Page 1

01 SPRING 2018

COMMON SENSE SUSTAINABILITY McVantage takes the hard out of tropical hardwood specification / 18 EXTERNAL TIMBER CLADDING


What’s new in External Timber Cladding? Abodo Vulcan, that’s what. / 05

Now in its 80th year, Södra sets ambitious new environmental targets for its operations / 20

01582 592707




Need-to-know information on current certification, legislation and regulation issues affecting the timber trade and a heads-up for diaries on forthcoming timber events.

05 EXTERNAL TIMBER CLADDING Anything new in External Timber Cladding? Abodo Vulcan is the New (Zealand) Kid on the Block.

08 REGIONAL TIMBER HOTSPOT: ESSEX Latest expansion plans aim to consolidate Tilbury Docks’ position as the UK epicentre for timber importation and distribution.




A different take on Cabins & Outbuildings: Scotland’s 1000 Huts Campaign.

14 TIMBER TOPICS TTF’s David Hopkins speaks to Timber Trader UK’s Executive Editor, Peter Wilson, about the leading trade body’s current campaigns, initiatives and role in CTI.

17 NEWS Combilift opens its huge new production plant / global headquarters in Ulster’s County Monaghan and launches its most versatile product to date, the electricpowered and multidirectional Combi-CBE4.



18 COVER STORY Common Sense Sustainability – McVantage brings generations of timber expertise to the 100% FSC® certified tropical timber products it ships to the UK and Europe from Guyana.

20 SÖDRA The Södra Group celebrates 80 years of sustainable forestry and exemplary processing and manufacturing practice by setting new and highly ambitious environmental targets for its future operations.


Darren Lester, of speaks to Timber Trader UK’s Editor, Judith Kelly, about why transparent pricing is needed to ensure your products get specified.


27 RACKING & STORAGE Karen Hunter of The Scott Group provides an insight into current timber costs, importing challenges and the complex issues involved in responsible pallet procurement.

33 HEALTH & SAFETY Margaret Grahamslaw, Head of Occupational Health at BC&E, makes the case for employee health to be taken as seriously as safety by the timber industry.


EDITOR Judith Kelly 

SALES DIRECTOR Terry Hanlon   01925 270093

DESIGN Pete Awad 

Registered address: 73 Cross Lane, Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside WA12 9QA Registered in England and Wales. Company Number 10839173. VAT registration number 271 5498 81

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





CERTIFICATION, LEGISLATION, REGULATION The recent news that Hardwood Dimensions (Holdings) Ltd has been fined £4000 for breaching regulations prohibiting the import and sale of illegally harvested timber – the first enforcement action carried out by the UK Government’s new Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS)* might be regarded by some as a warning shot across the bows of the industry, but what does this action represent within the thorny world of certification, legislation and regulation in the UK? THE hard fact of the case is that the company

only two weeks after the pledge made in mid-

Chinese laws or regulations to promote trade

failed to carry out satisfactory due diligence

February at a Confederation of Timber Industries

in legal forest products’ is seen as an important

on the legality of a batch of ayous timber from

(CTI) reception by Environment Minister, Dr

milestone in the work of the BCM. The Chinese

Cameroon before placing it on the market, thus

Thérèse Coffey MP, that, when we leave the EU,

delegation to the meeting highlighted the

breaching regulations that require businesses

the Withdrawal Bill will make sure the whole body

development of its ‘Timber Legality Verification

trading in timber and timber products in the UK

of European environmental law continues to have

System’ as well as the country’s efforts to support

to ensure that their products originate from legal

effect in UK law. This means bringing into UK law

the implementation of guidelines regulating the

sources. It should be emphasised that none of

two regulations that the UK timber sector played

overseas activities of Chinese Forestry firms. UK

the FSC® certified material imported by the TTF

a great role in shaping: the EU Timber Regulation

representatives described their more rigid approach

member company was from an illegal source and

(EUTR) and the Forest Law Enforcement,

to non-compliance and shared concrete examples

is a warning to all on how easy it is to fall foul of

Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. These

of inspections and notices of remedial action

the EU Timber Regulation, since FSC® alone is no

regulations prohibit the selling of illegally logged

to companies importing plywood products and

guarantee of having complied with legal process.

timber in the EU, including within the UK and

kitchen furniture from China.

Whilst the company has now adopted the TTF’s

have contributed to the growth of the British

RPP Due Diligence Toolkit, this example provides

industry and its position as a global champion for

illegal imports of plywood has recently prompted

a clear indication that enforcement officials are

responsibly sourced timber.

an update to the Timber Trade Federation (TTF)

increasingly serious about compliance issues and

Around the same time as the court case and,

The subject of sub-standard and potentially

Code of Conduct and responsible Purchasing

determined to take rapid action when they consider

on the other side of the world in Beijing, officials

Policy for members that embraces an updated

that rules designed to protect consumers, business

from China and the EU were strengthening their

testing and auditing regime to ensure that

and the environment have been broken. Clearly

efforts to address illegal logging and to promote

they are only selling products that conform to

importers and merchants need to be more vigilant

legal timber trading through their Bilateral

the claims made for them. The main risks for

than ever and understanding how the new Office

Coordination Mechanism (BCM) on Forest Law

merchants, and thus for their customers’ safety,

for Product Safety and Standards contributes to

Enforcement and Governance. A core element

stem from product quality and performance as

the national regulatory framework is an important

of the BCM is to assist China’s progress in the

well as environmental provenance and studies

step towards ensuring continuing compliance and

development of timber legality legislation and

carried out on behalf of the organisation

maintaining business stability.

finalisation of the ‘Feasibility analysis of the

concluded that glue bond claims and species

incorporation of timber legality requirements into

declarations did not necessarily match reality.

Ironically, the decision in the case followed



EN.314 Glue Bond



Dry (Internal)

EN314 Class 1 Bond

Suitable for: Use Class 1 Dry Interior Only No exposure to moisture during construction. Furniture, packing cases, cupboards, shelving only.


Occasional wetting or condensation (Humid)

EN314 Class 2 Bond

Suitable for: Use Class 1 & 2 Humid Interior or Covered Exterior Construction Limited resistance to moisture during construction phase. Wall, floor and roof structural applications (when listed on DOP).


Exposure to weather or constant wetting (Exterior)

EN314 Class 3 Bond

Suitable for: Use Class 1, 2 & 3 Structural Applications Interior or Exterior Resistant to weather during construction phase. Wall, floor and roof structural applications (when listed on DOP).




If you care about something, you have to protect it Preservation, fire retardant treatment and decorative & protective coatings for timber

Protection from the elements

Your partner in timber protection Call 01777 709855, email or visit 03



NEWS REVIEW just prior to the announcement by Greenpeace

conserving forests and providing for wider social

with a strict testing and auditing process to

that it had decided to leave the Forestry

benefits. This happens in particular in “high risk”

ensure products they import are correctly labelled

Stewardship Council, despite it having been

regions where democratic and civil institutions are

with species and product performance. This

a founder member of the organisation. The

weak and corruption is high.”

includes mandatory species testing, stricter pack

FSC® appellation has long been seen by players

marking guidelines to include DOP numbers and

throughout the industry as providing a gold

view, all is not necessarily doom and gloom:

mandatory glue bond testing. The TTF considers

standard measure of environmental responsibility,

clearly FSC® needs to act urgently to address the

the correct glue bond for structural products

so the Greenpeace statement that it was not going

concerns expressed by Greenpeace, FSC-Watch

should be Class 2 and above and that merchants

to renew its membership due to inconsistent

and others about its current modus operandi but,

choosing to stock plywoods with a Class 1 glue

implementation and failures to protect forests is

from a UK domestic perspective, the organisation’s

bond need to exercise extreme caution in staff

likely to be widely seen as a significant blow to

recently published consumer survey suggests

training, stock handling and stock segregation to

FSC®’s credibility.

that its many years of endeavour in raising public

As a result, all TTF members must now comply

The decision, whilst news, is actually the

avoid products being used in the wrong situation

From an importer and merchant point of

awareness of environmental issues and the factors

and potentially failing in application. The TTF has

end-result of long-standing concerns voiced by

contributing to global deforestration continues to

issued a table of plywood technical classes to help

Greenpeace about uneven implementation of

bear fruit: some 55% of people in the UK recognise

merchants develop their knowledge, minimise

FSC principles and criteria globally – way back in

the FSC® logo as a key mark of responsible

risks and guide their customers to fit-for-purpose

2014, for example, it found that in Russia the FSC

forestry, whilst 69% would, apparently, prefer to

products. One TTF member that has taken this

is failing to distinguish good forest management

buy a product bearing the FSC® logo compared

initiative to the next level is Glasgow-based

practices from the typical model of unsustainable

to one without, a figure that rises to 75% when

Caledonian Plywood Co. Ltd who, in collaboration

forest exploitation widely employed in intact

it is stipulated that there are no other visible

with Third-Party Certifiers TFT Woodexperts Ltd,

boreal, or taiga, forests. It is therefore failing in its

differences between the products (e.g. size, cost,

will shortly receive its first shipment of plywood

mission to be a tool for forest protection.

etc.). The clincher for the moment for traders must

Fast forward to 2018 and Greenpeace’s

from China that carries the Diamond Mark to both

surely be the figure of 68% of people who, already

EN314-2 and -3 (full details on the company’s

concerns, indeed frustrations, with FSC® had

aware of the FSC® logo, thought it important that

pro-active approach to plywood manufacture and

clearly escalated to the point of impasse, hence

products made from wood or paper carry the logo

testing can be found elsewhere in this issue of

its final, reluctantly reached, decision, to withdraw

to inform their purchasing decision.

