineer and certified

Ecological Building


Passivhaus consultant, Niall Crosson, alongside specialist providers: Pro Clima, Gutex, and leading fixing and fastenings company, HECO-Schraben. “This Masterclass provides a unique knowledge sharing opportunity,” says Niall Crosson. “The purpose of the CLT Masterclass is to help architects drive innovation in wood-based building design so that they can derive the greatest advantages from this most functional and traditional building material.” Attendees will receive a certificate of attendance and five structured CPD credits. The event will be held at the Building Centre, 11 May, 9.30 - 4.30 with a buffet lunch provided. Tickets are available from Eventbrite ( at £120 per delegate with a 10% discount for members of the Passivhaus Trust, The Green Register, AECB, ASBP and STBA.

Insulating and Achieving Airtightness with


Cross Laminated Timber A unique opportunity brought to you by Ecological Building Systems to join industry leaders for a day


Mee rts Expe

Topics: • Insulating CLT with woodfibre • Achieving Airtightness – detailing and critical junctions • Specialist Fixing Details • Case Studies from leading UK Architects Location: The Building Centre, Store Street, London Thursday, 11th May 2017 9.30 – 4.30

In conjunction with Intelligent airtight and windtight products

vapour permeable wood fibreboards

For further information including booking details

Telephone: 01228 711511


Robustness of CLT Structures The Structural Timber Association (STA) has an objective to drive quality, product innovation and construction productivity through technical guidance and research. The Association recently published five technical Advice Notes dedicated to cross laminated timber (CLT) that outline a range of key technology and structural pointers.



The STA is committed to engineered timber and believe it has a massive part to play in the future of the construction industry. The alignment of market need and political will is clear and this is why the construction industry is experiencing a step change in the adoption of offsite manufactured structural timber systems.

provide guidance for the design, concept detailing and installation of panelised CLT building structures. Industry specialist’s KLH, B & K Structures, CCG OSM and Stora Enso, formed part of the steering group, with additional technical support provided by TRADA and Milner Associates.

As engineered timber gains traction across the industry, more construction professionals are getting involved in projects using CLT as a core structural component. It is therefore essential that the design and installation teams together with the follow-on trades understand the building materials being adopted. The series of Advice Notes provide best practice principles and include guidance on installation to deliver durable, robust CLT buildings. Produced under the banner of ‘Robustness of CLT Structures’ – the five Advice Notes

These Advice Notes have been developed by the STA for the collective good of the industry and are freely available to members and focus on: • Moisture durability and address the essential design and installation principles to support the development of robust structures where the durability is expected to exist for the design life of the building. • CLT wall to foundation interfaces including concept details on the interface of CLT wall panels and foundation support for heated buildings such as dwellings, hotels, educational buildings and offices.

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• • •

Over-arching principles for good practice detailing for the external CLT envelope and indicates strategies for controlling heat, air and moisture and to provide indicative detailing for ensuring durability of the CLT structure. Construction process and sequencing for installation of CLT structures and includes tolerances for fabrication and the protection of CLT during transportation, storage and erection, together with a site inspection checklist. CLT structural design and manufacturing quality assurance, which includes advice on requirements for accredited third party assessment and certification for key components and elements, ETA and CE marking.

Along with enhancing quality and safety, the STA’s core objective is to be a leading provider of technical research and industry insight. The Association’s Technical Committee work closely with the HSE, TRADA and BRE to ensure members have technical insight and industry intelligence to enable them to compete against other methods of construction. From a professional standpoint, the STA consider it is essential to promote best practise principles across the wider construction industry and these Advice Notes have been developed to support the creation of robust CLT structures that combine functional and load-bearing characteristics, to meet architectural aspirations and to stand the test of time. For those who are interested in joining the Structural Timber Association to access Advice Notes and Technical Papers, more information can be found by visiting:

IMAGES: 01-02. Frampton Park Baptist Church. Courtesy KLH UK

Glulam - Douglas Fir - Cinema «Les Fauvettes» - Architect : Françoise RAYNAUD






Larch open joint cladding - «La Pelousière» school - Architect : atelier de la Maison Rouge - Realisation : LCA

Grey, brown and green impregnation specialist. Euroclass B fire retardant treated cladding. Colours available. Composite timber. Catalina - Grey pressure-treated Douglas Fir • + 44 (0) 7821 807 788 PIVETEAUBOIS •

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Racking Solutions

Introducing Steel Strong-Wall and Steel Strong-Portal. Download our latest brochure to find out how to solve the problem of providing racking resistance to timber framed structures with large openings. Connect with us: 01827 255600 and STM-SST-Jan2017.indd 1

17/01/2017 11:36:56


SIPS for Self-Build Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are becoming a familiar system of construction for a wide variety of building typologies – especially for the small custom-build and self-build sector.

Building houses in undeveloped areas can be a self-build dream come true. However, when building in remote and exposed locations with limited accessibility, this dream scenario can rapidly bring builders and architects out in a sweat. This is what happened on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides off the West Coast of Scotland, when the Norman family was planning to build a new holiday home. Faced with planning and design restrictions, they had to source a construction technique with excellent environmental credentials, optimum thermal performance and a reduced build programme. The solution was found in SIPS with JML Contracts, based near Auchterarder in Perthshire, chosen as the contractor for the project. Why are SIPS growing in popularity? SIPS are at the forefront of a radical change in building design and technology. This high-performance building system has unique insulating properties, dramatically


reducing heating bills and increasing living spaces and future extension possibilities within a build.

SIPS can be used in conjunction with other building methods relatively seamlessly and hybrid schemes are now commonplace.

SIPS are manufactured and processed under factory-controlled conditions and can be fabricated to fit almost any building design, including extensions to existing buildings. Injected with a liquid polyurethane (PUR) insulation, this forms a rigid core that is sandwiched between two outer layers of orientated strand board (OSB). SIPS panels have much better resistance to point loading because their faces are supported all over by their foam core.

How does this system compare financially against timber frame alternatives? On a stand-alone kit the SIP system is more expensive than timber frame. However, if you build two identical houses side by side, one SIP and one timber frame, they would cost the same. Once built, the performance of the SIP home would be substantially better than the timber equivalent and the running costs would be considerably less. Taken over a 10-year period the SIP home would be considerably cheaper. This is due to reduced cold-bridging and excellent air-tightness achieved with SIPS.

SIPS differ from standard timber frame kits and are becoming more popular in challenging build locations. They are far quicker to erect than traditional building methods and the pre-cut, fabricated panels greatly reduce installation time. SIPS won’t shrink like timber kit, making concrete stairs easier to accommodate, for example.

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Environmental Benefits of SIPS The construction is inherently airtight, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This can reduce energy usage by 20% when compared to the same specification of



03 a typical timber kit. This reduced energy consumption leads to a corresponding reduction of up to 60% in carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels for the lifetime of the building. For more information visit:


IMAGES: 01-04 SIPS are now a key system in the self-build market


SIPs house building specialists with our own in-house Passive consultant, engineers, processing factory, groundworks and erection team - allowing us full quality control over the entire SIPs process.



Benefits of SIPs

- Exceptional thermal performance and u-values


- Airtight & draft free construction

- Drastically reduced energy bills S T R U C T U R A L I N S U L AT E D PA N E L S - Increased, habitable roof space - Off-site manufacture & minimal site erection time


- Excellent sound proofing & structural strength

- Ideal for Passive House & low energy buildings

B U I L D I N G & C I V I L E N G I N E E R I N G S E RV I C E S



Tel: 01764 663271 Email:

B U I L D I N G & C I V I L E N G I N E E R I N G S E RV I C E S



The Road to Net Zero Carbon Schools With technological advances in clean or renewable energy, construction materials and offsite building methodologies, the net zero benchmark for energy performance in buildings has become achievable. Neil Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Net Zero Buildings (NZB) outlines its energy efficient Schoolhaus design.

Since our formation in 2010 NZB has developed inspiring teaching spaces which utilise offsite construction methods and standardised components to deliver permanent buildings incorporating valuable energy saving efficiencies. Our Schoolhaus buildings are impacting on construction within the education sector by making cost-efficient and sustainable buildings accessible, whilst providing state-of-the-art learning environments for 21st century teaching.

NZB’s processes maximise offsite construction and minimise onsite disruption – to the extent that a double classroom with facilities can be delivered in as little as three weeks. Schoolhaus avoids a lifetime of CO2 emissions and eliminates unnecessary energy expenditure and run at a fraction of the cost of alternative methods. Current spaces – built to energy performance best practice – consume around £4,600 of

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energy spend per m², compared to a net zero building, which generates valuable revenue through saved energy costs. The use of a full solar PV roof also helps deliver a truly net zero building with better than neutral carbon emissions and significant energy cost savings. Through carefully considered material and technology choices, Schoolhaus costs little to run and achieves an EPC rating of A+. The unique combination of complete 3D volumetric elements and 2D large panel formats are used to create the building in a factory environment. Both the 2D and 3D elements are ‘pre-finished’ in the factory including external cladding, internally plastered walls, fully-fitted windows and significant installation of mechanical, electrical and plumbing services. This approach along with the use of structurally insulated panels (SIPS), enable NZB to complete around 80% of the superstructure offsite. This contributes to a lower environmental impact, improved processes, lowers costs and reduced disruption to




03 student learning as well as surrounding residents and businesses. Influencing design and specification wherever possible and encouraging suppliers and sub-contractors to develop environmental policies is key to improving future projects. Critically, the offsite, 2D and 3D approach results in less construction waste, minimal vehicle movements and a reduction in the need for onsite resources. We have now designed and delivered over 50 Schoolhaus projects across the UK. The buildings are aesthetically pleasing, modern and specifically designed to meet the requirements of the relevant users, i.e. primary or secondary schools, and we are on a mission to raise awareness of energy efficiency and sustainability through offsite construction. There are a wealth of unique educational opportunities that can be presented to students through our approach. The performance of our buildings are measurable and meters are fitted to

all electrical circuits. This allows both consumption data and operating hours of mechanical and electrical systems to be accurately captured and remotely monitored. Data captured is of enormous educational value, which provides a clear demonstration of the environmental benefits of net zero buildings – these benefits can be brought to life in the classroom with rich graphical interfaces connected directly to the building’s energy consumption and generation meters. To further promote the benefits of offsite and energy efficient construction, school employees, governors and pupils are all invited to visit the NZB factory whilst their school is being built. They are shown the innovative techniques involved in the manufacturing process and are given a presentation on the benefits of renewable technologies, sustainability and the impact of inefficient design in construction. The Schoolhaus concept and the possibilities it already brings to the future of school buildings is exciting. As a company,

NZB are enjoying rapid growth in line with the high market demand for energy efficient offsite construction. The need for the transition to the net zero building is one which is becoming increasingly acknowledged. NZB are advocates of sustainable construction and aim to reduce carbon footprint by minimising consumption through the use of sustainable technology and clean, renewable energy. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01. Schoolhaus buildings look contemporary and are highly energy efficient 02. 80% of the building superstructure is created offsite in a factory environment 03. The addition of solar panels increases the net zero approach to energy performance 04. Internal finishing also benefits from solid wood beams

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Kelham Collaboration A SIPS-based, fabric first approach from Innovaré Systems is at the centre of the Little Kelham development – a new urban scheme from CITU already being hailed by The Times as one of the ‘20 Hippest Places in the UK’.

01 Leeds based CITU – a forward thinking, developer and passionate about design, community and sustainability – chose Innovaré Systems to work with them on this project for the regeneration of the former Eagle & Green Lane Steelworks sites in Sheffield. Little Kelham consists of a range of one to four-bedroom homes, town houses and apartment blocks, with a variety of social spaces, shops and cafés. The main structures have been built using Innovaré’s i-SIP full structure system of structural insulated panels (SIPS), comprising both insulated and non-insulated floor cassettes, insulated roof cassettes and i-SIP wall panels. The i-SIP system was chosen for many reasons, firstly the design team’s ability to support the architects and client with specialist knowledge and also the ability to configure the i-SIP system to perform to Passivhaus guidelines without compromising on aesthetics. The i-SIP system combines structural timber with

02 rigid EPS insulation to create a product following the principle of composite material construction, whose load bearing capacity, structural integrity, hygrothermal, fire resistance and acoustic performance exceeds those of any individual components within the system. The flexibility of the panellised approach means that the i-SIP system can be optimised, shifting structure into the floor zone and onto the internal walls to optimise the amount and positioning of fenestration to enable optimum daylighting and thermal comfort required for these high-tech homes. The airtight line is formed by the fabric of the i-SIP panels and not by a conventional VCL (vapour control layer). In-house capabilities mean Innovaré assure full ownership of the structural design and engineering of the superstructure, resulting in a streamlined and unified build programme. A defining characteristic in the development of Little Kelham was that the developer was intent on offering high quality homes

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built to Passivhaus guidelines. Innovaré’s ability to adapt the i-SIP system design to the required Fabric First approach has meant that there has been no compromise to the client’s expectations on quality or sustainability and as the system is manufactured offsite, this means that production programming and sequencing ensure on-time deliveries and budget assurances. Being timber-based, the i-SIP system’s lightweight nature means overall loadings are lessened, resulting in cost savings, groundworks and foundation requirements, adding to the reduction in the projects carbon footprint. In terms of durability, featuring less post-construction snagging, more robustness and no shrinkage, the composite panel system remains stable and strong throughout its lifetime. The system is maintenance-free, without the need for on-going remedial works, with thirdparty BBA certification giving it a 60-year warranty. Innovaré have invested significant time and resource into value-stream mapping the most efficient delivery process throughout a project’s lifecycle. Jonathan Wilson, Development Director at CITU Developments says: “A true collaboration – combining vision, process and delivery. Innovaré have been an asset to our project team offering support and commitment at the right time in the right place. CITU have undertaken an innovative and unconventional route to housing delivery, and this has been simplified by Innovaré’s approach and commitment to delivering an exemplar product using an inspiring timber frame solution.” For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01-02. Little Kelham has used the i-SIP system to maximum Fabric First potential






We know that making SAP improvements is high on your agenda. We also understand that minimal insulation thickness can help you to reduce overall project costs. So we have good news. The reduction in thermal bridging achieved by our Hybrid range is producing up to 15% SAP improvement*, proving that savings can be made on the DER vs TER without compromising on space.

