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Structural Timber Magazine.co.uk

SPRING 2018 | ÂŁ4.95


Design Technology Sustainability Interviews News Analysis Case Studies

The latest in structural timber building design and technologies





Dr Robert Hairstans

Solid Wood Solutions

NU Build

Can the built environment be pre-manufactured from mass timber?

Everything you need to know about the UK’s key event for CLT and glulam

How can Swan Housing disrupt the housing market with volumetric design?




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WELCOME TO Welcome to the Spring edition of Structural Timber Magazine and amongst the coverage of numerous aspects of the timber sector, this edition we are heavily influenced by issues surrounding solid engineered wood.

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


Our cover story is given over to The Oculus building at the University of Warwick. This new BREEAM Excellent flagship building showcases perfectly what can be done using cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam. A visually stunning building and with an additional roof mounted PV installation and connection to the campus-wide combined heat and power (CHP) power system, the addition of a heat recovery ventilation system and air source heat pumps, makes this a hugely sustainable and energy efficient structure.

timber systems’ within the worldwide shift to more factory-based construction activity – Robert will be speaking all about this at the SWS event in more detail. We also hear the views from an architect using CLT for the very first time at the Stephen Perse Foundation and one using it for the fifth successful time, at Kingsgate Lower School, London.

The Oculus is also the venue for the upcoming Solid Wood Solutions (SWS) event on the 5 July. As any regular observer of the timber sector will know the popularity of CLT and glulam is as sky high as the height of the tall buildings it could potentially create. Engineered timber technology is booming across the globe and SWS has gathered a panel of experts to share experiences on arguably the fastest growing technology in building design. Inside this issue we have plenty of solid wood coverage, not least from Dr Robert Hairstans, Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier University, who places the production of ‘mass

Special mention must also go to Swan Housing Association and its NU build system – using a volumetric modular CLT approach – they are the type of organisation that will make a genuine, high-impact difference to the housing delivery model that the UK desperately needs. Further mention must also go to Carbon Dynamic that have developed a similar volumetric modular approach but are using digital technology and a virtual reality-related ‘Augmented Worker’ method to revolutionise and change the shape of sustainable construction. The wider cultural impact of this type of ‘visualisation’ is only in its infancy. Many thanks to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters. Enjoy… Gary Ramsay | Consultant Editor E: gary.ramsay@structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk


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The Oculus reflects its green surroundings through the use of materials such as terracotta, sandstone and spectacular timber technology including glulam beams. The building is architecturally outstanding and set to be valued by generations to come. It is also the venue for the upcoming Solid Wood Solutions event.

P08 | SUSTAINABILITY GOES BEYOND THE ENVIRONMENT Nic Clark, Board Member for the Structural Timber Association (STA) and Managing Director of KLH UK, shares some thought-provoking ideas on attracting the right talent to sustain the future of the structural timber industry. P10 | INDUSTRY NEWS A quick round-up of some recent news stories from the timber and construction sectors that you may have missed including the latest STA activity, the rise of timber robots, Urban Splash’s acquisition of SIG Building Systems and a new UK Stair Installation Guide from the BWF. P30 | DISPELLING THE MOISTURE MYTHS With recent reports published in Denmark and Australia casting doubt over the use of MgO boards in exterior building applications. John Taylor, Chairman of the Magnesium Oxide Build Board Trade Association (MOBBTA), explains why MgO remains a robust specification. P32 | TRANSFORMING TIMBER In recent years the range of modified wood products available on the market has increased greatly and they have become a popular product specified across a range of applications. TRADA provide a quick overview of modification and what is available.

P34 | CAN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT BE PRE-MANUFACTURED FROM MASS TIMBER? Globally, the production of mass timber systems is increasing exponentially, driven largely by the need for more sustainable ways of delivering the built environment. Dr Robert Hairstans, Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier University and Head of the Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures explains further. P38 | CLT: AN ARCHITECTURAL PERSPECTIVE CLT is now well-established in the UK as a lightweight engineering solution with high levels of pre-fabrication and excellent credentials as a sustainable material. Robin Dryer, Director at chadwickdryerclarke studio, successfully used it for the first time at the Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge. P40 | TOP CLT MARKS FOR CAMDEN SCHOOLS Kingsgate Lower School – a new build infant school for 410 pupils – is the first phase in the Maccreanor Lavington designed Liddell Road development for the London Borough of Camden and is the fifth cross laminated timber (CLT) school the practice has built.

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P42 | TIMBER PUSHES THE BOUNDARIES A dramatic fan-shaped timber and fabric roof, supported by cantilevered glulam beams, defines the new Warner Stand at Lords Cricket Ground. The elegant stand roof features the first use of American White Oak beams of this scale in Europe. P50 | BREATHING NU LIFE INTO UK HOUSING Revolutionary thinking and disrupting the construction ‘norm’ is at the centre of solving the UK’s systemic housing shortage. We hear from the Swan Housing Group, that are doing both to produce a new range of high-quality, offsite manufactured homes using the NU build system. P60 | PLOTS FOR LIFE The Right to Build Task Force has announced its latest significant piece of work to support Custom and Self Build, in association with Teignbridge District Council and its GESP (Greater Exeter Strategic Plan) Partners. P62 | KEEP THE TIMBER CUSTOMER SATISFIED Wood Protection Association (WPA) Director Steve Young, points out that reassuring designers and engineers about the ability of quality treated wood to perform and providing information to ensure it is correctly specified, treated and installed are key priorities. P70 | TIMBER – THE ANSWER TO THE UK’S HOUSEBUILDING CRISIS Jeremy English, Sales Director at Södra – Sweden’s largest forest-owner association – explains how timber can ease the UK’s housing crisis and can help developers adopt less labourintensive building techniques to build quicker. P74 | FIT FOR THE FUTURE In a few short years, modular offsite timber manufacturer Carbon Dynamic have garnered a reputation for cutting edge design and delivery. Managing Director Matt Stevenson, took part in a quick Q&A about how new technology is changing the shape of construction.



The Living Building The Oculus reflects its green surroundings through the use of materials such as terracotta, sandstone and spectacular timber technology including glulam beams. The building is architecturally outstanding and set to be valued by generations to come. It is also the venue for the upcoming Solid Wood Solutions event.

01 The Oculus provides the University of Warwick with a new flagship building - the first on the campus to be dedicated purely to teaching and learning. Located on a prominent site close to the social heart of the campus, the building contains two tiered lecture theatres, with the 500-seater being the largest in the university. A 250-seat theatre is sited beneath, which features the spectacular open underside of the timber roof. The two lecture theatres boast extremely large state of the art wide format projection screens with multiple edge blended ultra HD high brightness laser projectors. The teaching rooms can accommodate groups ranging in size from 30 to 100 providing nearly 1,400 new teaching seats in total. Teaching spaces are organised into two wings, which support the impressive glulam timber roof which dramatically towers above a curved three storey glass facade. The abundant use of glulam beams not only vastly improves sustainability by

reducing embodied carbon but also creates a building with a dramatic roof that is instantly recognisable. The 4,750sqm building contains 12 seminar rooms, flexible social and learning spaces, plus the latest teaching technology such as multiple screens, visualisers, touch panel controls, wireless audio, lecture capture and webcast facilities. The design also incorporates electronic displays outside the entrances of all rooms to provide live room booking information and indicate when rooms are free for use by students outside of teaching time. Generous circulation spaces flow around the lecture theatres and create enclaves of space for social learning whilst the inclusion of a café in the atrium further supports use of the building by students beyond formal teaching sessions. In addition to the advanced technologies provided within all seminar rooms, the design includes an exceptional feature

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for the three largest of the four ground floor seminar spaces – the external walls can be opened up onto landscaped external terraces. This striking feature was developed in collaboration with the University’s Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning Centre to capitalise on the green campus environment and encourage more inside/outside learning activities. All four ground floor seminar rooms also feature innovative storage, which is cleverly integrated into the facade. The welcoming architecture of the building and dramatic central timber roof, support the innovative and interactive teaching methods. At ground floor level within the central atrium, an impressive 7x3m ultra HD four-screen video wall has been integrated into the acoustic timber paneling. Showing varying displays from timetable and wayfinding information to upcoming events and livestream broadcasts of oversubscribed talks from the main lecture theatre. The screens also have more ‘avant garde’ uses such as displaying the ‘chem-art’ created by University’s artist in residence, Mary Courtney, composed in collaboration with the Warwick Chemistry department. The outstanding glulam beams were specified for the central feature roof in part, as a response to the client brief, which called for a warmer palette of natural materials to mark a new direction in the development of the campus, but also as an expressive and sustainable structural material, giving the building its defining character. The use of a low carbon, sustainable and beautiful material for the main feature of the building echoes the wider ambition for the building as a whole and its role as the first step in a new wave of campus regeneration. The roof also makes a bold statement about the energy and strength of the University’s commitment the student’s experience and unifies three of the key spaces within the building. The integrity of the timber structure also serves


02 as an educational experience - during construction second, third and fourth year students from the department of engineering toured the site, the project team hosted a series of student workshops. The choice of timber also helped fulfill the acoustic requirements, with the cross laminated timber (CLT) deck providing good sound insulation from break-in noise, whilst the exposed glulam structure beneath assisted with breaking down internal reflections to manage the reverberation times within the lecture theatre. Each of the 1,200mm wide cross laminated timber ‘planks’, spanning up to 6.6m between the main arches to make up the deck, had longitudinal edges rebated for the insertion of marine ply ‘tongues’ with air seal tapes across each joint. The CLT deck provided an excellent working platform for the subsequent installation of a robust vapour control/airtight layer and the support rails and stools for the aluminum roof covering – increasing the quality of the workmanship and aiding the ease of inspection for these critical items.

03 Opening on time for the start of the 2017/18 academic year, the new building has been extremely well received by staff and students alike. The Vice President of the University, Professor Lawrence Young has said: “This was the first time the University of Warwick has built a standalone teaching and learning space, and we wanted an architecturally outstanding building that symbolises our commitment to the student experience. Berman Guedes Stretton Architects worked closely with us to convert our strategic objectives into a physical space that not only delivers our educational objectives but also forms an integral part of the university life and landscape. The building has exceeded our expectations and has already become the main feature of our central campus.” The design of the timber roof structure delivered a rapid, reliable and safe result and offers a stunning, maintenance free feature. The primary arches were delivered to site in two sections, direct from Binderholz in Austria. All of the timber is visual grade which has been left

Solid Wood Solutions You can find out more about this superb building from Neil Eaton, Director of Berman Guedes Stretton Architects, whom will present a Case Study on the Oculus at the Solid Wood Solutions conference and exhibition. Date: 05 July 2018 Venue: The Oculus, University of Warwick, 6 University Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL Tickets: £125 +VAT which includes refreshments, lunch and parking

Book: www.solidwoodsolutions.co.uk/book

04 in its natural state, requiring no return maintenance for the University. The timber is expected to simply improve over time as the natural colour intensifies with age. Great care was taken to ensure that the soffit of the roof was kept completely clear of all services. The soffit is generally uplit to provide a warm diffuse character to the interior lighting. The Oculus achieved BREEAM Excellent and EPC A ratings, largely due to the use of low carbon glulam timber for the main roof, natural light, and ventilation reinforced by a roof mounted PV installation, connection to the campus wide CHP district heating and power system together with the use of heat recovery ventilation systems for the conditioned spaces which also used air source heat pumps with adiabatic cooling. This project was delivered via the Scape Framework by the main contractor, Willmott Dixon Construction, who provided the University with a ‘turnkey’ service. From the very outset, the design and contractor teams worked closely throughout the initial concept stages right through to completion - the final result was an iconic building which will be valued by generations to come. For more information visit: www.solidwoodsolutions.co.uk IMAGES: 01-04. The Oculus is a stunning building with solid timber a pivotal part of the structure. Courtesy Berman Guedes Stretton

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Sustainability Goes Beyond the Environment Nic Clark, Board Member for the Structural Timber Association (STA) and Managing Director of KLH UK, shares some thought-provoking ideas on attracting the right talent to sustain the future of the structural timber industry.

Discussions surrounding sustainability generally focus on the reduction of carbon emissions, the responsible sourcing of materials, recycling and eliminating waste – which are all vitally important. However, sustainability goes beyond the environment. With construction experiencing good levels of growth, the major issue facing the industry is the ageing workforce and declining numbers of new talent entering the sector. The lack of traditional construction skills hit the headlines on virtually a daily basis and the offsite industry is hailed as the solution to overcome this problem but to remain at the forefront of innovations in structural timber, we need to attract the brightest and best to sustain our national heritage in timber construction. Great timber engineers are well regarded and highly valued but in the main, applications for these posts come from overseas. Clearly outside the UK timber engineering is a profession of choice – so why does this role not broadly appeal to home grown talent, especially when it’s the UK that leads to world in great reference projects? Is it simply, that this career option is not widely promoted by colleges and universities? Or could it be that colleges and universities are having trouble recruiting offsite industry experts to teach the next generation of structural engineers. I suspect it is a bit of both. So, there’s the dilemma – what’s the solution? We in the industry need to take

responsibility, after all it is in our own interest – greater collaboration is needed with education providers to explore ways to engage directly with students. Nothing new here. The Class of Your Own industry support learning programme and the Adopt A School scheme – have been running for some time and are gaining some traction at a local level. How about a more radical approach? We are familiar with 106 Agreements, for those who are not – these are often referred to as 'developer contributions’, putting back something into the community where the development is taking place. So why does the government not place the same obligation on education projects? This could be via key criteria placed on contractors via the procurement processes or even by allowing to offset any existing 106 Agreements by making key contributions to professional construction courses? This would not only provide a recruitment solution but also offer construction industry professionals the ideal opportunity to inspire the next generation of engineers and architects together with helping to develop the specialist skills that the offsite industry requires such as design for manufacture process manager and digital construction manager. By sharing our expertise, we will get the best opportunity to engage directly with students to promote the diverse range of career options available within the structural timber sector.

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The KLH team involved in the development at Canterbury University, provided students within the Canterbury School of Architecture with a CPD on solid wood construction. All parties found the experience extremely beneficial – we were able to motivate and inspire young architects at the very start of their design and construction journey. The journey could start even earlier with work experience placements or site visits for students in secondary education, we have enough schools still being built to cater for this. Maybe the perceptions held by younger people are predicated on outdated construction practices and conditions. We have some fantastic examples of how we are creating tomorrow’s built environment, new techniques such as cloud surveys and the use of VR and construction offers a very broad and rewarding career opportunity. To sustain and advance the structural timber construction industry, we need radical ideas to help alleviate the issues facing education providers in recruiting those with industry experience, who can attract much higher salaries than is the norm in the teaching profession. Getting more involved provides a win-win situation for all. Nic Clark, Board Member Structural Timber Association E: nic.clark@klhuk.com


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UK INDUSTRY NEWS ROBOTS RISE FOR TIMBER work together and position the beams in the precise spatial arrangement based on the computer layout. To prevent collisions when positioning the individual timber beams, the researchers have developed an algorithm that constantly recalculates the path of motion for the robots according to the current state of construction. Workers then manually bolt the beams together.

Grabbing many timber industry headlines recently has been the work being carried out at the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication in Switzerland. NCCR researchers are using a new method for digital timber construction in a real project for the first time. The load-bearing timber modules, which are prefabricated by robots, will be assembled on the top two floors at the DFAB HOUSE construction site. Under the auspices of the NCCR Digital Fabrication, researchers from ETH Zurich’s Chair of Architecture and Digital Fabrication have developed a new, digital timber construction method that expands the range of possibilities for traditional timber frame construction by enabling the efficient construction and assembly of geometrically complex timber modules. Digitalisation has found its way into timber construction, with entire elements already being fabricated by computer-aided systems. The raw material is cut to size by the machines, but in most cases it still has to be manually assembled to create a plane frame. In the past, this fabrication process came with many geometric restrictions. The robot first takes a timber beam and guides it while it is sawed to size. After an automatic tool change, a second robot drills the required holes for connecting the beams. In the final step, the two robots

Unlike traditional timber frame construction, ‘spatial timber assemblies’ can manage without reinforcement plates because the required rigidity and load-bearing result from the geometric structure. Not only does this save material it also opens up new creative possibilities. A total of six spatial, geometrically unique timber modules will be prefabricated in this way for the first time. Lorries will then transport them to the DFAB HOUSE construction site at the NEST in Dübendorf, where they will be joined to build a two-storey residential unit with more than 100m2 of floor space. The complex geometry of the timber construction will remain visible behind a transparent membrane façade. The robots use information from a computer-aided design model to cut and arrange the timber beams. This method was specially developed during the project and uses various input parameters to create a geometry consisting of 487 timber beams in total. Matthias Kohler, Professor of Architecture and Digital Fabrication at ETH Zurich and the man spearheading the DFAB HOUSE project said: “If any change is made to the project overall, the computer model can be constantly adjusted to meet the new requirements. This kind of integrated digital architecture is closing the gap between design, planning and execution.”

SOURCE: www.dfab.ch | www.ethz.ch

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URBAN SPLASH ACQUIRE SIG BUILDING SYSTEMS Award-winning regeneration company Urban Splash has taken control of modular construction specialists SIG Building Systems and also recently announced two major investors into the business – Urban Splash Modular Ltd. Based in Manchester but operating across England, Urban Splash agreed terms to acquire certain trade and assets of SIG Building Systems, the modular offsite construction business of SIG plc, the acquisition includes SIG’s modular factory in the East Midlands, all the IP and patents of its modular housing system and around 70 staff. A second announcement saw architect and Channel 4 presenter George Clarke and North West tech entrepreneur and founder of WeBuyAnyCar.com, Noel McKee reveal their investment in the Urban Splash modular operations. Urban Splash Chairman Tom Bloxham MBE said: “We are pleased to have agreed terms on this acquisition with SIG. Urban Splash is committed to expanding its offsite construction capacity and this purchase is a way to vertically integrate our business and give us control of the production of our Houses. It is a testament to our commitment to, and investment in, modular housing. “SIG has been a great company to work with, but as the factory gradually filled up with Urban Splash product, it became clear to all that its natural home was with Urban Splash. We will continue to work with SIG’s excellent supply chain and welcome our great new colleagues from SIG into the Urban Splash team.

SOURCE: www.housebyurbansplash.co.uk www.urbansplash.co.uk


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The Passivhaus Trust and Airtightness Testing & Measurement Association (ATTMA) have been working closely to formalise an airtightness testing standard for Passivhaus buildings. The new TSL4 standard will encompass both domestic and non-domestic buildings. The technical standard has been more than six months in the making, utilising the best minds in both Passivhaus and air permeability testing to create the standard.