Timber Trader UK).

from membership. In its statement it said, “in some

Paradoxically, the step-up in UK enforcement mentioned at the outset of this article occurred

regions, FSC® certification improved forestry

practices, but in others it fell short of its goals of


TIMBER TIMETABLE The TTF has announced details of the 2018 UK Wood Panels Conference which will be held in Central London at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen St, London on Wednesday 7th November 2018. More info at:


Timber Expo 2018

Carrefour International du Bois 2018

When: 9 – 11 Oct 2018

When: 30 May – 1 Jun 2018

Where: NEC, National Exhibition Centre, Halls, Marston Green,

Where: Nantes, France


More info at:

More info at:

BM Trada training seminar: Eurocode 5: The Essentials

Grand Designs Live 2018 - Birmingham

When: Thursday, 21 Jun 2018

When: 10 – 14 Oct 2018

Where: High Wycombe

Where: NEC, National Exhibition Centre, Halls, Marston Green,

More info at:



More info at:

FSC Friday 2018

International Softwood Conference 2018

When: Saturday, 29 Sep 2018

When: 10 – 12 Oct 2018

Where: UK wide

Where: Riga, Latvia

More info at:

More info at:

BMF Members’ Day 2018

Builders’ Merchants Excellence Awards 2018

When: 26 – 27 Sep 2018

When: Friday, 23 Nov 2018

Where: St. George’s Park, Tatenhill, Burton upon Trent

Where: London Hilton on Park Lane, 22 Park Ln, Mayfair, London

More info at:

More info at:







T is now more than 20 years since the

Nevertheless, over the last two decades,

range of RAL colours and even in different grades

completion of the River and Rowing Museum

external timber cladding has become the

of charring that has been carried out in factory

at Henley on Thames by David Chipperfield

ubiquitous visual expression of a significant

conditions to deliver a textured, blackened

Architects brought renewed focus to the

change in professional and public attitudes to the

surface. Given the wide range of products now

potential use of external timber cladding

use of timber in construction and, in particular,

available, is there anything new in the world of

on buildings in the UK. Prior to the surprise

on UK housing. No longer regarded as a cheap

external timber cladding that can be offered to

appearance of horizontally fixed oak boards on

building material, it is often applied for reasons

this sector of the market?

the Museum’s facades, timber had long been

of fashion, thus communicating a degree of

out of fashion as a visual element of building

environmental sensibility to projects.

construction in this country, regarded until then

Ongoing technical developments too, have

Increasingly, modified timber products such as Accoya® and Kekony® and Thermowood® are being specified as alternatives to imported

brought other variants to the market – wood

hardwoods, their significantly enhanced

fibre and plastic composites, as well as the

durability and capacity for precision manufacture

should not be understated – a renaissance in the

chemical or thermal modification of non-durable

contributing to their ability to command

use of external timber cladding began almost

species that transforms the base material into

premium prices. A new player that comes with

immediately following the widespread publication

highly durable boards suitable for external use.

a range of additional properties and strengths is

of the project. Unfortunately, the results were not

Timber cladding now comes in many forms:

about to step into this highly competitive field,

always good, as designers and contractors often

rough sawn, planed, vacuum coated in a wide

however, and is already attracting considerable

as cheap-looking and insufficiently durable. The impact of this project on architects

lacked the training and technical knowledge to ensure that detailing and installation would be

Charred timber, Lake Waikaremoana

carried out effectively in the differing climatic areas of Britain. Much has changed since those early days – various technical publications have emerged to guide better design and detailing (e.g. BS 8605-1:2014 External timber cladding. Method of specifying), whilst manufacturers and suppliers have become considerably more adept at providing sound advice on suitable species, profiles and fixings. That said, too many examples of poor quality cladding can still be seen around the country, the product still of designer inexperience and often too of a contractor misconception that installing modern timber systems to the external faces of a building is an elementary joinery task.




FEATURE: EXTERNAL TIMBER CLADDING attention from the industry. Abodo Vulcan is the proprietary name given to sustainable (FSC® certified) plantation-grown Radiata Pine (Pinus Radiata) that has been thermally modified in New Zealand by Abodo Wood Ltd. and which is now exclusively distributed in the UK and Ireland by the Glenalmond Timber Company. What distinguishes this product from other cladding timbers on the market is first of all its Class 1 Durability (i.e. highly durable, making it

 Vulcan WB12 (left), Vulcan Mixed Hero (middle), Vulcan Screening mixed profiles (right)

directly comparable with Accoya®): Western Red Cedar is Class 2 (durable) whilst Larch is Class 3

Hawkes Bay Coastal Home

(moderately durable). The product is available in two forms – either flat sawn or laminated vertical grain, the former competing with Siberian larch on price and the latter with Western Red Cedar. Both options are virtually knot free, a characteristic capable of being further improved by finger jointing at Glenalmond’s facilities. Because the material is delivered as large laminated beams (200mm x 300mm sections, formed with VOC and formaldehyde free Type1 polyurethane adhesive), it can be cut, carved and CNC detailed to produce exceptionally wide cladding boards as well as complementary external and internal products such as brise soleil, doors, staircases and windows. All this without fear of shrinking, splitting or warping since Abodo Vulcan has a moisture content of only 7-9%, a factor that ensures an extra dry and extremely stable cladding substrate. Thermally modified (at temperatures up to 230ºC), there are no chemical additives involved in the production process, with the resulting boards emerging with a consistent colour throughout. For those wishing to have a different colour option, Abodo Vulcan readily


accepts all types of stains, oils, Sioo X, as well as fire retardant treatments. Abodo also offers a range of water-based, plant extract oils that are designed to work synergistically with the

WHAT IS THIS STANDARD ABOUT? BS 8605-1:2014 describes ways to

timber cladding, including performance requirements and moisture content. It applies to external cladding functioning

substrate and these coatings are readily absorbed

specify the characteristics of external

as a rain screen and covers boards, shingles

and dry more quickly than would be the case

timber cladding products.

and shakes, and wood-based panels.

contents. For a quite separate effect, the boards


harmonized standards BS EN 14915 and BS

can be charred to give the type of blackened

 Specifiers of external timber cladding

EN 13986. It lists all performance criteria that

with other species that have higher moisture

surface texture that has become extremely fashionable of late amongst building designers. Very much a product for its time, Abodo

BS 8605-1:2014 complements

components  Manufacturers, suppliers and users of external timber cladding

might apply to external timber cladding in the UK and provides a method of specifying those requirements that are outside the scope

Vulcan appears to answer many of the questions

 Building designers, engineers, architects

of those standards, but which are relevant to

and technical challenges found in the design and

 The construction industry

the UK’s climate and construction practices.

installation of external timber cladding in recent

 Health and safety professionals

This standard also specifies characteristics of

years; its flexibility in length and section as well

 Local authorities, housing associations

components at the time they are transferred

the ability for it to be mixed and matched in different widths and textural effects also offers considerable opportunity for design innovation. Abodo Vulcan may well be the first product to surf a completely new wave of architectural

to the purchaser.

WHY SHOULD YOU USE THIS STANDARD? It gives the most up-to-date requirements for specifying external

Publication of the second part of BS8605 (Design) has been delayed as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire and, pending revision to its contents, will likely appear in 2019.

expression in external timber cladding.




Landscapes Reinvented The attractive alternative to traditional timber decking. Strong and durable, providing a low maintenance, long lasting solution, BSW Timber composite decking offers you the opportunity to create a modern luxurious outdoor space. •

Quick and easy to install

Easy to clean

• •

Hidden fixing clips ensure a smooth, barefoot friendly surface

Eco-friendly (contains 95% recycled materials)

Dual faced with two attractive finishing options

Perfect for residential installations

10 year warranty

For further information contact us today. | 0800 587 8887

Decking, Cladding & Sleepers Rustic semi-translucent matt finish Assured long term preservative protection built-in 15 year performance warranty INTERESTED IN BECOMING A Q-SHADES STOCKIST? WANT US TO SEND YOU A FREE SAMPLE? TM



01992 578877 07






HE Port of Tilbury in Essex provides a

Aggregates Terminal’ (CMAT) for handling and

build 42,000 new homes a year. The county

vital gateway for London and the south

processing bulk construction materials.

can and does support the transportation of all

east of England as a whole and, already

INVEST Essex, the investment promotion

a significant port for forest products,

and business support agency based in

expansion plans for a new terminal are

Chelmsford, has strong ties to Tilbury through

kinds of construction materials into London and for the repurposing of construction waste.” He adds, “Between 2021-5 construction

set to provide a further boost to the timber

its Inward Investment Manager, Robert Edge.

will begin on the first of the three North

industry. Many of the UK’s largest timber

Having enjoyed a 10-year career for a major

Essex Garden Communities sites (41,000 new

importers use the port due to the specialist

Colchester freight forwarder, Robert has now

homes in total); the construction of the Lower

expertise it provides in the handling of paper

been involved in inward investment promotion

Thames Crossing; one, if not both, Sizewell and

and forest products and to the excellent links

for 18 years, specialising in the logistics sector.