Each Hybrid product combines both insulation and airtightness properties:

All Hybrid products can be used in walls and roofs, separately or together, to provide a high performance, total insulation system. They are certified to harmonised standards by accredited bodies, are CE marked and have LABC and NHBC acceptance acceptance when used in accordance with the certification.

HControl Hybrid, a thin multifoil insulation product with a built-in vapour control function and an unrivalled thermal performance.

Hybris, an innovative reflective insulation product providing an excellent thermal performance.

Boost’R Hybrid, a thin multifoil insulation product with a built-in breather membrane function and an exceptional thermal performance. *as calculated over a standard house using Hybrid model junctions compared with default junction heat losses

To find out more visit or call 01249 462888


Plywood: ideal for structural applications The broad range of plywood available from a variety of global sources can make the specification of plywood a complex field to navigate. Lumin™ plywood by Weyerhaeuser offers a new, sustainable dimension when used for construction purposes.




Supplied in a variety of face qualities, Lumin™ is available in 12mm, 15mm and 18mm thicknesses. Faces are >3mm thick providing a very robust panel for most applications. In addition to the standard range, Lumin TRP was recently launched as a tropical plywood substitute and is available with a eucalyptus hardwood face.

Not only must the specifier ascertain whether the product is structurally ‘fit for purpose’ from a CE certification perspective, there are a multitude of factors which must also be considered, including its sustainability credentials, continuity of supply and compliance with the European Union (EU) Timber Regulation (EUTR). As a product which satisfies all these criteria, Lumin™ plywood by Weyerhaeuser provides a robust and reliable solution to this specification challenge. Lumin™ is a sustainable plywood made from plantation-grown pine and eucalyptus trees in Uruguay and is lightweight, flat and strong. Available in six grades and a pine or eucalyptus face, it is an ideal choice for builders and manufacturers looking for a structurally certified, environmentally friendly product with beautiful appearance.

Specifying with Confidence Lumin™ is an ideal specification choice where an environmentally friendly, structurally certified, PEFC and CE2+ certified product is required. As a highly versatile product, Lumin™ is light, strong, uniform and easy to handle. Manufactured at Weyerhaeuser’s state-of-the-art mill in Uruguay, the complete Lumin™ plywood range is fully CE2+ (EN 636-2 S) certified for structural use. Moreover, initial type testing to EN 1195 and EN 12871 has shown the Lumin™ 18mm eucalyptus faced panel to be suited to flooring and roofing applications in both SC1 and SC2. Denoted as fit for Category A and Category H uses, the panel can be used with residential floors as well as accessible and non-accessible roofs, where edges are supported or the product is tongue and grooved (T&G).

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Structural Applications Widely used in construction applications where structural performance is required, Lumin™ is commonly used for: • Fencing / hoarding • Floors • Walls • Roofs • Concrete shuttering panels. One project where it has been successfully installed as roof cladding was at a warehousing facility in Hanslope Park, Milton Keynes. Lumin™ was specified based on its CE2+ and PEFC certification and the availability of the product to be delivered to site against extremely tight timescales. At Hanslope Park eucalyptus faced Lumin™ in 18mm thickness was used in a CDX grade. The initial phase, which required a total of 2,000m2 of panels equated to 660 sheets, was delivered to site over a two week period as required by the contractor. Lumin™ is supplied in the UK through a nationwide network of strategic distribution partners who share the same values and vision as Weyerhaeuser to deliver a sustainable supply and environmentally friendly range of structurally certified plywood products. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01-03. Lumin™ being used in a variety of site-based applications


Mineral wool, density and acoustic absorption Stephen Wise from Knauf Insulation discusses mineral wool insulation and acoustic performance.

It is well understood that mineral wool insulation can provide significant enhancement to the acoustic performance of lightweight walls and floors due to its ability to absorb sound energy, however when the background to this fact is considered there are some common misconceptions that persist. In a simple timber stud partition wall with plasterboard either side, the mineral wool infill will enhance the airborne sound insulation performance of the structure by absorbing sound energy reverberating the cavity particularly at high and medium frequencies, it has very little influence over the low frequency sound. The mineral wool in this construction is generally described in terms of thickness and density. Of course thickness is straightforward but density is another matter.

Density is probably the most overused and least useful way to describe any performance characteristic of a mineral wool product, unless of course it is critical to know how much the product weighs. Its use is a legacy from a time when the manufacture of mineral wool products was less sophisticated and density was used as a proxy specification for virtually every performance characteristic. This practice is now obsolete. Indeed in the product standard ‘BS EN 13162 Thermal insulation products for buildings — Factory made mineral wool (MW) products’, which is the source document for all product performance declarations, density is not included. Despite this, density is still used to suggest mechanical acoustic properties. Retention of density in the acoustic specification is


partially understandable, because the mass of a construction does have an influence on its airborne sound resistance. However the benefit that the mineral wool brings is almost exclusively due to its sound absorption properties with its influence on the mass of the construction being insignificant in comparison to the mass of the plasterboard. See Figure 2 There are fundamental differences between the two main types of mineral wool, rock and glass. These products are formed in significantly different manufacturing processes which result in a substantial difference in density for approximately equal performance. For instance in standard timber frame applications rock mineral wool products (typically 33 to 45 kg/m3) are generally at least twice the density of the Knauf Insulation Earthwool® glass mineral wool products for the same application, but they have only roughly equal thermal and sound absorption performance. Once this fundamental difference in density between products manufactured by processes that vary in the way rock mineral wool and Earthwool glass mineral wool do is recognised it can be accepted that the density and thickness within each category does have some influence on the sound absorption performance. In laboratory tests on full partitions, the performance equivalence of Earthwool to rock mineral wool is borne out by the results obtained for systems incorporating Earthwool Acoustic Roll. See Figure 1. So when specifying mineral wool acoustic insulation remember that the sound absorption characteristics of the mineral wool layer is the critical factor and that specifying density alone without differentiating between rock and Earthwool (glass) mineral wool will result in inefficient outcomes. For more information visit:


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IMAGES: 01 Table outlining performance equivalence on full partitions 02 Rock and glass mineral wool comparison

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Internal partitions Internal floors Separating floors


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Earthwool OmniFit Slab

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Earthwool OmniFit Stud


A Board for All Seasons: A Board for All Reasons Many fire-resistant boards are available to timber frame manufacturers. Each, it can be claimed, offer unique properties to assist in the protection of timber frame construction during manufacture, transportation, construction, giving continued performance and reliability for the life of the building.

HSE fire safety requirements for timber frame construction requires high performance passive fire protection boards which can eliminate the potential for fire ignition, limit the spread of fire and help prevent or restrict the passage of hot gases and smoke for the duration of every aspect of the construction process. It is the building designer’s responsibility to specify appropriate materials which prevent or reduce risk to life, during and after construction is completed. They need to have confidence that the materials specified, meet or exceed the required performance criteria with proof of testing and certification to the required standards. BS EN and EN standards exist to prove performance in fire for loaded or unloaded walls and partitions, racking and strength performance, vapour transmission, reaction to fire, fire integrity and fire insulation. In many cases, boards will be tested to the far more onerous EN standard proving a far higher degree of protection.

Additionally, specifiers and manufacturers need to have confidence in the life expectancy of materials used and the ability of the material to stand up to the elements in both internal and external applications in all conditions. Significantly, the ability of products to maintain integrity during external exposure to the vagaries of the UK weather during construction which of course can last many months, in some cases throughout the winter. Tony Reed, Managing Director of IPP Black Mountain says: “Magply Fire & Sheathing board has been carefully developed to meet all of the requirements of today’s timber frame manufacturers. Magply through testing, exceeds all required standards, exceeds building regulations in all aspects of construction and is tested and proven to be suitable for purpose in a UK construction environment. Magply is guaranteed to endure five months’ winter exposure without the loss of integrity and will remain suitable for purpose.” Many STA members are aware of the testing and subsequent report issued by the Bunch Neilson Institute of Building Physics in Denmark where considerable damage to the building envelope on many buildings has been witnessed resulting in a huge claim, following the use of and directly linked to MgOcl2 (magnesium oxychloride) boards at high degrees of relative humidity.

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The STA recently requested that all suppliers of MgO boards submit their products to Bunch Neilson in Denmark to provide STA Members with test evidence that their boards were suitable. IPP Black Mountain immediately did as requested and have tested Magply at the institute of the STA’s choice and have provided evidence that Magply is suitable for purpose internally as well as externally in all conditions. Professor Bunch Neilson of the Institute comments: “We are very happy to have tested Magply in our climate chamber in extreme levels of humidity. We find that Magply is suitable for purpose in the UK for rainscreened, sheathing and internal application and will not be effected by extreme relative humidity or moisture. Magply which is a non-chloride board displays none of the problems that we have witnessed with MgOCl2 products.” Magply has been specifically developed without the use of chloride in manufacture – it does not weep chloride impregnated water, does not cause corrosion of fixings or soaking timbers and serves to protect the building envelope for the life of the building. Tim Tasker, Technical Manager at Pasquill SGBD said: “We are extremely happy with the performance of Magply. In order to test the board’s durability during inclement weather we constructed spandrel panels and left them to winter exposure from the beginning of November. We are now in April and the panels are as good as the day they were manufactured, the Magply board is as good as new without corrosion or staining.” STA Members can be sure of Magply and use with complete confidence, secure in the knowledge that their buildings will be safe for many years with no recourse. For more information contact: Tony Reed on 07769 317309


MAGPLY ADVANCED FIRE, SHEATHING & LINING BOARD As requested by the STA Board, Magply has been tested by the Bunch Building Physics institute to ensure it is suitable for purpose and is not affected in any way by the relative humidity levels in the UK.

BS 476-PART 22:1987 104 minutes fire integrity

EN 1365-1:2012

Loaded partition wall to 67 minutes integrity and insulation.

BS EN 1364-1: 2015 PIR Insulated Timber Frame Walls

BS EN 476

(Parts 6&7) Class 0 Non-Combustible (surface spread)

EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 Class A1 Non-Combustible

Bunch Building Physics Institute, in Denmark, have provided a test report confirming that Magply is suitable for use in the UK for both external rain screened and internal applications without being effected by humidity or moisture.

BS EN 476

(Part 22 timber frame) 91 mins fire integrity and 86 mins fire insulation for 9mm board

BS EN 594 2011 Timber Structure

EN ISO 12572


Water Vapour Transmission



07769 317309

01621 776688

Bradwell Hall, Bradwell on Sea, Essex, CM0 7HX A subsidiary of IPP Limited


ZoomLock: eliminating hot works ZoomLock is a flame-free air conditioning/refrigeration copper jointing system which reduces risk of fire dramatically.


02 Greenmill one of the UK’s leading HVAC distributors has recognised the concern that companies that use structural timber buildings have with traditional brazing methods for jointing copper pipework when installing air conditioning systems. Traditional brazing involves the use of flammable gases and an open flame. More and more specifiers are trying to eliminate hot-works from their projects, especially bearing in mind that connecting up the air conditioning happens later on in the project phase. The fire risk, the hassle and admin of getting hot works permits and fire alarm isolations, combined with the potential risk of marking and damage to the finished walls and ceilings has meant that an alternative has been well received by companies like Whitbread who have already made extensive use of the ZoomLock flame-free system on their timber frame Premier Inn buildings.

03 The hot works risk can be eliminated completely when using the ZoomLock mechanical crimping tool. ZoomLock uses special braze-free fittings pioneered by manufacturer Parker Hannifin which have been thoroughly tested and proven over many years. ZoomLock is not only much safer, it is also extremely fast. The set up onsite is minimal compared to brazing because there is no need for nitrogen cylinders for purging, or hazardous oxy-acetylene cylinders for brazing, along with the time saving of not having to obtain hot works permits, fire safety equipment like extinguishers and no cool down time is required. ZoomLock enables companies to design risk out of their projects whilst improving productivity and labour savings. “Just the labour savings alone is reason enough to do flame-free copper pipe joining,” states Dale Lane, Director of Lane Air. “But there are so many other reasons to do braze-free connections. With the ZoomLock fittings, it’s one piece per crimp and is stored in just one handy tool case. And based on our pressure tests, the ZoomLock copper connections are first-rate. Braze-free crimping really shines in roof voids. The old way of hauling tanks into

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an attic, removing insulation and other nearby flammables, doing a fire watch, two men working in a tight space. ZoomLock copper crimping gets rid of all that. And they’re so fast to crimp. Now we have another specialty niche offering we can promote: braze-free, hot-works free HVAC installations. When we tell customers there won’t be any flames, they’re all ears.” Whether you have a newbuild project or a retrofit refurbishment, ZoomLock is a safe solution, increasing speed and quality of the installation, while removing the risk element. Greenmill offer CPD training sessions or onsite demonstrations for companies that are looking to explore the features and benefits of the ZoomLock braze-free system. If you are interested in exploring what ZoomLock can do for you or your contactors please contact or call Freephone 0800 2795 999. Greenmill will be exhibiting at Firex International, ExCel London on the 20-22 June – come and see us on Stand E34. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01. Premier Inn, Littlehampton – a 20 bedroom timber frame extension being built next to an existing Premier Inn 02. Time savings of five ZoomLock joints to one brazed joint 03. Premier Inn, Bideford - ZoomLock enabled the contractor to cut down the amount of time spent issuing hot works permits and on fire watches.