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Existing air testers will be able to train to become a registered Passivhaus tester via ATTMA’s accredited training courses. The new standard will include guidance on: testing methodology, measurements of the buildings, preparation checklists, accredited training courses and a dedicated lodgement database for Passivhaus developments.

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“Despite the on-going success of Passivhaus in the UK,” said Kym Mead, Associate Director, Passivhaus Trust, “there can still be some confusion when working with the standard for the first time, the aim of the new ATTMA testing standard is to help remove this confusion when testing, whilst also providing air testers with additional training in the Passivhaus standard.” Barry Cope, Scheme Manager at ATTMA added: “We are delighted to expand our Technical Standards with a new standard dedicated to very low leakage buildings. As with all of our guidance, the aim is to make the standard as clear as possible, removing ambiguity and commonly assumed errors, so that the very low leakage testing community can operate uniformly with an agreed reference point. In addition, we will be certifying both members with a high level of experience and working with the Passivhaus Trust to create dedicated training courses. I could not be happier to team up with Kym and his great team at the Passivhaus Trust on this project. The New TSL4 Standard can be downloaded from ATTMA at: www.attma.org/attma-passivhaus-trust-announce-tsl4/ Image: Courtesy Encraft

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A talented multidisciplinary team from some of Britain’s best-known universities have won TRADA’s prestigious undergraduate Urban Buzz competition. Edward Shaw and Wing Lam Lo from the University of Sheffield, Katy Horner from Edinburgh Napier University, Will Evans from Coventry University and Jure Zibret from Leicester School of Architecture, ‘Team 6’, beat off eleven impressive rivals to win the £2000 top prize with their ground-breaking entry of a multi-storey timber car park. Speaking on behalf of the winning team, Edward Shaw said: “We are so excited to win Urban Buzz 2018. Representing our respective universities, presenting our designs to a panel of eminent judges, learning to work under pressure in a multidisciplinary team and innovating with timber has all been a fantastic experience.” 60 students from 28 universities took part in an intense ‘charrette-style’ challenge at the Diamond, University of Sheffield, to conceive ways that timber can be used in the creation of a timber multi-storey car park.

Entrants wowed a distinguished panel of judges with their unique designs, including: architects Carol Costello and Alex Abbey of Cullinan Studio, and Waugh Thistleton’s Kieran Walker; engineers Matt Caldwell of Buro Happold, Keerthi Ranasinghe from the TRADA Advisory Committee, and Arup’s Susie Gregory; and landscape architects Stephanie Crewe of HLM Architects and Kate Shearer of Ares. Tabitha Binding, Manager of the University Engagement Programme at TRADA, said: “I would like to thank Sheffield University, the judges and sponsors for this competition. Such a brilliant event could not happen without the time, dedication and support of everyone involved. Congratulations to the winners and runners-up for their inspired designs. It was great to see the architectural, engineering and landscape students turn from individuals into design teams, embrace the challenge and deliver well thought through timber concepts. I am thrilled at the enthusiasm with which our multidisciplinary competition has been met. I hope others will be inspired to enter TRADA’s undergraduate challenge in 2019.”

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Competition judge Carol Costello, Practice Leader at Cullinan Studio said: “Congratulations to TRADA for getting architecture and engineering students from all over the country to collaborate and create outstanding timber designs. Technology is blurring the lines between architecture and engineering. Young people entering this industry today need to be nimble, think on their feet and work together to understand the bigger picture.” Andrew Wharrier, Head of Marketing and Communications at Arnold Laver & Co, said: “Arnold Laver is a proud sponsor of Urban Buzz because we want future engineers, architects and landscape architects to know what is possible with timber. As a business we are very mindful of how education can play a part in promoting timber and creating a more sustainable, built environment. If we can encourage students in schools, colleges and universities to consider timber as an alternative material for construction, that engagement will follow through for the rest of their lives.” SOURCE: www.trada.co.uk/academic-competitions/ urban-buzz-2018/

UK INDUSTRY NEWS PLANNING APPROVAL GRANTED FOR CRAIGMILLAR HOMES Planning permission has been granted to build a further 194 affordable and low cost homes at Craigmillar Town Centre, a major regeneration project in South East Edinburgh. The approval for the new homes follows on from other new housing developments in the area being built by construction firm CCG (Scotland) Ltd, including 74 new affordable homes as part of the Greendykes Masterplan for City of Edinburgh Council and the creation of 111 affordable homes at Craigmillar Town Centre on behalf of Dunedin Canmore. CCG (Scotland) Ltd has been appointed to develop the new properties by City of Edinburgh Council as part of the Craigmillar Town Centre Master Plan. The development will be a mix of flats and houses and comprise 108 homes for affordable rent and 86 for market rent. The new homes will be spread across a series of twelve blocks

with residents having access to amenity areas and a large public green space at the heart of the development. Cllr Kate Campbell, Convener of the Housing and Economy Committee, said: “The regeneration of Craigmillar lies at the heart of our aim to ensure prosperity reaches everyone in every neighbourhood. We are building 194 homes in Craigmillar and this decision by our Planning Committee means more people struggling on low and middle incomes can live in a home they can afford. Work will start on site within a few months and this is a very welcome contribution to our delivery of 20,000 new affordable homes in the city." CCG Director, Calum Murray, added: “CCG is delighted to be working in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council on what is a hugely important project that greatly

contributes to the city’s affordable housing supply. We have been on site in Craigmillar since 2015 with developments including the regeneration of the former Niddrie Mill Primary School into 66 mixed tenure homes and the Thistle Centre for Health and Wellbeing. With this latest phase of housing, alongside our live contracts, CCG will have completed 440 homes in the area in partnership with affordable housing providers by 2020 which is a remarkable achievement.” CCG expect to be on site in May 2018. SOURCE: www.c-c-g.co.uk

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FASTHOUSE LANDS 470-LODGE CENTER PARCS CONTRACT FastHouse, has been awarded a major contract for the manufacture and installation of 470 holiday lodges at the eagerly-awaited Center Parcs in Longford. FastHouse’s installation teams have already commenced work on the 10-month build programme at the 400-acre Longford Forest site in Ballymahon.

Sustainable building products supplier, Ecological Building Systems (EBS), is celebrating a TV cameo for one of its star products after the ‘pro clima Intello Plus’ intelligent airtightness system was showcased on Grand Designs. pro clima Intello Plus was specified on construction of the ‘Herefordshire House’ featured on Grand Designs; a property, 10 years in the making, which has enabled eco-conscious couple Ed and Rowena, to live their dream of designing and building their own home from natural materials and live off the land. The house is located on the couple’s hilltop woodland near Hereford, where they grow their own produce and keep a range of animals, including sheep, Kune Kune pigs, horses, chickens, goats and ducks. Designed and built by Ed over the course of a decade while the couple lived in a smaller self-build property, the ‘Big House’ echoes the contours of the natural environment in which it sits and uses natural materials including local stone and timber. The pro clima Intello Plus system was used as part of the wall and roof build up, providing an airtight variable diffusion resistant vapour control membrane. Boasting the most effective variable diffusion resistance on the market, pro clima Intello Plus offers high diffusion tightness in winter and maximum diffusion openness in summer, protecting the

building from condensation, maximising the performance of the insulation and ensuring optimum building comfort all year round. Comments Fintan Wallace from Ecological Building Systems: “It’s often self-builders who are passionate about the home they are building that invest the most research in finding the products that will support a truly sustainable approach and contribute to a dwelling that will maximise both comfort and service life. A 10-year build is a real labour of love and we’re delighted that Ed not only chose pro clima Intello Plus for this very special property but that its appearance on the popular Grand Designs programme will educate others on the advantages of installing a high performance, variable diffusion resistant airtight system on their own projects.” Suitable for both new build and refurbishment projects, pro clima Intello Plus’s credentials include BBA Certification and Passivhaus Approval with the system achieving the best membrane airtightness results ever recorded by Passivhaus Institute. The Grand Designs episode featuring Ed and Rowena’s project is available to view on All4 at www.channel4. com/programmes/grand-designs/ on-demand/46761-037 SOURCE: www.ecologicalbuildingsystems.com

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Stephen Bell, Managing Director of FastHouse, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to be part of the construction of the first Center Parcs in Ireland. This is an exciting project to be part of and marks FastHouse’s first major step into the Irish market. We have already completed numerous housing projects throughout Northern Ireland and England over the past 15 months and Ireland will now be a core market for the Company across our modular housing and leisure lodge products.” FastHouse manufactures modular open and closed panel timber frame systems for the construction industry. Its highly automated manufacturing facility extends to 200,000 sq ft with FastHouse’s closed panel product its primary focus for the housing market. FastHouse’s rapid build system means it can construct a set of semi-detached homes to weathertight stage in just two days. Brian Kennedy, Sisk Project Director, added: “Following a detailed procurement process Sisk are delighted to award the timber frame package to FastHouse.” Such has been the growth of the company, it has installed its third production line leading to a further recruitment drive to coincide with the introduction of a second manufacturing shift. SOURCE: www.lagan-group.com/our-companies/fasthouse

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS NEW UK STAIR INSTALLATION GUIDE FROM BWF The guide is produced by the BWF Stair Scheme, the only accreditation and certification scheme of its kind in the UK. Members design and manufacture domestic, common and fire protected stairs to an extremely high standard to ensure quality and safety within the industry. The guide is designed to bridge the gap between manufacturers and installers to ensure that industry standards are met and best practice is followed to safely install timber staircases. John Slaughter of the Home Builders Federation (HBF) who has supported this guide added: “We at the HBF are delighted to be supporting the BWF in developing this essential guidance. Working more effectively with the supply chain is critical to improving productivity and quality in the home building sector and this kind of collaboration between manufacturers and our members is a great example of how this can be done effectively. The BWF Stair Scheme and the quality information that is produced from this group is a very welcome support to our industry and members.”

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Stair Scheme will provide a new and improved Staircase Installation Guide, to help fill the skills gap and focus on safe, quality installations for both domestic and general access staircases. Getting stairs right first time and avoiding costly squeaks and even running the gauntlet of non-compliance is a major drain on productivity in the housebuilding and wider construction markets. Poorly fitted stairs also present safety risks – they remain one of the most common areas for accidents in the UK with more than 800 recorded deaths attributed to slips, trips and falls on staircases every year in the UK and a staggering 300,000 visits

per year in the UK related to falls on stairs. Accidents happen, but many could be avoided and some of these will be the result of not managing risks during construction works, when a part-finished or unguarded staircase is often used for access. Kevin Underwood, Technical Director at the BWF said: “A shortage in skills on-site is now a real problem in the industry. Manufacturers are no longer able to assume that the necessary fitting skills and knowledge will be available at the point of installation and so are having to take more of a role in guiding the fitting process, which is where the BWF Stair Scheme Installation Guide comes in.”

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Jo Weston, Business Support Director, Willmott Dixon, also commented: “At Willmott Dixon, we are focussed on working with the supply chain to improve quality. We know all too well that installation issues undermine quality product. One example is staircases – if you don't get it right, it is not uncommon to be called back to address issues such as insecure strings, problems with winders, missing blocks, issues with balustrading, or squeaks of unknown origin. This results in costly correction, wasted time and unhappy customers. In construction, we have to work these mistakes out of the process, to learn and improve.” SOURCE: www.bwfstairscheme.org.uk/stair-installation


Two of Britain’s leading timber associations have joined forces to publish: Site check: The timber frame pocket book – the definitive guide to best practice in timber frame construction. TRADA and the Structural Timber Association (STA) have combined their expert knowledge to update and merge individual timber frame publications to produce a single-source ‘best-of both’ guide to on-site construction. Site check: The timber frame pocket book is an invaluable tool for all those responsible for high quality workmanship, imperative when the burgeoning timber frame sector has grown at almost twice the market rate in one year alone. TRADA’s Rupert Scott said: “We are delighted to collaborate with the STA to provide the timber industry with a single source of timber frame advice. Site check: The timber frame pocket book equips site managers and other construction professionals with a handy aid to supervise and check that subcontractors’ work is done to a high standard. “The timber frame market is enjoying spectacular growth, providing a golden opportunity for those operating in this sector. And with the Chancellor recently committing £44 billion for the largest house-building drive for decades, this growth shows no sign of abating.”

Written as an illustrated guide that can be easily consulted by on-site management, this spiral-bound pocket book gives construction professionals the competitive edge by helping them to ensure sub-contract work is carried out to the highest standard. “With a shared objective to enhance the standards within the structural timber sector, our collaboration with TRADA brought together the technical expertise of two of the timber industry’s leading organisations,” said Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the STA. “Quality management should be an end-to end process - from the sourcing of raw timber and offsite manufacture in well managed factories - to the final onsite installation. The Site Check pocket book will be a valuable asset to site managers and although concise, the information will play an important role in refining onsite quality controls.” From timber frame delivery and storage to installing a breather membrane, insulating and damp-proofing to masonry cladding and roof framing, Site check: The timber frame pocket book is packed with high quality guidance and diagrams, as well as handy check-lists for onsite inspection. Site check: The timber frame pocket guide is available to buy at TRADA Bookshops - visit: www.bookshop.trada.co.uk A discount of 35% is available to both TRADA and STA members.

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INNOVATIVE SCOTTISH TIMBER COMPANIES SHARE FINANCIAL SUPPORT Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) have awarded £100,000 of support to seven companies who want to design and develop innovative wood-based products and systems for the construction sector. Ten applications were received for CSIC and FCS’s recent Advanced Timber Products Innovation Challenge, which aimed to encourage the Scottish timber technologies sector to innovate. The seven successful companies were: Robertson Timber Engineering, Stewart Milne Timber Systems, Sylvan Stuart Ltd, MAKAR Ltd, JML Contracts, Dualchas Architects and Neat Living. These seven companies will share 120 days of free access to CSIC’s £3 million state-of-the-art Innovation Factory facility at Hamilton International Technology Park, with all technical support also included. Each company will also receive a membership to the Innovation Factory, allowing them future access to the factory facilities at a preferential rate. Lucy Black, Senior Business Relationship Manager at CSIC said: “We’ve been really encouraged by the response to our Innovation Challenge and the high quality of the projects from the applicants. We were originally looking for two to five projects to support, so to have seven successful applications is fantastic. It’s also great that the applications have come from companies from across Scotland, including large established leaders as well as smaller players, who are a critical part of the Scottish timber engineering and offsite manufacturing sectors.” The Innovation Factory is for anyone within the construction industry to use, with annual membership packages and pay-as-you-go models on offer. SOURCE: www.cs-ic.org







jjI-JOISTS. SMARTER THAN YOUR AVERAGE I -JOIST. JJI-Joists have an answer for everything built-in. No matter how demanding your job, JJI-Joists are in a class of their own. Solid timber flanges and OSB web make them light but very strong and easy to work with (creating service holes couldn’t be simpler). Our environmental credentials are also second to none. Add to that our technical brains - on hand to answer questions - and our design software that gives smart cost-effective answers, and your choice has to be intelligent JJI-Joists. Well, you’d be daft not to.

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Developed by Swedish housebuilder Trivselhus, in partnership with Places for People, the new community of 39 smart homes at Sommar Place in Milton Keynes combines Scandinavian design and energy efficiency with the latest smart home technology from Apple. These are affordable homes for growing families, and the interconnected technology will soon be expected as standard. Fully interconnected throughout each home, the idiot-proof technology is completely customisable. Residents can essentially programme their home to cater for their every whim. You can automate your house to put the kettle on in the morning, set the lights to turn on at a certain time and even warm the towel rail as you’re getting up. Residents can also automate their home when out and about, based on when they will be arriving back and who’s in. Customised scenes, like ‘coming home’, can turn on the lights, set the heating to a

desired temperature and play a favourite track as they pull onto the drive. An iPad and Apple watch come as standard with the house, so residents can command their invisible staff via Siri, along with the HomePod and Apple TV. Ken Forster, Managing Director of Trivselhus, said, “Technology is essential in easing people’s lives, so it is important that moving forward family homes are designed with smart home technology at their fore. We’re proud that Sommar Place is leading the way in tech-enabled housing developments that are affordable, efficient and future-proof at a time when technology is developing at pace.” “In doing so, privacy and security of homeowners is paramount, which is why it was especially important for us to offer the highly secure, end-to-end encrypted Apple HomeKit accessories within Sommar Place, which we believe to be a first in the UK.” David Cowans, Group Chief Executive at

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Places for People, which manages more than 195,000 homes across the country, added: “Sommar Place is a truly forwardthinking project, delivering the very best in Swedish energy-efficient design, combined with the latest in smart home technology – effectively future-proofing these homes for years to come.” Trivselhus, which has been building homes in its factories for more than 20 years, is owned by the ethical forestry industries group Södra. Trivselhus houses (roughly translated as ‘house of wellbeing’) are built to sustain even Sweden’s extreme climatic conditions and the secret is known as Climate Shield: a superior level of mineral wool insulation and airtightness built into the closed panel timber frame walls during construction in Sweden. This Fabric First approach means the houses are very energy efficient and will last for the lifetime of the building. SOURCE: www.trivselhus.co.uk

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Thornbridge, a leading Scottish timber processing and distribution company and North Yorkshire Timber (NYTimber), have announced that the two businesses have merged to form an enlarged timber group, supported by further investment from Cairngorm Capital Partners LLP. NY Timber is one of the largest independent timber merchants in North Yorkshire and the North East of England. In addition to offering an extensive range of timber, sheet and joinery products, NYTimber has a specialist roof solutions division which designs and

fabricates roof trusses, spandrel panels, insulated roof cassettes and the NYTROOF Rapid Fit System. Based in Northallerton, it has a dedicated 120,000sq ft design, manufacturing and distribution centre in Brompton-on-Swale and is supported by seven branch outlets. In 2017, NYTimber had revenues of over £18 million and employed over 200 staff. Following the merger, the enlarged group now has an established distribution network across Scotland and the North of England, served by a central manufacturing hub in each region, providing the platform for further growth. “Combining with Thornbridge is the perfect partnership for two businesses which share a commitment to innovation and the highest standards of customer service,” said Nick

Kershaw, Managing Director of NYTimber. “There are great opportunities across the sector and the alignment of our goals, values and vision, offers significant strategic benefits for both organisations.” Bruce Muirhead, Managing Director of Thornbridge, added: “We are delighted to see such a well-respected company with significant market presence joining the group, bringing together the leading timber merchants in Scotland and the North East of England. There is a clear fit between the two businesses and the combination creates exciting opportunities. Together, we will be well equipped to pursue new opportunities for innovation and growth, to the benefit of our customers and employees.” SOURCE: www.thornbridgesawmills.co.uk

MINISTERIAL SUPPORT FOR POST-BREXIT ENVIRONMENTAL LAW The Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) has welcomed a pledge from Environment Minister Dr Thérèse Coffey MP to: “make sure the whole body of European environmental law continues to have effect” after Brexit. The Environment Minister made the commitment at the Timber Industries’ Parliamentary Reception, which took place in the House of Commons recently. The CTI has led the campaign to ensure that EU timber regulations, which have enabled the British timber industry to thrive in recent years, are incorporated into domestic law after the UK leaves the European Union in 2019. The CTI and its members have been proud to support the Government in its implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the EU’s Forest

Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. These EU regulations prohibit the selling of illegally logged timber in the EU, including within the UK. This legislation has helped the British industry to grow and to be a world leader in the sustainable trade of timber. Speaking at the CTI reception, Environment Minister Dr Thérèse Coffey MP said: “When we leave the EU, the Withdrawal Bill will make sure the whole body of European environmental law continues to have effect in UK law. This means bringing into UK law two regulations that the UK timber sector played a great role in shaping: the European Union Timber Regulation and the Forest Law Environment Governance and Trade Regulation. I want to thank your industry for your continued commitment to a responsible and sustainable trade in timber.”