Bradwell nuclear power stations; Heathrow’s

it offers throughout the supply chain, including

With close links to many of the leading timber

third runway; as well as various business parks

shipping lines, importers, merchants and

traders who use the facilities at Tilbury he

and residential developments in the south


believes that Essex is an ideal solution for the

east of England. The UK is the third largest net

timber trade:

importer of timber in the world and whilst, the

The proposed new terminal has been named Tilbury2 and is a massive expansion

“Aside from the port-centric solutions

industry and logistics suppliers will be watching

in the port’s facilities that includes a Roll-

available at the ports of Tilbury and Harwich,

Brexit developments closely, Essex has the

On/Roll-Off (RoRo) terminal and warehouse

for further processing before onward

right skills and attitude to meet whatever lies

for importing and exporting containers and

distribution to clients, Essex benefits from its


trailers as well as a ‘Construction Materials and

proximity to London and the initiative there to

The Port of Tilbury supports a range of multimodal import modes (Breakbulk, Containers & RoRo) and its owner, Forth Ports,

The port’s historical forest products business includes Travis Perkins, Meyers and James Latham, with Grimaldi breakbulk vessels coming in from South America and Africa, and Saga Welco breakbulk vessels shipping from the Far East. Geographically, Tilbury is strategically located and this, together with its long history of dealing with sheet materials, timber and pulp/paper, enables us to offer a streamlined supply chain and value-added services to our customers.” Paul Dale

has invested heavily in mobile cranes and landside equipment. It is a major port for forest products and the UK’s leading arrival point for plywood imports. Overall, Tilbury handles in excess of three million tonnes of forest products annually (including paper products) across 2.5 million sq. ft. of warehouse and outside space and is experiencing business growth across the full range of building materials, including timber and plywood. Paul Dale, Asset and Site Director at the Port of Tilbury for Forth Ports, said “The port’s





historical forest products business includes

options (Breakbulk, Container and RoRo),

Travis Perkins, Meyers and James Latham,

which has allowed customers to expand

with Grimaldi breakbulk vessels coming in

logistics operations in southern England and

from South America and Africa, and Saga

provide a 24-hour delivery distribution centre

Welco breakbulk vessels shipping from the Far

at Tilbury to meet tighter order timescales.

East. Geographically, Tilbury is strategically

Dale adds: “Tilbury will continue to tailor

located and this, together with its long history

our operations to our customers’ needs. You

of dealing with sheet materials, timber and

only have to look at where the majority of

pulp/paper, enables us to offer a streamlined

construction spend in the UK is – London.

supply chain and value-added services to our

This positions Tilbury as an excellent location

customers. It’s a core business for the port and

to support its growth. We are seeing more

long may that continue. We are the largest

RoRo cargo. We are shipping more waste

importer of the combined forest products trade

and construction materials, such as bricks

in the UK, with established trade routes for all

and slate. Last year one large multi-national

origins (including Baltic, Scandinavia, Europe,

client shipped in 35 million bricks. Tilbury’s

Far East, South and North America).”

geographic location close to London will

In terms of solid wood, UPM, CTH and their group of companies, along with L&G Forest Products, are large volume users of

continue to make it an attractive shipping destination for forest product imports.” It’s a positive story: Essex combines more

Tilbury and indeed, CTH has just celebrated its

than 1,000 acres of port-adjacent, tri-modally

50th anniversary trading with the port. On the

connected logistics and distribution sites with

minimise costs, emissions and risks whilst

sheet material side, UPM, CTH and their group

a specialist logistics workforce and fast access

maximising flexibility and efficiency in transport

of companies, Meyer Timber, International

to UK, European and global markets – by road,

planning and ‘future-proofing’ supply chains.

Plywood, Panel Supplies, Caledonian Plywood,

rail, sea and air. With this hugely impressive

James Latham, Travis Perkins and Altripan

infrastructure available, it makes eminent

For more information on the ports and logistics

all have a large presence. The port continues

sense for logistics and distribution businesses

offer in Essex please contact Robert Edge, robert.

to support the import of multimodal routing

to establish operations in Essex and thereby

INVEST Essex promotes Essex as a prime UK business solution location to international and UK companies. Delivering a ‘total solution’ that can guide and support businesses through every stage of a business relocation or expansion project. You can find out more about the work done by INVEST Essex at:, or follow on Twitter (@investessex).






Artist Bothy, photo © Johnny Barrington


ROM garden rooms to ‘she-sheds’, yoga

construction of huts from most Scottish Building

studios and ‘luxury shepherd’s huts’

Standards and reduce the need for Building

on wheels, the market for both mass-

Warrants in those key areas of health and safety

produced and bespoke small timber

where regulations still need to be met. Not only

structures, continues to grow apace.

will this lighten the burden for hutters, it is also

The recent exponential increase in demand for

intended to lighten the workload of building

a wide range of outbuildings used for work,

standards officers, an economic benefit to their

leisure and – sometimes - accommodation is

local authority employers. This new legislation gained impetus

well attested and the many opportunities for creative, timber-based solutions have been

The best known, and longest-

from the response to a Scottish Government

explored at length in print elsewhere. Less well

established community of hutters

consultation that showed widespread

known, at least south of the border, is the new,

is to be found at Carbeth in

enthusiasm for a relaxation of restrictions on

but potentially high growth, niche market for

Stirlingshire, where 140 huts remain

the building of simple woodland huts. As such,

a related building type that is emerging with

and are still in use. The Carbeth hut

it represented a logical extension to Scottish

the current revival of Scotland’s long dormant

site originally provided access to

Government policy, introduced in 2014, which

hutting culture.

green spaces for soldiers returning

aimed to support the building of huts for

from the First World War and had

recreational use and provide a tight definition

interest in hutting, as more and more people

strong links to the ship-building

of the low impact nature of such structures.

seek to connect with the land in a sustainable

communities of the Clyde. Its

Planning permission is, of course, still required

way. The resultant renaissance of the hutting

population peaked in 1941 after the

prior to any construction being undertaken.

movement, driven forward by initiatives such

Clydebank blitz. In 2013, Carbeth

as Reforesting Scotland’s Campaign for 1000

hutters came together to affect a

A hut: A simple building used

Huts, may signal a new market for bespoke

community buy-out of the land on

intermittently as recreational

and prefabricated solutions to meet increasing

which their huts are situated.

accommodation (i.e. not a principal

Recent years have seen a resurgence of

demand in Scotland, and perhaps beyond, for this very particular type of timber structure.

residence); having an internal In contrast, Scottish hutting experienced

floor area of no more than 30m2;

a decline and until recently, planning rules

constructed from low impact

working-class movement that developed

and land access issues formed significant

materials; not generally connected

early in the 20th century when small holiday

barriers to their construction, denying many

to mains water, electricity or

huts began to be built on land close to

the chance to spend time in simple woodland

sewerage; and built in such a way

Scotland’s major industrial cities as an escape

huts. In July 2017, six years of campaigning by

that it is removable with little or no

from the perceived pressures and squalor of

Reforesting Scotland bore fruit and the Scottish

trace at the end of its life. Huts may

urbanisation. This paralleled a similar initiative

Government passed legislation that defined the

be built singly or in groups.

in Norway in the 1920s and 30s where very

hut as a new building type and which reduced

different patterns of land ownership facilitated

the regulatory burden for hut builders. In effect,

From the glossary of Scottish

a mainstream “cabin culture” that continues to

The Building (Miscellaneous Amendments)

Planning Policy (SPP) 2014

blossom and be enjoyed to this day.

(Scotland) Regulations 2017 exempt the

Scottish “hutting” has its origins in a




the world leader in timber preservation technology

delivering high quality timber solutions for decades





Call: +44 (0)1628 486644 Fax: +44 (0)1628 476757

Protim Solignum Limited, Fieldhouse Lane Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1LS

*Registered Trademarks of Koppers Performance Chemicals Inc. Protim Solignum Limited is a Koppers company trades as Koppers Performance Chemicals. Koppers is a registered Trademark of Koppers Delware, Inc. All products are produced by independently owned and operated wood processing facilities. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners. Registered England - Reg. 3037845



by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Manufacturers Of Wood Preservatives Protim Solignum Ltd Marlow, Buckinghamshire



The Shieling Project, at Beauly in the Scottish Highlands Photo © North Woods Construction Ltd

It should not be assumed that existing

make exemplary use of the spectrum of sawn,

prefabricated timber solutions can meet

modified and engineered timber products.

the needs of this evolving market. The

The impetus for such an extensive small-build

re-emergence of hutting in Scotland has

programme in Scotland may thus just be a

introduced a unique building type: unlike the

starting point: Not only does the possibility

many small modern timber buildings to be

exist for the programme’s further expansion

found elsewhere in the UK, huts are exclusively

north of the border, but also for the emergence

reserved for personal use and cannot be sublet.

of higher-end timber-based solutions that

By their very nature and likely situations,

can be prefabricated for use as holiday

huts require more robust structures and

accommodation elsewhere in the UK and tap

foundations than your average garden room.

into the substantial demand that already exists

Forthcoming guidance on the design of huts is

for this in rural England and Wales.

intended to direct prospective owners towards

Although huts have their own unique

the use of more sustainable materials able to

characteristics, parallels can be drawn with the

withstand the vagaries of the northern climate

‘Tiny Homes’ movement that began in America

(horizontally-driven rain being a common

in the 1990s and which is now well-established

weather condition in Scotland) as well as being

in the US, Canada and Australia. This approach

vandal-proof, given that they are likely to be

champions ‘pared-down’ living and an escape

unattended for periods of time.

from the pressures of consumerism and

but as a growing trend, the label being

mortgage culture and is focused on permanent

nowadays applied to everything from elaborate

offers significant new opportunities to

accommodation as opposed to a temporary, if

garden rooms to holiday lets. This is a new and

research, development and testing of a series

regular, escape from urban living. The concept

potentially large market arena that positively

of different templates for small temporary

of ‘Tiny Homes’ is gaining in popularity in the

demands the emergence of innovative

accommodation facilities that are designed to

UK, albeit not so much as a social movement,

prefabricated timber solutions.

