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News, Views and Information from the STA Welcome to ‘Timber Connect’ – the STA’s newsletter designed to keep construction professionals up to date with the latest industry news, initiatives, services and technical information available from the UK’s leading organisation representing the structural timber sector. The UK construction sector has performed exceptionally well during the COVID-19 pandemic when compared to other industries. This has been down to our ability to ‘remain open’, the success of the Construction Leadership Council and in particular the development of Safe Site Operating Procedures. The STA have been pleased to be involved in feeding into the Roadmap to Recovery plans thanks to the weekly meetings with Build UK. Never in my 40+ years within the UK construction industry have I witnessed such a ‘joined up’ approach and as we enter the second lockdown of 2020, all involved in the recovery plans are adamant that we should build back better and most importantly, build back greener. Build Back Better emphasises commitment to quality and compliance and with this in mind we are ahead of the agenda with our STA Assure scheme. Build Back Greener is key with climate change being the number one issue across the globe. The demand to use building materials with impressive, embodied carbon credentials is growing rapidly and it is therefore no surprise that timber is now the building material of choice. With the construction industry being responsible for 40% of the UK’s carbon dioxide figure – a ‘timber first’ approach is needed to ensure all clients use structural timber systems wherever and whenever they can. Time for Timber campaign could not have been better timed to maximise the communications around how Structural Timber contributes to carbon reduction and why the stakeholder community, such as insurers and lenders, need to embrace this building technology to meet Net Zero 2050. An update on Time for Timber can be found on the next page. I hope you enjoy the read! Andrew Carpenter Chief Executive

inside this issue... 2

Time for Timber campaign


Updates to the pattern book of EN tested systems


Launch of the CLT compartment fire behaviour project


Wood CO2ts Less campaign to reduce CO2


Award Winning Structural Timber Projects

Keep up with the latest news by following us: @STAtimber

Keep up with our latest news - www.structuraltimber.co.uk

Structural Timber Association


We are at a crossroads in the UK and on a global basis: the world has woken up to the detrimental impact that we are having on the planet and recognises that decisive action is needed to arrest the march of climate change. There is an obvious answer: to use renewable, sustainable and environmentally positive materials produced in such a way that there is a lighter impact on the planet. Misconceptions around timber’s suitability as a construction material have meant that this versatile solution is considered a risk by certain insurers and finance houses. This basic misunderstanding of the facts could be jeopardising the future of the economy and the environment. With critical environmental targets at risk of being missed in the post COVID-19 economy, the Time for Timber campaign has launched a new drive that directly targets the financial and insurance sectors – one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the path of the construction industry’s drive to meet Net Zero 2050.


#TIME FOR TIMBER Find out how timber construction supports the economy and gets us to Net Zero by 2050.


The campaign is designed to address these issues and was kicked off with a major advertising campaign at Bank underground station, in the heart of London’s financial district, followed by the launch of a hard-hitting documentary, which can be accessed via the website, and brings together leading voices from around the construction industry. To reinforce this campaign, a programme of webinars with financial sector media partners have taken place and with more planned, along with a new whitepaper soon to be published, we are beginning to strengthen the dialogue between the structural timber sector, construction industry, insurers and investors. This is all part of the need to change the conversation with these key stakeholders with a campaign that also engages with the construction sector media, so they are aware of the activity undertaking to ensure structural timber is seen as the building material of choice for those driving towards Net Zero 2050. The new www.timefortimber.org website has received over 7,100 users since starting early October, we have received 250 Twitter followers, 374 LinkedIn followers – both of which are growing rapidly with our increased digital activity. If you wish to be part of the Time for Timber family, a toolkit is available which provides access to the advertisements, logos and links to all social media platforms. It also has details of the webinars and podcasts referred to earlier.


For more information, go to: www.timefortimber.org

Contact info@structuraltimber.co.uk

UPDATES TO THE PATTERN BOOK OF EN TESTED SYSTEMS The STA recently launched the fire safety in use guidance for timber frame buildings which has been developed in collaboration with the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and the University of Edinburgh. This research has since been updated and the new version is now available to download for free! Fire safety in use affects all forms of construction. All buildings must be designed to comply with the functional protocols of Building Regulations for fire safety requirements, as a minimum standard. The STA has invested in this industry leading research project to test and prove commonly used timber frame wall, floor and roof build-ups used in the UK marketplace. The output of this research is a pattern book of EN tested systems which was launched in February 2020 and was the first of its kind in the UK timber frame sector. The EN tested systems and best practice recommendations provide a comprehensive package of information for the design, specification and construction of timber frame buildings. This document was updated in June 2020 and is supported by Swedish Wood and Scottish Forestry and peer reviewed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). In addition to the fire in use research, the STA also produced new guidance on fire stops and cavity barriers which is intended to provide solutions for cavity barrier installations and a clear understanding of who is responsible for design, installation and checking. Consideration has been given to industry good practice and the best-in-class solutions are included within this guidance, with recommendations for increased fire resilience for low to medium-rise structural timber buildings. This cavity barrier guidance book is currently being updated and a new version will be available within the next four weeks.