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Responding to her comments, David Hopkins, Director of the CTI and Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation added: “I welcome the Minister’s assurance that the Government will ensure that both the EUTR and FLEGT will continue to operate in the UK after Brexit. The timber industries have worked closely with the Government to lead the development of these EU regulations, which have enabled the UK to become a global champion for responsibly-sourced timber. Incorporating the principles underpinning the EUTR and FLEGT into domestic law will enable the UK timber industries to continue to flourish.” SOURCE: www.cti-timber.org

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A Celebration of Excellence and Innovation Taking place during UK Construction Week on 10 october 2018 at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham – the STrucTural Timber Awards will once again be hosted by compere Mark Durden-Smith and as anyone who has attended will know – his infectious humour is just one of the reasons this is a fantastic event.

Occasionally there is an event that grabs the attention of the construction industry – the Structural Timber Awards is one such event. Put it down to perfect timing – with the heightened interest in offsite manufacture and construction. Or it could be the upsurge in structural timber product innovation? It is easy to see why these awards are experiencing exponential growth year on year. The Structural Timber Awards have not only grown in popularity but also in stature – picking up a trophy on the night not only generates media attention but also the accolade of being evaluated by a respected judging panel. Taking place alongside UK Construction Week, the Structural Timber Awards will be hosted at a high-profile dinner on 10 October 2018 at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham. Back by popular demand – hilarious compere, Mark Durden-Smith, will host proceedings – so dinner guests had better prepare themselves for his quick wit and friendly banter.

As a major event in the construction calendar, the Awards will sell-out tickets to over 600 national business leaders and high-profile decision makers from the construction industry, and importantly not just structural timber solution suppliers but architects, engineers, clients and contractors from some of the biggest names in the sector. Rarely does an award ceremony generate such positive feedback and last year the much-coveted trophy for Project of the Year went to KLH UK and Ramboll for the Blackdale Student Residences. Ranging from three to seven storeys with a total of 514 ensuite units, the project was built to a super-fast programme by utilising a CLT frame and levering digital technology. Maggie’s Oldham was another one of the 2017 big winners, picking up two awards for the Best Healthcare Project for architects dRMM and Contractor of the Year for F. Parkinson.

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The head of the judging panel and Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA), Andrew Carpenter said of the Awards: “The depth of expertise across all categories of the Awards last year was impressive and the exceptional number of entries clearly demonstrates the upturn in the industry. The Structural Timber Awards is a high-point in the construction industry calendar and I would urge those involved in outstanding engineered timber projects to take time to enter – it is truly worthwhile.” Get involved This is your opportunity to take centre stage at the Structural Timber Awards and take your place alongside those considered to be the nation’s best. This event is not only for high-profile projects – last year the Product Innovation Award went to Joyner Bolt for a mechanical fastening device and inspirational construction professionals are also recognised in the Architect and Engineer of the Year categories.

ST AWARDS 2018 – CALL FOR ENTRIES Being shortlisted, gaining a ‘highly commended’ certificate or ultimately, winning an award will earn recognition from within the timber community and the wider construction industry, leading to an abundance of fresh prospects and business development opportunities. Do you have a project that you think is worthy of winning a Structural Timber Award? If yes, start your entry today! Categories include: Best Social Housing Project, Best Private Housing Project, Best Self-Build Project, Best Education Project, Best Healthcare Project, Best Commercial Project, Best Retail or Leisure Project, Best Low Energy Project, Engineer of the Year, Architect of the Year, Client of the Year, Contractor of the Year, Product Innovation Award, Pioneer Award, Project of the Year, Project Manager of the Year and Installer of the Year. The reward for well done work is the opportunity to gain more and by winning an award, or being shortlisted, you will be able to highlight your success to existing and potential new clients.

The Structural Timber Awards are FREE TO ENTER and the closing date for submissions is the 31 May 2018 – to find out more and enter visit: www.structuraltimberawards.co.uk If you want an opportunity to network with some of the industry’s most influential people, then tables of 10 are available for just £1,650 +VAT. The event presents a fantastic opportunity for hosts to entertain key clients and celebrate the best of the structural timber industry.


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STMAG | www.structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk | 25


Setting the Vision of the Future ecobuild 2018 has been hailed as a triumphant return to form, with the three-day event hosting over 26,000 visitors exploring solutions to some of the biggest global issues facing the built environment – including the hugely popular Offsite and Timber Districts.

01 The central conference programme certainly delivered with its opening session on day one (6th March 2018) focusing on delivering the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Agreement. Both Housebuilding and placemaking were a big focus of the conference with James Lidgate, CEO of Legal & General Homes, asking for urgent action to tackle the: “unsustainable intergenerational inequality,” that we see today. Two of the central futurebuild districts, which surrounded the event’s sustainability showcases and main conference arena, were the Timber District and Offsite District in partnership with Explore Offsite. A series of full-scale builds were also on show in the Offsite District, which brought together the most innovative, exciting and inspiring brands in this rapidly developing sector. This included a complete three-storey home constructed by property development company, Brooke Homes. It offered visitors a unique opportunity to experience the full benefits of this revolutionary approach to housebuilding. The three-bedroom home can be completely constructed in just five weeks. The structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the home are pre-assembled in

02 a factory in Kent, complete with windows, doors, finishing joinery and an undercoat of paint. These homes have increased energy efficiency and greater sound insulation, which means homeowners benefit from lower bills and greater peace and quiet in their properties. Another of the full-scale builds – the ZEDfactory’s ZEDpod situated in the sustainability showcases area around the conference arena – was a huge attraction for visitors, with people regularly queueing out of the door to explore the space standard compliant, timber-based zero carbon home. The event closed with a bang, as the organisers revealed details about Futurebuild 2019 with a change of name from ecobuild. Martin Hurn, Managing Director of Futurebuild Events Ltd, said: “From the very start we set out with a bold vision to take an entirely new approach for the event. Futurebuild 2019 will be an event for the industry, by the industry and 100% committed to championing innovation and sustainability for the future of the built environment. After all, unless the future is sustainable, and unless we think beyond the status quo, we won't have a future at all.”

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Futurebuild Events have said feedback on the 2018 event has been overwhelmingly positive. Robin Lancashire, TRADA’s Senior Timber Frame Consultant, and author of Site Check: The Timber Frame Pocket Guide, said: “Congratulations to ecobuild for a fantastic event. I chaired several seminars in the timber district theatre and every session has been packed, with people standing in the walkways to listen – even at 5pm! “Attendees seemed keen to explore the environmental and aesthetic benefits of using timber, in all kinds of buildings, and my colleagues at the TRADA stand were inundated with enquiries. Our Timber Frame Consultant, Lewis Taylor, had people queuing up to talk to him about timber frame detailing and building performance.” Hurn closed ecobuild 2018 by calling on the industry to help shape next year’s event, saying: “We’re hugely excited about Futurebuild 2019, however, it is still early stages and we are keen to work as closely as possible with representatives from across the built environment to ensure it truly is the most stimulating, memorable and ‘mustattend’ event possible.” For more information on next year’s show and to be part of the future of the industry’s most forward-thinking event, visit: www.futurebuild.co.uk or get in touch via email: martin.hurn@futurebuild.co.uk

IMAGE: 01. John Spittle, Wiehag UK 02. ZEDfactory’s ZEDpod was a huge attraction for visitors


Thermal Efficiency & Insulation Cost Savings Protect Membranes has introduced Protect TF InterFoil, a highly reflective insulating breather membrane designed for use within a timber frame wall panel.

Suited to offsite and modular construction, Protect TF InterFoil features a low emissivity, vapour permeable reflective surface, which can be installed either side of the insulation in conjunction with a 20mm air cavity. This means the building developer and fabricator can move from more expensive rigid high density boards to fibrous or EPS insulants without increasing panel sizes, thereby achieving material cost savings. When Protect TF InterFoil is used with Protect TF200 Thermo insulating breather membrane on the external face of the sheathing board and Protect VC Foil Ultra

insulating vapour control layer on the warm side of 100mm 0.032 lambda insulation within a typical 140mm deep timber stud section, the overall wall construction can achieve U-values as low as 0.18W/m2K. Protect’s Technical team can provide full U-value calculations to demonstrate how using Protect TF InterFoil can benefit the overall build.

designed and developed specifically for the UK and Irish market requirements under BS EN ISO 9001 quality standards and are CE marked to relevant standards.

Established alongside the Glidevale range of ventilation and building products, Protect Membranes benefits from over 30 years of innovation, experience and technical expertise. All Protect membranes are

For more information visit: www.protectmembranes.com Email: info@protectmembranes.com or call 0161 905 5700, quoting ‘Protect TF InterFoil.’

A division of Building Product Design Ltd, Protect Membranes is a member of the MPBA and has achieved STA Assure Gold Accreditation.

Hemsec SIPS Gain ETA Accreditation and CE Mark Hemsec SIPS specialise in the production of structural insulated panels (SIPS). In order to move into Europe, Hemsec required CE marked SIPs panels. The company sought its ETA accreditation which then led to CE marking.

During the process, Hemsec found that whilst their BBA Agrément Certificate, which they hold for their SIPs products in the UK market, is broad ranging – the extent of the ETA was much greater. The Challenge Hemsec appointed Exova BM Trada to support them through their accreditation process. Submissions included product and material specifications, FPC, relevant drawings, manuals, test data, design details and ISO9001 information. Lucideon

were chosen as the structural test partner to carry out a range of tests, including: racking, axial, compressive, four-point bending and screw pull-out. Hemsec’s CE Marking Journey The journey started in October 2016 and by July 2017 Hemsec had its ETA accreditation. CE marking quickly followed in August. Bi-annual audits now ensure compliance. Michael Hunter, Technical Manager, says: “An ETA/CE mark is a green light to giving your customer a lot more

confidence in the detail of your company, allowing them to be comfortable in knowing that you have robust, accurate, repeatable processes that won’t let them down.” Hemsec SIPs now enjoy enhanced UK and European business opportunities. For more information visit: www.hemsecsips.com

STMAG | www.structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk | 27


STA Assure – stakeholder-driven quality assurance What can the industry do to address issues of quality assurance and provide greater confidence in the use of structural timber technologies? Trevor Richards, Director of Cogent Consulting, sees substantial merit in independent third-party assessments.

As assessors and accreditation advisors, our expert consultants at Cogent have many years of engagement with industry bodies that rightly decree that a product or service is fit for purpose and we understand the needs of these organisations. Underpinning credentials and upholding credibility Back in 2016 Cogent Consulting started working with the Structural Timber Association (STA) to develop a Membership and Quality Standards Scheme. STA Assure was launched early the next year and the initial accreditation scheme was based on an online self-assessment declaration process.

of resistance to the change in the audit procedure. However, these audits have been developed to assist STA members adopt ‘best practise principles’ and once they meet and get involved with the audit team – the STBSS members find the process extremely beneficial to their business, whilst providing a baseline benchmark on competency and ensuring an industrywide approach to methods of assuring performance.

With Gold, Silver and Bronze levels of Accreditation, the STA Assure quality and safety initiative started to gain traction and commendations from across the construction sector – including clients, contractors and warranty providers. To add further standing and credibility to this initiative at the beginning of 2018, STA Assure has become a mandatory independently audited scheme for all STA members classified as Structural Timber Building System Suppliers (STBSS) phasing out the self-declaration procedure via the website.

The Value of Independent Assessments Carried out by skilled assessors from Cogent Consulting, the audit process is designed to be supportive and informative. Not only does the independent audit validate the design, manufacturing/ product realisation processes which offers reassurance to customers, but the in-depth process is particularly beneficial to SME STBSS members by highlighting areas of improvement and efficiency. Many of these members may have limited funds to undertake costly third-party accreditations and now the Cogent team can assess if these companies carry out the same processes as those who can afford such accreditations. STBSS member scope of activity and competency is then designated under the STA Assure Gold, Silver, Bronze levels.

The process of independent audits further underpins the credentials and standing of STA STBSS members and determine the competency/level of accreditation for the STA Assure scheme. It is fair to say that the STA has experienced some low-levels

Optimising Quality Assurance Given the robustness and independence of the assessment process, STA Assure has now received formal recognition for those achieving Gold and Silver status, from six of the industry’s leading structural

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warranty and building control bodies LABC Warranty, Premier Guarantee, Protek Warranty, Build-Zone Warranty, Self-Build Zone Warranty and CRL. STA Assure offers reassurance to the construction community and self-builders, that STA STBSS members meet or even exceed current legislation, regulatory requirements and quality standards in respect of the various structural timber systems on offer. Focusing on the levels of in-house quality procedures, management systems and product performance standards, as well as external accreditations – the STA Assure assessment includes a bespoke Site Safe audit – validating CDM compliance and Health & Safety Executive requirements for the protection and regisration of timber structures during construction. This audit ensures that design and production processes and quality controls are in line with the customer’s expectations for consistent, high levels of quality with continuous improvement at the heart of the manufacturer’s culture. Mandatory Requirement Offsite technology is hailed as the solution to resolving some of the most challenging problems facing the construction industry, most notably the shortfall in housing supply, and the offsite manufacturing sector is witnessing unprecedented demand for the offsite solutions on offer, especially structural timber technology. It is therefore crucially important to ensure that quality and safety standards, underpinned by robust procedures, are of paramount

ASSURED PERFORMANCE importance to those operating in the structural timber technology sector. To underpin the value of the processes outlined above, and to continue to raise the bar for the industry, it is now mandatory for STA Structural Timber Building System Supplier (STBSS) members to: • Undergo the audit for the STA Assure Membership and Quality Standards Scheme • Operate Site Safe procedures to ensure timber construction is both safe and sustainable • Receive regular updates on the latest building regulations and legislation • Fully support sustainable construction and quality standards

It is important to note that it is not always feasible, possible or necessary for an STA member to achieve a Gold level accreditation. Specific quality requirements differ for each type of member, the scope of product and service on offer and customer activity depending on the nature of a company’s business; therefore, a Bronze or Silver member may be the most appropriate company for the requirements of a particular project. Full details of the STA Assure accreditation levels can be found on the STA website: www.structuraltimber.co.uk

By providing transparency, credibility and accountability, the STA, with the support of Cogent Consulting - safeguard the interests of end users, enabling them to partner with reputable member companies that will harness the multitude of inherent benefits that structural timber offers. STA Assure creates a clear distinction in the expected performance levels of member and non-members within the structural timber arena.

Cogent Consulting Providing an exceptional range of proven assessment, accreditation, design, construction, engineering, project management and supply-chain management skills. Cogent is able to draw on a wide base of in-house professional expertise, and long-established network of specialists, to provide tailored solutions to meet the exacting needs of the structural timber sector, based on a close, first-hand understanding of the offsite landscape. For more information go to: www.cogent-consulting.co.uk


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Dispelling the Moisture Myths With recent reports published in Denmark and Australia casting doubt over the use of magnesium oxide (MgO) boards in exterior building applications. John Taylor, Chairman of the Magnesium Oxide Build Board Trade Association (MOBBTA), explains why MgO remains a robust specification.

The Danish and Australian reports have not surprisingly caused some unrest with regard to the use of magnesium oxide building boards in exterior building applications. While there is clearly evidence in other countries of these boards failing a few years post-installation, the subsequent investigation which was undertaken to establish the cause of failure has several shortcomings – most notably in relation to moisture. Firstly, the Danish report observes that magnesium oxide boards absorb moisture at higher levels of humidity. The reality is that magnesium oxide boards are no different from other porous boards in this respect and the same would be the case with all common exterior boards such as Portland cement or wood-based boards. Secondly, the report also states that boards break down after exposure to moisture or high levels of relative humidity. Given that many of MOBBTA members’ boards have undergone testing according to the fibre cement boards manufacturing and testing standards – EN 12467 and achieved category A or B performance, this is clearly not the case. This testing protocol means the boards have undergone a minimum of 25 cycles of soak/dry exposure without breaking down. Moreover, while not mentioned in the report, it would be prudent to note that % Water absorption @ 80% RH % Water absorption @ 95% RH

there have been several other instances in Denmark where magnesium oxide based boards were used successfully in the same application. It is therefore proposed that other boards in Denmark were not subject to moisture ingress, which brings into question the importance of quality control within manufacture. The EN 12467 testing protocol used for MOBBTA boards and instances of Danish sites using magnesium oxide boards not failing suggests that the root of the problem lies in the board manufacture.

used as permanent shuttering or formwork elements. While MOBBTA members do not promote the use of magnesium oxide boards in this application, it is important to examine why corrosion may have occurred. Quite simply, corrosion will occur when the boards have not been correctly cured, which leads to the conclusion that quality control during manufacture, both in relation to organic content and curing process, are of utmost importance – and why MOBBTA has been formed to help raise and maintain standards in the industry.

Having undertaken a detailed review of the test data and protocol available from the Danish report, it became apparent that the Danish boards had a much higher organic content than MOBBTA members’ boards which would support the high levels of moisture gain which was measured. In contrast, MOBBTA members’ boards contain around 5% wood chip content and when subjected to the same testing protocol as used in the Danish report, were found to exhibit far lower moisture absorption. Moreover, MOBBTA members’ boards showed no mould growth as compared with extensive mould which appeared on the Danish boards.