The 1000 Huts Campaign potentially

Top right, bottom: Artist Bothy Photos © Johnny Barrington

HIGH-END HUTTING – THE ARTIST BOTHY The creative and commercial opportunities offered by the hutting

scheme enabled Niven and MacLeod to develop a prototype that makes

movement are already being explored in a unique collaboration between

longer stays viable and this first version of the bothy was partly fabricated

artist Bobby Niven and architect Iain MacLeod that has taken the humble

without a specific site in mind; its proportions determined by what would

hut into new territory – that of the Artist Bothy.

fit on the back of a lorry.

Designed to function either as an off-grid space or to be connected

the Artist Bothy employs cross-laminated timber panels clad in Corten

purpose space designed to bring its owners closer to nature. It draws its

corrugated metal and Scottish larch. The building’s envelope is double-

design inspiration from a previous artist residency space created by Niven

glazed and fully insulated and can be installed on site in a matter of

and MacLeod in the Scottish Highlands and designed to evoke traditional

hours. Aimed at landowners looking for a studio, private retreat or tourist

agricultural dwellings.

accommodation, Artist Bothies are manufactured in the Highlands and

A grant from the Royal Scottish Academy’s Residencies for Scotland


With an internal space of 12.25 sq.m, and a 5.5 x 3m footprint,

to electricity and water services, the Artist Bothy is a prefabricated, multi-

delivered fully assembled, with costs starting at £39,000 per unit.



As a result of a collaboration between Caledonian Plywood Company Ltd, and Third-Party Certiiers TFT Woodexperts Ltd, we are proud to introduce plywood from the rst Mill in China to carry the Diamond Mark Certiication to both BS EN 314-2 Class 2; and BS EN 314-2 Class 3 Exterior. This is an independent guarantee of quality and the Diamond Mark Scheme is only awarded following rigorous auditing of the mills, processes and product testing. Caledonian Plywood are delighted to have worked with Woodexperts to achieve this certiication.

Contact us for more information:


Caledonian Plywood Company Ltd

TFT Woodexperts Ltd

Glasgow Head Office: +44(0)1698 811666 Tilbury Office: +44(0)1375 850000 Email: Web:

Head Office: +44(0)1765 640 445 Mobile: +44(0)7712880873 Email: Web:






LMOST a year on from the launch of the

at the time of going to press, responding to the

to ensure that high standards of responsible

Timber Trade Federation’s ‘Timber You

demand for new house construction is well up

sourcing of construction materials are maintained

Can Trust’ (#Trusted Timber) campaign,

the agenda for all political parties. The seats up

in boroughs, districts and unitary authorities

Dave Hopkins, the organisation’s

for grabs were last contested four years ago and

occupies a pole position on the TTF action list.

managing director, is bullish about its

councils across the UK are already being pushed

“We’re about to see hundreds of new

impact to date upon its twin target audiences of

hard by the government to deliver increasing

councillors elected throughout the country,

local authorities and industry stakeholders. With

numbers of new homes, the opportunity to

a lot of whom have ambitions to encourage

local elections throughout England imminent

expand its partnerships with local authorities

new sustainable housing developments across




TIMBER TOPICS their communities. We need to work with

Industries that was renewed following the General

industry when in his previous position leading

local government to increase awareness of the

Election held in June 2017. This led to the first

Wood for Good, the UK campaign to increase

importance of responsible timber sourcing, good

Timber Industries Parliamentary Reception being

the use of timber in construction. The PR skills he

management of forests and the sustainability of

held in February this year, an event that provided

demonstrated then and the acute focus he has

the whole timber supply chain,” says Hopkins.

the opportunity for Dr Thérèse Coffey MP,

continued to place on cutting though seemingly

Ambitious perhaps, given the fairly chaotic nature

Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, to

insoluble industry concerns to deliver key

of UK politics at present (and perhaps for the

pledge that the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and

milestones are clearly important drivers for him:

foreseeable future), but no less laudable that the

the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and

“much of my job is to identify areas that should

TTF continues to take the lobbying lead in this

Trade (FLEGT) initiative would be brought into

be positive and then turn them into genuine

area on behalf of the wider timber industry.

UK law post-Brexit. This example of collective

positives.” The Timber Trade Federation has

action on behalf of the industry by its leading

obviously benefited from the enormous amounts

initiated in the drive to fulfil the TTF mission to be

trade organisations must surely be interpreted as a

of energy that Hopkins brings to his job and is no

a guardian of quality, standards and sustainability

positive development in a world where the many

doubt a contributing factor in the organisation’s

and to promote the organisation’s members as

positive virtues of timber use in construction need

ability to attract new members as well as returning

the first port of call to buy goods from that are not

to be sung more loudly in the face of competing

ones who now see the TTF as an organisation

only fit for purpose but, importantly, appropriate

noises from the well-organised and financed

prepared not only to work hard on their behalf in

for the designs for which they have been specified.

concrete, masonry and steel sectors.

response to their concerns, but also to anticipate

It is one of several campaigns Hopkins has

Safeguarding members from errors in interpreting legislation is an ongoing challenge (as highlighted

In all of this, Dave Hopkins maintains the ebullient front he first presented to the timber

issues and address them before they become industry-wide problems.

elsewhere in this issue), as has been the need to identify problematic areas such as substandard and possibly illegal imports that continue to affect the plywood sector. The latter has prompted an update to the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) Code of Conduct and responsible Purchasing Policy and it is this constant attention to key issues affecting the industry that has seen the organisation’s worth to members continue to rise under Hopkins’ directorship. One such issue that has arisen within the ongoing discussions between the UK government and the EU is over the continuation of common standards post-Brexit. The TTF has been unequivocal in its support of the BSI’s position that the UK should ensure wider international relations are maintained by ongoing application of CEN and ISO standards and has set out a series of reasons (see table) that, Hopkins believes, are fundamental to securing the industry’s future business competitiveness: “The TTF is an affiliate member of BSI and we wanted to show our public support for this campaign as we believe it is vital to our members’ interests. The UK may be leaving the EU, but the timber supply chain in particular will still be heavily dependent on supplies from Europe. This means we need common standards across the whole supply chain to make sure we can trade freely across borders. It brings benefits for consumers, benefits for business and, ultimately, benefits for free trade.” The TTF is not alone in expressing these concerns amongst industry organisations and, together with fellow members (British Woodworking Federation, Structural Timber Association and Wood Protection Association) of the Confederation of Timber Industries, it has been working hard to press the case with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Timber




Sawn, Planed and Glulam Timber

E-mail: Phone: 020 8916 2401 Web:







N 25th April, the new €50 million Combilift Global Headquarters in

customisation. “Mass customisation is the new frontier for both the

Monaghan was officially opened. The new 46,500 sq. m purpose–

customer and the manufacturer. Increasingly customers are expecting

built factory is set on a 100-acre site with room for expansion.

products to be tailored to meet their needs. Forklift producers that

With 11 acres of roof space, it is one of the largest manufacturing

offer customised products generally produce low volume, but Combilift

operations under one single roof in the Republic of Ireland.

is setting the benchmark by offering the mass production of tailored

Incorporating the latest manufacturing processes with a focus on

products, resulting in a strategic advantage for our customers. Traditional

sustainability, the new factory will enable Combilift to double its output in

forklift manufacturers focus on high volume mass production of the same

a single shift across all production lines. Four 90 metre moving assembly

products. We evolve with our clients, producing new products each year.”

lines produce a finished truck every 15 minutes. More than 50 truckloads

He continues, “The flexibility in our new facility means that Combilift

of finished products are dispatched to 85 countries each week. Spare parts

can continue to accommodate any customer request for a customised

are also shipped across the world from Monaghan to the company’s 250

material handling solution. Customer requirements are our standard. The

strong dealer network.

new factory enables us to double production and remain focused on the

Combilift is a familiar name to many in the timber industry. Designed

needs of our customers and dealers. We have become much more than

to tackle both the harsh environment of the sawmill and the tight spaces

a forklift manufacturer and are transforming the transport and logistics

of a narrow aisle warehouse with confidence, Combilift’s multi-directional

sector with our innovative, space-spacing products.”

and sideloader forklifts can handle extreme lengths of timber, timber

The company also offers a free logistic and warehouse design service.

frames, palletised goods or a mix of merchant products. They are also

Combi-Connect allows the customer to see the benefit a Combilift

renowned for their space-saving attributes, allowing customers to work

product will bring to their business. “Our engineers proactively design,

in aisles as small as 2200mm with lift heights over 10 metres, all the time

plan and produce solutions in collaboration with our customers by offering

providing one of the safest solutions possible to the timber industry.

material flow analysis and 3D animations. We work with customers to

Combilift’s latest product is the electric powered, multidirectional Combi-CBE4, a compact counterbalance design forklift with a lift capacity

produce warehouse designs to visualise the capacity potential as well as the optimum flow of materials on their site.” says McVicar.

of 4,000 kg. This all-wheel drive truck has large rubber tyres, allowing it to work effortlessly indoors and out and on all types of terrain. Its versatility enables it to offload from HGVs, bring product directly to racking or free


stacking areas, as well as to feed production lines. Combined with load

Established by Martin

sensing steering and no fumes, this makes it ideal for enclosed indoor

McVicar, Managing

warehouse operations.

Director and Robert in

Combilift’s MD Martin McVicar explains that the new model was

Moffett, Technical Director,

developed in response to specific customer requests for heavier lift

in 1998, Combilift is a

capacities on electric forklift trucks. “As a customer focused company,

privately held and fully

Combilift strives to provide our dealers and customers with machines that

capitalised company.

not only do the job but also save them money. This forklift is particularly

It developed the world’s first multidirectional all-wheel drive IC

interesting for markets or applications where electric power is preferred

engine powered forklift in 1998. In its first year of operation,

and offers an even wider range of possible applications.” The first Combi-

Combilift produced 18 units, 17 of which were exported. The

CBE4 was delivered to Mirrione Legnami, a leading timber supplier in Sicily

company has more than doubled production in the last 5 years and

and a new customer for Combilift.

now has 40,000 units in operation in over 85 countries.