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A SAFER WAY TO INSTALL AIR CONDITIONING COPPER PIPEWORK IN STRUCTURAL TIMBER BUILDINGS The ZoomLock braze-free connecting process is based on tried and trusted, patented concentric crimping technology which has been specially designed to work without brazing, therefore eliminating the need for Hot Works on your projects.


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Solid Foundations for Progress Ideal for timber houses up to three storeys and with outstanding thermal performance, Groundshield® from Springvale is adding a new dimension to foundation engineering.


03 of L-shaped expanded polystyrene (EPS) elements and laid them together to form the outline shape of the building.

02 Developed in Sweden, Springvale are excited to be promoting, marketing and supplying this amazingly simple but very reliable system to housebuilders in the UK. Before explaining the inherent advantages and benefits that Groundshield® can bring to any building project, let’s briefly go back to Gothenburg 1992. Curt Ingestrom, a Swedish engineer announced his simple foundation solution for domestic housebuilders, well before many in Europe were concerned with greenhouse gases, escalating fuel prices and the environment in general. Sweden was already looking for a solution that would allow them to build homes that retained heat, protect the occupiers from severe weather conditions and was relatively quick and easy to construct. The breakthrough happened with the creation

The obvious place to start was with the foundations. There were already a number of systems that dealt with extremely low temperatures but they were expensive and relied on either complicated rafts, very thick layers of concrete or in some cases stilts, which are still popular in very rural locations and where there are persistent damp issues. By using various grades of EPS and by adding hardcore/concrete they were able to lay the foundation in double quick time with just general building skills and were able to get maximum results. Further research and experiments gave them more data and ideas of how to develop this method further so that it could become a genuine and practical domestic product. Over the years there have been improvements and developments but the basic idea remains the same. Springvale have simply taken it to another level to create Groundshield®. In 2012, 72% of all homes built in Sweden used the EPS system due to its incredible U-values and Psi Values but there is much more to Groundshield® than its thermal efficiency and heat retention qualities.

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Groundshield® offers a range of benefits including: • Simple and fast installation – fast installation times, three days from hardcore to pour • Technically excellent – outstanding thermal performance with U-values <0.10 W/m2K and solves the problem of linear thermal bridging • Very cost-effective – upto to 30% cost saving compared to a traditional raft foundation • Long-life qualities • No deep trenches required reducing health & safety risks, plus time spent shuttering collapsed trenches • The perfect solution for any sustainability-driven project. Groundshield® components work together to deliver an energy efficient, self-shuttering, lightweight foundation system that is quick and easy to install and requires the minimum amount of excavation work. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01-03. Groundshield® is a speedy and thermally efficient foundations system


From Foundation to Frame Michael Gilliead, National Sales Manager for Insulslab, discusses a range of factors concerning foundations and why Insulslab is increasingly being specified for timber frame projects.

01 Building foundations are traditionally considered outside of the scope of Part L compliance, as the ground floor slab must deliver insulation performance. Fully integrated systems deliver the foundation up to ground floor slab level and incorporate insulation material within their design.

(EPS) insulation fundamentally integrated into system design. When launched to the market back in 2009, it was a brand new concept in UK construction but has rapidly earned its place as a robust foundation solution alongside traditional techniques such as beam and block.

The speed at which these foundations can be delivered up to ground floor level, as compared with alternative methods such as beam and block, also provides developers with a highly efficient technique. Moreover, when used in conjunction with timber frame construction, the overall build programme of residential developments can be significantly accelerated whilst achieving the highest levels of thermal insulation – making this foundation and frame combination a robust specification.

Inherent within the system design, Insulslab easily achieves very low U-values of around 0.11 - 0.13W/m2k, depending on P/A ratio. Where further U-value improvements are required, these can be accommodated through making bespoke adjustments to the standard design.

Insulslab is a fully integrated and super insulated foundation system which delivers the foundation up to ground floor level, without the need for a topping screed. In doing so, Insulslab forms part of the building fabric with expanded polystyrene

The construction of an Insulslab foundation uses steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) as opposed to concrete beams and blocks. With the widely reported shortage in concrete block supply, Insulslab has fast emerged as the solution of choice which can help keep site programmes on track as there is sufficient supply of Insulslab components to meet housebuilding demand. Where timber frame developments are concerned, Insulslab has proven equally

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popular owing to its fast track construction and well documented thermal performance – helping developers to achieve a thermally robust building envelope. Saxon Park One housing developer to have benefitted from using Insulslab with timber frame is Countryside Properties, who deployed the system on an affordable homes development in Warrington. Saxon Park is an affordable housing development comprising of 75 homes, spanning two apartment blocks of four storeys and a mixture of 43 semi-detached and terraced houses. To meet the specific employer requirements of the housing association, the development was targeted to achieve a carbon dioxide reduction of 25% less than the Building Regulations at that time. Moreover, as the site was a former steelworks, the ground required significant build up, dictating that a raft foundation system would be necessary. Assessing these project parameters, Countryside Properties’ Technical Standards Manager, Andrew Fox, was challenged with sourcing a solution that would deliver a compliant development whilst keeping within overall programme budget. “I’d seen Insulslab at a seminar the year before we started on Saxon Park, and as soon as it became apparent that a raft foundation was required on this development, I thought there could be an opportunity to use the system. In addition to legislative compliance, our main priority was to achieve the stringent carbon dioxide reduction specified by the client, but we obviously had to ensure the system would perform well with timber frame.” Constructed of interlocking expanded polystyrene (EPS) pods, the Insulslab foundation is simply laid in place according to system design, with steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) then

GROUNDWORKS poured on top to deliver the foundation up to ground floor level. Facilitating the stepped construction necessary on various parts of the site, Insulslab was built up to a depth of 2.2 metres in one area – which could not have been accommodated with a traditional raft. By integrating insulation into foundation design, Insulslab achieves superior levels of thermal insulation as compared with standard floor constructions. For Countryside Properties, this was a primary consideration. As a super insulated foundation system, Insulslab has been shown to achieve very low U-values which means enhanced energy efficiency can be achieved in a building through the improved thermal performance of the floor. Andrew continues: “The higher levels of insulation in the floor made it easier for us to meet the required performance without having to increase floor depth or insulation in the wall cavities.”

Insulated In-situ Concrete Foundation System for Timber Frame Housing

Although Countryside Properties originally looked to Insulslab as a solution to help achieve the specified carbon reduction, the system also proved a key factor in increasing on-site efficiency. Requiring minimum ground excavation and no trenches, the system is quick and easy to install, with groundworkers on the project quoting that a traditional raft would typically take one week per plot, yet Insulslab enabled the plots to be handed over at three day intervals. Timber frame manufacturer, Guildway, was appointed to manage the engineering, fabrication and installation of the open panel system. As Insulslab delivered the ground floor to an even level, this removed the need for ‘packing’, which can often lead to air leakage. Moreover, from an ease of integration perspective, the timber frame sole plate was shot straight into the slab. These installation factors ultimately help overcome thermal bridging at the junctions.

John Jones, Regional Design Director at Countryside Properties, added: “It is important to remain flexible in the type of construction employed. A delivery strategy is considered in respect of each project plan. Today there are significant new developments to help us technically meet and exceed the requirements of the Building Regulations. Saxon Park in Warrington is using modern methods of construction in the form of a proprietary foundation and slab system together with a prefabricated super structure framing system, both are helping to provide efficient delivery of the scheme.” For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01. Insulslab requires minimum ground excavation, no trenches and is quick and easy to install

Insulslab is a fully insulated cast in-situ concrete foundation system which delivers the ground to finished structural slab in one operation. Suited to multi-plot residential developments founded on challenging geotechnical ground conditions. Insulslab can accommodate both timber frame or masonry construction. •

The Insulslab foundation system is suited to Piled, semi-raft & deep trench fill (exceeding 1.6m) Industry recognised BBA approved system and accepted by Structural Warranty providers Exceptionally low U-Values 0.13 – 0.11W/m2K (dependent upon P/A ratio) Innovative design Incorporates the use of steel fibre reinforced concrete Free consultancy Provide foundation design and plot specific working drawings Rapid installation Nominal ground excavation and no trenches saving on installation time Shallow foundation depth Only 550 overall structural depth inclusive of insulation, formation-finished floor slab Contact our technical/sales team on

0161 447 8320 Watch our installation video to see our system in action

This advert is a general guide and specific technical advice is recommended before proceeding with any transaction. Full technical information available on 0161 447 8320



The Time is Right… With 30+ years in the housebuilding industry, Alex Goodfellow, Chairman of the Structural Timber Association (STA) and Group Managing Director of Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS), discusses the opportunity for offsite manufacture and the benefits of structural timber.

The dust has now settled following the launch of the Housing White Paper when Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, outlined what he called, ‘the bold radical vision for the housing market’. As the industry devours and disseminates the content, many construction commentators have come to the conclusion that there are no new exciting ideas or big surprises but a change of direction can be extracted with some careful sifting. One of the key themes

to emerge is the Government’s commitment to support offsite construction to facilitate growth in building homes to meet demand. Through discussion, debate and demonstration, the Government appears to have made the connection between construction and manufacturing and we are therefore poised to see the potential within the ‘Industrial Strategy’ for offsite construction to play a significant part in delivering infrastructure, schools, healthcare

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and housing. We will do so through demonstrating the benefits of offsite construction and the ease of exploiting offsite technology to facilitate growth and overcome the skills crisis that has been much discussed following the publication of the recent Farmer Review. The most significant measure that Government has introduced is raising the profile of offsite construction – putting it on the agenda at the highest level and this has had a significant impact in recent months. The Government needs to remain consistent with this message, continue to support the offsite industry as we expand the use of offsite and demonstrate the tangible benefits to increase volume now and for the future. There is an old adage about ‘taking advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime in the lifetime of the opportunity!’ At the STA, we firmly believe that offsite timber construction is the only way to

TIMBER FRAME The STA and its members have a major role to play. We are geared for capacity, have the skills and materials to respond quickly and the experience to create a world-class offsite manufacturing sector in the UK.


03 reach the specified target of one million homes by 2020. With four out of five new homes in Scotland built using structural timber and much of the housing volume in Canada, the US and Europe being structural timber – we know that offsite timber solutions deliver. In the main it will address many Government concerns associated with public procurement of housing including speed of build, environmental impact, lifetime energy efficiency and cost performance. These factors are not only of benefit to Government plans but to the wider construction industry. Cost savings, speed of build, faster return on capital outlay, reduction in waste, improved health and safety – are just some of the benefits of offsite timber construction. Add to this the unrivalled capacity and availability of materials within a robust supply chain combined with a sector that is quick to respond and it’s a clear and easy choice.

Innovation in the structural timber product range has broadened the appeal, driven by intelligent and integrated construction solutions, including closed panel timber systems, structural insulated panel systems and volumetric modular options. As the Government pledge support for small and medium sized developers, as well as initiatives for self and custom builders and creating a better and more accessible planning system with more land released, it will certainly have an impact but only time will tell how it works in practise. The Government has made some significant statements in recent months regarding the critical role that offsite construction technology has to play in solving the ‘housing crisis’. All of the statements, from the Housing Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, point towards ‘accelerated construction’ and using ‘advanced manufacturing’ techniques. We can demonstrate how easy, practical and efficiently projects can be completed, having a direct impact on transforming communities, while conveying the dynamic and fast moving pace of the sector and the excitement that can be engendered when delivering innovative construction methods.

As an organisation established to influence legislation and support the overall objectives of the structural timber sector, the STA is engaging with industry, Government and manufacturers. At the end of February, we hosted an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) event on behalf of the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) at the House of Commons. The event centred around how the structural timber industry can support the housing and growth initiative with a particular focus on Garden Towns. Structural timber offsite construction is the most effective, proven solution to meeting housing demand – this was the clear message delivered at this meeting. The industry has a current capacity of 100,000 units per year and could easily scale up to 150,000 given the right policy frameworks. APPG Chair, Ian Paisley MP said this is a powerful message and expressed his support, stating that it is clear that the timber industry has proven capacity and ability to deliver solutions to the housing crisis. The time is right for the construction industry to embrace innovative offsite timber technology and develop better buildings at a rapid rate to meet Government targets and to overcome the shortfall in housing stock, while delivering energy efficient buildings in a cost-effective quality manner. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01-03. Timber systems are going to play a huge role in creating new housing all over the UK. Courtesy SMTS

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New Life for Symonds Close Twelve new affordable, timber framed houses for Winchester City Council where selected and built primarily because of the high levels of airtightness that can be achieved over other construction methods alongside speed of construction.

Winchester City Council had not built any new housing stock in the last 25 years, relying only on provision from registered social landlords. In 2013 the Council began a programme of assessing all the land they currently owned to seek opportunities to develop new council housing for affordable rent to those on the local housing need lists. T2 Architects were appointed to assess the development potential of an underused recreation ground and garage court on land to the rear of existing Council properties. A thorough programme of research was undertaken by the council to assess the specific housing need in the area. The result of this exercise was that there was a need for some small one and two-bedroom

properties for downsizers, to encourage elderly tenants currently under occupying larger three and four-bedroom family homes to move out to free these up for families. At the same time the need for additional new family housing was also high. The use of timber frame at Symonds Close helped the scheme to easily achieve the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 for energy usage. This will mean low energy consumption and in turn benefit the Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tenants with lower energy bills. Assembling the frame on site (rather than a panelised system) meant fewer deliveries of materials to the site which is located in a residential area. The site itself was also

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02 constrained with little space for storage and manoeuvring materials around. The timber frame solution meant less raw material to move around and store onsite compared to more traditional methods of construction. The site is located between a row of detached bungalows, set at a lower level to the south, and a row of two storey houses, on higher ground to the north. The roof design of the proposed houses mediates between the two adjacent types. In particular the roof design of several plots has been carefully conceived by wrapping the fibre-cement slates used on the roofs down over the first floor walls, creating a visually lower impact. High-level rooflights are installed over the stairs, landings bathrooms and the rear facing bedrooms, with no rear facing windows at first floor level on the rear elevation. Projecting bay windows to the side elevations provide ventilation and means of escape via the windows in their sides. The timber frame solution has resulted in very few loadbearing walls internally which means the dwellings have a high degree of flexibility for future internal adaptations. This is especially relevant to this project as a proportion of the dwellings have been

TIMBER FRAME designed to accommodate downsizers who tend to be older tenants who are more likely to need adaptions in the future to meet their needs. Each dwelling meets ‘Lifetime Homes’ standards and one unit has been adapted for its first tenants – a family with a severely disabled son.