In the absence of a harmonised ISO EN or British standard, there is no limit as to how much organic content can be used to produce boards claiming to be magnesium oxide. Striving to introduce a quality standard, MOBBTA members’ boards must contain around 5%, a level which is known not to fail due to moisture ingress. Further quality assurance with MOBBTA member boards is also being developed through the introduction of manufacturing inspections which will help to ensure curing processes are accurately followed.

Moving on to address the concerns raised in the Australian report, the focus shifts away from moisture to corrosion. Crucially, under these circumstances the boards were MOBBTA boards

Denmark boards

25%-47% 50% -72%

48% 155%

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Finally, it is known that breather membranes were not used in the Danish installations. MOBBTA members will always advise that a breather membrane should be applied when magnesium oxide boards are used in exterior building applications and that the boards are not approved for permanent shuttering or formwork elements. For more information visit: www.mobbta.com

As recognised providers of Magnesium Oxide based building boards we are proud to announce that we have collectively formed a trade association known as MOBBTA. The inaugural members have commonly felt that the formation of such a trade association is required and can help the industry’s understanding of magnesium oxide based boards to a much higher level. The objectives, as are typical within a trade associations, are to be a central representative body to put the views of suppliers of magnesium oxide based boards to government departments and agencies, the European Commission and Parliament among other relevant organisations, also to be a research and statistical centre, to aggregate and publish statistics, and to provide analysis on the supply and use of magnesium oxide based boards. Furthermore we intend to provide a forum for the exchange of non-competitive information in relation to the supply and use of magnesium oxide based boards. We are working to establish a common benchmark which the UK Construction market can refer to in order to ensure best use of these boards and safeguard fitness for purpose. MOBBTA has been formed in order to help ensure good practice and appropriate uses of panels produced using predominantly or a combination of magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride or magnesium sulphate. Once incorporated, MOBBTA will be inviting applications to join the association. The inaugural members strongly believe that the construction industry and in particular off-site manufactured system providers such as timber frame manufacturers can benefit from the many advantages that these types of boards can provide.

For more information contact info@mobbta.com



Associated members below


Transforming Timber In recent years the range of modified wood products available on the market has increased greatly and they have become a popular product specified across a range of applications. TRADA provide a quick overview of modification and what is available.

Although most modified wood products are manufactured elsewhere in Europe, many are widely available from UK suppliers and many of the mainstream modified products are able to achieve good consistency of supply. Modified wood can be defined as wood which has been treated chemically or physically to enhance its performance. It excludes wood treated with biocides (for instance wood preservatives). There are three wood modification processes: thermal modification, chemical modification and impregnation technologies. Brimstone, the first thermally modified British timber, recently achieved Durability Class 1 in tests conducted at The EPH in Dresden, Germany. This is the highest rating and puts Brimstone on a par with the most durable hardwoods.

Specifiers should always check with individual product suppliers for confirmation of how modified wood products can be expected to perform in their intended end use. There may also be environmental benefits for specifying modified wood products. Some manufacturers have commissioned independent Life Cycle Assessment studies for products manufactured using modified wood. These assess the impact of a product on the environment across its whole life cycle, from ‘cradle to grave’ and in some cases these have shown modified wood products to outperform preservative-treated wood or tropical hardwood. As for many other timber products, modified wood products are normally manufactured using certified timbers.

competing materials including tropical hardwoods, treated wood products, steel and aluminium. Modified wood products were shown to perform well against these. Furthermore, unlike preservative treated wood, there are no special disposal considerations for modified wood products, which may be recycled or used for biomass with energy recovery at end of life. Modified woods are suitable for a wide range of applications – in particular cladding, floor and decking boards. Specifiers should always check with individual product suppliers for confirmation of how modified wood products can be expected to perform in their intended end use. Since the properties of modified woods will be influenced by the level of modification, manufacturers have developed quality control procedures that include batch sampling and testing. These quality control procedures are independently audited and many manufacturers provide details of their audit certificates. Modified Wood Options

One of the main drivers for wood modification has been to improve the decay resistance of low durability timber species, including those grown in Europe. These species normally require preservative treatment to achieve acceptable service lives for many applications. However, apart from improving durability, wood modification may also result in a number of other beneficial changes to wood properties, including improved dimensional stability, improved aesthetics and increased hardness. Timber modification processes generally improve one or more of durability, dimensional stability, mechanical properties and appearance. These changes have improved both the performance of wood products and their increased range of applications.

Another benefit of using modified wood products is the fact that the ‘raw wood’ is sustainably sourced. Most wood species used are obtained from managed plantations in temperate countries (for example, radiata pine, European oak and beech). The chemicals for chemical and impregnation modification processes are often derived from natural materials, often agricultural wastes. These products are designed to remain fixed within the wood on modification and are not released into the environment – they are not biocides and have low eco-toxicity. There are energy costs associated with the production of modified wood products. In some cases, life cycle analyses have compared modified wood products against

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Modification type

Commercial name of modified product


ThermoWood® S and D Plato®WOOD Lunawood® Brimstone® Durawood® Natural Cladding®


Accoya® Medite® Tricoya® Extreme Kebony®


LigniaTM XD® Organowood®

TRADA members can download a copy of the Wood Information Sheet (WIS) Modified Wood Products from our website. Non TRADA members – this and all WIS are available to purchase online in PDF and hardcopy at the Bookshop. For more information visit: www.trada.co.uk/publications


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Can the Built Environment Be Pre-Manufactured From Mass Timber? Globally, the production of mass timber systems is increasing exponentially, driven largely by the need for more sustainable ways of delivering the built environment. Dr Robert Hairstans, Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier University and Head of the Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures explains further.

01 Coinciding with this is also a worldwide shift to more construction activities being carried out offsite in factory environments, given the need for improved levels of construction productivity combined with technological advances that are being made, both mechanically and digitally. Mass timber slab and beam components can be brought together and combined with other materials offsite to form modular or volumetric units capable of being enhanced to a high level of factory finish which equate to turnkey solutions. Edinburgh Napier University has undertaken extensive research on the various forms of mass timber products for such applications, work that has involved pioneering research

on the integration of UK timber fibre into various forms of solid laminate timber system including cross-laminated timber (CLT), dowel-lam (DLT or Brettstapel) and nail-lam (NLT) and which has resulted in the their fabrication, structural testing and follow-on integration into live projects. Growth and Acceptance The mass timber family of products consists of various form of solid laminate timber systems. However, it is the panelised or slab forms of mass timber, primarily CLT, that have particularly ‘moved the needle’ for use and application of timber in construction given their capability to form whole building envelopes, often in combination with mass timber beam products (glue-laminated

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timber and laminated veneer lumber) and other construction materials in hybrid forms. The exponential growth in use of CLT is driven not only by the environmental credentials of timber as a product, but also by the structural attributes of the panels ascertained from this process that allow timber to be used in building applications beyond normal limitations. Once fabricated, the mass timber product is normally cut to the required shape and size for the end application via CNC (computer numeric control) saws which have the capability of cutting in almost any direction with the precision necessary to form openings, services voids or acoustic performanceenhancing profiles. To streamline these processes, the CNC operations will be linked to computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacture (CAM) software. It is worth noting that this approach can also be utilised on NLT fabricated with aluminium nails. These offsite manufactured mass timber products can then either be shipped direct to site or formed into offsite volumetric modules that can be taken to a high level of finish with windows, doors, external cladding and internal linings and services included. Carbon Dynamic a company based in the Scottish Highlands, are currently deploying this approach in the delivery of student accommodation for the Dyson Institute for Technology.

SOLID WOOD Mass Timber Requires New Design Thinking The utilisation of mass timber products requires a change in design thinking particularly when the products are to be further formed to create full volumetric units with an enhanced level of finish. Designers need to take cognisance of the capabilities of the mass timber manufacturing process (dimensional compatibility, CNC cutting and routing capability) and follow-on production activities (factory lifting, allowable space, available tools and equipment) to create the volumetric system. In addition, the logistical arrangements, from both a transport and site access perspective, need to be taken in to account.

importance in adding more value in the factory and ensuring successful project delivery. DfMA+D takes cognisance of end of life or change of use, such that the building components are demountable in the future for reconfiguration or alternative applications.

Information and communication technology (ICT) system integration; understanding the full parameters of design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) as well as disassembly (DfMA+D) and ensuring an early design freeze are therefore of high

Going forward, digitisation and the emergence of integrated BIM platforms that facilitate the inter-operability of software utilised during each stage of the mass timber production process can enhance the level of information that resides within


03 the built asset with a digital thread. In theory, this can provide the capability of tracing the source material back to the forest and thereby inform the product’s overall environmental credentials. The use of virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/ AR) will facilitate knowledge exchange for upskilling and early integration across the project team, as well as client and customer understanding for improved decisionmaking. In-situ, the performance of the unit and its interactions with its users can be monitored, creating a feedback loop for future product optimisation or maintenance.





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04 Advantages and Barriers Offsite massive timber systems can offer considerable advantages over more traditional forms of construction, particularly when utilising the local timber resource. Responsibly sourced timber has inherent environmental credentials, given that it sequestrates carbon. Prolonging this sequestration in energy-efficient buildings close to sources that conserve energy can help reduce the environment impact of construction. This is fundamentally important, given that buildings account for approximately half of all our extracted materials and energy consumption and around one third of our water consumption. In addition to this, a localised supply chain can reduce transport emissions as well as provide jobs, stimulating wealth creation – hence why Edinburgh Napier University has pioneered work to integrate UK timber fibre into mass timber products. Combining economic and environmental prosperity in this manner and ensuring the responsible management of resource during the manufacture and useful life phases of a building highlights the efficacy of mass timber usage within the paradigm of a Circular Economy. The social, economic and environmental value of utilising mass timber forms of construction therefore need to be considered during the specification process. Specifying products for a project on material cost alone fails to consider the wider benefits of mass timber and, as a result, other materials and systems can be inaccurately deemed to be more competitive. Mass timber construction has, for example, been demonstrated

05 to reduce construction time on projects by up to 20% when compared to more traditional methods, a factor that can be of particular relevance when the time taken to building sign-off impacts upon the return on investment. Evidence is also emerging to suggest that mass timber buildings offer health advantages by having a positive impact on the stress levels of occupants, an additional factor that can, for example, result in improvements in educational attainment in schools, improvements in business output and assist with patient recovery periods in care units. There are, however, barriers to uptake, with a lack understanding of the benefits to such methods of construction combined with sectoral resistance to change often impinging upon progress. Manufacturing mass timber at scale and enhancing it further in an offsite environment does normally require high levels of capital investment, thus necessitating a pipeline of work to ensure an economic return. Given that this is the case, collaborative partnerships between industry, government agency, trade organisation and academia are important when bringing mass timber

products to market. These types of collaboration have the ability to stimulate the market by means of showcasing and disseminating information, ensuring system compatibility within the regional regulatory context and, importantly, reducing the associated investment risk through the use of public funds to underpin the process. Edinburgh Napier University has participated extensively in such activities including the first commercial production and pilot project application of CLT from UK resource as well as providing research and innovation support to the CCG Construction Group in the construction of the tallest building in Scotland formed from CLT. In order to address client scepticism, however, future work is still required to fully demonstrate the economic case for mass timber and to create improved levels of guidance for DfMA+D approaches - and combinations of approaches – that ensure value return is maximised for the given circumstance. Continued evaluation and reporting utilising digital data acquisition techniques will help to build this evidence base and demonstrate the true value proposition of mass timber construction.

IMAGE: 01. Yoker – a seven storey CLT project, Glasgow by CCG 02. First commercial application of CLT produced from UK resource (2012), BRE Visitor Centre, Ravenscraig, Glasgow 03-04. Trial fabrication, structural testing and 3D visualisation at Carbon Dynamic 05. Interlocking CLT, or iCLT, which has been pioneered in North America is another innovative mass timber product. iCLT Girl Scout cabins, Utah. Courtesy University of Utah, ITAC

More on Mass Timber Dr Robert Hairstans undertakes research, innovation and knowledge exchange activities in order to deliver construction technologies for tomorrow’s communities within a circular economy. His recent publication Mass Timber – an introduction to Solid Laminate Timber Systems (available from Arcamedia, https://www. arcamedia.co.uk/) is considered to be a strategic milestone towards full commercial production of mass timber in the UK. Robert will also be presenting at Solid Wood Solutions to be held at the Oculus, University of Warwick 5 July – for more information visit: www.solidwoodsolutions.co.uk

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CLT: an Architectural Perspective CLT is now well-established in the UK as a lightweight engineering solution with high levels of pre-fabrication and excellent credentials as a sustainable material. Robin Dryer, Director at chadwickdryerclarke studio, successfully used it for the first time at the Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge.

of erection. But for us as architects the idea of exposing the spruce flanks of the walls, and washing the timber soffits with light, was particularly attractive. Exposed CLT will invariably require a surface spread of flame treatment, and we specified a pale translucent stain that allowed the grain and imperfections of the timber to come through. The aesthetic of the exposed CLT drove the design choices elsewhere, from lighting to flooring to acoustic treatments. As we developed the building design, we kept returning to the need to be clear with the rest of the design team about which timber surfaces we hoped to expose and why.


02 CLT is well-known amongst engineers, and has been employed on various building types over the last few years, ranging from schools to residential blocks to hospitals. Indeed, working with Smith + Wallwork structural engineers and Kier Construction, we have recently used it on the new Sports and Learning Building for the Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge. This has been our first project using CLT, and as architects the design and construction process has given us some fresh insights into the possibilities

of this exciting timber product. Contemporary Austrian architects – particularly referencing the vernacular of the Vorarlberg region – have long used timber in their buildings as a structural solution, but also as a key part of the interior: timber finishes are honestly exposed, providing a visual and tactile warmth for their inhabitants. Modern European architecture has perhaps been particularly sensitive to this quality, and many buildings have been constructed on the continent using CLT as much for its aesthetics as its engineering capability. Edged crisply against clean contrasting surfaces, it is showcased as a premium finished product. At the Stephen Perse Foundation, the design team proposed CLT for various reasons, not least its light weight and ease

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The honesty of CLT as a structural solution is something that can be architecturally celebrated. The tectonic arrangement of exposed floor slab edges propped on walls is easily understandable and enjoyable – the means of construction can form a key part of the expression of a CLT building. The thickness of the panels is also sometimes a satisfying thing to reveal, as are the half-lap joints. And where the timber meets other elements – such as steel or concrete – in a hybrid structure, the junction between these elements can be equally demonstrated. But it is important to choose the junctions to display – cleat brackets between wall and floor slabs are perhaps best concealed in floor build-ups unless clearly specified. CLT enjoys many benefits over other structural solutions, but at the Stephen Perse Foundation, its relatively ‘quiet’ erection was an important factor during construction on an occupied school site. The fact that it could arrive to site fully


pre-fabricated and erected swiftly (and safely), and be reasonably weathertight quickly was another key factor. Cost is always an issue with any building project, but during the tender process some contractors proposed to value-engineer the superstructure towards a steelframed solution with timber panel linings. They didn’t win the project partly on the basis that they had not understood the importance of CLT to the proposed building, from its aesthetic qualities through to erection. Specifying CLT has to be planned and carefully considered from an early stage, and will always be in the sphere of the structural engineer. However, it is critical that all members of the design and construction teams fully understand the impacts of the CLT superstructure on their related design work. Where surfaces are exposed, the grade of the panels will need to be considered – how ‘knotty’ a finish will be acceptable? This will need to be clearly co-ordinated with the architect but sit within the structural specification. If slab soffits are exposed, the airborne and impact acoustic treatments of the floor build-ups will need to be designed to accommodate the relatively light mass of the floor panels. And, critically, maintaining adequate fire compartmentation and protection to elements of structure will also



need to be developed between the building control officer and the architect’s dry lining specification, with reference to the thickness of the CLT panelling.

Foundation building undertook studies to ensure that CLT panels could be safely delivered to the site via the tight one-way road system around the site. And given the proximity to neighbouring buildings and the rest of the occupied school site, the design team consulted the STA’s ’16 Steps to Fire Safety’ guidance to ensure that temporary works and sequencing could be addressed by the contractor.

But perhaps the biggest impact of all is to environmental design. If soffits are exposed, containment for power, data, lighting, fire systems, pipework, ducting all need to be carefully routed and designed to be similarly exposed, or concealed in floors and walls. Power and data points on exposed CLT walls will need a strategy for cabling to – this may demand exposed conduit, for instance, unless the CLT thickness is designed to accommodate channels. And there are wider impacts too. Light reflectance will differ to a painted plasterboard surface, the thermal mass of CLT should be acknowledged in environmental modelling software etc. All of these aspects places a great degree of focus on the design and co-ordination of the building services. At the Stephen Perse Foundation, our use of BIM software greatly aided the engagement of the design and construction teams, and this smoothly fed through to KLH’s manufacturing process and their erection team. CLT superstructure erection requires planning early on in the design process. During the pre-construction design phase, the design team for the Stephen Perse

For us as architects, however, this is all worth it. We strongly feel that use of CLT has been key to the success of the building, and its character and warmth is in no small part due to the exposed spruce panels. We have specified high-quality grade CLT for non-structural uses such as bay window reveals and benches, which continues the theme. We have learnt a great deal from this building, not least how fragrant a building site can smell during construction! Where it is suitable, we hope to specify CLT on future projects. For more information visit: www.chadwickdryerclarke.co.uk

IMAGE: 01-04. CLT has provided a stylish and sustainable building that has provided a stunning building for the Stephen Perse Foundation.

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Top CLT Marks for Camden Schools

and timber cover panels where required to service exposed CLT walls.

Kingsgate Lower School – a new build infant school for 410 pupils – is the first phase in the Maccreanor Lavington designed Liddell Road development for the London Borough of Camden and is the fifth cross laminated timber (CLT) school the practice has built.