McVicar attributes the company’s impressive growth to mass





COMMON-SENSE SUSTAINABILITY Working hand in hand with the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, McVantage is bringing generations of timber expertise to the 100% FSC® certified tropical timber products and rough green lumber coming to Europe and the UK from Guyana.


HE McVantage group of companies has worked right across the

tasked to develop economically viable, environmentally sustainable, multiuse,

spectrum of timber products and services for over 60 years and

forest resources from tropical forests.

has consistently looked for opportunities to expand the company’s

Joe McKinney, Managing Director of McVantage, has a passion for exotic

concepts of innovation, growth and environmental stewardship in the

woods, and his vision to develop an environmentally sound timber business

US and internationally. Most recently, this has led to McVantage of

in Guyana began with his first visit to the former British colony over 12 years

Guyana located in its namesake on the northeastern coast of South America.

ago. “I’ll buy a plane ticket to just about anywhere in the world,” he explains.

McVantage of Guyana works with the Iwokrama International Centre for

“You go once, opportunities don’t pan out, you move on. At that time, Guyana

Rainforest Conservation and Development, an international conservatory

was a greenfield that had more potential than anyplace I had ever seen.” The McKinneys hail from a region of northwest Alabama known as The Shoals. “My family has been in the wood business in this area’s river valleys for multiple generations. What I saw in Guyana was what existed in northwest Alabama two or three generations ago. We had the experience, we knew the steps, we knew what could be done, and I felt confident we could bring responsible, sustainable North American logging and sawmilling techniques to Guyana,” he said. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)*, 85% of Guyana is covered by forest, with nearly 90% of the country’s 750,000 population living close to the coast. Iwokrama manages a remotely located 1,000,000-acre forest in central Guyana to demonstrate how tropical forests can be conserved while also being sustainably and commercially used. The Iwokrama forest was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FCS) in 2016, and McVantage of Guyana controls all aspects of the logging, milling, and finishing processes on their concession. From the rough timber to finished products, all timber harvested by McVantage of Guyana is FSC® Chain of Custody certified. Joe McKinney says, “It’s very low-impact logging. Our harvesting is on a 60-year rotation and we engage in select cutting, cutting





only about three to five stems (trees) per acre. We observe strict cut limits and use technology and equipment that has minimal impact on the forest floor.” “The story of FSC® certified timber from Guyana is very simple, and that

FSC® certified tropical timber meets the stringent requirements of the UK’s Environment Agency. This enables local authorities, specifiers, architects and contractors to specify FSC® certified Greenheart and other tropical

makes it compelling,” continues Joe. “Guyana has some of the best forest

hardwood species for a wide range of appropriate applications where their

management in the world. The rules and agreements we adhere to ensure

durability, reliability and unique performance properties are identified as

that the tree harvesting we undertake in Guyana is not just environmentally

important requirements for a project.

sustainable, but socially responsible for the local communities living and

Greenheart is particularly widely used in the UK and across the rest of

working in the area.” The FSC® certification of the Iwokrama forest mean that

Europe in marine applications and sea defenses, and McVantage of Guyana

public procurement, such as local authorities and Government departments,

has the ability to saw timbers up to 40 ft / 12 metres long. McVantage has

and even the consumer can specify the timber they need with the absolute

also been developing new products: “We have had very interesting results

confidence that it will do its marine piling, sea defense or decking job for a

with Greenheart decking products,” said Joe. “Greenheart decking performs

generation or more. Not only will that timber have been fit-for-purpose, but it

like wood-plastic composite (WPC) products; the timber simply doesn’t move.

is also the responsible choice.

Granted, it’s probably going to cost more than a treated softwood deck, but if

“Sure, logistics can be challenging, whether it’s carefully removing an identified tree or transport of product to the port for shipping, but it is very satisfying when bird-watching tourists tell you that the forest is so

you want decking that is stable, non-plastic, and going to last a lifetime, then it’s a fantastic option.” McVantage continually invests in its operations, and construction has

undisturbed they can’t see where the harvested logs have come from. We get

been completed on its remanufacturing facility in Coverden, Guyana, near the

to tell them that not only are we harvesting fewer trees than fall naturally, but

Georgetown Port. The company’s pedigree and expertise mean they are setting

many of the “bird-watching trails” they are using are actually logging roads that

new standards with the selective logging, processing, shipping and supply of

we have built. We only use the space we need when constructing our logging

reliably high quality, FSC® certified product, to specification, every time.

roads because we don’t go back to the same block (250 acres) of forest for 60

Exotic woods hold great appeal both as a structural material and

years, so it just makes sense for them to use the roads and trails we’ve already

in design applications, and Guyana has these in abundance. Tropical

put there.”

hardwoods are dense, hard, resistant to rot and decay, versatile and often beautiful. Joe says, “Sustainability is common sense. It is our business to meet the international demand for socially considerate, carefully harvested,

FSC® CERTIFIED PRODUCT RANGE The main 100% FSC certified timber and product species offered

properly sawn and dried tropical timber for use in modern homes and

by McVantage include Demerara Greenheart, Waramadan (Basralocus),

buildings as well as traditional marine applications. These are tropical

Purpleheart and Kabukalli. Their product range includes large marine timbers

hardwood trees that grow in rainforest areas. They need to be accurately

and pilings (including round), green, air dried or kiln dried timber, heavy

sawn and properly dried early in the process. This is the McVantage

structural and construction-use timber mat products, decking, flooring,

difference and this is the expertise we are able to bring that allows these

fencing, stock and custom moulded patterns, and custom cut lumber.

woods to become useable internationally.”


Contact: Mark Lewellyn | tel: +1 (850) 368 5638 | email: | web: * Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015 Country Report Guyana, 2014. Food and Agriculture Organization





SÖDRA – SUSTAINABILITY FROM FOREST TO FACTORY AND BEYOND Timber stamped with the name ‘Södra’ has long been a familiar sight in UK importers’ and merchants’ warehouses and yards but, prior to the organisation taking over Crown Timber in 2016 and rebranding the enlarged organisation as Södra Wood Ltd*, who in the industry can truthfully say they knew much about the Swedish association’s background and business philosophy?


ETS face it, growing trees is a long game

more, much more, to the group than this, however,

environmental responsibility permeates every

and some central and north European

its interests also spanning paper pulp, renewable

aspect of its activities, exemplified by a 3:1

companies have been in the business for

energy, lightweight construction materials and

replanting programme that means that for every

a very long time. Södra for one: the 80th

textile pulp used in the making of clothes.

tree cut down another three are planted. Before

anniversary of its founding takes place this

The business is founded on value-generating

deciding which trees to fell, drones are flown over

year. With more than two million hectares of

relationships and a long-term approach, a remit

the forest to get a clear idea of what the land looks

forest in southern Sweden managed by its 51,000

that has been evolved to promote the profitability

like in order to decide which sections of it can be

forest-owner members, Södra is the country’s

of its members’ forest estates and one that

left as nature strips prior to a single tree being cut

largest forest-owner association, with its operations

nowadays sees it providing advice and support

down. These nature strips are important areas

based on processing its members’ products. The

for responsible and sustainable forestry and to

of woodland that are specifically geared toward

company has grown in these eight decades to

contribute to a market-based rate of return on their

ensuring the forest ecosystem continues to thrive.

become an international forest industry group, its

forest products. And it is its focus on sustainable

The commitment to planting multiples of

name synonymous with quality strength graded

forestry that marks Södra’s distinctiveness as an

the trees that are removed was more than met in

softwood and engineered wood products. There is

organisation; its determination to ensure that

Autumn 2017 when 6.7 million seedlings were
















TRUST IS BUILT Experience you can trust. Founded over 30 years ago by a group of timber and building materials dealers, Spruce was built specifically for your business. Spruce’s point of sale and business management solution reduces costs and simplifies your processes, helping you profit and grow.

Spruce. Software you can trust. Software to build your business. 01522 252 252

ECi, ECi Spruce, and the ECi Red Box logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of ECi Software Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.





planted, an increase of 600,000 over the same

which wood can be used to replace many other

Södra Wood’s Långasjö Mill Manager. Eco-efficient

period in 2016 and in a year that saw Södra

fossil fuels.”

processes are integral to operations here and

supply a grand total of 36.3 million seedlings to its

This is no small boast: Södra has had its own

indeed throughout Södra’s whole environmental

members. This significant increase has come about

Research Foundation since 1995, since when it

strategy that aims to have its entire production

as a result of the organisation’s focus on more

has funded around 150 research projects linked

fossil free by 2020 and its transportation similarly

digitised production, a process that Johan Jonsson,

to biodiversity. The findings of these have been

so by 2030. Already, its vehicles and cranes run on

Head of Södra Skogsplantor, points out “is starting

significant, both from a social perspective and for

hydro-treated vegetable diesel.

to yield results in the form of higher volumes and

the forest industry as a whole and, with 3 million

improved seedlings with more even quality.”