The main contractor had worked with the specialist timber frame supplier on a number of previous projects so already had a good understanding and working knowledge of the system. The timber frame suppliers were appointed at the outset of the detailed design process which meant they were able to inform the design. Their involvement and expertise early in the process allowed interfaces of the frame to be resolved and fully co-ordinated with other elements of the design before any work begun onsite. This smoothed the process and resulted in fewer issues onsite as construction progressed. For more information visit:





IMAGES: 01-04. Symonds Close, Winchester is a superb use of timber frame construction on underused land for affordable homes. Courtesy T2 Architects


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Cladding, Facades and the Building Envelope You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The exterior is the first experience everyone has of most buildings. This issue we have a special section dedicated to a range of material options being used for that all important final building appearance.

wood sector and what it means for the wider construction industry including modified wood’s rise in popularity due to improvements in durability and stability.

Timber cladding has long been a popular choice for the outside of many different commercial and residential developments. Lightweight and easy to install, there are many different species of wood suitable for exterior purposes – wood is durable, naturally resistance to decay and straightforward to work with. But the timber cladding market – for many years partly ruled by Canadian western red cedar and Siberian larch – is in a state of flux. Part of this change has been the popularity of modified woods, composite materials and brick slips – all of which add another dimension to the performance and look of the building envelope. Read on for more from a wide variety of industry experts and product specialists. Exova BM TRADA Phil O’Leary Head of Timber Technology Investigations at Exova BM TRADA, discusses the developments in the modified

Timber Decking & Cladding Association Without doubt, timber cladding is something of inherent natural beauty but what can be done to optimise the structure and longterm aesthetic of timber cladding? Janet Sycamore, Director of Operations at the Timber Decking and Cladding Association (TDCA) highlights a few options. Accoya With proven properties of resilience, durability and low maintenance, the world’s first Accoya-clad home in Glenrothes, Fife recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with minimal maintenance required. Lathams As the UK’s biggest independent distributor of timber and panel products, James Latham has announced the latest addition to its portfolio – a new range of cladding that is exciting architects. Vastern Timber Launched in 2016, Brimstone originated as a collaborative project between Grown in Britain, BRE, Timber Strategies, Vastern Timber and other commercial partners. What can the first thermally modified British timber accomplish?

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International Timber International Timber has seen sustained growth in the composite timber market. How can merchants educate themselves on the benefits and advise their customers on the best applications. Lonza Timber claddings are fantastic, natural materials for creating warm and stunning appearances to newbuild projects but depending upon the project, UK Building Regulations will require an approved and effective fire retardant protection to ensure a safe service life. Howarth Timber Howarth Timber’s Phil Barman, discusses the developing trend for thermally modified timber cladding and how it can circumvent the potential issues of working with wood while retaining its environmental benefits. Lime Green Render products can add a superb, contemporary feel to a building. A new selfbuild, timber frame cottage in Shropshire, benefited from Lime Green products for the surface render and the highly effective wall insulation system – WarmShell. Eurobrick A brick finish remains popular – particularly in British architecture and design – meaning brick slip cladding is commonly being used for timber-based structures. What are the best ways to achieve a brick finish on a timber frame building, without compromising the speed of delivery is to use a brick slip cladding system. As with all products and systems, it is critical that the correct specification, design and detailing are employed and that appropriate materials are used for any cladding choice. Installed correctly all these options can provide a long lasting decorative façade that can weather beautifully, protect and perform for decades.

It takes bottle to specify insulation that’s better for the environment. TIMBER & RAFTER ROLL 40 Saving energy and saving time on your build project? Superglass glass mineral wool insulation does both. It cuts energy bills, of course, and contains 84% recycled glass, stopping it going to landfill. And with Superglass, you get service that is second-to-none. Our Teamworks values mean we’ll work closely with you to deliver your ideal insulation solution, including same-day order confirmation and next-day delivery. Which means less time on site and lower costs. Our Timber & Rafter Roll is a lightweight, flexible option ideal for roofs, walls and floors with an A+ BRE Green Guide Rating. So for a greener future and great service, smart specifiers insist on Superglass. It’s a decision that really doesn’t take too much bottle.


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A Lasting and Stable Alternative With more and more products coming onto the market and better information now available about performance, the modified wood sector has moved on considerably. Phil Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Leary Head of Timber Technology Investigations at Exova BM TRADA, discusses the developments in the sector and what it means for the wider construction industry.

01 Modified wood is undergoing something of an evolution. The range of products available has dramatically increased in recent years, and more specifiers are using the product in new applications. Modified woodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rise in popularity can be credited to improvements in key areas such as durability, stability, sustainability and cost â&#x20AC;&#x201C; making them more attractive to the modern market. To give some background, modified wood is wood that has been heated at elevated temperatures or treated with a chemical, biological or physical agent to enhance its performance, without using a biocide. The three principal processes for modifying wood are usually classified as thermal modification, chemical modification or impregnation modification. Although most

modified wood products are manufactured elsewhere in Europe, many are widely available from UK suppliers. Thanks to new technology and the scaling up of modification processes, the consistency and size of the modified timber is better than ever before. It is now also possible to supply this material in dimensions suitable for commercial applications. We recently worked with TRADA for a revision to their Wood Information Sheet (WIS) on modified wood. First published in 2010, the information sheet highlights the increasing range of modified woods coming to market and the need to make specifiers aware of the properties and suitability for different end uses.

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As part of this process, the properties of many modified wood products have been examined using existing standards and test methods developed for unmodified woods. Although long term performance in service is less well understood than for unmodified woods, in tests, modified woods have often been shown to outperform reference materials, such as preservative treated wood or hardwoods valued for specific properties (such as durable or low movement species). Given these findings, it is easy to see why increasing numbers of specifiers are turning to modified wood. One of the main drivers for modification is to improve the decay resistance of low durability timber species, which normally require preservative treatment to achieve acceptable service lives. Decay fungi are considered the greatest risk to the service life of timber in the UK, so testing the resistance of modified woods against these is where we receive the most enquiries. Most modification processes enhance the durability of wood against decay fungi, offering an alternative to preservative treatment. Testing has shown that some modified woods can provide service lives equal to or longer than preservative-treated wood or some naturally durable timber species. While improving durability, wood modification can also result in a number of other beneficial changes to wood properties, including improved dimensional stability, improved aesthetics and increased hardness. These changes have dramatically improved both the performance of wood products and their range of applications, and open up a new realm of possibilities for modified wood. Different types of wood can now be used in applications where they were previously unsuitable. For example, a number of non-durable British grown timber can now be specified for cladding, thanks to the emergence of modified woods such as Brimstone. Aesthetically, all of

MODIFIED WOOD & CLADDING SPECIAL the Brimstone species are relatively free of knots (equivalent to BS1186-3 Class 1, similar to No. 2 clear, and better than Western Red Cedar) providing an alternative to the more knotty thermally modified softwoods. Equally, where durable and stable materials are required – for example in cladding and decking – there used to be very few economically viable options apart from Western Red Cedar and Siberian Larch. However, thanks to developments, there are now many more materials which can offer stability and durability at a reasonable price. Thermowood® (from MetsäWood), for example, is a thermally modified non-durable hardwood which has been made applicable for this purpose. It is now one of the most popular choices in the UK for exterior cladding, thanks to its excellent properties and profile range. In testing, improved stability is demonstrated using all types of modification process. Since the cell structure of modified wood products absorb less water, the equilibrium moisture content of these products is also reduced. Improved dimensional stability reduces movement in service and the risk of cupping in cladding, floor and decking boards – it also reduces splitting or checking around fixings over time – and there is likely to be less differential movement between members at joints, which can result in a better quality finish. Tests to evaluate movement have shown that some modified woods outperform even timbers considered to be very stable, such as Teak and Iroko. Modified woods typically attain a ‘small’ movement classification. Comparative tests have been conducted using a number of modified woods against commonly used softwoods. These tests set out to establish the comparative swelling or shrinkage of modified woods when exposed to high and low humidity, and to investigate the relative risk of distortion when wetted.

02 As Figure 1 demonstrates, modified wood outperforms the three commonly used softwoods, (Siberian Larch, Redwood and Western Red Cedar) across the board when it comes to swelling and shrinkage. While durability and stability are often the drivers for modified wood, sustainability is an additional key benefit. There is clearly less need for chemical treatment – the chemicals for chemical and impregnation modification processes are often derived from natural materials and are not biocides. However, there is also an opportunity to specify home grown timber which minimises transportation, and it is also possible to modify sustainably sourced tropical hardwoods. Modified woods are suitable for a wide range of applications, but their properties differ significantly from unmodified wood, so specifiers need to be aware of their properties and suitability for different end uses. It is always worth checking with individual product suppliers for confirmation of how these products can be expected to perform in their intended end use. While the opportunities for modified wood are increasing, it is crucial to investigate the

03 properties for each individual end use prior to specification. While some modification techniques improve certain wood properties, other properties may remain unchanged or be negatively affected. For example, while modified wood can be more durable, the process can sometimes weaken the timber, limiting its use in structural applications. Nevertheless, with an increasing number of modified woods being used for glulam, the possibilities remain open. We look forward to seeing what the next WIS revision will bring. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01. Accoya facade at the Royal Arena, Keflico, Denmark. Courtesy Accoya® Wood 02. Modified wood outperforms the three commonly used softwoods 03. Brimstone Ash from Vastern Timber

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MODIFIED WOOD & CLADDING SPECIAL aging process, changing the appearance of the timber more steadily. One thing is certain however, the aging process will occur and change the look of the timber. The only way to prevent it is to use appropriate and maintained surface finishes for the life of the cladding.


Weathering Detailing Without doubt, timber cladding is something of inherent natural beauty but what can be done to optimise the structure and long-term aesthetic of timber cladding? Janet Sycamore, Director of Operations at the Timber Decking and Cladding Association (TDCA) highlights a few options.

Timber cladding captures the visible and tangible benefits surrounding timber as a material for building facades. The term ‘environmentally friendly’ is practically synonymous with timber, coupled with strong carbon capture credentials. This natural sustainability is a key benefit that promotes huge appeal for timber cladding, coupled with the relaxed charm that each unique piece of timber offers us. Often overlooked is how timber cladding – irrespective of species – evolves over its lifetime, directly affecting how the timber will look in the years to come. It’s a key issue to understand at the specification and

design stage. Whilst all species of timber eventually mellow to a beautiful silver grey colour as the weathering process sets to work, certain species will change at differing rates. Some might firstly darken whilst others can do the opposite and appear lighter due to a bleaching effect. Certain types of timber cladding will naturally weather more rapidly, but perhaps more evenly in look – a number of thermally modified species are promoted for this aesthetic point. Alternatively, timber that has been modified or pressure treated with a copper-based wood preservative might enjoy a slower

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Specialist Advice for Architects and Specifiers As a non-profit making organisation, the TDCA offers in-depth advice and guidance with regard to timber cladding projects. The association’s website offers a wealth of insightful and relevant information, whilst specific queries can be directed to the experts. A recent enquiry to the TDCA came from an architect wanting to add texture and shading to a timber cladding design. She asked: “We’re interested in alternating 25x50mm sawn larch battens like the photo attached and wonder what advice you have for fixing and spacing to allow for swelling/shrinking? Does this application seem sensible?” The suggested profile style is not covered in the British Standard 8605 part 1 – our point of reference for cladding specification enquiries. The design is not a commonly accepted approach to timber cladding. Our experts made the following points: • • •

There is potential for water to wick back and be held in between the horizontal and vertical members. Gaps would be required, essentially turning it into an open jointed style There is potential for differential weathering to occur as each horizontal member casts a shadow over the vertical member below it, resulting in light and dark zones as parts of the wood will be exposed to more daylight The iron staining seen adjacent to the fixings suggests that they are not suitable for outdoor use or that a galvanic coating may have been damaged during installation.

MODIFIED WOOD & CLADDING SPECIAL The architect re-thought the design, switching to vertical board-on-board instead. The long-term performance and aesthetic of timber cladding is a consideration and the TDCA can help. Client expectations also need to be managed so that they enjoy the many benefits of timber cladding and the natural changes that it will go through.


For more information visit:



IMAGES: 01-02. 10 years on from installation, this Accoya cladding coated with a translucent protective coating system is weathering extremely well 03. Timber cladding can add appeal to most homes. Courtesy Owatrol 04. This board profile image was the subject of a recent TDCA enquiry from an architect

Weathering, Maintenance and Coatings Surface coatings work best on timbers that are dimensionally stable or have a low potential for moisture change movement. Surface texture is also important and coatings generally perform better applied to sawn rather than smooth planed timber. The process of preservative treating or modifying wood has a positive impact on coatings adhesion. Various types of coatings are suitable for cladding ranging from clear, water repellents to translucent pigmented and solid stains and paints. Products can be applied by brush or spray onsite but it is the full factory finishing of cladding with an extended maintenance system that is best for long term performance. The use of moisture permeable coatings is highly recommended. These coatings have been specially developed for external timber as they are resistant to cracking, flaking and peeling associated with more brittle varnishes or paints which can trap water under their surface. The more pigmented a coating the more the substrate is protected against discolouration and damage by the sun. Even in highly pigmented coatings, ultra violet light (UV) can affect the adhesion between the finish and the substrate causing it to separate. Most modern coatings contain UV inhibitors. These include clear water repellents and translucent stains but the UV protection diminishes more quickly and more frequent maintenance of the surface is required. Most naturally durable timber species, modified wood and softwoods treated with copper/organic biocide preservatives can be left unfinished to weather naturally. Many architects purposefully require the bleached, weathered look as part of the evolution of the design. The orientation of the cladding on the building will have a material impact on the rate of weathering. Southerly and western facing walls more exposed to UV and driving rain will weather faster and be more silvery in colour than northerly or eastern facing walls which will be darker in colour and may be prone to dampness and surface moulds. Shade from a canopy, overhanging trees or nearby buildings may also have a localised impact and cause variations in colour on the same elevation. High tannin content species are more prone to this than others.