01 The school is located at the heart of an established residential neighbourhood in West Hampstead, London and immediately adjacent the Thameslink railway. These challenging site constraints, combined with an ambitious brief for a zero carbon development and a tight, fixed programme for delivery guided the decision to use structural timber. The school accommodates 420 pupils and is designed to sit harmoniously in its context, whilst offering a distinct legible quality as a civic building. The school design provides a protected site for the young children, with an articulated two storey frontage with community accessible facilities. “The benefits of CLT particularly lend themselves to school buildings” says Maria Joao Reis, associate and project lead for the school and wider masterplan. “Construction efficiency through offsite fabrication, reduced waste and low carbon benefits

02 provide a strong argument, but CLT also has material qualities that particularly suit a school environment”. The interiors of Kingsgate School demonstrate the material qualities of CLT and have been crafted with great attention to detail. Swathes of timber have been left exposed on walls and ceilings, finished in a subtle translucent white stain to reduce the ‘reddening’ effect of UV light, the interiors are warm and bright and offer a unique, homely character to the school. Plasterboard linings have been used judiciously where acoustic requirements demanded them. Rooms typically have at least two exposed CLT walls and two plasterboard walls which creates a successful balance of texture and plain surfaces and has been exploited to simplify the containment of services, alongside the use of discrete factory-made chases

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The forms of the building play to the strengths of CLT. The pitched roofs – subtly referencing the historic railway sheds once present on the site – ensured that rainwater was shed quickly and easily during construction allowing internal fit out works to start within days of the CLT being delivered to site. The saw tooth roof of the teaching block allowed for excellent daylighting of classrooms and also split the roof into small spans, keeping the CLT deck slim, light and efficient. The masterplan has made clever use of the site – pushing each of the buildings to the boundary a generous, protected playground was created at the heart of the development. Building so close to the railway was not without its challenges, but the timber structure was well received by Network Rail. The result is classrooms just metres away from the railway line and these spaces offer a unique learning environment that fully embraces the diverse qualities of the site rather than hide away from them. The benefits of the solid timber go beyond the visual and the durability of CLT goes hand-in-hand with Maccreanor Lavington’s commitment to creating buildings of longevity. “Schools need to be incredibly robust if they are to stand the test of time” says Maria. “We see structural timber as the perfect partner to brick in achieving this aim.” For more information visit: www.maccreanorlavington.com

IMAGE: 01-02. The use of CLT has made a huge impact on the school staff and pupils. Courtesy Maccreanor Lavington/Tim Crocker


Timber Pushes the Boundaries A dramatic fan-shaped timber and fabric roof, supported by cantilevered glulam beams, defines the new Warner Stand at Lords Cricket Ground. The elegant stand roof features the first use of American White Oak beams of this scale in Europe.

Find out more by attending SolidWoodSolutions.co.uk

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) commissioned the stand as part of its 2013 masterplan for upgrading the ground’s facilities, and knows full well the sensitivities involved in making any changes at the world’s most famous cricket ground. The architectural criteria demanded a sensitive yet structurally efficient intervention. The roof would also have to cantilever (structurally) a great distance to offer shelter and protection to spectators at the ground while also roofing over internal restaurant spaces. The Warner Strand roof is a lightweight, highly materially-efficient structure and aligns with MCC’s ambitious sustainability

01 objectives. The architectural criteria demanded a durable, sustainable, sensitive yet structurally efficient intervention. The roof had to cantilever (structurally) a significant distance to offer shelter and protection to spectators at the ground while also roofing over internal restaurant spaces and was required to be seamlessly continuous, aesthetically, when moving from the inner spaces to the outer ones. Timber was the obvious candidate for the primary structure to satisfy this criteria.

Oak hardwood glulam beams as primary structural and architectural elements. The large glulam cantilever beams of American White Oak are up to 25m in overall length, with 13m maximum cantilevers – and support a fabric roof stretched over a steel skeleton. The choice of American White Oak glulam was driven by its inherent structural properties (strength and stiffness) to minimise section dimensions, sustainable features but also its durability and highquality architectural finish.

In collaboration with architects Populous and BAM, Arup delivered innovative engineering solutions to design the graceful roof featuring slender American White

The use of a timber, steel and fabric hybrid, and of American White Oak, presented a number of issues. Firstly, the steel-to-timber interfaces introduced issues of differential

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movement (due to thermal expansion and contraction, and creep in the timber) which required careful study and were designed out through the introduction of slender connecting elements. The steel therefore is completely secondary, simply sitting on the timber, which thus became the primary load-bearing structure. Secondly, little research had been done on the strength of the hardwood finger joints and the potential impact on the strength of the glulam. The use of a timber, steel and fabric hybrid, and of American White Oak, presented a number of issues. Firstly, the steel-to-timber interfaces introduced issues of differential movement (due to thermal expansion and contraction, and creep in the timber) which required careful study and were designed out through the introduction of slender connecting elements. The steel therefore is completely secondary, simply sitting on the timber, which thus became the primary load-bearing structure. Secondly, little research had been done on the strength of the hardwood finger joints



and the potential impact on the strength of the glulam. Extensive testing was required, carefully coordinated between Arup as structural engineers, HESS as fabricators, and the MPA Materials Testing Institute in Stuttgart. This indicated to Arup the extent of the reduction in strength that had to be assumed in the design of the beams due to the finger joints. Lastly, testing revealed issues of delamination between oak laminates. This was related to the relatively high density of the hardwood, which prevented absorption of several different adhesives tested. A newer, melamine adhesive was necessary to overcome this, meaning these glulam elements would not have been possible without the latest adhesive technology. The rigorous testing regime allowed the glulam to satisfy requirements for European Product Approval.

geometry via coded rules that controlled various parameters, such as the setting-out of steel and timber, sectional dimensions of the timber, overall footprint and incline. This parametric model was used to coordinate all changes required for architectural and structural reasons, as well as the formfinding process of the tensile fabric. MCC’s Assistant Secretary (Estates), Robert Ebdon, said: “MCC created a tough brief, requiring a structure which delivered exceptional facilities for spectators, a unique experience for meetings and events and provided an outstanding working environment, while meeting sustainability targets. The expertise and knowledge brought by Arup ensured that these objectives were met and delivered a truly world-class building.�

Parametric and computational design models were used to handle the complex, radial geometry of the scalloped roof form. It was possible to generate the roof

For more information visit: www.arup.com IMAGES: 01-04. The new Warner Stand adds a stunning timber element to the iconic cricket ground. Courtesy Arup/Clare Skinner

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Tall Growth Potential Kevin Flanagan, Senior Partner, PLP Architecture International, outlines the dynamic Oakwood Timber Tower series and how architecture can improve the quality of urban life through harnessing the potential of emerging technologies such as cross laminated timber (CLT).

The design of Oakwood Timber Towers 1 and 2, and now 3, are an attempt to discover new possibilities of an all-timber aesthetic. CLT has very low impact on the environment, and we believe will promote healthy woodland management. Often built in a third of the time with less noise compared to other common materials, it is ideal for urban locations where great residential density is desired.

01 We now live predominantly in cities and by 2050, the residential population of some 150 of the world’s great cities are projected to double, requiring a doubling of residential accommodation. As in London, the existing challenges of insufficient quality housing will only grow. With population increases, cities will naturally become compact and high rise solutions will naturally predominate. As populations increase carbon footprint is projected to nearly double without mitigation and active intervention. Our goal as designers should be to improve the quality of life and free choice, allowing the denizens of our cities to thrive. Might 21st century technological advances suggest a new paradigm, disrupting old ways? We see a recent advancement of methods incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) that streamline and reduce the costs of delivering new buildings. For residential

02 accommodation we are investigating ‘towers of timber’, while harnessing of the latest methods based on robotics, big data, crowd sourcing and promoting better living in our cities. The Oakwood Timber Tower series researches the use of timber as a main building material in high rise construction. The broader design goal being to improve our sense of wellbeing and our quality of life, while envisioning a better future in an urban context. PLP Architecture, in collaboration with University of Cambridge Centre for Natural Material Innovation, and Smith and Wallwork engineers are working on a series of provocative mixed-use residential high-rise towers made of engineered mass timber/CLT. For PLP Architecture, CLT is a new material and a provocation, with a disruptive potential, transforming the building and design industry.

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The collaboration's first proposal, Oakwood Timber Tower 1 – The Barbican (2016), is an astonishing conceptual plan for London – an 80-storey timber structure rising 315 metres to be the tallest in London. The design is integrated within the site of a pre-existing courtyard of the Barbican, a ‘heavy’ state of the art concrete utopia as a walled city in Brutalist concrete form. This initial late 20th century public housing ideal has been re-envisioned for the 21st century as a light and beautiful tapering spire in timber, inspired by Wren, and considered hugely provocative by the construction industry. The 1 million sq. ft. feasibility proposal for Oakwood Timber Tower 1 would create over 1,000 new micro-housing units residential units in a mixed-use tower and mid-rise terraces in central London, integrated above existing structures of the Barbican. The proposed construction time would be nine months, assuming robotic assembly of laminated and CLT timber components. As a ‘sequel’, PLP Architecture unveiled its design for Oakwood Timber Tower 2 – The Lodge, in The Hague, The Netherlands, which was destined for a narrow urban

SOLID WOOD Find out more by attending SolidWoodSolutions.co.uk


03 space. Here we proposed a very different type of tall structure, driven by the lightness, tensile strength and prefabricated precision of engineered timber. Being a more real-world initiative this second iteration for innovative developer Provast NL extended our knowledge with a 130m centralised oval design. Conceived as a series of vertical ‘straight’ three storey glulam columns, that rise up the hyperboloid tower, the basket weave grid shell creates a dynamic waisted ‘airframe’ silhouette. Oakwood Timber Towers 3 The Lodge 2/ Treehuis, The Netherlands, again for Provast NL, is the most recent investigation, revisiting a cellular tube within tube construction in a real-world initiative. As a tower, engineered mass timber has the potential architecturally to create a more pleasing, relaxed, sociable and creative urban experience – free, abundant, renewing and more sustainable. It is well recognised anecdotally that people respond in a positive way to exposed timber, while researchers at the Natural Resources Institute in Finland have shown

that timber buildings can have positive effects on their user’s and occupant’s health, as a once living material it could be argued our experience of the material is more authentic. Timber is a renewable resource and CLT and other engineered mass timber panels lends itself to prefabrication: unlike prevailing construction methods which use concrete and steel. Our team are investigating the myriad of benefits of engineered mass timber - being modular it promises quiet, cheap and fast to build residential options by comparison to many traditional materials. The lighter timber is faster in construction, less disruptive to the local neighbourhood, and is quieter, so could conceivably be used to extend many existing concrete buildings upwards, doubling their height. In Toronto, Canada, we understand, a recent feasibility study was done to double the height of an existing Four Seasons Hotel. As a provocation we are stretching the theoretical limits of plant-based design with

these tall timber concepts, nearing, or going just beyond the easily feasible, this requires further collaborative study and establishing an ongoing series of testing programs. The use of timber as a structural material in tall buildings is an area of emerging interest for its variety of potential benefits. The most obvious being that it is a renewable resource, like a crop that is harvested from managed forests presently underutilised. The research is also investigating other potential benefits, such as reduced costs and improved construction timescales, increased fire resistance, an improved seismic profile and significant reduction in the overall weight of these timber high-rise buildings. Tall engineered timber buildings research also looks towards creating new design potentials with timber structures. Timber construction may have a wider positive impact on urban environments and the built form and offers opportunities not only to rethink the aesthetics of buildings, but also the logistics and cost. Building with timber has been shown to have a positive impact on human health and wellbeing, and we believe all these many positive benefits can be extended to urban city life. For more information visit: www.plparchitecture.com

IMAGES: 01-04. The Oakwood Tower series show the vast potential that tall mass engineered timber could deliver. Courtesy PLP Architecture

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05.07.2018 The Oculus, University of Warwick

The Dawn of a New Era Whether creating designer elements for defining

Developed to inspire and inform, Solid Wood

high-quality architecture such as the Warner Stand at

Solutions will shine a spotlight on pioneering

Lords Cricket Ground or focusing on the realisation

projects, that are gaining global attention. Through

of contemporary and sustainable buildings - wood

informative case studies presented by those who

as a natural raw material has established its position

designed, engineered and developed celebrated solid

and is currently undergoing a revival quite unlike any

wood structures such as:

other. Continuous technical developments and the need for sustainable management of our resources

• The ground-breaking Warner Stand at

are further reasons why solid wood solutions such

as cross laminated timber, laminated veneer lumber

• The 2018 Offsite Awards winner - Anchorage

and glue laminated timber – are proving to be the

material of choice for the 21st century.

• The inspirational cancer treatment centre

Timber architecture is having its moment - however it is going to be far greater than that. It is a trend that has major potential for the future of building design and development – as will be clearly demonstrated at the Solid Wood Solutions conference and exhibition. Forming a magnificent backdrop for this event - The Oculus building at the University of Warwick, with its outstanding roof featuring massive glulam arches – will play host to Solid Wood Solutions on the 05 July 2018.

Lords Cricket Ground House at East India Docks Maggie’s, Oldham

• The pioneering Blackdale Student Residences • The magnificent venue for the event – The Oculus These presenters will be joined by specialists, academics and industry pioneers from Edinburgh University, TRADA, Buro Happold, Ramboll and Ecological Building Systems – leading offsite expert, Darren Richards, Managing Director for Cogent Consulting will chair the Solid Wood Solutions conference and exhibition.

Tickets cost £125 + VAT - 15% discount for readers using STMAG15 Participants include:


Six years on since the first Solid Wood Solutions conference an exhibition, it is back following great demand. This event presents a great opportunity to gain insight from and network with those who are shaping the future of the engineered timber industry.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Robert Hairstans - Head of The Centre for Offsite Construction and Innovative Structures Edinburgh Napier University Neil Eaton - Director, bermanguedesstretton David Lomax - Senior Associate, Waugh Thistleton Gavin White - Director, Ramboll Kevin Flanagan - Partner, PLP Architecture Kelly Harrison - Associate, Heyne Tillett Steel Jonathan Roynon - Associate Director, Buro Happold Daniel Kreissig - Sales & Estimation UK, ZĂœBLIN Timber Nic Clark - Managing Director, KLH UK John Spittle - Sales Director England & Wales, Wiehag Giancarlo Torpiano - Structural Engineer, Arup Robin Lancashire - Senior Timber Frame Consultant, TRADA Niall Crosson - Group Technical Manager, Ecological Building Systems UK

To book your place, visit: www.solidwoodsolutions.co.uk


Warmth, Wellbeing & Wow Factor With a 98.5% BREEAM score - the highest design-stage score ever achieved by any major office development - the new London HQ for US media giant Bloomberg contains much timber in its design and has been hailed as the world’s most sustainable office building. achieve sustainability in the broadest sense. The sustainability of a building is also about the wellbeing of people – and people feel better in a place featuring natural materials.”

01 Located in the heart of the City of London and designed by Foster + Partners, it is the first wholly owned and designed Bloomberg building in the world. Designed to facilitate collaboration and fuel innovation, it will bring Bloomberg’s 4,000 London-based employees under one roof for the first time. Compared to a typical office building, the new Bloomberg building’s environmental strategies deliver a 73% saving in water consumption and a 35% saving in energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions. Innovative power, lighting, water and ventilation systems account for the majority of energy savings. Designed to utilise waste products, respond to the building’s external environment and adapt to its occupancy patterns, many of these solutions are first-of-a-kind. A key element of the project has been the introduction of U.S Red Oak. The species is America’s most prolific hardwood and in the U.S is used extensively in a huge range of construction, interiors and manufacturing applications. Project architect Michael Jones said the timber is not used in any

token, decorative way. It’s core to the interior aesthetics and to delivering on the designers’ wellbeing and environmental goals. It’s also used in considerable quantities – 37,160 m2 for the floor alone. “Previously the company has occupied existing commercial space, but establishing their European headquarters, they felt, deserved something bespoke and tailored to the way they operate,” said Michael Jones. “As well as expressing this through the architecture itself and while wanting the building to be very much of its own time, they also wanted it to be very contextual and historically rooted in its place through the palette of materials. Hence the extensive use of bronze and Derbyshire stone – 9,000 tonnes of it – but equally timber, all of which you see quite typically around London. The task was to take these materials and use them in a fresh, innovative way. “By this we mean not only that timber is renewable, energy efficient, carbon rich and all those other good things, but that it helps

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While some discount red oak because of its pinkish hue it was this, combined with its technical properties, that actually helped decide its choice for Bloomberg and Foster. “We wanted a species with warmth that would mellow and mature with age,” added Michael Jones. The significance of red oak to the interior aesthetic is obvious from the moment you enter the lobby. In fact it helps make the building’s dramatic opening statement. Called the Vortex, this dramatic swirling space features 1,858 m2 of red oak cladding on its intersecting arching walls. “The Vortex is a literal and metaphorical modern twist on the timber-lined entrance hall you find in so many classical English buildings, particularly in London. Having this much vertical cladding risked reverberation, so the timber was micro-perforated by laser. This makes it absorbent of sound, while the aesthetic is unaffected as the holes are so small. You can’t see them until you’re about 20mm from the surface,” he said. Red oak also features prominently in the multi-purpose room, a flexible space for meetings and presentations adjacent to the building’s auditorium. Here it is used in the form of glulam, a total of 1350 m3, comprising the ‘fin walls’ which define the space. Using red oak in various applications was also a logistical exercise. Over and above sourcing it – and it all

BLOOMBERG HQ had to be FSC-certified sustainable or equivalent – and shipping it over the Atlantic, the Vortex paneling was laser perforated in Switzerland, the multi-purpose room glulam walls made in Germany and the flooring machined in Italy. The timber will need maintaining, but this should be minimal thanks to the combination of oil finish on the floor, lacquer on panelling and the material’s inherent natural durability. As to whether the project will inspire Foster to use red oak again, Michael Jones says: “Why not? We used to be best known for our use of steel and glass, but the commercial market is changing and we’re using more timber generally. Businesses now want their buildings to have a different sense of personality and be more responsive to people who work in them. Timber is rather successful in delivering both these things. People warm to it and it makes them feel better about their environment.”

02 For more information visit: www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/ bloomberg/


IMAGES: 01. The ‘Vortex’ features a U.S. red oak cladded arch. Courtesy AHEC/Foster + Partners and Nigel Young 02. U.S. red oak interior flooring. Courtesy AHEC/Foster + Partners and Nigel Young 03. The building is located near in the heart of the City of London. Courtesy AHEC/Foster + Partners and James Newton



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Breathing NU Life into UK Housing Revolutionary thinking and disrupting the construction ‘norm’ is at the centre of solving the UK’s systemic housing shortage. We hear from the Swan Housing Group, that are doing both to produce a new range of high-quality, offsite manufactured homes using the NU build system.