Swedish Kroner (around £250,000) now being

having acquired Cirencester-based Crown Timber

invested annually, the value to forestry and forest

in 2016, it was no real surprise that it relocated

industry operations should not be underestimated.

its UK and Irish operations to a new, 500m2

A benefit of planting in the Autumn that is perhaps less well known in other parts of the industry is that the roots of the seedlings descend

The same concern for the environment can

The UK is the Group’s biggest market and,

flagship headquarters building in the same town

immediately into the soil, enabling strong growth in

be seen in its approach to timber processing: its

the following year. Now in 2018, with its 80th

the following year. Moreover, 90% of the seedlings

recent investment of 300 million Swedish Kroner

anniversary celebrations well underway, the future

supplied by Södra are either untreated or protected

in a totally new saw line at its Långasjö sawmill has

– in tree life terms – looks bright for the next 80 or

with mechanical insecticides and are therefore

increased its production capacity from 280,000m3

more growth rings. With its commitment to good

chemical-free. Explaining the value of this to

to 360,000m3, an almost 30% increase that

business practice, a genuine responsiveness to

future forestry and to the economy, Johan Jonsson

corresponds to 15 more logging trucks per day. To

the needs of its 51,000 members and its almost

commented further that “we see continued high

achieve this, the old small-diameter, band blade saw

evangelical approach to protecting the environment

demand for our mechanically protected seedlings,

line has been replaced by a new profiling circular

within which it works, the Södra Group has

which is very positive for both the environment and

saw line, a step change aimed at “creating more

proactively set about meeting the challenges of this

forest growth. We now have twice the amount of

efficient flow with higher precision and enabling a

first half of the 21st century and is doing so in ways

forest as 100 years ago and today’s planting sites

higher yield for the forest raw material in a shorter

that directly engage the skills and experience of its

will form the basis for tomorrow’s bio-economy in

period of time”, according to Magnus Algotsson,

36,000 employees. What’s not to like?

Södra Wood Ltd is the Södra Group’s sales and distribution company in the UK and Ireland, promoting and distributing Södra Wood’s structural timber products. The company was formed following the acquisition of Cirencester-based Crown Timber in 2016. Södra is one of the largest European suppliers of market pulp and has one of the largest sawmill operations in Sweden. The Group’s operations span sawn and planed timber goods, interior products, paper pulp and biofuel.




FEIN MULTI-TOOLS – JOSCHE’S GO TO TOOL FOR OVER 15 YEARS We interviewed Josche Frankenberger last October following the launch of the new generation of Fein Multi-tools in 2017. An experienced prop maker and furniture designer, he answers questions on his work, his workshops and discusses his reasons for using Fein, nearly 2 decades on. Josche Frankenberger has been self-employed for 20 years, using the FEIN MultiMaster for over fifteen of those years. Josche got involved in the construction of props and furniture through his work as a photographer’s assistant. He discovered there was a demand for good stage design – and this rapidly expanded into interior work, set and exhibition stand construction. Since the start of 2016 he has been designing furniture in the High Black Forest, Germany. He offers workshops where he instructs participants on how to build or restore their own pieces of furniture.

Bringing you FSC® 100%

Tropical Hardwood

FEIN: You design your own furniture, how did you get started in this field? Josche: Initially I built my own furniture for a very practical reason: I couldn’t afford the furniture I liked and I didn’t like anything that was affordable. I like creating things that are personal and that people like to have in their homes. FEIN: You offer seminars on furniture construction and design at your workshop?

from Guyana

• Greenheart • Purpleheart • Basralocus

• Tatabu • Kabukalli • And more…

How did you hit on this idea? Josche: My workshops are a real pet project for me where I wanted to convey my passion for working with wood, and how fascinated I am by the most living of all materials. I spent a lot of time looking for the right location. It needed to be a place offering me and the participant tranquillity, well away from the hustle and bustle of the city. FEIN: What do your workshops focus on? Josche: They concentrate on producing an individual piece of furniture. I design several pieces of furniture and produce a prototype of each one. For example, someone might be looking for a table and builds exactly the table they want under my supervision. Or, I help participants restore old furniture, they bring the item with them and together we work out how to restore it. FEIN: Why do you like Fein and continue to use it? Josche: I have long been familiar with FEIN and valued their products. I use my 15-year old MultiMaster typically for sanding and sawing. What I like most is that it sits comfortably in the hand, can be used for long periods due to the vibration decoupling, and Starlock, which impresses me as a great sanding and sawing machine. Fein has three tiered versions of its multi-tool: The Multi-Talent, an entry level machine, the Multi-Master a powerful machine capable of meeting many applications, regularly, and the Super-Cut, the most powerful multi-tool in the market. All machines are available as cordless, and are supported by the largest range of accessories in the market (Starlock). Fein is offering end-users its cordless Multi-Talent at an RRP of £196.95, with a free lamp and 3 free blades (worth – £67.90). 23






HE so-called 4 Ps of marketing: Price,

transparency in pricing is endemic to the building

included a combination of survey data of almost

Product, Promotion, and Place together

supplies industry – the timber trade is no

800 architects and specifiers and analysis from

comprise the foundations upon which

exception. Judith Kelly spoke to him about how

the use of SpecifiedBy by over 250,000 people.

all sound marketing strategies are built.

this can impact on sales and what needs to be

In each edition of Timber Trader UK, we

done to address the issue.

following insights:

will give readers an update on current, relevant thinking on an aspect of the “marketing mix” and

Q: Firstly, can you explain what is

how it applies to the timber industry: our first

and why you set it up?

First comes the product and immediately

 Getting prices or quotes was selected as specifiers’ most time-consuming task in the

feature looks at Price. The price is right – but do your customers know?

Within the survey, there were several references to pricing, which provided the

A: I founded in 2013 to help architects, contractors and specifiers to research,

product research process;  38.7% of specifiers picked ‘Pricing’ in

after comes a determination of its value among

compare and price building products and materials

their top three factors which impact their

potential buyers. Pricing strategy is an art and

more efficiently. Since then, the platform has

decision-making process (the second most

a science; it involves both market data and

grown to over 50,000 users per month.

popular choice);  66% of specifiers rated pricing between

careful calculations, as well as striking a careful balance between pricing that is too high or too

Q: Can you explain the research that you have

8-10 (out of 10) for importance in the final

low and understanding how skewing either way

done with specifiers on pricing that has led

decision-making process.

might damage your brand. All very obvious, you

you to the conclusion that transparency is key

might think, but it is worth bearing in mind that

to sales growth? What is the scope of your

Price not only refers to the monetary value of a

research and how compelling are the results?

early stages of their research, and that they find it

product, but also the time or effort the customer is willing to expend to acquire it. Much like contestants on the well-known

This made it pretty clear that pricing was very important to specifiers, even within the

A: If you’re like most building product companies, you probably don’t make your pricing easily

overly difficult and time consuming to access. One of the most common scenarios we see

game show, are your customers left to guess the

accessible to architects and specifiers but this

on, is the desire of specifiers

cost of specifying your timber products? This

one seemingly small decision, which has probably

to get an indicative price from manufacturers

common frustration can lead to time-wasting

been standard practice at your company for

upfront. To exaggerate the point, essentially all

and/or costly delays for specifiers and architects

years, could literally be costing you thousands

they want to know is:

engaged in the design process and ultimately to

of pounds worth of specifications, sales and

loss of business for the supplier.

revenue every day.

Darren Lester, CEO and Founder of argues that a lack of


At the beginning of last year (2017), we released the Specifier Insights Report which


“Is this product £1 million per unit and therefore well outside the scope of my project, or is it £100 per unit and roughly what I’d expect?”


MARKETING MATTERS That s all they want, so they can either continue with their research, recommend the product as planned, or move on to something else. Q: What are the common barriers suppliers cite to pricing transparency and how would you answer the justifications given? A: I’ve heard lots of reasons why building product manufacturers can’t, won’t or don’t make their prices publicly available, or even just a little more transparent and accessible. Some of these reasons are genuine, difficult challenges to overcome but most are completely solvable — ranging from problems entirely of the company’s own making, to those which are not really an issue at all; and right through to the utterly absurd. A common reason given is a fear about competitors having access to prices. It is naïve to think your competitors don’t already have a pretty good idea about your pricing (if they want it). Equally, price is not a competitive advantage. If you’re the cheapest, or the best value for money,

is for all companies, including timber suppliers, to

manufacturers to save an indicative price (or price

then your competitive advantage is in how you can

meet these expectations: more transparent pricing

range) for a product. So, all the specifier has to do

maintain this sustainably - not in the price itself.

is a key part of that.

is click a button to reveal the price.

pricing more transparent, we would suggest that

Q: Accepting that the building supplies industry

use this, instead of the normal ‘Request a Quote’

you think hard about whether those obstacles are

has a long way to go before it can hope to match

process, see a 10 to 25 fold increase in direct price

actually there, or just something ingrained in the

the digital experience offered by some of the


business that is not really true.

global organisations that you have cited, can you

If you can’t (or believe you can’t) make your

We have found that manufacturers who

offer any empirical evidence from suppliers that

In an industry where traditional thinking, when

Q: What changes do you think have occurred in

transparency in pricing has led to enhanced sales

it comes to marketing is still, perhaps, at the

recent years in specifier behaviour/priorities that


forefront, it would be a pity if timber supply

are driving this trend... or has there always been

businesses were to fail to make the most of the

a need for transparent pricing but the cart has

A: Whilst I don’t have any specific details or

enhanced demand for timber in construction

been driving the horse?

examples of pricing transparency being rolled

through a lack of communication with their

out across an individual company, we do have an

customers about something as fundamental as

Instant Price feature on SpecifiedBy which allows


A: I think this is part of a more general trend, related to consumer behaviour. We constantly remind companies that “architects & specifiers are consumers too” albeit consumers of billions of pounds worth of building


products and materials every year. There is a

Darren Lester is founder and CEO of Specified.

tendency to think of architects and specifiers in

com, the UK’s leading building product search

a different way to yourself, or other consumers,

and comparison platform. After studying and

but they are subject to the same influences as

training as an Architectural Technologist in

all of us. The internet and digital technology

Edinburgh, he served as Resident Entrepreneur

has fundamentally changed the way we ALL

in Design Informatics at the University of

research products and services and how we make

Edinburgh. He was a member of BIM4M2,

purchasing decisions.

a working group consisting of people and

We all use, and are spoiled by, resources like

organisations concerned with Building

Amazon, eBay, Google, Uber, Just Eat, Skyscanner

Information Modelling (BIM) - Manufacturers

etc. The slick, instant, digital experiences offered

(the organisations) and Manufacturing (the

by such organisations are what we’re all used to

process). Darren’s background in design and construction gave him an insight into some of the

and now expect.

common frustrations faced by those who specify building products: is his solution.