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A Decade of Durability With proven properties of resilience, durability and low maintenance, the world’s first Accoya-clad home in Glenrothes, Fife recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with minimal maintenance required

01 Accoya, the world-leading modified wood, has received two significant accolades recognising its long term durability and stability. The world’s first Accoya clad home celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, coinciding with the publication of an influential trade report proving the wood’s resilience following 10 years’ uninterrupted exposure to natural weathering. Accoya’s ‘decade of durability’ was initially marked with a successful review in 2016 of the home of architectural designer Gordon Aitken, located in Fife, Scotland. Gordon’s was the first home to use Accoya cladding coated with a translucent Sikkens translucent protective coating system, and results have been remarkable. The anniversary of the Fife Accoya house coincides with the publication of a report published by TRADA showing the test-rig results of 10 years’ exposure to natural weathering.

The data was obtained from a natural test exposure facility at TRADA’s HQ, with Accoya used as vertical cladding and coated in a Sikkens high-build opaque and medium-build semi-translucent coating system. Results showed that both the Accoya rigs were found to be in an excellent condition. The report stated that: “Neither rig showed any evidence of any coating breakdown or substrate instability with the possible exception of the rig coated with the semi-translucent woodstain where slight fissuring around nail heads was seen to have developed on the north facing aspect…arguably the greatest significance of the findings resides in the fact that the Sikkens coating, in both cases, showed no requirement for maintenance after 10 years.” TRADA’s report concluded that: “The results of test have shown that the use of Accoya as a substrate for exterior cladding

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systems can achieve significant benefits in terms of longer performance and reduced maintenance, compared to typical lifetime expectations when conventional softwoods are used.” Manufactured by Accsys Technologies, Accoya has proven popular with architects and joiners across the world, especially where quality, stability and aesthetics are important. Both 10-year accolades are living proof of Accoya’s long-term viability – even in the harshest of weather conditions. Offering exceptional durability and stability, Accoya is an attractive wood product which is perfect for windows and doors, external cladding, structural projects and decking. Accoya also boasts excellent environmental credentials by using wood sourced from FSC®-certified forests and Cradle to Cradle Gold certified. Speaking about his house Gordon Aitken, said: “I initially chose Accoya due to its exceptional Class 1 durability and 50-year guarantee, and was impressed by its environmental credentials and aesthetic qualities. Since it was installed in 2006, we have experienced a lot of harsh weather, with the north façade being particularly exposed. But in the last 10 years, I have maintained the cladding by cleaning with a mild soapy water solution, restoring it to an ‘as new’ appearance. It is quite remarkable that the Accoya cladding and Sikkens coating is in such good condition after such a long time.” For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01. The Fife house of Gordon Aitken with Accoya cladding


KEY FEATURES OF ACCOYA CLADDING Accoya® wood is produced from sustainably sourced, fast growing wood and manufactured using Accsys’ proprietary patented modification process from surface to core.

Available in an infinite range of dimensions and finishes.

Suitable for matching louvres, doors, windows, soffits and fascias.







For a full list of Accoya distributors please visit

Accoya® and the Trimarque Device are registered trademarks owned by Titan Wood Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accsys Technologies PLC, and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.


The Cladding That’s Exciting Architects As the UK’s biggest independent distributor of timber and panel products, James Latham has announced the latest addition to its portfolio – a new range of charred Accoya® cladding.



James Latham has been a leading distributor of Accoya wood in the UK for more than six years and has seen its popularity grow significantly, to the point where it is now becoming the material of choice for exterior applications as it can be used for virtually anything, from windows to doors, decking to cladding and siding.

our customers who have seen Shou-Sugi-Ban is astonishing, it really does have the wow factor and the enquiries we are receiving are growing by the day. And because it has been developed using the most durable and stable timber available and has the credibility of a product that is the result of decades of research and development which brought together a long-established, extensively proven wood modification technique and leading-edge patented technology, I have no doubt in my mind that it will be a big success for us.

and there are lots of finishes and textures available for both interior and exterior projects - from the traditional, highly charred, heavily textured looking cladding to the sleek and contemporary finish.”

“Charred timber cladding is becoming increasingly popular in the specification market and this is a modern application of the ancient Japanese art of burning timber to provide a beautiful and long lasting wood cladding. Traditional techniques are used to give uniqueness to each individual project

For more information visit:

This latest innovative use of Accoya – developed by Exterior Solutions Limited – pays homage to the traditional Japanese technique of Shou-Sugi-Ban in which timber is burned to provide a beautiful, distinctive, unique and long lasting wood cladding and it has already made a big impact with architects. Richard Mosson, Group Cladding and Decking Manager, James Latham, explains: “The reaction so far from the market and

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Shou-Sugi-Ban Accoya Cladding is available across Lathams nationwide network of depots in finished dimensions of 19mm x 145mm (planed tongue and groove profile) and in three charring styles - Shosai, Shizen and Tenki. Other section sizes and profiles are available on request.

IMAGES: 01. Charred Accoya - Shizen 02. Charred Accoya - Shosai 03. Charred Accoya - Tenki


Live, work and play...

We offer one of the largest and most varied ranges of joinery quality hardwoods and softwoods available in the UK.

With eight nationwide timber depots, we carry more than 20 species of certified and legally verified timber from Europe, Africa, North America, the Far East and Scandinavia as well as modified wood and our own engineered product, WoodEx, all available directly from stock. Whatever your budget or project requirements, why not allow our extensive range of timber to provide the inspiration. Find out moreâ&#x20AC;Ś.

Call 0116 257 3415 email or visit

MODIFIED WOOD & CLADDING SPECIAL which by nature tend to be reactive, thermally modified wood used externally tends not to blacken in response to unfavourable environments such as polluted and shaded urban areas.


Best of British Launched in 2016, Brimstone originated as a collaborative project between Grown in Britain, BRE, Timber Strategies, Vastern Timber and other commercial partners. What can the first thermally modified British timber accomplish?

Brimstone is sourced exclusively from native UK woodlands. The Brimstone range is ideal for cladding, decking, external joinery and furniture and includes thermally modified British hardwoods including ash, poplar and sycamore. The thermal modification process reconfigures the wood to deliver a material of exceptional stability, durability and aesthetic uniformity that is resistant to water and fungus â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the main cause of wood decay. Crucially, the Brimstone range represents new levels of sustainability for specifiers interested in timber products as the raw material is grown locally and the modification process does not rely on impregnating the timber with chemicals. Thermal modification of wood is a proven technology first pioneered commercially in Finland during the 1990s. Thermally

modified timber is 60 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 80% more stable than non-modified timbers, meaning significantly less expansion and contraction when faced with changes in ambient temperature and humidity. This makes thermally modified timber a superior solution for a range of exterior uses. The thermal modification process also results in a product that is naturally durable to its core. Thermally modified hardwood products reach the equivalent of Class 2 (EN350-2) and in some cases Class 1, giving a desired service life of between 30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 60 years in hazard class 3 environments (BS8417 / BS EN 460). The thermal modification process offers the added benefit of neutralising naturally occurring extractives. This results in less staining and ultimately a more consistent weathering process where timber is left untreated. Additionally, without extractives,

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The other main advantage of using thermally modified hardwoods instead of modified pine or spruce is aesthetic. Aside from high pruned Radiata pine, modified softwoods tend to be quite knotty, whereas hardwoods typically are relatively free of knots, giving a more contemporary appearance. Additionally, tests have shown thermally modified hardwoods to achieve higher durability ratings. A key driver in the development of Brimstone has been the wider positive impact on the broadleaf woodlands of England and Wales. In the absence of any meaningful grants and poor demand for species other than oak, British woodland owners need to catch a break. Currently, over 90% of hardwoods used in UK are imported. At the same time, over 60% of native broadleaf woodlands are unmanaged or under managed, leading to poor quality and decaying woodlands. Brimstone provides an opportunity to help re-balance the scales by converting underused white hardwood species including ash, poplar and sycamore into products of the future, while stimulating demand and incentivising woodland management. Architects and designers specifying Brimstone wood can be assured that they are not only selecting a beautiful and reliable timber product, but also helping to improve the fortunes of our native woodlands. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01. Brimstone cladding using UK timber species

Exhibiting at Vision 2017 Visit us on Stand 146

Cladding. Decking. Joinery. Discover the first range of thermally modified British grown hardwoods at:

For product samples, advice and to order, please contact the sales team at Vastern Timber:Â 01793 853 281


Keeping it Composite International Timber has seen sustained growth in the composite timber market and this reflects the current trend for using â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;non-traditionalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; timber. What is the process and how can architects and specifiers benefit from this material?

01 Composite timber is seeing a strong growth in the marketplace, and merchants should educate themselves on the benefits to be able to advise their customers on the best applications. Composite boards are made up of wood and plastic, making for a strong, durable and decay-resistant material. Plastic components of the composite wood are often recycled, making the material highly environmentally friendly. Benefitting from the latest in timber technology, composite timber is enhanced with plastic, which is ideal for outdoor applications â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both commercial and residential. It is easy to install and low-maintenance. Composites are seeing

02 a huge growth in the marketplace right now, and offers many benefits including reduced maintenance and subsequently reduced long-term spend. Users are taking advantage of composite timbers in reducing budget for cladding and decking thanks to the long-term lifespan of these products. Examples of Applications of Composite Timbers Composite timbers are ideal for commercial businesses such as hotels, pubs, holiday parks and theme parks where long-term durability is essential thanks to everyday use being high. Aesthetically, composite timbers enjoy a natural wood look and resistance to colour-fading, meaning

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they are a good choice for outdoor use where the material may be exposed to the elements at all times. Outdoor applications require resilient materials with a natural look for a low budget and composite timber fits the bill perfectly. Composite Timber Brands Dura is one type of composite timber which is highly durable and eco-friendly. Construction, architectural and leisure clients are demanding more and more of these timbers, a premium timber composite alternative to softwood and hardwood decking and cladding. Dura decking and Dura cladding are two key products in the composite timber range and are already specified widely by architects. Environmental Credentials International Timber is committed to supplying sustainable materials by reducing environmental impact, being committed to the well-being of stakeholders and always considering the economic effect of our operations. Dura composites decking and cladding are 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified meaning they are sustainable products, and they are also made from up to 87% recycled materials. These are popular concerns at the specification stage. Using composite timbers mean merchants are choosing recycled products with good environmental credentials while staying ahead of the curve for design and enjoying all the advantages and aesthetics of natural timber with all the benefits of the latest technological advances. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01-02. Dura cladding comes in a range of colours


Assured Fire Protection for Timber Cladding Depending upon the project, UK Building Regulations require an approved and effective fire retardant protection to ensure a safe service life.

term fire retardant performance. NON-COM Exterior is designed for external projects and is fully in-line with NHBC standards for exterior timber claddings on new build projects.

01 Lonza Wood Protection offers two proven fire retardant impregnation treatments that have been used for timber claddings on newbuild projects around the world for decades. DRICON is primarily for the protection of interior claddings and carries a unique BBA accreditation for its long

The recent Banyan Wharf housing development from Regal Homes incorporated NON-COM Exterior protection of the beautiful external cedar cladding used on the stunning collection of one, two and three-bedroom apartments. The cladding was pressure treated with the leach resistant NON-COM Exterior fire retardant which provides a highly effective

Sponsors of the Structual Timber Awards





Commercial Project of 2017

surface spread of flame protection in the event of a fire. There is a growing trend for designers and specifiers using cladding timbers to want an initial decorative finish to create colourful projects. Lonza can now offer new high performance factory applied coating systems for both DRICON and NON-COM Exterior treated timbers when required. The Edge, an innovative new neighbourhood from Linden Homes at the award-winning Newhall social housing development in Essex, is a good example. Siberian Larch cladding was specified for a number of facades and protected with NON-COM Exterior fire treatment but the architects on this occasion also wanted a black colour finish. DRYWOOD Woodstain was factory applied following the initial fire protection. For more information visit: IMAGES: 01. The Edge, Newhall






Timber Cladding & Thermally Modified Timber Howarth Timber’s Phil Barman, discusses the developing trend for thermally modified timber cladding and how it can circumvent the potential issues of working with wood while retaining its environmental benefits.



Timber’s sustainability and natural appearance makes it a popular choice for cladding, with local authorities, architects and developers specifying timber for both aesthetic and practical reasons. However, working with a natural material also has its potential drawbacks.

Increased interest in these products has led to suppliers developing full thermally modified timber cladding ranges. The treatment involves heating timber to over 200°C, using steam to prevent cracking and burning, with the product then being re-moisturised to just 5% – and much less likely to warp or swell. As the treatment removes resin, the wood is much lighter and easier to cut, with reduced wear on tools, and sugars which fungi would survive on are eradicated.