01 Swan Housing Group has already been using innovation and partnership working with the Mayor of London and Homes England to get more high-quality homes, of a range of tenures, built more quickly to meet housing need. That innovative approach includes their ‘NU build system’ which they are delivering from their 75,000 sq ft facility in Basildon, Essex. Their factory will be capable of producing 400 to 500 homes a year, using cross laminated timber (CLT), when at full capacity. Taking a volumetric approach, Swan are using the factory to initially deliver 550 homes to Swan’s £130 million regeneration of a 1960’s estate in Basildon. Known as Beechwood Village, these homes will add to the 400 homes, community centre and

retail space already completed by Swan, working in partnership with Homes England. Of these new modular homes, 270 will be for private sale, and, perhaps uniquely, buyers will be able to custom design their new home, using an online configurator to choose from over one million options. This level of customisation is only possible because of the offsite factory-based approach Swan are taking. These homes, designed by PTE Architects, have already won admirers for their stylish design and innovative approach and with the NU living sales launch planned for early April, Paul Williamson, Managing Director, NU living Modular Construction, is confident that having delivered the prototype modules successfully, the move to full production will

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enable Swan to really harness the benefits of offsite construction: “The construction industry is facing huge challenges as we seek to keep up with unprecedented demand for homes,” says Paul. “Even without the uncertainties of Brexit, there are more people retiring from the construction sector every year, than enter as trainees, leaving labour shortages as an additional issue on top of construction costs and uncertainty. Swan had already set up NU living, our own in- house developer which has completed over 1000 starts onsite, but were clear that to deliver the scale of homes needed, an innovative approach was necessary. This resulted in us investing £3 million in our own factory to build high-quality modular homes using CLT. “We are confident that, having taken the time to develop both our designs and production processes, we are now able to move into full production of between 400 and 500 homes a year. With Swan’s secured development pipeline of 6,500 homes, we can manage supply to harness the benefits that offsite construction can bring – namely time savings of 50% to 60% and cost savings of 10% - 15% against traditional construction. All this innovation is taking place in a precision engineered factory environment, where we can deliver a high level of quality control.” For Swan Housing Group, Beechwood is just the start. Offsite will form a key part of their construction programme, whilst the NU living team will continue to build traditionally too. As Geoff Pearce, Swan’s Executive Director of Regeneration and Development explains, to Swan, offsite is part of the solution to the housing crisis: “Whilst we will continue to build traditionally as part of our housing programme, for each new project we will consider carefully if offsite is the right option. With the Mayor of London promoting offsite construction and ambitious targets to deliver 50% of new homes in London by 2021 with 50% offsite

HOUSING components, we can only see demand for all forms of offsite construction growing. “However, it’s not just about delivering many more new homes more quickly, it’s about delivering homes that people really want to live in. When we began looking at offsite, we read an ‘attitudes to home buying survey’, which found about 80% of buyers would not buy a brand-new house because they all look the same. Hence our approach which is giving buyers a ‘Grand Designs’ type experience without the hassle of doing the build themselves. It also gives us the chance to upsell – underfloor heating, wine fridges, enhanced finishes and so on. The experience will be very similar to buying a new car, easy for the buyer, but also great for the community as it will create a neighbourhood which is diverse, with no two houses exactly the same. As ever with Swan, all profits made on these private sale homes are reinvested in affordable housing - £65million so far, helping us build great mixed tenure communities that people really want to live in.” Swan have a target of delivering the home to the buyer 16 weeks after the order is placed. They plan to launch their customisable homes in April and are confident that they will raise the profile of offsite manufacturing still further and demonstrate how this way of manufacturing can make a big impact. Swan have experienced much interest in their approach and their team have taken part in many thought leadership events around the topic. “There’s been a real shift since we first began talking about an offsite approach,” adds Geoff Pearce. “Initially people asked us why we would do this, and perhaps were sceptical that offsite could make a real impact but now they are more likely to ask how we are doing it and how they can get involved too, as the sector itself realises that offsite – whatever form it takes, can and must take a role if we are to meet the Mayor’s challenging targets around



04 the delivery of new affordable homes for London. It’s great to see real collaboration going on, with the GLA supporting this approach and learning being shared. “From Swan’s perspective, it’s all about working together to deliver more highquality homes that real people really want to live in. We are confident that offsite manufacture will be a key part of our construction activities going forward and will help us generate over £250 million in gift aid from our commercial activities which will be reinvested in more affordable homes to meet housing need in London and the South East.” For more information visit: www.nubuild.co.uk www.nuliving.co.uk www.swan.org.uk

Swan Housing Association Swan Housing Association was first formed in 1994 and provides high-quality and affordable homes to rent, buy and operate in Essex and East London and locally manage over 11,000 homes, with plans in place to deliver over 1,000 new homes as part of an ambitious three year strategy. Swan are one of the UK's leading regeneration housing associations and boast a host of award-winning schemes and deliver new, highquality housing across all tenures.

IMAGES: 01-04. Beechwood Village is an ambitious scheme that will see delivery of 550 modular CLT homes to Swan’s £130 million regeneration of a 1960’s estate in Basildon

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Confirming Quality Lucideon has been testing structural insulated panels (SIPs) for over 20 years and witnessed the systems ‘wax and wane’ in popularity during this time. Here they give a quick overview from a testing laboratory perspective. is often very good when measured in the laboratory but requires skilled workmanship during installation onsite. When testing the panels in the laboratory, the creep deflection of the panel is always measured as SIPS have a reputation for creeping under long-term load. Although this is true, this is actually very minor at the working load and will depend on the insulation used in the core.


02 The offsite construction industry is currently recognised as a growing sector due to government targets for increasing the housing stock, along with their support for growing offsite construction. As a result, SIPS are now being recognised as a potential major provider for offsite and modular buildings. SIPS consist of a structural load bearing sandwich panel, generally with an oriented strand board (OSB) inner and outer face, and an insulated core which is more often

polyurethane (PUR), but can be expanded polystyrene (EPS) or polyisocyanurate (PIR). The design of SIPS means that the insulation type and thickness can vary and will depend on the required thermal performance levels combined with the footprint of the panel. A PUR or PIR core will give a thinner panel for a set thermal requirement compared to an EPS core. The inner or outer face of the panel can be tailored to suit the interior or exterior finish required, i.e. render board can be used on the outer and plasterboard on the inner face, but this will be dictated by the end user requirement. SIPS can be tested as wall, floor or roof panels and tend to excel in their racking performance and wind load resistance, however they tend to have a lower safety factor when tested under compressive axial and eccentric loading. The key to a good functioning system onsite is the airtightness of the panel joints – this

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A European Assessment Document (EAD), ETAG 019, allows the system to be CE marked and early adopters should have a market advantage if they choose this route. This is a stringent document and covers all aspects of the panel performance, including structural, health and safety, durability and fire, as well as a factory production control requirement. Utilising ETAG 019 should ensure a high standard of panel is produced and that when installed onsite, the performance matches the manufacturers declared values. Lucideon recently recognised the opportunity to extend its existing consultancy, testing and R&D capabilities, and become a Centre of Excellence for offsite and modular building testing. Find out more and/ or download Lucideon’s guide for manufacturers who are looking to test their SIPS at www.lucideon.com/stmag Alternatively, contact Joanne Booth, Business Manager for Construction at Lucideon: joanne.booth@lucideon.com

IMAGE: 01-02. SIPS can be tested as wall, floor or roof panels and tend to excel in their racking performance and wind load resistance






Lucideon can help you at all stages of the design and construction process for offsite and modular buildings, from materials selection and manufacturing to installation and verification. Our wide-ranging testing, process and verification capabilities cover every aspect of your products, so you can create a comprehensive, reliable solution.






we’ll give you the knowl dge

Find out more at www.lucideon.com/stmag


Moving to a Higher Level Leading material handling solutions provider Combilift has officially opened its new global headquarters and manufacturing facility in Monaghan, Ireland. The €50 million facility is the latest chapter in the organisation’s successful 20-year history. the manufacturer. Increasingly customers are expecting products to be tailored to meet their needs.”


02 The new 46,500 sq. m purpose–built factory is set on a 100-acre site with room for expansion. With 11 acres of roof space, it is one of the largest manufacturing operations under one single roof in the Republic of Ireland. Incorporating the latest manufacturing processes with a focus on sustainability, the new factory will enable Combilift to double its output in a single shift across all production lines. Four 90m moving assembly lines produce a finished truck every 15 minutes. 30% of its roof space is covered in skylights enabling staff to work in natural daylight without the assistance of artificial lighting. Lighting is provided through 1100 LED light with individual sensors. Solar panels supply 185 kW of energy with a 1 MW biomass plant fuelled by recycled wood to heat the spray booths and assembly area plus 110,000 litres of rainwater is harvested for use throughout the facility.

Speaking at the official opening Irish Prime Minster Leo Varadkar TD said: “Combilift is an incredible home-grown Monaghan success story. When the company was founded 20 years ago, it had three employees, a brilliant concept, and the ambition to make it a reality. We need more home-grown companies like Combilift if we are to achieve our vision for a prosperous future for communities living in counties all across the country. I would like to congratulate Robert Moffett and Martin McVicar, their leadership team and staff, and everyone at the Combilift on their achievements to date and wish them every success for the future.” Currently employing 550 people, the investment will enable Combilift to meet its ambitious growth plans. “We have employed an additional 230 people since we announced our plans for this factory in 2015 and we are planning to recruit an additional 200 in the next three years,” said Martin McVicar, Managing Director. An acknowledged world leader in the material handling sector, mass customisation of products is at the heart of what they do. “Combilift has set the benchmark for the mass production of customised innovative products,” adds Martin. “Mass customisation is the new frontier for both the customer and

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Combilift invests 7% of its annual turnover of €230 million in research and development to enhance this customisation capability and to maximise ROI for its customers. They are keen to emphasise they design around specific customer requirements and respond to the challenges and material handling issues that are described to them. “The flexibility in our new facility means that we can continue to accommodate any request for a customised material handling solution. The new factory enables us to double production and remain focused on the needs of our customers and dealers. We have become much more than a forklift manufacturer and are transforming the transport and logistics sector with our innovative, space-saving products.” Established in 1998, Combilift currently exports 98% of its products to 85 countries through its 250-strong international dealer network. New trucks unveiled at the launch included the Combi-HC-PPT – a high capacity powered pallet truck with lift capacities of 3000-6000kg and the Combi-OP Order Picker – the first purpose-built to order picker on the worldwide market for long products. For more information visit: www.combilift.com

IMAGES: 01. The €50 million facility is one of the largest manufacturing operations under one single roof in the Republic of Ireland. 02. The new factory will enable Combilift to double its output in a single shift across all four production lines.

MATERIAL HANDLING SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR INDUSTRY Combilift is the leading supplier of customised handling solutions with guaranteed improved storage capacity, safer product handling and increased productivity.

+353 47 80500






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 strongtie.co.uk. STM-SST-Jan2017.indd 1

17/01/2017 11:36:56


An Industry Led Approach to Development The ability to satisfy the industry’s needs by making its construction partners part of the product development process is central to ITW Construction Products customer-backed innovation culture. Trudi Stewart, Product Manager at the ITW Construction Products Offsite Business Unit explains more.

01 The key to developing structurally engineered solutions that address unmet market needs is customer insights. Customers are engaged as part of the process from the outset ensuring the solution developed satisfies their requirements. A process of reviews with industry experts to identify their pain points kicks off the process. Most recently a common theme is issues with racking. Racking forces occur in timber frame structures when subjected to horizontal actions (wind loads). It is increasingly challenging for engineers and designers to achieve higher racking resistance in modern buildings with narrow frontage, large openings and open plan living. As a result, lining boards such as orientated strand board (OSB) contribute to racking resistance and in certain cases double sheathing (two layers of OSB) is applied to achieve higher racking resistance values. Working with engineers, designers, fabricators and on site, issues around racking were researched in phases fully capturing the ‘voice of the customer’.

Whether applied in factory conditions or installed onsite, the application of the second layer of OSB results in health and safety concerns, is time consuming to install, costly and can occasionally result in call backs. The true needs of the value chain were then identified using customers’ preferred test procedures, product outcomes and acceptability criteria as benchmarks. All this before development of the solution even begins. Armed with a deep knowledge and understanding around the industry’s key needs and challenges our technical experts create industry problem solvers. Thus, the Cullen brand RSS – Racking Sheathing Solution was created. Simply put, a quick to factory-fit engineered metal bracket system which provides additional racking forces. The offsite installation allows manufacturers to remove the second layer of OSB in timber frame wall panels. We chose to host the launch event at the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and invited all industry partners whom we worked with during development to join us. What an amazing feeling to have a room full of industry specialists raving about our approach to product development and the positive impact the RSS will bring, all the way from engineering design through to offsite install. “I enjoyed the event and I applaud ITWCPs commitment to innovation and helping the industry”, said structural engineer Stanley Fyffe from Stanley Fyffe Associates.

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Endorsing the product and its development David Fleming, Director at Walker Timber added: “At Walker Timber Group we are continually looking at ways to increase the pre-manufactured content of our units before sending to site. We worked with ITW throughout the development process and are delighted with the outcome – a system that can be fully controlled and fitted in our factories. I am enthusiastic about the RSS and the benefits stemming from this innovation.” Gordon Swan of Harley Haddow highlighted many benefits from a structural engineering perspective including: “The solution provides engineers an additional option of trying to achieve racking resistance and not going back to the client/contractor to say we need to double sheath the panel or include for a portal frame.” Such positive feedback is a testament to ITWCPs successful approach to developing new problem solving solutions and our knowledgeable technical teams creating these innovations. This is an ongoing process and we welcome the opportunity to work with the industry to find the next solution to satisfy its needs. For more information visit: www.itwcp-offsite.co.uk

IMAGE: 01. The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) was the venue for a launch event for industry partners that worked with ITW during development.



Admiral Looking Ship Shape

sequence with our iQ system. The use of CLT further seeks to address current skills and resource challenges facing the industry.

CCG (Scotland) Ltd is changing the face of Admiral Street in Glasgow’s Kinning Park area as the first of 35 flats start to take shape using a hybrid timber and steel structure.

01 and fire credentials to rival that of traditional materials as well as enhanced environmental properties.

02 The specialist contractor and manufacturer is working to build the new properties on behalf of Southside Housing Association having commenced works in November 2017. Admiral Street is the first development of its kind for CCG to utilise a hybrid solution of CCG’s offsite manufactured closed panel timber frame system and cross laminated timber (CLT). CCG has performed extensive research and development into the applied use of CLT which is a form of structural timber that offers increased strength, stiffness

CLT wall and floor panels will be used as the primary construction material for the common areas of the build (lobbies, lift shaft and stair cores) and CCG’s offsite manufactured iQ system will be utilised for the superstructure construction to the flatted sections. CCG’s iQ system is a closed panel timber frame is delivered to site with insulation, internal wall linings, mechanical and electrical containment, windows and doors pre-installed. CCG’s very own timber ‘fully reversible window’ will be used throughout the project as well as all internal and flat entrance door sets. By removing traditional building materials and wet trades from the common areas, CCG will be able to construct faster due to panelised nature of CLT which is pre-fabricated offsite and erected in

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“We are delighted to be working with Southside Housing Association at Admiral Street,” says Alastair Wylie, Chairman and CEO of CCG. “It is a development that will bring much needed affordable homes to a busy area of Glasgow. It is a landmark project for the CCG Group as it represents the first time a hybrid solution of our own offsite manufactured timber frame system and CLT has been used on one of our sites. “CCG has performed extensive research into the applied use of CLT and how the material can be used in tandem with our existing offsite product. We already offer enhanced speed of construction and environmental efficiency through the use of our closed panel timber system so we are looking forward to understanding how a hybrid solution can further improve on these at site-level.” The Association’s Chairperson Margaret McIntyre added: “We are delighted once again to be working in Partnership with CCG to deliver much needed new homes in an area where we have already successfully completed two new build developments.” Southside Housing Association owns more than 2000 houses across the south side of the city, comprising a mix of traditional tenement, mini-multi storey, high rise and newly-built flats. Admiral Street is due for completion in November-2018 For more information visit: www.c-c-g.co.uk

IMAGE: 01-02. Admiral Street is using CCG’s offsite manufactured iQ system for the superstructure


Plots for Life The Right to Build Task Force has announced its latest significant piece of work to support Custom and Self Build, in association with Teignbridge District Council and its GESP (Greater Exeter Strategic Plan) Partners.

This will enable them to plan confidently for Custom and Self Build housing, helping them make informed planning decisions, as required by national planning policy.

01 Teignbridge District Council is working with the Task Force to identify several opportunities to create more serviced building plots to meet the needs of people on its Right to Build register. As part of this work, Teignbridge District Council and its GESP Partners will be the first local authorities to pilot a new evidence tool to plan for longer-term Custom and Self Build housing demand. The tool is to be piloted for the Greater Exeter sub-region involving East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, Devon County Council and Teignbridge. It will help inform the preparation of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan and is designed to give local authorities a means of assessing a longer-term view of Custom and Self Build demand and support their planning for serviced building plots. To develop the tool the Task Force has partnered with planning consultancy Three Dragons. The tool will act as an additional source of evidence to supplement the short-term picture that the Right to Build registers present of local demand for plots under the Government’s Right to Build legislation. This will enable local authorities to effectively measure demand on a longer timescale.

The tool provides estimates of the demand for Custom and Self Build by district/ housing market area, with outputs summarised in a report that includes: • The legislative context and national policy expectations • The local authority policy position including relevant information from Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMAs) and the local authority’s demand register • An assessment of Custom and Self Build demand for the local area, with recommendations for actions and steps the organisation could take to meet this demand. Mario Wolf, Director of the Right to Build Task Force, said: “The new tool which is being piloted for the Greater Exeter area will help councils take a longer-term view of demand for Custom and Self Build housing, so they can make better informed planning decisions for their communities.” Teignbridge District Council has a longstanding relationship with Custom and Self Build, and has been at the forefront of innovative policy to support the sector since it was appointed by Government as a Vanguard Council for Custom and Self Build in 2014. This latest round of work cements its position as one of the most forwardthinking local authorities delivering homes in the sector.

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Richard Bacon MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Self Build, Custom and Community Housebuilding and Placemaking and Ambassador for the Task Force said: “Since it implemented its 5% rule for plots on large sites, Teignbridge has been an innovator in its work for the sector, and it’s great to see the council building on this with this announcement.” The Right to Build Task Force was launched in February 2017 with the aim of helping at least 80 Local Authorities, community groups and other organisations across the UK deliver significantly more affordable Custom and Self Build housing projects. The Task Force is endorsed by the Government in its White Paper Fixing our broken housing market and is supported by several partners including World Habitat, Local Government Association, Homes England, National Housing Federation, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Royal Town Planning Institute. With its emphasis on scale and housing affordability, the Task Force is able to offer subsidised support for local authorities and community groups, to enable them to identify the best way they can meet the demand on their Right to Build registers, as well as market-rate advice to a range of stakeholders. Local authorities and stakeholders can find out more about the Right to Build Task Force and Right to Build Toolkit at www.righttobuildtoolkit.org.uk www.nacsba.org.uk IMAGE: 01. Richard Bacon MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Self Build, Custom and Community Housebuilding and Placemaking

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Keep the Timber Customer Satisfied Wood Protection Association (WPA) Director Steve Young, points out that reassuring designers and engineers about the ability of quality treated wood to perform and providing information to ensure it is correctly specified, treated and installed are key priorities.