These changes in consumer behaviour are trickling into the business world and the higher

To find out more visit:

our expectations become, the more pressure there





VIBRATO - Douglas Fir - Brown impregnation - Residence Equinox, Montpellier (34)




PIVETEAUBOIS - Lieu-dit La Vallée - Sainte-Florence - CS 30111 - 85140 Essarts-en-Bocage - RCS 54725010072B10

MELODIK - Douglas Fir - Grey impregnation


CARACAS - Douglas Fir, sapwood free - Hotel Mercure, Les Sables d’Olonne (85)


DECKING SOLUTIONS BALTIQUE - Composite timber, Stone grey.

- Sapwood free Douglas Fir and Larch - Grey or brown pressure treated Douglas Fir or Pine - Composite timber cladding - 4 solid composite timber decking profiles with a range of colours








K and European timber pallet manufacturers

Despite a slowdown in the Chinese economy, this

are experiencing unprecedented challenges in

region’s high timber deficit continues to stimulate growth

relation to sustained rising costs and, increasingly,

in timber imports across all grades including smaller

pressure on timber supply and availability. The

logs which would normally supply into the pallet and packaging timber market.

prevailing market conditions that were already

In Europe, the main market for wood is construction.

apparent through late 2016 and all of 2017 have continued

The 200,000 new homes being built each year in the UK are

into this year and are set to persist. The term “perfect storm” is being widely used across the market to describe the escalating and

increasingly being constructed using timber-frame techniques. Long-term, government-backed, domestic housebuilding commitments

unprecedented price increases together with supply shortages. Understanding the market context is important to validate price rises

are helping to drive sustained growth with a resultant increase in timber

and to help forecast future outcomes. Karen Hunter, Marketing Director of

demand and price. A similar picture in France has seen a 15.7% increase in

leading industrial supplies organisation The Scott Group, offers the following

new housing, placing additional demand on timber supply. FNB (Federation

analysis to support pallet buyers grappling with the current challenges and

National Du Bois) Feb. 2018.

complexity associated with responsible timber pallet procurement.

Pallet timber prices have risen for the 19th consecutive month (Markit/ CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI, Feb 2018) and the UK Poyry timber index reports a near 35% cumulative increase on some grades since Q1 2016.


The German HPE and French CEEB indices reflect a similar trend. With

The UK’s dependency on timber imports to meet domestic demand

timber representing the most significant element of total cost, new timber

exposes the UK timber buyer to global market influences, impacting both

pallet sales prices are inevitably rising across Europe. Reconditioned pallet

price and availability. For the first time in many years all global timber

prices are also rising and availability is under pressure as demand grows in

markets are busy with demand outstripping supply across all sectors

reaction to rising new pallet prices.

simultaneously (sawn, pulp, chip, composite, construction, joinery, and

In an industry where margins are already weak, and the raw material

biomass). These buoyant alternative markets combined with unfavourable

cost is around 70% of the pallet price, any failure to pass on increased

exchange rates are fuelling a growing scarcity of imported timber.

costs to customers could signal problems. This sustained pressure is likely

UK timber buyers are faced with limited competitive alternatives

to inhibit many businesses from future investment aimed at productivity

(German, Canadian, Chilean at 20-25% higher prices and limited availability).

improvement which could potentiate problems already being experienced in

Whilst the UK is still an important market for Latvian pallet timber, supply is

relation to labour shortages.

increasingly being seen as less attractive and suppliers have been motivated to seek out alternative markets including the Middle East, North Africa, China and Korea where significantly higher prices are being achieved. The economic recovery has gained pace in Western Europe and global trade is picking up which is generally leading to a growing demand for sawn timber.


COMPOUNDING FACTORS The impact of global market demand has also been exacerbated by a range of other significant factors including seasonal weather conditions which have negatively affected logging and logistic conditions. In the Baltics and Nordics, earlier in the year, it was too wet, forcing



Andrzej Manka, Sales Manager at Timber Expo (9-11 October, NEC), 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”. 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.

Alex de Rijke, of dRMM described wood to be the new concrete: “Concrete is a 20th-century material. Steel is a 19th-century material. Wood is a 21st-century material.”

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 AI. In our ultra-modern world, we appreciate constant growth, astonishing productivity and impressive innovation above all else.

Timber is becoming the leading material in construction industry in the UK and is nearly 30% of the whole construction projects. The value of the timber industry to the British economy is £7 billion.

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





Invented first in 1992 by German researcher Siegfried Fink and then, independently developed by Professor Lars Berglund.

On the image you can see an example Cross-laminatedtimber housing in east London; “a 10-storey carbon-neutral apartment complex in London’s Dalston, the “world’s largest crosslaminated timber building”.

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 (on the image above). Around 1,000 new flats will be build in this impressive 93,000-square-metre timber skyscraper project.

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.

Timber skyscrapers are not only stunning examples of strong “timber trends” in contemporary architecture, but they also bring sustainable development to big cities, as well as reducing carbon emissions.

It creates a very special atmosphere for those who want to stop for a moment and contemplate the nature of technological innovation.has already started and it looks very exciting!

This Swedish KTH research group, led by Professor Liangbing Hu from The University of Maryland, have 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 very far-reaching and the wood could be used in construction, interior design and even the car industry.

Engineered wood technologies are what makes the timber & construction industry so dynamically developing and profitable. The most used in the construction industry are plywood, fibreboard, cross-laminated timber (CLT), laminated strand lumber, and many more. Because of the use of these timber products, it’s been predicted many times during the last decade that timber will be the main building material in XXI century.

There are so many more impressive wooden wonders of the world! You can find literally hundreds of great examples. One of my favourites is The Splinter, a wooden sports car with a twin-supercharged 4.6 litre

The same organisation has built the Globe of Science and Innovation, a fine example of outstanding construction. The museum of modern technology, made of wood, is a perfect concept.

V8. There is still many ways in which the timber industry can evolve, but there is no doubt that the timber revolution has already started and it looks very exciting!

Andrzej Manka graduated from Jagiellonian University in Cracow where he studied film and media communication. Specialising in marketing, media and B2B sales, Andrzej is the current sales manager for Timber Expo, the UK’s only timber trade show (9-11 October 2018, NEC, Birmingham).

For stand enquiries and exhibition details please visit 28



THE UK’S ONLY TIMBER SHOW COVERING: ›  Engineered     timber products

›  Doors &     windows 

›  Timber           frame 

›  Fixings &     fastenings

›  Decking 

›  Coatings

›  Flooring

›  Mouldings  







Despite rising costs, timber pallets remain the most economical and sustainable first choice for buyers. Increasingly buyers are looking to work more collaboratively with their pallet suppliers, to tailor a solution to meet their business’ needs.

in pallet timber production), are being diverted to this emerging industry. The potential impact

BUYER OPTIONS Despite rising costs, timber pallets remain

of this is already in evidence at larger UK mills

the most economical and sustainable first choice

where production is being limited rather than pay

for buyers. Increasingly buyers are looking to

higher prices.

work more collaboratively with their pallet

Smaller mills are vulnerable too, with the

suppliers, to tailor a solution to meet their

news that long-established Scottish mill James

business’ needs. This could include redesigning

Callander & Sons had failed due to an inability to

pallets to reduce overall timber content while

secure supplies necessary to operate at minimum

maintaining operational performance and safety


criteria, sharing distribution data to support

Availability of pallet timber is consequently

pallet recovery, repair, and reuse, switching from

likely to be the most significant feature of 2018.

new pallets to reconditioned pallets, working

There are no new or alternative markets for

smarter to reduce logistic costs by establishing

buyers to turn to, mills are declining to take

onsite operations or making joint back haul

on new customers and refusing to commit


forward on price or volume. The strength of

Buyers committed to sustainable

the Latvian government to formally declare a

existing relationships in the timber supply chain

procurement and collaborative practices will

disaster in the forest sector due to flooding. This

is therefore likely to be key to securing volume

increasingly recognise the value of a pallet supply

enabled producers in Latvia to trigger the Force

supply and buyers are being forced to re-

partner able to manage the complexity of the

Majeure provisions in their supply contracts.

evaluate the value proposition that their pallet

timber market; offering supply security and

These conditions have, however, more recently,

supplier offers.

innovative solutions to help manage rising costs.