Untreated timber has a tendency to warp, swell or shrink due to changes in moisture: for example, green oak can shrink by up to 7%. Timber cladding could also suffer to fungal decay or damage caused by insect attacks. Chemical treatments can have harmful environmental effects which counteract some of the sustainability points won by specifying timber. The same is true of importing exotic hardwoods: the energy required to transport the timber from beyond Europe reduces its green credentials. Thermally modified timber provides a viable solution to many of the potential drawbacks of untreated wood, increasing its durability without the use of chemicals.

Unlike chemical methods, the treatment penetrates all the way through the wood so thermally modified wood won’t be subject to rot at the core. As a key component of cladding is weatherproofing, thermally modified timber’s increased weather resistance makes it a sound choice. However, because the cell structure of the timber is permanently altered, it becomes more brittle and loses much of its tensile strength – that’s why thermally modified timber is unsuitable for structural use. When fitting thermally modified timber

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03 cladding, installers should follow fitting instructions carefully, and it’s best to use pre-drilled boards and hand-nail boards into place to avoid splitting. Thermally modified timber should be installed using stainless steel fittings only. Thermally modified timber has aesthetic advantages which can make it preferable even to exotic hardwoods or some of the more durable softwoods. For example, many architects specify Western Red Cedar despite its expense because of its lengthy lifecycle, knot-free straight grain and famously rich colour. In fact the finished colour can vary from light pinkish tones rather than the desired reddish brown. Kiln-dried Western Red Cedar is rare and air-drying results in variance in moisture in the timber so it weathers unevenly, resulting in a patchy or grubby-looking appearance. Thermally treated Redwood and Clear Pine products offer the same rich colour as Western Red Cedar, but the treatment means the timber will weather evenly, giving a better aesthetic effect with significant cost savings. As both timbers are sourced from Europe and are available with PEFC or FSC certification, there are clear sustainability benefits. With a host of benefits, easy installation and unbeatable environmental credentials, thermally modified timber will be part of the cladding landscape for a long time to come. For more information visit: IMAGES: 01-02. Modified timber at Fleetwood Beach Huts and Rossall Point 03. Thermally modified cladding

dare to be different

Lunardeck thermally treated timber decking range

ArborClad thermally treated timber cladding range

Tired of opting for traditional Western Red Cedar cladding? Why not make your next project stand out from the crowd and select an alternative such as thermally treated Redwood, Clear Pine, Ash or Frake. Alongside the inherent durability and long-term benefits of thermally treated timber, our ranges provide viable alternatives to more traditional options and not only look good, but feel good by offering a potential cost-saving*. For details visit and search â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;claddingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, call 0330 119 2489 or email *Clear Pine and Redwood are traditionally a lower price point than Western Red Cedar.


Warmshell Insulation a Winning Option A new self-build, timber frame cottage in Shropshire, benefited from a highly effective render and wall insulation system that is also suitable for a wide range of building types.

Keen that the property should blend in as much as possible, they chose Lime Green products for the surface render and, whilst consulting on what products to use, the homeowners discovered that the highly effective wall insulation system – WarmShell – would be perfect for their new build. It offered an important additional benefit on a small plot over a traditional masonry build. For the same heat U-value the timber framed construction has a smaller footprint leaving more space for the garden. Consisting of a unique combination of woodfibre boards and special lime render, WarmShell works by enveloping timber frame structures in a complete layer of rigid insulation with minimal air gaps, or ‘thermal bridges’, across which cold can travel inwards. However, because WarmShell leaves walls breathable, damaging moisture won’t get trapped in the structure and a healthier environment will be created inside.


02 Much Wenlock is a beautiful historic town in Shropshire, perhaps best known for being the birthplace of the modern Olympics. Full of gorgeous period properties and with space at a premium. When an opportunity arose to build on a plot in the centre of the town, the homeowners leapt at the chance to create their very own dream cottage from scratch.

03 The site was relatively tight and with a narrow drive as the only means of access, building on the site was potentially challenging. To avoid the noise and disruption of a constant stream of lorries delivering heavy building materials, the couple opted for a timber framed construction, to be built and customised offsite by Hereford-based manufacturer, Taylor Lane.

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For Taylor Lane who were also responsible for onsite installation of the timber frame, using WarmShell was a good solution. The 100mm woodfibre insulation boards were fitted to the outside of the stud framework and a 10mm. OSB board on the inside, onto which battens with plasterboard were fitted to form a service cavity and then finished using Lime Green’s Solo decorative one-coat plaster. The joints between the internal OSB racking boards were taped to effectively create an airtight box within the timber frame. A high level of airtightness was required as a heat recovery system was being installed. WarmShell also provides excellent insulation for heat and sound. Small holes were then drilled into the OSB boards through which loose cellulose insulation was blown under pressure to completely fill the void and every potential air gap in the wall. The cottage now had, in effect, solid walls of insulation that

MODIFIED WOOD & CLADDING SPECIAL were both strong and provided excellent U-values. On the exterior walls, Lime Green’s Prepbond base render was applied to the WarmShell boards, with a glass fibre reinforcing mesh worked into it. The walls were then completed with a top coat of Lime Green Natural Finish render and their mineral silicate paint. As well as enhancing the very attractive design of the property, the inclusion of oak windows throughout, a green oak porch and the use of local stone create a strong link with period properties nearby. Having specified a highly energy efficient home, when tested for airtightness, the cottage leaked just 3m³ per hour, much less than the 10m³ per hour that Building Regulations demand. The heat U-value achieved was 0.18 W/ (m2K). Not surprisingly, the underfloor heating is only

The Wall Insulation System for new and existing timber frame properties. • Fitted externally or internally, lets walls breathe while providing exceptional thermal performance. • External system creates warmer more airtight buildings with better acoustics than standard timber frame design. • Virtually eliminates thermal bridging and provides consistent internal temperature. • Manufactured in the UK Call Lime Green on 01952 728611

04 needed a few times in winter, which means that the couple not only have the dream cottage they were looking for, but also a very energy efficient and inexpensive home for their retirement.

For more information visit: IMAGES: 01-04. The airtightness levels and U-values created by WarmShell means the home is highly energy efficient



Facing the Future with Brick Slip Cladding A brick finish remains popular – particularly in British architecture and design – meaning brick slip cladding is commonly being used for timber-based structures.

For some a brick finish is considered a more hard-wearing and durable finish, for others it may be the vernacular building material in the area or even a requirement of the local planning department. Whatever the reason, the best way to achieve a brick finish on a timber frame building, without compromising the speed of delivery is to use a brick slip cladding system. Eurobrick Systems was the first company to introduce a comprehensively designed brick slip cladding system to the UK 27 years ago and one of the most recent developments Eurobrick has supplied cladding at is The Central, a new residential development

in London. The project was built in three phases and comprised two blocks of one, two and three-bedroom apartments and three town houses. The developer wanted to achieve a contemporary mixed finish so combined brick slips, cedar and zinc cladding to create this distinctive look. Eurobrick supplied over 2000m² of its X-Clad system and specially imported Roeben Pearl White slips. The brickwork was finished with white Europoint mortar to create a clean modern effect. So what are the benefits of using brick slip cladding over constructing a traditional brick skin? “Without doubt, speed of delivery has to be

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one of the most important benefits for the timber frame sector,” says Richard Haines, Director of Eurobrick. “Brick cladding systems are quick and easy to install compared to constructing a traditional brick wall, and some systems only require semiskilled labour. The ongoing skills shortage in the construction industry is a real concern and in a sector that is expected to grow in the coming years, reducing the dependency on the traditional trades will help ease pressures both in terms of finding skilled labour and the costs of hiring them. “Brick slip cladding systems are generally lightweight and don’t require the foundations associated with traditional masonry. This helps to simplify the design of foundations and reduce costs, compared to traditional brickwork. Our cladding systems are fitted either directly to the sheathing on the frame or to an additional substrate layer accommodating a cavity if required. Eurobrick systems have an installed weight from as little as 36Kg/m². Durability is another key benefit. Kiln fired clay brick slips weather and age in the same way as conventional brickwork. A brick slip exterior will require little to no maintenance over the lifespan of the cladding system.


02 “The brick slip market has grown significantly in recent years and there is now a wide selection of manufactured brick slips and corners available. Manufactured (extruded) brick slips are competitively priced and generally enjoy a reliable supply chain. In addition to extruded slips, cut brick slips are also available. Although this is a more costly option, cut bricks offer a broader choice including traditional stock styles.

FACING THE FUTURE • Brick slip cladding ideal for timber frame structures • Lightweight, quick and easy to install • Low maintenance, durable and weathers like traditional brick • Leading the industry in brick slip cladding since 1990 • Wide range of brick slips in stock

0117 971 7117

03 “The plethora of brick colours and textures available means that most aesthetic designs are possible. Brick slip cladding systems are flexible and may be used in conjunction with other cladding systems such as timber and render. This means that a mixed pallet of finishes, popular for creating a contemporary look, is achievable. There are many advantages to brick slip cladding. But most notably for the structural timber sector, a real brick finish can be

achieved without losing the speed of delivery benefits.” For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01-02. The Central townhouses, West Hampstead, London 03. Brick slip cladding are durable and can increase speed of project delivery


Raising the Standard of Offsite Roof Construction Designed and manufactured by Recticel Insulation, one of Europe’s leading PIR board producers, L-Ments® is a pioneering, self-supporting ‘room in a roof’ insulation system that simplifies and speeds up the installation process for specifiers and contractors alike.

L-Ments® applies an offsite construction methodology to traditional insulation solutions, resulting in a fully-insulated pitched roof that can easily be fitted within one day. It is an ideal, offsite solution for the UK’s burgeoning housebuilding sector and an answer for homeowners who, faced with rising house prices, want more living space without needing to move house. The many benefits of this innovative system were outlined at Explore Offsite at Ecobuild 2017. Peter Wilcox, Recticel’s Development Manager, delivered a presentation to a packed audience of industry representatives and members of the public during which he spoke about how L-Ments® helps new and refurbishment building projects achieve near-zero carbon standard. The supremely-simple methodology behind L-Ments® means that rather than cutting insulation boards to fit between the timbers or trusses of a pitched roof, an L-Ments® panel is produced by foaming polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation around the timber rafters. The L-Ments® system combines the benefits of traditional and offsite roofs whilst minimising the downsides of both, replicating a modular product – constructed offsite to tighter tolerances and higher quality standards – that ultimately provides a liveable roof space.

Using case studies to highlight building projects that have used L-Ments® to successful effect, Peter demonstrated how the system helps utilise ‘dead space’ in buildings. By creating more living room, L-Ments® potentially adds sizeable value to a property. A private newbuild in Burley, Hampshire provided an example of the system’s effective specification. In the first UK project to employ the L-Ments® system, a total of 25 panels (195m2) were installed in a matter of hours to form a fully-insulated pitched roof for the detached house. Architect, Nick Lacey of Nick Lacey & Partners, specified L-Ments® for its prefabricated element as he required a thermally-efficient system that quickly waterproofed the partially-built home to help speed-up the construction process. Such was the ease of installation; the pitched roof’s construction was completed in just seven hours. Nick Lacey said: “Working with the L-Ments® system proved to be a very good choice. It’s an ingenious concept – a prefabricated roofing system which not only saves energy, it saves time and money on installation. It also offers a safer way of constructing.” The Burley project was completed in December 2016. L-Ments®, with its easy-to-install, thermally-efficient properties, went a long way to ensuring this superb example of comfortable,

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stylish, environmentally-friendly living was completed ahead of schedule and represents Recticel’s dedication to raising the quality standard of insulation products in the UK. For more information visit:

Recticel Invests in New Production Capacity for its Insulation Business Recticel has announced that its Insulation division, one of Europe’s Leading PIR insulation board manufacturers, plans for a new state-of-the-art production capacity in the UK, enabling the company to significantly increase its production output as well as to create new jobs. The investment by Belgian-based Recticel group is expressing its confidence in the postBrexit British manufacturing and construction market. The investment is expected to amount to at least €20 million, and start of production is planned in the 3rd quarter of 2018. Kevin Bohea, Commercial Director at Recticel UK, said: “The plans and designs are in place, so this is an incredibly exciting time for Recticel. Following the successful growth of the UK business it became clear we needed to further invest in this country to match the expectation and growth in demand from our customers. This new operation will allow us to support their growth in the foreseeable future.”


Offsite Construction: its time to innovate Dave Coldham, Specialised Products Divisional Manager at IKO Polymeric, explains how the roofing industry is moving more towards offsite solutions.