To access the latest version of the Pattern Book and register your interest in receiving the next edition of the Cavity Barrier Guidance Book visit: www.structuraltimber.co.uk/links/research-documents

MgO Board Restrictions: In April 2020, STA recognised that NHBC, LABC Warranties and Premier Guarantee would restrict use of MgO Board. The STA Technical committee is updating its Product Paper 3 which offers guidance and what to look for when seeking alternative materials to MgO. It is hoped that once the MgO industry finalises its PAS standard early next year the industry will see MgO Board acceptable again. STA will keep you posted!

For more information, go to: www.structuraltimber.co.uk



Cross laminated timer (CLT) is gaining popularity as a structural timber construction product due to its sustainability, speed of build, light weight and the impact on reducing construction programmes. Details of CLT can be found on the STA Website. In forming the Special Interest Group for CLT to manage a specific industry fire research programme the STA have been providing support in communicating progress and well as providing secretariat services. The programme of fire performance experiments has been undertaken by all the key manufacturers of CLT to provide test based evidence of behaviour which will enable specifiers and the market in general use CLT in the knowledge it is a safe building material. Details of the various stages of the experiments and research were presented to almost 300 interested parties at an STA Webinar on October 1st 2020. If you were unable to attended at the time a full recorded version of the webinar is available to watch on the STA website www.structuraltimber.co.uk/webinars where you will hear the basic concepts of fire safety engineering and how mass timber responds to the traditional approach for fire safety design, and finally, we presented the new compliance roadmap we have developed for the construction of mass timber buildings in the UK. Please note for HRRB and similar types of purpose groups, the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 set out new statutory requirements in respect of the materials forming external walls and specified attachments which have been taken into account with this research. Work Packages Include: WP1 - Compliance Framework WP4 - HRRB Compliance Pathway

WP2 - Training WP5 - HRRB Research

WP3 - Literature Review WP6 - Commercial Research

Brought to you by:


For more information, go to: www.structuraltimber.co.uk/sectors/clt-special-interest-group

Contact info@structuraltimber.co.uk


Contractors, builders, engineers & housebuilders are urged to use more timber

Working alongside Time for Timber, the Wood CO2ts less campaign aims to increase awareness of timber’s environmental credentials and highlight how using wood from sustainably managed forests is one of the simplest ways to help reduce carbon emissions. Members of the timber industry collaborating on the campaign include Wood for Good and industry bodies Swedish Wood, Confor, the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) and Structural Timber Association (STA). The construction industry has already taken its own steps to creating more sustainable buildings through initiatives such as the Carbon Action 2050 toolkit developed by the Chartered Institute of Building. The Wood CO2ts less campaign calls on the construction industry to continue this positive movement, through using more wood. Sarah Virgo, Wood for Good campaign manager, said “The government set a target for the construction industry to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 but it’s not feasible for all sectors of the economy to become carbon neutral. To reach net zero, we need to compensate for these emissions by finding ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere. The best way to contribute to this reduction is to consider wood first, instead of other materials. If we are to meet government targets and reduce climate change, we must act now. Everyone involved with the design and construction of a building, new or old, can play their part in tackling the climate emergency.” Andrew Carpenter, STA chief executive, added :“The shortage of housing in the UK is an issue that has been acknowledged by successive governments; we must ensure that all new build homes are delivered in a high-quality and sustainable manner. Furthermore, to deliver the volume demanded with the urgency suggested, then this is also achievable by using engineered timber solutions that are predominately manufactured offsite – this also alleviates the acknowledged skill-shortage faced by the construction industry.” TTF chief executive, Dave Hopkins, said “As we move along construction’s roadmap to recovery, the industry needs to make better choices now. We have the skills and resources available to create a better built environment and timber is at the heart of it all.”

To learn more about the role wood plays in construction, including design and environment data for specifying timber, and to explore best practice examples of building with timber, visit www.woodforgood.com/CO2

Keep up with our latest news - www.structuraltimber.co.uk/news/structural-timber-news



B&K Structures

Innovaré Systems & Mid Group



Education Project of the Year

Best Use of Timber Technology

Transforming a former naval hospital within a UNESCO World Heritage Site is no small task, the Dreadnought Building at the University of Greenwich is an amazing structure. As part of a team of specialists, B&K Structures sensitively restored the Grade II listed building by stripping it back and modernising it ready for its contemporary role at the heart of the University.


Jaguar Land Rover’s own sustainability strategy shaped the building philosophy together with the desire to create a defining roof structure from engineered timber technology that reflects the pioneering work taking place within. A diverse range of spaces has been brought together under one of Europe’s largest engineered timber roofs designed, engineered and installed by B&K Structures.