01 The WPA has always believed that making the most of wood goes hand in glove with making the most of wood protection technology. Collaborative market research by the WPA and the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) in 2017 indicated clearly that buyer confidence in the ability of treated wood to perform and knowledge about standards of treatment are the principal factors affecting demand and retarding the potential for growth. There is no quick-fix to changing buyer perceptions on quality and improving supply chain knowledge. Whilst other major markets for treated wood like North America, the Nordic countries and France

introduced an industry-wide quality scheme for treated wood many years ago, wood treaters have, save for a few exceptions, been reluctant to adopt similar third-party quality schemes here in the UK. It is vital that third-party verification of treated wood quality and performance is adopted more widely across the UK. A failure to do so will inevitably mean that wood will lose-out to alternative, man-made materials. BRE Field Trial Well over 1,500 softwood fence posts were installed in 2015 as part of a field trial commissioned by the WPA to assess the durability performance of pre-treated wood in ground contact. Three years later

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and the first major inspection of these posts is underway. This field trial is the biggest scientific appraisal of treated wood in ground contact ever undertaken in the UK and the outcomes will help inform treatment standards and specifications in the future. For now though the WPA’s immediate priorities continue to focus on the means to build buyer confidence in wood treating quality and improving supply chain knowledge about how to specify treated wood correctly. It’s reassuring to know that major organisations like TTF, Confor and LABC (Local Authority Building Control Association) are in conversation with WPA on tackling these important matters.


02 The field trial is one of three key elements in the WPA’s strategy to provide wood treaters with a credible and relevant means to respond to concerns about the quality and performance. The three elements are: • A national quality assurance scheme – WPA Benchmark – that provides independent verification that a specific commodity like a fence post has been treated correctly in line with the British Standard for treated wood (BS8417) for its application and desired service life • An approval scheme for the wood preservatives used to independently confirm the minimum level of that preservative required to be effective. The WPA is currently considering an expansion of this quality scheme to include a nominated treater scheme and a performance warranty • The BRE managed WPA Field Trial1 involves over 1,500 UK sourced pine, spruce, larch and Douglas fire fence posts installed across two test sites with differing soil conditions – one in Scotland and one at BRE Watford. The year three inspection of all the posts is currently underway.

Material health, indoor air quality and healthy buildings are a growing priority for major construction companies and housebuilders. The need for the producers of building materials to take material health and indoor air quality seriously was highlighted by a number of guest speakers at the WPA conference in 2017. BRE was subsequently commissioned by WPA to review current published scientific papers and data and identify any obvious gaps in information that needed to be filled by further work. The initial report was submitted to WPA at the end of 2017 and identified a number of very positive conclusions about treated wood. BRE has now been asked to draw these together into a form that will help defend our industry from unfounded claims that the mere presence of chemical treated wood must harm indoor air quality. Delegates at the WPA Making the Most of Wood Conference on 12 April were the first to hear the headlines about treated wood and indoor air quality from BRE’s sustainable materials lead, Ed Suttie.

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The WPA Benchmark quality scheme operated by the WPA provides third-party certification that an individual product like a fence post or structural timber has been treated correctly to deliver a service life performance as defined in the British Standard for wood preservation BS 8417 – 15, 30 or 60 years. For timber used in ground contact applications the WPA operates a scheme for wood preservatives that independently advises treaters on the minimum retention approved by the WPA that should be used. Later this year the WPA anticipates that it will be expanding the scope of the WPA Benchmark quality scheme to include a nominated treaters scheme and a national 15-year performance warranty for an individual wood product impregnated with a WPA approved preservative.

For more information visit: www.wood-protection.org

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Will the Housing Crisis Create a Climate for Change? The shortfall in housing stock is an emotive subject which calls for a bold and radical approach to fundamentally change the way that residential projects are delivered. Held at the NEC on 10 & 11 April - Explore Offsite Housing attracted over 300 delegates who gathered to hear in-depth sector analysis and find out how innovative offsite building technologies can provide solutions to meet the housing targets.

01 Chaired by leading offsite expert, Darren Richards, Managing Director for Cogent Consulting – Lesley Banfield from Homes England opened proceedings by outlining the scale of the challenge, she said, “To keep pace with demand, we need to build 300,000 homes a year by 2025. We believe that by switching to offsite methods many of the construction-related challenges can be overcome and if we get this right, it will not only be beneficial for the housing sector – we will have a modernised, skilled and inclusive industrial workforce which will help us to compete in a global market, and a means of building homes more sustainably. “To get it to that point, Homes England think this is the time to focus on innovation, collaboration and investment. We have a role to play on all of these fronts. Through our Home Building Fund we have £3bn available to help unlock and accelerate the delivery of homes on land owned by the private sector.” Some companies that have already benefited from the Home Building Fund including: Top Hat and Latis Homes Joint

Venture - £18.5 million; Pocket Living – £30 million, but not all the loans are for major offsite developments - Golden Ash Homes received a loan for £600k to deliver six high quality, energy efficient homes using offsite manufacturing. This was one of the first schemes in the UK to utilise European style ‘floating foundations’ which reduces construction times and the amount of materials used. Next up, Jenny Coombs Project Director for Local Partnership presented ‘Offsite housing: how the public sector is embracing its use.’ Jenny outlined the benefits and challenges of why and how public sector organisations are using offsite construction for housing. Offsite manufacturing currently accounts for around 10% of the total construction output but is on a steep upward trajectory, as offsite methods have been identified by the government and the wider construction industry, as a catalyst for change. Brian Ham, Executive Director of Development for Home Group, followed Jenny Coombs and presented a case study on an inspirational project known as the ‘Innovation Village’, sharing learnings from the Home Group project, based in Gateshead, which will pilot alternative offsite construction techniques. The project encompasses 41 homes, six built by traditional methods and 35 smart homes constructed using innovative

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offsite technologies. The offsite technology installation will take place from June to September 2018 as part of the Great Exhibition of the North and then BRE will start monitoring the in-use performance of the homes. Playing a leading role in the development and delivery of the award winning ‘hoUSe’ for Urban Splash – Andy Bellerby, Associate at Shedkm, presented: ‘Our factory built volumetric houses’. The brief from Urban Splash was to ’create a family housing range that is distinctive, modern and most of all – a real alternative to the to the volume housebuilders. A simple, well designed, open plan, easy to construct house with the flexibility to adapt to a variety of lifestyles – all for less than 100ft2.’ The case studies presented by Andy demonstrated the groundbreaking Urban Splash housing developments in Salford and North Shields plus a glimpse in to the future with the next deployment of hoUSe technology at Port Loop in Birmingham. The second day of Explore Offsite Housing ‘kicked off’ with Aidan Wilkie - Deputy Director of Housing Diversification, The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, delving behind the headline housing figures and discussed some of the detail. Aiden explained: “The market does not deliver the homes we need, there is a lack of productivity with little choice and

EXPLORE OFFSITE HOUSING innovation - increasingly it is dominated by a few key players. What is needed are different players, different models, different products and different methods. The first step of the Diversification Programme is to support sub-sectors, such as custom-build and the private rental sector, that can drive change. The £3bn Home Building Fund, invested £120m in offsite developments and allocated a further £1.5bn additional budget to prioritise modern methods of construction. The £170m industrial strategy challenge fund has an objective to transform construction productivity.” Picking up the mantle under the title of ‘What do explorers need?’ - Peter Andrew MBE, Deputy Chair of the Home Builders Federation, outlined the organisation’s role and perspective on offsite construction technology in the housing sector. Making many analogies to famous explores along the way, even referencing Indiana Jones at

02 one point – Peter Andrew stressed the need to create business environment confidence and actively focus on skills needs and provision together with ensuring resilience of the offsite supply chain and avoiding systemic failures together with enabling full customisation.” This is just a snapshot of the excellent presentations at the event. There is now a real impetus and need for change in the housebuilding industry. For those in the sector with fresh ideas and innovative technologies, the nationwide housing crisis has the potential to change the norm which governs the ways new homes are built.

03 For the full speaker programme visit the Explore Offsite website: www.exploreoffsite.co.uk

IMAGE: 01. L-R Lesley Banfield, Homes England; Jenny Coombs, Local Partnership, Brain Ham, Home England 02. Andy Bellerby, Shedkm 03. Aidan Wilkie, The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

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Thinking Beyond the Box Highly commended for the Best Use of Volumetric Technology in the 2018 Offsite Awards – Modularwise design and manufacture a range of innovative offsite constructed volumetric modular homes using structural timber technology that can be configured to meet the exacting needs of the company’s high-profile clients.


01 ModularWise have dedicated the last eighteen months to developing advanced techniques that create fully finished volumetric modules for housing applications, where 90% of the building is completed within highly controlled factory conditions with the remaining work is completed onsite.

manufactured, fitted out and fully finished externally, before being delivered to site ready for use. We have total confidence that this is the future of offsite construction and the answer to overcoming the shortage of traditional site-based skills within the housing sector.

ModularWise is BOPAS Accredited and are working with leading warranty providers, and independent assessors to gain a system approval for their building methodology. This will include a full wall build up, from internal boarding through to external cladding options.

“We have invested in an additional new advanced factory facility in Mid-Wales, with multiple production lines which have been designed and engineered to solely produce house and apartment modules. Two more lines are planned in 2018 to enable ModularWise to produce 200 houses per year in this manufacturing facility.”

Mike Williams, Managing Director of ModularWise stated: “We firmly believe that we will be one of the first to achieve this independent certification for volumetric modular residential applications. Unlike many of our competitors, our quality controlled, advanced offsite construction methods deliver complete buildings that are

One of the company’s largest contracts was with Zero C, part of the Places for People Group.The development involved a site at Marlborough Park, Swindon, encompassing a total of 91 properties, based on eight house and apartment types, with the planning consent devised by Ben Pentreath Architects. These properties, which cover a

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complete range of residential models, from open market, to managed and let – were all designed and gained planning approval based on a traditional site built, timber frame scheme. The approach changed following a visit to the ModularWise manufacturing facility. Places for People immediately realised the cost and programme benefits, together with the improved quality through producing 90% of the build in a well-managed, quality-controlled factory environment. The challenge for the ModularWise team was to take the designs for a traditional site-based scheme and develop a modular solution to meet the design brief which was in line with the planning consent – without changing the external appearance or the internal layout. ModularWise reverse engineered this project – adopting Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) principles.This was carried out after the original design stage which goes against the company’s usual approach, and generally the quintessential modular build, but they made it work without compromise. DfMA was used as the foundation for concurrent engineering processes to simplify and optimise the


03 structure wherever possible, to reduce manufacturing and assembly costs and to quantify improvements. This process helped to identify, calculate and limit waste or inefficiency in the building design. Crucial to DfMA principles is information transfer and share – designing with BIM, in partnership with Places for People’s architects, enabled the team to adapt and test the revised models, ensuring the volumetric modular approach for each configuration was in line with the existing planning consent. “The main challenges were adapting the floor to ceiling windows, together with the open plan ground floor layout and the zinc roof finishes,” said Mike Williams. “But of all the challenges, the approved brick specification presented the greatest issue, as the bricks were made in Germany and were not available as a brick-slip. This meant we had to adapt the bricks by having them cut to form a brick-slip and shipped to the UK to maximise the degree of offsite construction. Every one of the challenges was overcome with a determined, focused and coherent solution. Our greatest achievement to date, was delivering our first units to the Marlborough Park project in just six months – from factory set up, to drawing board, to completions onsite.” Even though the challenges were enormous in delivering modular houses that were

originally designed for a traditional approach, ModularWise’s volumetric technology has now reached a stage where technical problems can be overcome and even the finished external brick-slip facade, is indistinguishable from in-situ brickwork. As part of the exacting standards of volumetric construction, Zero C’s site team have to build and deliver foundations with a tolerance of no more than +/3mm. Working collaboratively with the ModularWise team to focus on foundation detailing – this tolerance has been achieved through a combination of tight site control procedures and a well-trained team, installing the foundations. With 90% of the ‘construction’ activity being taken into the manufacturing environment, the remaining 10% encompasses the roof construction and covering, joint stitching, and services commissioning. This innovative approach delivers vastly improved speed of construction to a weathertight envelope - ensuring cost and programme predictability along with achieving optimum quality and minimal snagging. This is due to a dry construction process which limits the traditional shrinkage and cracking associated with timber frame construction. Many have questioned why the construction sector does not reflect the manufacturing methods of the automotive industry - where cars are assembled in huge factories on flow lines. ModularWise are innovators in

04 panel and modular components, supported by offsite manufacturing technology - their semi-automated assembly production processes brings the development of predominantly factory-based homes closer to the automotive approach and ethos. Their design team is now developing a house range of approximately eight standard modular designs, that will form the core of the ModularwWise market offering and the management team predict that future clients will use this range as the foundation on which to develop potential sites and planning applications. ModularWise’s clients have discovered the benefits of offsite, volumetric modular construction, which include lower costs and significantlyreduced time on site when compared with conventional, site-based construction methods. For more information visit: www.modularwise.co.uk

IMAGE: 01- 05. Marlborough Park, Swindon

Mike Williams, Managing Director of ModularWise will be speaking at Explore Offsite South West. For more information visit www.exploreoffsite.co.uk

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Timber – the answer to the UK’s housebuilding crisis Jeremy English, Sales Director at Södra – Sweden’s largest forest-owner association – explains how timber can ease the UK’s housing crisis and can help developers adopt less labour-intensive building techniques to build quicker.

01 Communities and Local Government, has since threatened government intervention and warned that a lack of housebuilding progress from local authorities “will no longer be tolerated”. He even went as far as to publicly name and shame 15 failing local authorities in a written statement to the Commons.

02 Ever since Chancellor Philip Hammond‘s £15 billion Autumn Budget pledge to help fix the UK‘s broken housing market, pressure on local authorities to put forward viable housebuilding plans has intensified. Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Housing,

Government commitments, underpinned by the prospect of Brexit depleting the labour force and an ever-increasing necessity for sustainability, means 2018 is set to be a challenging one for local authorities and developers. What’s clear is that the construction industry cannot possibly deliver these new homes using traditional building methods alone. 2018 will see scrutiny turn toward how these houses will

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be built, how quickly they can be built and how much money they’re likely to cost. Timber may prove to be just the answer. Hackney Council’s ‘Timber First’ policy, which prioritises the use of wood as a primary construction material, is just one great case of successful, sustainable timber construction. Just 111 deliveries of materials were needed during the construction of Dalston Lane - Hackney Council’s landmark project and the largest timber housing project in the world compared with over 700 deliveries on a typical concrete and steel project. The success of Hackney Council’s ‘Timber First’ policy coincided with the recent publication of the London Assembly’s ‘Designed, sealed, delivered’ report, which calls on

70 years nurturing to maturity Responsible felling

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Growing sustainable timber supply. Timber is increasingly becoming the construction material of choice. As the most versatile and sustainable solution, it combines pleasing aesthetics and low energy ratings with fast-build, off-site and labour efficiencies. Choosing, Sรถdra as your supplier extends these benefits. With 51,000 forest owners in Sweden we provide an assured supply of stronger, slow-grown, top quality timber, together with valuable knowledge and support. Our business also operates sustainable and environmentally responsible processes from seed to sawmill to final delivery. Sodra supplies more than just timber, we give you genuine peace of mind. www.sodra.com/wooduk Phone: +44 (0)1285 646000 E-mail: ukinfo@sodra.com


03 and is set to rent them out for just £600£700. This is staggering considering rent for a single-bed flat in the Richmond area typically costs upwards of £1,000 a month. This is a great example of timber construction being used to deliver truly affordable homes.

04 the Mayor of London to utilise offsite manufactured homes to help provide more homes for Londoners. Legal & General, for example, took over 9,000 homes from Richmond Council and committed to building thousands of timber-framed flats and houses offsite for Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP). RHP bought them for at least 15 per cent below the standard cost for onsite construction

We’ve established the benefits of timberframed construction, but we also appreciate the massive pressure housebuilders are under to build quicker and more efficiently. To do this they need a reliable supply chain. Following our acquisition of Gloucestershire-based Crown Timber in early 2017, we’ve bolstered our distribution network and streamlined our service to the UK. With the ability to supply high-quality timber to our timber frame manufacturer customers in just 48 hours, their housebuilder clients can depend on our supply chain to get the job done in the timeframes they require. From seed through to customer, sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do. With openness and a long-term approach, we’re developing relationships that generate added value for our customers, owners and forests.

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Crucially, for every tree felled Södra plants another three, and operate in line with a tree’s own lifecycle. What this means is that after around 70 years, a tree stops taking in carbon dioxide - only then do we cut it down and replace it. This means the environment is receiving optimum benefit, and because we’re replacing three-fold, we’re creating a long-term, sustainable supply. Södra is all about planting and growing for future generations and doing it in an ethical way. The construction industry needs to diversify if it’s to meet government housebuilding targets. Timber offers an alternative solution and I truly believe in its ability to solve the UK’s housing crisis. For more information visit: www.sodra.com/en/

IMAGE: 01-04. Timber and factory-based offsite manufacture is critical to providing the level of housing the UK requires.

Boldly Going Where No Man Has Gone Before Help us create the house of the future > WANTED < Timber Design Engineers & Structural Timber Engineers The Keystone Group has a number of exciting opportunities for Timber Design Engineers & Structural Timber Engineers to help create and manufacture the house of the future - Keyhouse. To find out more about these exciting career opportunities, visit thekeystonegroup.co.uk /careers or forward your CV to recruitment@thekeystonegroup.co.uk


Fit for the Future In a few short years, modular offsite timber manufacturer Carbon Dynamic have garnered a reputation for cutting edge design and delivery. Managing Director Matt Stevenson, took part in a quick Q&A about how new technology is changing the shape of construction.

that has not been possible before. The concept supports residents to take charge of their own wellbeing. At the same time they can meet their health needs through a system of innovative technology and design. They will be able to both self-manage their support and have enhanced face-to-face social interaction. Fit Homes is a home for life, not just an end-of-life solution. The technology enables young people to maintain a sense of wellbeing and morphs as the person responds to the physical and mental changes that life brings.