Uncertainty in the national and global political situation has had an undeniable impact on the construction sector’s confidence. Article 50 has now been triggered and we are officially leaving the EU but the questions surrounding skills shortages remain a constant debate. Nearly 8% of the 2.5 million construction workers come from abroad, the majority being from the EU. Experts say the actual number is even higher. There is a risk for the UK construction sector to lose almost 200,000 workers if the country pulls out of the single market, leaving construction firms with no choice but to look for alternative solutions to meet the Government’s 2025 targets. Significantly reducing the reliance on subcontracted labour, offsite construction is the only solution in place for the current skills shortage, which is predicted to get worse. In anticipation of the problem getting worse before it can get any better, innovative construction products are being introduced to the market. IKO Polymeric’s offsite manufactured composite roofing panel

Armourdek offers a solution that no other manufacturer in the market can currently match. Benefiting from a permanent and highly-skilled offsite workforce, Armourdek is manufactured in a controlled factory environment. It doesn’t require the level of onsite labour that a traditionally built-up roofing system needs. The traditional built-up roof system would require a deck/substrate to be installed, along with a VCL, insulation boards and waterproofing layer. All of these components are individually installed and fixed onsite, which of course requires a trained workforce. Armourdek incorporates all key elements of a roof build-up together in one component. The structural supports are incorporated within the panel too – so for instance, purlins and joists are not required, avoiding another onsite installation. In the last few years, we have seen a strong need for offsite construction methods in the roofing industry. The lack of skilled construction workers and Government’s Construction 2025 Strategy left the contractors with so many difficulties to deal with. Not only did they have pressure

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from their clients to deliver faster projects but were also challenged to improve their thermal and acoustic performance. Identifying the need for a solution, we came up with the idea of Armourdek. With its long spanning capabilities, this composite roofing panel can reduce the installation times by 50% and offers high thermal and acoustic performance. Armourdek’s pre-fabricated panel provides improved quality control procedures within the factory environment, minimising the installation errors onsite. It also reduces the risk of accidents that might occur as a result of working at height and offers a safer manufacturing environment. Manufacturing in the factory also avoids the negative effect of poor weather conditions, especially in the winter months, leading to project delays. When the product is delivered to site, it is complete and ready to install without generating any waste. Unlike some traditional roof build-ups, Armourdek deliveries all come from a single-point source reducing the number of vehicles, which contributes further to CO2 reductions. An average construction site only achieves around 30% productivity, due to so much down time during the process. Offsite factory manufacturing can achieve around 80% productivity which cuts down the manufacturing costs, as well as providing shorter turnaround. Historically, innovation in the construction sector has not been rapid, but going forward the industry is pushing its borders with innovative products. Products such as ours add value to the construction process with fast-track installation, excellent thermal and acoustic performance, reduced material costs and CO2 emissions, improved site safety and ‘zero-waste’ to landfill. For more information visit:

Up to 1000m2 roof installation per day

FAST-TRACK ROOF INSTALLATION IKO Armourdek is a ‘Zero-Waste’, off-site manufactured long spanning roof element, factory finished with IKO Polymeric’s Single Ply Roofing Membrane.

• Fast-track installation • Up to 12 metre single span • Suitable for steel, concrete &

timber frames

• Reduction in secondary steelwork • Reduced material costs • Reduced time working at height • Excellent thermal & acoustic properties • Superb air tightness • Zero waste to landfill • Fewer delivery vehicles • Reduced CO2 emission

Armourdek ticks all the boxes in terms of the Governments Construction 2025 Strategy, providing:

50% faster delivery 50% reduced carbon 33% lower costs e:

t: 01257 488 000


A Class Apart at the University of Nottingham The stunning new £16 million Centre for Sustainable Chemistry at the University of Nottingham required a versatile and proven roofing system with exceptional waterproofing and eye-catching aesthetics.

Alwitra Evalon® V is just one product in a wide portfolio of highly engineered products making up ICB’s Ultimate Roofing System. This includes fine quality flashings, edge trims, roof lights, rainwater outlets and every component for extensive or intensive green roofs. Every ICB roof is protected by a comprehensive guarantee that gives cover for up to 20 years. With this landmark state-of-the art scientific facility set to benefit from the low maintenance EvaGreen extensive roof, along with the root-resistant Alwitra Evalon® V single ply membrane, ICB has reinforced its reputation for delivering multi-component roofing systems under a single point guarantee. For more information visit:

ICB Roofing Solutions met the challenge by providing a winning combination of the EvaGreen roof garden and Alwitra Evalon® V, a high performance durable waterproofing membrane to support the building’s solar photovoltaic system. Built by Morgan Sindall and located on the University’s award-winning timber structure innovation park, the 4500m2 building provides exemplary facilities for chemistry, which is focused on world-leading research activity in sustainable chemistry. The design of this carbon neutral laboratory was targeted at BREEAM® ‘Outstanding’ status. The use of natural materials and the latest technologies, with the energy required to run the building being met by renewable sources such as solar power and sustainable biofuel, helped to achieve this. With environmental considerations at the forefront of this design, the 3000m2 roofing system had to provide more than just traditional protection from rainwater. ICB helped to create a watertight and thermally efficient two-part roof system with the award-winning Evalon® V waterproofing membrane and the eco-friendly EvaGreen system to improve the building’s green credentials and cut energy costs. The

ultra-light ICB solar fixing system also enabled the fast and efficient installation of solar panels covering 45% of the roof without penetration of the new waterproofing membrane. Kevin Smith, Technical Sales Manager commented: “The environmental and sustainability issues were crucial to the overall design of the building so our EvaGreen roof system was the perfect solution with its recycled EvaDrain polystyrene drainage/reservoir board. A strict list of drought tolerant sedum and native wild flowers were required to create a biodiverse roof which we were able to supply and install.” As well as improving the building’s overall appearance, the green roof will improve the environment whilst protecting the roofing membrane thereby enhancing its life expectancy. Offering world class waterproofing qualities, Alwitra Evalon® V from ICB is a unique membrane that delivers the ultimate, long term solution and is part of the award winning Alwitra range. Alwitra have published an Environment Product Declarations (EDP) for their products in addition to BREEAM® Assessment Report.

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IMAGES: 01. The green roof system complement the four large prefabricated glulam and CLT ‘horns’. Courtesy B&K Structures

Solid Wood Structure The two-storey, 22m tall engineered timber structure is located on Nottingham University’s Jubilee Campus and incorporates cross laminated timber (CLT), as the main structural component for the walls, floor and roofing elements, working with the main structural glulam frame. Four large prefabricated glulam and CLT ‘horns’ were erected on the roof of the structure to provide natural ventilation to the building. The horns sit at a 45 degree angle cantilever outside the base, rising almost 10m above the main roof and weigh approximately 11 tonnes each.

Nottingham University, CSC Building


ICB (Projects) Ltd have supplied and installed their EVAGREEN green roof system at the Nottingham University. Email us

INFO@ICB.UK.COM Visit us at


The EVAGREEN roof garden system from ICB produces an eye catching, environmentally friendly solution for this project. ICB also supplied the alwitra Evalon V Single-Ply Membrane, a super quality synthetic waterproofing membrane which is fully compatible for use with Green Roofs being root resistant.

Conta ct us today on

01202 785 20 0

ICB (Waterproofing) Ltd Unit 9-11, Fleets Industrial Estate, Willis Way, Poole, Dorset, BH15 3SU UK


Learning the Offsite Way The Government has confirmed that investment of around £2 billion is to be allocated to rebuild or refurbish 277 schools across England, marking the second phase of the priority school building programme (PSBP). To find out more, come and meet the Education Funding Agency (EFA) at the Explore Offsite Education held in London on the 18 May.

pushed back several times. However, delivery body the EFA has now issued an invitation to tender for a batch of schools in the East Midlands – worth around £80 million - to the contractors on its framework. The EFA has also exclusively revealed that they have given local authorities and multiple academy trusts the go-ahead to procure more than 70 school projects directly under the programme. Moving away from the framework in the first phase of the programme it will pilot a local delivery model.

The EFA have announced that they are now seeking contractors for the first schools to be built under the long-awaited second phase of the PSBP. The PSBP came after a warning from the Local Government Association (LGA) that the country is approaching a ‘tipping point’ in the shortage of school places for children. With a projected figure of 878,000 extra pupils required, it is clear that there is a vital requirement for schools to be developed at a rapid pace.

One of the most frequently cited benefits of offsite construction is the speed of construction that it offers. Dramatic improvements over conventional techniques of construction are demonstrable, with the time required to construct and commission an offsite building being typically reduced by 60% in cases where large elements can be prefabricated.

As part of the PSBP, the EFA is also seeking contractors for a pilot £95 million framework to design and build modular primary schools in England, in a move to deliver standardised solutions to suit all newbuild primary school blocks and speed up delivery. The pilot framework is split into two lots. Lot One is worth £45 million and covers larger schemes with one primary contractor and one reserve contractor expected to be appointed. Whilst Lot Two is valued at £50 million and comprises smaller jobs with two primary contractors and one reserve contractor set be named.

Although originally due to run between 2015 and 2021, the PSBP scheme was


To explain the strategy behind the ‘modular framework’ the EFA will be partnering on the delivery of Explore Offsite Education, taking place on the 18 May in London. This will provide a prime opportunity to discuss your involvement within the PSBP and to understand the EFA’s strategic approach to offsite technology. For full details on the event, speakers and how to register visit:

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EDUCATION CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION Westminster, London 18 May 2017 This one-day conference and exhibition will create a platform for clients and their professional advisers, contractors and project managers to network with industry experts and discuss the latest offsite construction solutions that will help to deliver the building requirements of the education sector.


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

Bryan Evans - PSBP2 Project Director, Education Funding Agency Cal Bailey - Sustainability Director, NG Bailey Iain Geldard - Product Manager for Sunesis, Willmott Dixon Keith Patrick - Project Director, Graham Construction Keith Waller - Senior Advisor, Infrastructure & Projects Authority Peter Blunt - Managing Director, Innovaré Systems Rachel Stephenson - Programme Director, PSBP Richard Crosby - Head of Modular & Offsite Construction, EFA Stephen Wightman - Managing Director , SIG Offsite Steve Newell - General Manager, Portakabin Wayne Yeomans - Senior Business Development Manager, McAvoy Group

…& many more!


Ticket prices - £125 + VAT

To book your place go to



Time for Timber and BIM to Come Together Although it often seems that BIM has been a topic of conversation for ever, the reality is that many timber frame manufacturers haven’t had to worry much about BIM thus far. Jason Ruddle, Chief Operating Officer for Elecosoft, outlines why that might be about to change.

The BIM initiative has seen its impact ripple first through architects and designers then to public sector contractors. Unless suppliers were part of a rigorous BIM supply chain, most were unaffected – but this may soon change. We expect BIM to become a real opportunity for many more timber frame specialists this year – with some tangible business benefits ready to grasp. The Government has made it clear it is committed to stimulate UK housebuilding, publishing its landmark Housing White Paper in February. Offsite manufacturing is one of the structural enablers of delivery and so the timber frame sector may see a raft of growth opportunities. The use of offsite construction has been made an expectation – and local authorities will

inevitably follow suit, as they plan for the raft of new garden towns, villages and affordable housing developments that will benefit from the vast injection of public funds. Timber will inevitably be part of the solution to our modern housing crisis, bringing not just environmental benefits but also speed gains – a need enshrined in both the Accelerated Construction Scheme and overall housing policy. With Brexit concerns about labour shortage and material costs, contractors are recognising that offsite construction and timber frame can help them to reduce dependency on scarce skills, drive down the cost of quality and create greater certainty.

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Going forward, more housebuilders will come under the BIM mandate, as Level 2 BIM standards are universally applied to new public sector contracts. Principal contractors will need sub-contractors and suppliers who can seamlessly and immediately support BIM. Timber frame specialists could rapidly gain by ensuring that they are BIM-ready. This may be far simpler than it seems: those using software solutions like our Framing application – in wide use across the UK timber frame sector – can already generate information about production and quantity outputs in a format which can be easily integrated into a federated IFC BIM model. Mactaggart & Mickel Timber Systems has recognised the need already, saying: “BIM is still largely an unknown in the timber frame industry. We are actively working on a BIM model for domestic housing, in collaboration with another housebuilder, funded by the CITB and with Elecosoft’s support. However, we are already ready in some respects: as a timber system business, we are now BIM compliant and fully certified. We have the capability to output our timber designs into IFC models today.” Manufacturing alone could gain significant benefits from offering the marketplace ready-to-use BIM objects, in the form

BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM) of information packages about standard timber frame wall panels and flooring cassettes, via BIM libraries. If they can generate those information objects as a seamless adjunct to their specification and manufacturing process, this could give immediate sales benefits for standard products, as well as making it far easier for contractors to select them as BIM-ready suppliers. As the rise in interest in timber as a mainstream building material grows it is also wonderful to see innovation accelerating, as people push the boundaries of what can be achieved. Assumptions are being overturned every day. Although the UK doesn’t yet boast the world’s tallest timber building, work has begun on Scotland’s tallest timber apartment building at 10 storeys, and plans were developed last year for London’s first timber skyscraper. At 300m it could become second only to the

Shard in height and become a landmark for timber development, if it goes ahead. In the marketplace for cutting-edge construction, timber and BIM could be a great combination. If nothing else, the principles of collaborative BIM might encourage timber frame specialists to be consulted earlier, and become more involved in the collaborative design and development process. This would be a welcome change for people such as our customer Nick Worboys of Pinewood Structures, who told us: “In my opinion, with BIM you need to get all the stakeholders in place before you start design. Yet we still get invited in after the buildings have been drawn, assuming different building techniques other than timber frame.” Exciting opportunities lie ahead for the industry. Those who invest in technology and embrace the benefits of BIM will

02 be best placed to take advantage of the Government’s drive to deliver increased numbers of affordable and sustainable homes at speed. For more information visit:

IMAGES: 01-02. The timber frame sector can benefit hugely by adopting more BIM thinking. Courtesy Mactaggart and Mickel Timber Systems.

FF102/50 Ventilated Fire Barrier

New fire test evidence: TENMAT FF102/50 now offers 90 minutes insulation and integrity in timber cavities

+44 (0)161 872 2181


Reflecting the Renaissance in Timber Architecture Over the past decade, there has been a renaissance in timber architecture with innovative new buildings systems and design strategies, elevating structural timber solutions from a single residential idiom to rival concrete and steel construction for a variety of build types.

Carpe Diem – Seize the Day Timber may have been the first building material but it has stood the test of time and modern engineered timber solutions provide sophisticated building systems capable of incredible structural feats. Before us we have significant challenges in providing housing for expanding populations but also fantastic opportunities. The alignment of market need and political will is clear and compelling, signalling a real opportunity for a step change - this is the time for timber and the industry must ‘seize the day’. The rise in the stature of the Structural Timber Awards reflects the impressive innovation and growth within the industry.

These Awards have proven to be a rich vein of stunning architectural design and engineering excellence - with entries demonstrating the construction industry’s growing confidence in the use of engineered timber. Now is the time to ensure your outstanding projects, innovative products and dynamic people take centre stage at the 2017 Structural Timber Award which will take place at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham on 10 October. Over 500 leaders and innovators from across the construction sector and the structural timber supply-chain will gather at the prestigious award ceremony to celebrate excellence across 17 categories.