Stonebridge Primary School is an existing school in the London Borough of Brent that was looking to expand and consolidate two sites in to one. The project consisted of the construction of a new, architecturally impressive, hall that will be fully accessible to the wider community and the school alike. It also included six new classrooms and at the heart of the building an inspiring library space. The building had to compliment the existing Grade II listed Victorian School. The architectural intent was a multi-dimensional roof that would reflect that of the existing school building.

The structure for the main hall area is a mixture of SIPS and CLT, whilst the remaining teaching spaces are built with SIPs and roof cassettes.

For more examples of award winning projects visit: www.structuraltimber.co.uk/project-profiles

Contact info@structuraltimber.co.uk

BEST IN CLASS! Stirling Prize Winner

Cygnum Building Offsite GOLDSMITH STREET NORWICH The social housing development of 105 ultra-low-energy homes for Norwich City Council, is the first social housing scheme to be shortlisted and win the coveted Stirling Prize. The prestigious award from RIBA, chaired by Julia Barfield – praised Goldsmith Street ‘as a modest masterpiece. It is high-quality architecture in its purest most environmentally and socially-conscious form.’ Cygnum designed, manufactured and installed the highly insulated timber frame structures to a tight programme and exceptionally highperformance standards. As well as achieving the rigorous Passivhaus Standard, the delivery team was faced with significant additional challenges including a short lead time and a limited budget. Installing such a large number of houses with limited space and access required careful planning and sequencing. The offsite nature of timber frame meant this could be done long in advance of work commencing on site. A delivery schedule was agreed (and adhered to) at the outset and this allowed the main contractor to synchronise other trades with precision around Cygnum’s works. Houses were checked for airtightness on an ongoing basis and cellulose insulation blown in under pressure eliminated performance gap concerns and added to the environmental credentials of the scheme. Good timber frame engineering also resulted in an economic design, which in general terms means using less materials. In addition to this, in the building’s thermal envelope, less timber leaves more room for insulation hence the thickness of the walls and roof were kept as slim as possible. This exemplary energy performance was achieved using a timber-based build approach – full chain of custody certified throughout – that reduced the development’s embodied energy.

ONLINE PROJECT GALLERY As the UK’s leading organisation representing the structural timber sector and associated supply chain companies, the STA has an objective to inform, inspire and spread best practice about this highly sustainable material. The STA website is a pivotal resource which not only houses latest industry news and technical documents but showcases some of the most inspiring and influential projects within the sector, many of which are awards winning developments. The online project gallery features case studies on all structural timber technologies across a range of sectors including education, healthcare, commercial, housing and self build and this section of the website allows you to narrow your search using a series of filter.

For more examples of award winning projects visit: www.structuraltimber.co.uk/project-profiles


WHY USE AN STA MEMBER? Representing over 750 competent suppliers of quality structural timber systems

The STA’s mission is to evidence quality and drive product innovation through technical guidance and research, underpinned by our members’ quality standard assessment – the STA Assure Membership and Quality Standards Scheme.

STA Members • • • • •

Undergo the independently audited STA Assure Membership and Quality Standards Scheme Operate to the Site Safe scheme to ensure timber construction is both safe and sustainable Receive regular updates on the latest building regulations and legislation Have access to dedicated technical support service, advice notes and technical documents Fully support sustainable construction, quality standards and adhere to our Code of Conduct

Timber Frame Competency Award Scheme The STA now manages the Timber Frame Competency Award Scheme requirements with CITB, to improve timber frame erectors’ skill levels and acknowledge the competencies of existing timber frame erectors. The training programme can support the achievement of gaining an SVQ or NVQ in Timber Frame Erection, allowing erector/installer companies to access sites that require CSCS cards. The scheme sets industry-wide standards for erectors and installers of structural timber frames. As part of the STA Assure quality initiative, members are required to complete three workbooks and an online test to examine practical and theory-based knowledge, which will take up to one year to complete.

Site Safe Policy The Offsite Award winning Site Safe Policy applies to all structural timber building system members, including offsite manufacturers, fabricators, contractors and installers who work with principal contractors. Members are audited to ensure they are achieving the functional requirements of the Site Safe Policy. Both the policy and the audit process have been developed over many years to support members and provide professional building system provider services. By following the policy, members can engage with customers and enable the best project outcomes.

As the largest UK trade association within the structural timber sector, there are a host of reasons why construction professionals should choose one of our members: www.structuraltimber.co.uk/members

STA Online Technical Document Library The STA strive to provide the most up-to-date information and technical guidance and our online library contains over 140 documents including product papers, advice notes and technical bulletins. This library contains a wealth of information on Building Regulations and best practice principles and is a valuable resource which can assist architects, engineers and clients who are considering specifying structural timber for projects or provide technical support during installation on site.


For more information visit www.structuraltimber.co.uk

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STA Timber Connect - November 2020  

Welcome to ‘Timber Connect’ – the STA’s newsletter designed to keep construction professionals up to date with the latest industry news, ini...

STA Timber Connect - November 2020  

Welcome to ‘Timber Connect’ – the STA’s newsletter designed to keep construction professionals up to date with the latest industry news, ini...