01 Q: Can you say a little about the creation of Carbon Dynamic and background to choosing an offsite modular approach using timber? Matt Stevenson (MC): Carbon Dynamic was established eight years ago in a highland farm steading. We are now based in a 4500m2 factory in Invergordon and we design and manufacture high-quality, beautiful timber modular buildings for the leisure and affordable housing markets having grown to a £4 million turnover and 45 permanent staff. We’re dedicated to delivering social, environmental and economic impact and do this by providing cost effective, low energy buildings using locally-sourced healthy and sustainable materials, and believe offsite manufacturing is the best way to control the quality of both process and product. Q: What level of construction efficiencies are improved through the modular approach as compared with traditional

build – either thermal, durability or manufacturing quality benefits? MC: Construction time is easier to predict and safer due to lack of weather influence. Time on site is minimised resulting in less disruption to neighbours. Material waste is reduced as this is controlled from a central location, quality of workmanship is easier to control and oversee – all resulting in better airtightness and thermal efficiency. It’s a safer working environment for staff than rural building sites. Q: What are Fit Homes? What is the concept designed to achieve and where does it sit in the wider creation of flexible living and the development of ‘smart’ homes? MC: The ‘Fit Homes’ concept is a technology-enabled smart house that promotes wellbeing and preventative health solutions up to and including end of life care. Residents benefit from digital health and assisted living technologies in a way

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Q: The use of VR/AR technology is exciting and grasping many architect’s and manufacturers imaginations – how important is this to the future development of construction and the wider role of digital technology in the timber sector? MC: We have been developing our virtual reality (VR) tools to create photorealistic experiences. This allows for our designers and clients to visualise a project before a single piece of wood has been cut. This is an invaluable step in our design process as it can inform so much of the design, we have successfully run a co-design workshop with over a 100 participants on our Fit Homes project which had a great impact on the design process. In partnership with Sublime we have been looking at developing augmented reality (AR) as a tool for manufacture. The Augmented Worker system will be designed to drive greater certainty, safety, efficiency and sustainability through five key areas – co-design, digital job guidance, progress




monitoring, safety guidance and asset management. This will allow jobs to be delivered on-time, and within budget, whilst also giving a greater level of collaboration and communication between teams.

be altered if necessary before any building work has started.

Q: Can you explain more about what the Augmented Worker system is and what you hope ‘visualisation technology’ can do to make the factory process more streamlined? MC: The Augmented Worker gives instant access to all available data about a project, overlaid digitally on your vision, AWE will allow everyone involved in a project to make better decisions and work more efficiently at all stages of a project. AWE as a whole will also create tools to enable us to achieve faster builds, higher quality outputs with fewer defects. It will also improve information exchange, project planning, health and safety procedures, construction methods, quality checks and maintenance requirements; resulting in sustainable gains in productivity. Q: How is Carbon Dynamic utilising these new VR/AR digital tools and what feedback have you got from those using it? MC: Clients enjoy the opportunity to ‘experience’ their new home before it is built. It allows them to virtually move through the spaces and see how they interrelate. From a practical point they can experience layouts in kitchen and bathrooms and see window placement and door positions, allowing these aspects to

Q: The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and the creation of Off Site Solutions Scotland has been encouraging in promoting timber technology and offsite manufacture. Does there feel like a noticeable change and groundswell of interest in the ways offsite manufacture is regarded in the last 18 months or so?

MC: Within Carbon Dynamic there has been an enormous upswing in business. During the last six months we have created 18 new permanent jobs and 28 more contractor positions. Our turnover has multiplied 500% in the last 18 months and contract value has risen four fold. The number of enquiries has increased monthly along with both the scale of the enquiry and geographic catchment, with regular enquiries from overseas, as interest in the value of offsite manufacturing rises. For more information visit: www.carbondynamic.com IMAGE: 01. VR/AR technology is revolutionising the ways home are viewed and designed 02-03. Offsite manufacture delivers huge benefits in project timescales

Fit Homes Carbon Dynamic’s ‘fabric-first’ approach to its construction system provides for long term low energy performance. Their uncompromising use of premium, natural materials in a breathable construction ensures that these materials perform at optimum levels and the life-span of a Carbon Dynamic building will substantially exceed that of a house built traditionally onsite. The design has the following unique features and are designed without corridors and with minimal doors to enable the free movement of people from one place in the house to another, regardless of their ability to walk. A clever wall system can be used as a wardrobe then enable conversion to a hospital room with integrated space for medical equipment. Moveable walls enable the bedroom to be expanded to incorporate a hospital bed and still have room for a partner’s bed if required. A further moveable wall in the house enables space to be made for a temporary bedroom should a partner, carer or family member need to sleep over on a short term basis. The construction is sustainable and environmentally friendly with particular emphasis on air quality and flow to ensure the highest possible wellbeing outcomes for tenants. Future variants of the build will include bigger properties and modules that can be attached to current houses as a retrofit option or placed as a standalone unit in a garden e.g. disabled bedrooms and bathrooms in a deliverable unit that can be reused in other properties when no longer required.

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Encouraging Industry Participation

and 44,800 starts respectively. This sharp decrease in apprenticeship starts highlights the need to reform the apprenticeship levy system, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

The construction sector is in the grips of a skills shortage which is limiting construction activity and increasing labour costs at the same time. Kara Price and Sarah Wales from law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, discuss the impact of the apprenticeship levy.



The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has reported that the construction industry will need to find 157,000 new recruits by 2021 in order to keep up with demand. One of the key ways in which the industry and the UK government are attempting to tackle this is through the recruitment of apprentices.

more – less than 2% of UK employers. All levy contributions are paid into an employer's online digital apprenticeship service account and the government also contributes to the levy with a 10% top up meaning that for every £1 that enters an employer's digital account it gets an additional 10 pence. Employers in England (Scotland, Wales are Northern Ireland are currently excluded) can reclaim their apprenticeship levy contributions as digital vouchers to pay for training apprentices. Smaller employers who do not pay the levy are also able to access the digital apprenticeship service and by 2020, all employers will be able to use service to pay for the training an assessment for apprenticeships.

The government has committed to an additional 3,000,000 apprenticeship starts across all industries in England by 2020. From 6 April 2017, changes in apprenticeship funding were introduced and implemented meaning that funding of new apprenticeships will now come from an apprenticeship levy rather than taxpayers. The government's objectives when implementing the levy were to boost productivity by investing in human capital, develop vocational skills and increase the quantity and quality of apprenticeships. The levy is set at a rate of 0.5% of an employer's wage bill and is collected monthly via the PAYE mechanism. The levy applies to companies of all sizes with an annual payroll bill of £3,000,000 of

The initial figures haven't been too promising – between August and October 2017 there were 114,400 apprenticeship starts, comprising of 21,400 starts in August, 28,600 in September and 34,300 in October. These figures are significantly less than those reported at the same time in 2016, when there were 36,500, 74,400

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Around 1% of employers registered with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) will need to pay the apprenticeship levy. The CITB already collects a levy from construction employers with a wage bill of £80,000 or more and the funds collected are invested back into the construction industry through training. Therefore, for the 2017/2018 financial year, employers with a payroll over £3m who are within the scope of the CITB levy will have to pay both levies. Given the overlap between schemes, the CITB has commented that it is for the construction industry to decide what type of support they want for skills and training in the future. The CITB has set up a new employer-led Levy Working Party to consider the options for how the CITB levy can work alongside the apprenticeship levy with the possible implementation of a new CITB Levy Order for 2018. A new forecast from the CITB has revealed that over 150,000 construction jobs are set to be created over the next five years, with 15,350 carpenters and 9,350 labourers needed. There will also be a significant growth in a range of professional and managerial roles. Whilst it is imperative that the apparent issues with the apprenticeship levy and the uncertainty around how the system is going to coincide with the CITB levy are addressed and resolved, more needs to be done so that the UK construction industry can continue to grow in the future. For more information visit: www.citb.co.uk www.ciob.org www.womblebonddickinson.com IMAGE: 01-02. Apprenticeships are at the heart of a healthier construction industry. Courtesy British Woodworking Federation

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Building Skills for Offsite Construction The construction industry is changing and requires a workforce that is trained in new and innovative methods to meet the sector’s future needs. A recent roundtable hosted by recruitment specialists ARV Solutions, sought to understand what exactly is required.

01 Chaired by Darren Richards, Managing Director of Cogent Consulting, the expert panel of key figures from both the offsite industry and education sectors, discussed the challenges surrounding key questions including keeping pace with the forecast growth, the key roles that are likely to change, what factors are holding back skills development and how the industry can attract new talent to meet future requirements. The debate encompass engagement with educators and the best way to go about developing a curriculum designed specifically to produce a new skills base for the offsite technology sector. The fitting location chosen to hold the event was Dudley College – that has invested over £12 million in Dudley Advance II – an education centre for advanced building technologies. Confidence to Invest Ben Lever, Future Skills of Innovations Lead for CITB, set the scene by explaining the scope of engagement for the 2017 report ‘Faster, Smarter, More Efficient: building skills for offsite construction’. A broad document that covered the horizon of needs across five to seven years. The findings of

this report have been heavily influenced by industry consultation and Ben highlighted the need for CITB to bring ‘other voices’ to the table to future-proof standards and to optimise the mechanisation of production lines. Looking to the future Ben said new roles are required include Automation Technician, DFM Process Manager with added digital design skills, together with hybrid manufacturing roles, or a Digital Construction Manager. The timber frame sector is one of the more advanced offsite industries and Mike Perry, Sales Director for Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS), who made a £12 million investment in an automated plant said “It is an exciting time for us but volume is critical, we can go banging on the doors of our major clients, however the largest housebuilding programme is going to be delivered by the government but they need to confirm committed volumes to the likes of the people sitting around this table to generate a climate of confidence for investment. This will stop major companies thinking about a 12-month business plan and have the assurances to commit to a five-year investment strategy.”

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Groundswell Towards Apprenticeships With a 40% growth in apprenticeships at Advanced II, Shaun Hunt, Assistant Principal Curriculum & Standards for Dudley College, highlighted the career progression of one of their students who entered the college at Level 1 and achieved a degree. Now at the age of 22 years, Shaun explained that he is earning £40,000 a year. Shaun puts this down to the type of apprenticeship courses with the introduction of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships. To be successful, Mike Fleming, Director of Glosford SIPS, added: “Students need to be taught present day thinking and understand the bigger picture. The crucial aspect for an employer is to appoint a young person who is trainable – colleges can give apprentices an excellent grounding to an entry level point, so they have a good general knowledge and understand construction industry roles. Then it is down to the business to develop their skills. Dudley Advanced II is a massive step forward to a career in offsite.” Jackie Maginnis, Chief Executive of the Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA) raised the benefits of CITB’s Trailblazer apprenticeships. Taking a multi-discipline approach, Trailblazer is an employer led scheme where companies specify the requirements of the training programme. Jackie highlighted that there is nothing in place within the current college curriculum that has the multi-discipline skills sets that the volumetric modular offsite industry needs.

SKILLS & RECRUITMENT Developing a Collaborative Culture A more radical and proactive approach to training has been taken by Dan Leech, Managing Director of TDS Group. “We don’t just need to talk about the problem, we know what it is – we need to do something to actively change the situation. Because of the skills shortages, we set up our own academy – the Construction and Design Centre of Excellent (CADCOE) and formed a partnership with Dudley College and shared the funding. We currently have 20 apprentices in Dudley Advanced II, on a sixteen-week course – when they finish, they will be industry ready.” Dan also highlighted another major problem – how to attract the right people to upskill and teach the next generation of construction industry professionals: “The fact that construction salaries are much higher than pay scales in the education sector, presents a major challenge in securing the right people with industry experience to teach. There is a big shift that we need to make, we need to collaborate to overcome this issue. The only way to get the skills we need, is to partner with the colleges and co-deliver the training and this is what we are doing here at Advanced II.” The Future The consensus of opinion from all the participants, was that the offsite industry does need to play a major part in developing skills, but it is crucial for the government to offer both certainty and clarity of the public sector pipeline, particularly with regard to social housing. A guaranteed pipeline would have a ripple effect which will generate the confidence for major investment from the offsite sector in a greater level of mechanism and most importantly investment, in developing a workforce that is trained in new and innovative construction methods to meet the industry’s future needs. IMAGE: 01-02. Offsite Skills Roundtable participants at the Dudley College Advance II facility

Changing Perceptions Outdated opinions of construction no longer reflect the industry as it is today. Offsite manufacture needs to be positioned as a ‘clean engineering product’. More engagement is required with education providers and students to accurately promote the breadth of career opportunities.

Communicating the Need Employers need better links with apprenticeship providers to enable them to have a greater understanding of the specific requirements of the offsite industry, to develop training programmes to meet sector specific needs.

Greater Collaboration The skills issues can be tackled through greater collaboration with education providers. Offsite industry professionals have the skills and need to partner with colleges to co-deliver the curriculum.

Certainty of Demand Key to generating a climate of confidence is certainty of demand. The government should aggregate demand across sectors and commit to a guaranteed pipeline, which will stop major companies thinking about a 12-month business plan and have the assurances to commit to a five-year investment strategy.

Funding Model The current government funding model is allocated to specific housing schemes. More should be targeted at supporting the investment in offsite manufacturing.

Productivity The Government Industry Strategy outlines the needs for greater productivity. As a key driver in delivering enhanced productivity, there should be greater alignment between the offsite industry and productivity.

02 Many thanks to ARV Solutions for hosting the Roundtable Event and thanks to all participants for their time and contributions to the discussion. For more information on ARV Solutions visit: www.arvsolutions.co.uk

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The Four Timber Wonders Andrzej Manka, Sales Manager at Timber Expo, shares his views on all things timber – why it is a leading material in the construction industry and what he believes to be the ‘four wonders’. it’s been predicted many times during the last decade that timber will be the main building material in 21st century.





When we think of innovative sectors, the timber industry probably isn’t the first that springs to mind. Many believe this industry is very traditional, conservative and reluctant to change. In a word - die-hard! This is especially true when you compare it with other industries: new tech or finance for example, not to mention artificial intelligence (AI). In our ultra-modern world, we appreciate constant growth, astonishing productivity and impressive innovation above all else.

subjective (dare I say even controversial) list. It’s more like an invitation for us to discuss certain achievements in the timber industry.

But this stereotype doesn’t match with the reality – the timber industry is now up there at the top of UK and international innovation lists. Admittedly, these represent only a small minority of timber companies, but their success gives the industry dynamics and makes it the leading power in the whole construction business. So let’s have a look at the four wonders of the timber industry. They are not really ‘wonders’ in a literal sense – they are actually the result of creative, courageous and hardworking timber specialists. This is, of course, a very

01. Transparent Wood Invented in 1992 by German researcher Siegfried Fink and then, independently developed by Professor Lars Berglund. The Swedish KTH research group, led by Professor Liangbing Hu from The University of Maryland, has elaborated a method to remove the colour and some chemicals from wood. Thanks to that, the wood becomes 90% transparent. Potential application of this invention is far-reaching and the wood could be used in construction, interior design and even the car industry. 02. Engineered Wood Engineered wood technologies such as cross laminated timber (CLT) are what makes the timber and construction industry so dynamic and profitable. Widely used in the construction industry alongside plywood, fibreboard, laminated veneer lumber and many more. Because of the use of these timber products,

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03. Timber Skyscrapers At the moment, the world’s tallest timber building is a 14-storey apartment block in Bergen, Norway. However, we are expecting a lot of new timber skyscrapers in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia in future. One of the advanced projects that should be started very soon is an 80-storey, 300m high wooden building integrated within the Barbican. Around 1,000 new flats will be built in this impressive 93,000sq m timber skyscraper. Timber skyscrapers are not only stunning examples of emerging ‘timber trends’ in contemporary architecture, but they also bring sustainable development to big cities and reduce carbon emissions. 04. Museum Globe of Science and Innovation Are you familiar with the history of the Internet? If so, you’ll know that Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web when he worked in The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) based in Geneva, Switzerland. The same organisation has built the Globe of Science and Innovation, a fine example of outstanding construction using made of wood. It creates a very special atmosphere for those who want to stop for a moment and contemplate the nature of technological innovation. There are still many ways in which the timber industry can evolve, but there is no doubt that the exciting timber revolution has already started. For more information visit: www.ukconstructionweek.com/timber-expo


COVERING: › Engineered timber products

› Doors & windows

› Timber frame

› Fixings & fastenings

› Decking

› Coatings

› Flooring

› Mouldings

› Cladding

timber-expo.co.uk RADIO PARTNER:




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

DATE 17 & 18 May




STA AGM and Annual Conference

Delamhoy, Edinburgh


The AGM and Annual Conference will provide a great opportunity for the whole Association to review operations over the past 12 months, and update on the future strategy which will focus on Capacity, Offsite Productivity, Quality Assurance, Digitalisation and Skills. 22 June

South West Construction Summit

Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol


Returning for 2018, the South West Construction Summit will bring together the regional construction industry and its supply chain to explore opportunities, major projects, client commitments and procurement best practice. The awards will also be taking place in the evening. 26 - 28 June

Housing 2018


Manchester Central

Welcoming over 11,000 attendees across three days, Housing 2018 is the largest gathering of Europe’s housing professionals in the calendar. The full programme will include over 50 hours of visionary speeches, insightful interviews and candid conversation from housing experts and influential business leaders. 05 July

Solid Wood Solutions

The Oculus, University of Warwick


Solid Wood Solutions will feature case studies on some of the major solid wood projects which have been delivered recently throughout the UK and Europe and this is supported by an exhibition of CLT and Glulam suppliers as well as complementary component manufacturers. 11 July

Explore Offsite South West


Sandy Park, Exeter

The conference and exhibition will bring together a range of offsite technology supply chain specialists and industry leaders to discuss the uptake of offsite construction in the South West region and will focus on the key themes such as regional offsite supply chain resources and opportunities. 10 October

Structural Timber Awards


NCC, Birmingham

The Structural Timber Awards are back for 2018, celebrating it’s fourth year rewarding the very best in structural timber construction. Over 500 construction professionals will gather at the prestigious ceremony to celebrate the great, the good and the simply outstanding. Entry deadline: 31.05.18. 09-11 October

Timber Expo

NEC, Birmingham


Timber Expo, part of UK Construction Week, is the UK's only dedicated timber trade show covering a wide range of timber applications from timber frame, engineered timber products, cladding, decking, fixings and fastenings, doors and windows, coatings, mouldings, flooring and much more. 30 October

Modular Matters


NEC, Birmingham

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


















ENTER ONLINE: www.structuraltimberawards.co.uk

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Profile for Radar Communications

Structural Timber Magazine - Spring 2018  

The latest in structural timber building design and technologies www.structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk

Structural Timber Magazine - Spring 2018  

The latest in structural timber building design and technologies www.structuraltimbermagazine.co.uk