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The Structural Timber Awards are not only for large scale, high profile projects - this event shines a spotlight on smaller component innovations which make a major difference – such as the X-RAD connection system for multi-storey cross laminated timber projects which made the final of the Product Innovation category last year. But it is not only about products and projects - people play a major part in these awards. Without dynamic architects, engineers and industry pioneers – there simply would not be any innovation in the industry to celebrate and this is why the Structural Timber Awards has categories specifically for recognising inspiring individuals.


A Year of Opportunity Construction is a task based, fast paced industry, where there is little time to recognise achievements and reward outstanding success, but there is more to the Structural Timber Awards than a good night out. It is without question an outstanding event but apart from the celebratory side - there a is a solid business rationale for entering these awards.

Free Marketing Awards celebrate hard work and success, creating great PR opportunities. It is fantastic to be recognised for your efforts and in the competitive world of construction, winning an award can open doors to generating new clients, finding new supply chain partners and breaking into new markets. Increased Credibility Reaching the finals or ultimately winning an award, acts as a third-party endorsement â&#x20AC;&#x201C; an independent seal of approval and confirmation of quality for potential and existing clients. It is a great way of differentiating your company from competitors and influencing the decision-making process. Employee Motivation Behind every great company, there will be a dynamic team. Awards recognise the hard work and dedication of construction professionals â&#x20AC;&#x201C; creating something to celebrate and helping boost team morale and improve motivation.

This is a year of opportunity. The Governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent Housing White Paper and The Farmer Review signal a step change in the adoption of offsite construction methods. This is good news for structural timber technologies, as the sector has the resources, the skills, the raw materials and the environmental credentials to take to market and demonstrate how the industry can be instrumental in achieving change. The Structural Timber Awards support sector growth through promoting the quality of engineered timber products, industry innovation and demonstrating structural engineering excellence by showcasing the best the industry has to offer. This can only be achieved with support from those professionals operating in the sector taking time to enter the awards.

When considering entering, it is important to weigh up the time and effort it takes to compile a submission, against the potential returns. Just being shortlisted in an awards category can improve brand awareness and promote your business to potential new clients. Here are just a few compelling reasons why simply entering an award could benefit your business:

Attracting Top Talent It has been well documented that the construction industry has a skills shortage and so identifying and attracting new talent can be a challenge. By going up against the best, companies can recruit and retain the top talent to continue to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.

2017 Structural Timber Awards Sponsors:

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2016 Winners Gallery The last Structural Timber Awards saw record entries and brought together the industry to celebrate the best use of structural timber in the UK.

There were high quality submissions across all categories and competition was fierce. Without the skills, integrity and commitment of the respected judging panel, these Awards would not have been possible and it is a tough task judging excellence on such a scale. Best Social Housing Project - Castle Street Dover Against the backdrop of Dover Castle, Dover District Council, Kingspan Timber Solutions and Jenner Group, used Kingspan TEK® to deliver sustainable, energy efficient homes at a rapid rate to facilitate early occupation. Best Private Housing Project - hoUSe Urban Splash pioneered an entirely new housing proposition in ‘hoUSe’, a newbuild, flexible property that can be configured according to buyers’ preference, budget and lifestyle. Best Self Build Project - Redevelopment of Wellington Lane This self build project, by Milner Associates, is an extensive refurbishment and first floor extension to a 1930’s single storey industrial unit located in a conservation area in central Bristol. Best Education Project - Mellor Primary School Sarah Wigglesworth Architects’ extension for Mellor Primary School provides a series of exciting and stimulating new spaces based on the school’s ‘Forest School’ ethos and showcases timber at its finest. Best Healthcare Project - Maggie’s Centre Foster + Partners’ central idea behind the new Maggie’s Centre in Manchester was to create a welcoming space for cancer patients that is homely, uplifting and provides a place of refuge and diversion. Best Commercial Project - Pinewood Studios In partnership with manufacturer, Rubner Holzbau, B & K Structures designed, manufactured and installed a full façade and roof package for five new sound stages at Pinewood Studios. Best Low Energy Project - The Enterprise Centre, UEA managing editor and Guardian contributor Lloyd Alter said of the Cygnum Timber Frame project: “Forget being the greenest building in the UK. It might well be the greenest building anywhere.”

Engineer of the Year - Engenuiti For Essex Business School which has a reputation for excellent teaching, ground-breaking research and exciting business collaborations - and now timber architecture. Architect of the Year - Foster + Partners The architectural expression of Maggie’s Centre is defined by the structure, making the close collaboration between the architects and the structural engineers a critical part of the design process. Client of the Year - GSK/Nottingham University The GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Carbon Neutral Laboratory of Sustainable Chemistry for The University of Nottingham is unique in the UK not only in its design but also in its focus on world-leading research. Product Innovation Awards - Smartroof Smartroof’s Prism is a new SIP system for ‘room in the roof’ configurations that can be installed in just a few hours rather than days taken for a traditional roof. Pioneer of the Year - Arup A familiar name to all in construction. Arup have pioneered the use of timber on landmark projects including Metropol Parasol the largest timber structure in the world. Judges Choice - Mellor Primary School As pupil numbers have grown, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects were commissioned to design an extension to the existing school. The low energy building aims to harmonise with its natural setting, using locally sourced natural materials while featuring a striking habitat wall which was designed and built in partnership with the school’s pupils.

Maximise Your Industry Exposure If you have been involved in an outstanding project or innovative product that is worthy of an award, then this prestigious event provides one of the most effective platforms to maximise industry exposure and raise your business profile in this economically important market. All finalists gain extensive publicity in the Structural Timber Magazine, the Structural Timber Awards Souvenir Brochure, online and through the associated social media channels. The submission deadline is 31 May 2017 – for more information visit: Need support with your award submission? To learn more about how Radar can help you maximise your profile and chances of winning an award please get in touch with Julie Price by emailing or call 01743 290 001.

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EVENT DATE 10.10.2017 National Conference Centre, Birmingham

Book your sponsorship package now call: 01743 290001



RECRUITMENT & BREXIT construction. Traditional construction companies have stated they are looking into new developments using offsite construction. They are aware there is a need to futureproof their businesses so are looking to offsite. Offsite commands a fraction of the labour of traditional construction. There are the sustainability benefits too, however importing costs are high. Investment in home-manufactured solutions has a huge advantage that should not be overlooked.

Preparing for Uncertainty Could Brexit spell the end for the UK Construction Industry? Jim Roach, Managing Director of specialist recruiter ARV Solutions, highlights a range of issues surrounding recruitment and the future of a skilled workforce.

As I sit down to write this article Theresa May has just signed a letter that will trigger Brexit. Formally beginning the UK’s departure from the European Union, triggering a period of uncertainty for thousands of EU workers and putting the future of the construction industry into jeopardy. The implications will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the construction companies who have come to rely on European labour and the impact will be equally as negative with regards to the current housing shortage. It has also been reported that the number of EU workers

coming to the UK has already fallen post Brexit, further contributing to the shortage of a skilled workforce. The UK government has so far refused to guarantee the status of EU nationals before the EU exit, with negotiations not scheduled to begin until later this year. It has been estimated the UK is facing a workforce shortfall of 3.1 million people by 2050. Not just due to the EU exit but also due to the skills shortage and an ageing workforce. It’s beyond time to act. The uncertainty Brexit brings, is partly pushing forward a resurgence in offsite

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That is not to say a move to offsite construction will solve the skills shortage or save the construction industry – far from it. Even with EU workers, the offsite industry itself is suffering from a massive skills gap which only increases year on year. A lack of EU workers and the current lack of training in the UK will only increase this and have a detrimental effect on UK businesses. Brexit has the potential to destroy the UK construction industry, without EU workers and serious investment in skills, catastrophic damage will be done. There is a serious lack of training, apprenticeships and education surrounding offsite skills. One notable area of offsite construction that will be greatly affected is the ‘design office’. Already the skills shortage is significant in this area and there is much competition for candidates. Over 30% of our placements within the design sector in the last two years have been for non-UK nationals. The fact of the matter is there just aren’t enough designers within construction. At the risk of repeating myself, the reasons for this are the usual, lack of education, training and low salaries. It just isn’t as appealing as other industries. Construction designers unjustifiably receive lower salaries than other industries. So what happens if the supply stops? It’s a massive threat to our industry. We need to keep new designers coming. We must be proactive. Train more, pay more – make the industry more attractive to talent.


Is it all doom and gloom? Are there benefits to less EU workers? Perhaps for sought after talent. In an already candidate-driven market this could be beneficial to those left behind in terms of a salary hike for those with skills that will be even further sought after – brilliant news for some people. It could also force the lack of training and education within the offsite construction industry to be addressed, forcing businesses to develop a new way of working.

in-line with your business goals. Invest in training (TRADA or the Offsite Management School both offer free training), consider cross-training and candidates with transferrable skills. Don’t overlook trainees – grow your own talent and invest not only in their future but the future of your company. We need to keep fresh blood coming through the industry otherwise how will it grow? Campaign for local colleges to create relevant courses – could you collaborate with them? You could consider homeworkers and offer flexible working: this will open up a whole other pool of skilled candidates you could otherwise miss. Adapt and think outside the box. Don’t rule out a skilled workforce because of their working preferences or experience in other areas.

Isn’t it better to be proactive rather than reactive? What can you do? Invest in apprentices, this allows you to grow talent

It’s a candidate’s market. They have the pick of jobs so why would they work for you? Don’t lose out to the competition

Don’t assume someone else will save the industry, don’t assume talent will just fall in your lap and don’t assume that people will automatically want to work for you. They won’t.

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. Our valueable relationships with our clients means we have access to unadvertised job opportunities. Each member of our team is a expert in their field they are dedicated to matching candidates from trainee through to management level.

– improve your salaries, your working environment, benefits package and make sure you have access to the very best candidates out there. Whatever the fallout from Brexit it is imperative that any new immigration system enables businesses large and small to retain and attract the workforce it needs. Whether that is nurturing homegrown talent or workers from outside the UK. Be proactive not reactive. Now is the time to invest in your talent and futureproof your business. For more information visit:

Our team’s specialist knowledge of your industry means they are best placed to offer you specific advice and support within this niche sector. From your job search to writing your CV. Call today for impartial and confidential advice on your career: 0117 959 2008.

Follow us: @arvsolutions

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY If you are interested in learning more about offsite construction in the timber sector and the associated manufacturing processes then choose from some of the timber specific events taking place in 2017: DATE EVENT

17 May


STA AGM and Annual Conference

WEBSITE Celtic Manor, Newport

The STA Annual Dinner, Conference and AGM, will provide a great opportunity for the whole Association to review on operations over the past 12 months, as well as looking ahead to future plans with a full programme of guest speakers.

Explore Offsite Education

18 May


The government has confirmed that an investment of c. ÂŁ2 billion is to be allocated to rebuild or refurbish 277 schools across England. This integrated conference and exhibition event, in partnership with the Education Funding Agency, creates a platform for construction clients, architects, engineers and contractors to come together and discuss the latest offsite solutions in the education sector.

25 May

Offsite Structural Timber - The Solution to the Housing Crisis

Hosted by the STA, this event aims to inform and inspire about the benefits of utilising offsite structural timber to address the housing crisis. A host of speakers representing Timber Frame, SIPS and CLT will present the facts about structural timber, dispelling the myths, offering technical expertise and demonstrating the capabilities through a range of high calibre case studies.

Offsite Construction Awards

13 June



Celebrate the best in precision building design and delivery at the Offsite Construction Awards. The Awards will reward outstanding examples of prefabrication and factory-based methods, products, systems and disciplines that increasingly strive to develop a sustainable, streamlined and cost-effective way to deliver a better built environment.

22 June

Robertson Timber Engineering STA Factory Tour

Robertson will be hosting their factory tour at their facility in Seaham covering the process of timber frame production and construction from the material store through to the several mechanical cutting, nailing and finishing procedures to the finished product and delivery to the yard where they are stacked.

20 September

Explore Offsite Healthcare

This event will present case studies of projects that have used offsite technology to create a new facility, upgrade or extension in a seamless way, on-time and on-budget working in a sensitive, inclusive and collaborative fashion. Speakers will discuss how they have met the healthcare provider and/or the NHS Trustâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expectations in providing a sustainable, energy efficient and cost-effective contemporary building.

10 October

2017 Structural Timber Awards

Seaham, County Durham

NEC Birmingham


More than 500 leaders and innovators from across the construction sector will gather at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham, on October 10 for the Structural Timber Awards. The prestigious award ceremony will reward outstanding projects, innovative products and dynamic people promoting excellence in structural timber across the UK.

10-12 October

Timber Expo

Part of UK Construction Week, Timber Expo covers a breadth of timber applications from timber frame through to sawmills, glulam to timber cladding. It is three days brimming with the latest products, innovations and developments across the timber sector - not just from the UK but from an increasingly exciting and diverse international market.

NEC Birmingham

CONNECTING THE UK OFFSITE INDUSTRY Online information centre offering industry news, project profiles, technical downloads and learning resources tailored to the offsite sector.


simplifying offsite

Innovaré is Simplifying Offsite Innovaré makes it easy for clients to achieve the performance criteria, tight programme scheduling and cost saving benefits of offsite construction. Build methods are changing with traditional processes being replaced by offsite construction, for reasons of quality, speed, health & safety and sustainability. As a specialist contractor, Innovaré design, engineer, manufacture and install the i-SIP System giving us the expertise and flexibility to accommodate a more extensive range of project requirements, simplifying offsite construction processes and saving customers both time and money. #Modular #Offsite #Simple

For more information: Telephone 0845 674 0020 Email EDUCATION





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Structural Timber Magazine - Spring Issue 2017  

Structural Timber Magazine - Spring Issue 2017 (issue 11)