Sensitivity about the impact on pallet supply

Adopting a willingness to be flexible with regard

degrees centigrade which has prevented safe

security is now evident in the buying behaviours

to the specification will facilitate an experienced

access to the frozen forests and made sawmilling

of some volume pallet buyers who are looking

pallet manufacturer to offer substitutions to

almost impossible. Log inventories at the mills

to increase orders in an attempt to build stock.

manage material constraint challenges. Support

are consequently very low and shipments are

There is also evidence of a knock-on effect in the

from experienced Account Managers with access

also being delayed by a lack of availability of sea

reconditioned pallet market where parallel price

to credible technical support will ensure reliable

freight vessels.

increases are being seen. Euwid Wood Products

and practical alternatives are offered that add

and Panels (Feb 2018).

significant value.

been exacerbated by temperatures of -20

This lack of available shipping volume has also been compounded by the most recent ice flows impacting Riga bay. The formation of ice in the bay has the effect of limiting the type of vessel


that can provide safe access and there are already

The Scott Group is a leading industrial supplies organisation which provides a wide range

reports of some shippers imposing ice surcharges.

of goods and services to industrial and manufacturing markets throughout the UK and in

Competition for available logs is a mounting concern and is creating additional pressure on pallet timber availability. As biomass demand

Europe including pallets, packaging, agricultural boxes, a large range of tools, work wear and safety equipment, and property services. Founded in 1987, Scott Group has grown considerably over the past 30 years through

grows, fuelled by favourable government

numerous acquisitions and organic growth across the UK and into Europe. Today, they

subsidies and investments, increasing volumes of

employ over 1,000 people.

saw logs (small diameter logs traditionally used







Need low-cost, high quality manufacturing? Diversity is the name of the game, and to keep your competitive edge, you need to add value, provide additional services and be able to support your customers across the full range of their timber needs. before you have to start looking at significant capital investments such as new or additional machines and all the associated costs that go with them.”

Bespoke or specialist timber mouldings and profiles, milling on-demand, on-site joinery or dedicated high quality production; whatever path your timber trade and merchant business has taken, to get it right first time and to keep getting it right, talk to Leitz Tooling. Over the last few years, many timber trade companies and merchants across the country have said to Leitz Tooling ‘prove your tooling is more effective and lasts longer, and we’ll buy it’; and they do. “There can be a big disconnect between the tool room and production managers,” says Brian Maddox, Leitz Tooling’s national sales manager. “We can identify the areas in which we can best support any customer, providing solutions to finished product issues, excessive noise, or production bottlenecks. Our business is to use our tooling to make you more efficient and maximise your manufacturing potential,

Brian continues, “It is vital that companies improve on the cost of production and processing. Downtime is crippling for businesses; look at what keeps your machines running. If it’s not running, it’s not making money. What can be done to improve the quality of production? How can you speed up necessary tooling changeovers? If, like most of the industry, you need to work to short batch sizes, then your priority moves from speed of production to speed of tooling changeovers. Getting more tooling changes done safely, correctly, faster and more often can revolutionise your business.” The Leitz difference is in expertise and insight. Seemingly simple issues such as tool balance can lead to motors burning out and replacement shafts, and the company has seen examples like this being overlooked in favour of more drastic, expensive and in some cases, unnecessary solutions. Brian continues, “How can you achieve low cost, high quality manufacturing? Focus on the cost to your business. The machinemaintenance link to tooling is undeniable and one we

discuss with customers every single day. Our tools are sometimes perceived as expensive but if, through quality and consistency of service, they last twice as long - and in many cases longer - than the alternatives, then that is money well spent in anyone’s book. We regularly hear of examples where customers were changing tools every shift; now it’s only once a week.” For exceptional performance, to see the life of your tools massively increase, to reduce the annual cost of your tooling, and receive unparalleled levels of production and manufacturing support, see Leitz.

ProfilCut Q Premium for industry and trade Leitz’s ProfilCut Q Premium offers cutting speeds up to 120 meters per second. It is ideal for manufacturers using CNC routers and requiring high output of solid wood or engineered wood products. ProfilCut Q Premium is also offered in special configurations for spindle moulders and angular systems which reach cutting speeds of up to 90 meters/second. ProfilCut Q has two varieties of knives, depending on the application or material to be processed. The standard version, Marathon Multi Coating (MC), offers an excellent combination of productivity and cost-effectiveness. The optional Tungsten Diamond Coating (TDC) version provides the longest edge life available. As the largest supplier of tooling to British manufacturing, Leitz Tooling UK is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, and all Leitz tools are safety tested to BS EN 847 standards, testing every tool to a high standard of accuracy and safety.

To find out how Leitz’s tooling, support and service can help your business, email, call 01279 454530 or visit and 32




A HEALTHY INVESTMENT Timber processing can be a hazardous business, involving the use of machinery, handling heavy materials, working at height and exposure to chemicals, dust and noise. Occupational health deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and has a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards. In the first of a series of articles where we will look at best practice in the fields of health, safety and the environment, Margaret Grahamslaw, Head of Occupational Health at B&CE, explains why health should be taken as seriously as safety. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND THE TIMBER INDUSTRY

employers have set up their own interpretation

It will give workers a clearer understanding of

of health surveillance requirements, resulting

the health risks to which they may be exposed,

British industry has made great strides

in an uneven approach across the sector. Some

provide them with greater ownership of the

in addressing safety since the Health and

workers undergo duplicate assessments whilst

compliance process and encourage employers

Safety at Work Act 1974, but there’s still so

others get none.

to take a more consultative approach with their workforce. It’s a welcome step in the journey

much to be done in terms of improving health, particularly in construction, its specialist trades and the wider supply chain. Here at B&CE, we believe that health should be taken as seriously

A NEW STANDARD FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH and Safety Management Standard (ISO 45001)

many small and micro-businesses in sectors

was published recently, which is good news for

such as timber and joinery, it’s important to

both employers and workers. Implementation

keep people well and in work longer.

of the Standard will encourage employers to

and safety legislation is complex, and many


the workplace.

The first International Occupational Health

as safety – with an ageing workforce and so

Consistency is also an issue. Current health

to getting health taken as seriously as safety in


treat occupational health and safety as an

health and wellbeing these days, but what

investment rather than a regulatory burden.

exactly are these? Simply put, occupational




UK law says that every employer must provide his or her employees with appropriate health surveillance if, despite controls, there is a residual risk to health.

health is the effect of your work on your health, and the effect of your health on your work. Keep in mind that ‘wellbeing’ is a broader term referring to the

DID YOU KNOW? 1.3 MILLION WORKERS IN THE UK ARE SUFFERING FROM WORK-RELATED ILL HEALTH Wood dust exposure is a key hazard in the timber industry.

promotion of general good health, including dietary advice, cholesterol

Being exposed to wood dust on the job over a long period of time can

checks and exercise advice. It has no basis in law.

cause conditions such as asthma and cancer, particularly of the nose. Carpenters and joiners are four times more likely to develop asthma

WHAT ABOUT THE EFFECT OF WORK ON HEALTH? UK law says that every employer must provide his or her employees

compared to other UK workers, but symptoms can take years to develop. Appropriate health surveillance will identify symptoms at the earliest

with appropriate health surveillance if, despite controls, there is

opportunity. Noise is also an issue, as long exposure can result in

a residual risk to health. The nature of the health surveillance is

permanent hearing loss, which can’t be improved with hearing aids.

determined by the hazards and risks that employees are exposed to on the job. Examples of health surveillance include breathing tests, skin checks and hearing tests. These types of tests give early warning signs that something isn’t right. The tests are easily replicated, comparable

A NEW OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SCHEME FOR CONSTRUCTION Here at B&CE, we’re working to develop an occupational health

and measurable, and based on the results, employers will know which

management scheme for the construction industry specialist trades in

workers may be developing a work-related health effect (such as signs of

the construction industry and the wider supply chain. Our vision is that

asthma or changes in hearing) and can put additional controls in place.

workers will hold their own digital health record for the first time. The first step has been development of an occupational health

Noise is also an issue, as long exposure can result in permanent hearing loss, which can’t be improved with hearing aids.

surveillance Framework, which, when implemented by employers, will lead to a more consistent approach to occupational health management across the construction industry and its supply chain. The Framework is a simple three-year plan that sets out an employer’s obligations in terms of complying with health and safety legislation. It makes it easy for employers to identify health hazards, arrange health surveillance and share the results with individual employees, and investigate any issues. It’s designed to work for all construction and specialist trades workers who are regularly exposed to dust, chemicals, noise and vibration – roughly 90% of those regularly exposed to health hazards. B&CE is a not-for-profit organisation – we operate for the benefit of our members and their dependents. Founded in the construction industry back in 1942, we offer a workplace pension, employee accident cover and employee life cover. We are now developing a new occupational health management scheme for construction and its supply chain, including the timber industry. To keep up to date with developments and sign up to our newsletter, please go to:




HOW MERCHANTS CAN ADD VALUE – PLANE AND SIMPLE Specialist hardwood importer C Blumsom’s managing director Mark Price said, “The versatility and speed of the Cube inspired us to offer our customers 1-hour milling. This has been taken up by small builders, DIYers and even contractors companies working in London who ‘need it now’ and can’t wait for their usual supply, and is a great addition to our range of services.”

Timber merchants are now able to add value by producing PAR material to special sizes on demand. With the most basic of training, foursided planing with Weinig’s Cube Plus has never been so easy. Day-to-day, you need machinery that is both robust and simple to operate. The Cube Plus delivers precisely this for easy planing up either to customer order, or to replenish stock quickly. Over 120 of Weinig’s easy-to-use four-sided planers have been sold in the UK. The latest Cube Plus makes this simple processing machine a must-have for every timber supplier and outlet, with national builders’ merchants Jewsons and Buildbase the latest to take advantage of the simplicity of the Cube Plus. Weinig UK managing director Malcolm Cuthbertson says, “The Weinig Cube Plus is a

neat, inexpensive piece of kit that has become an indispensable workhorse of every modern timber facility. Anyone can use a Cube; simply enter the finish size onto the screen and the lasers assist positioning. Then you simply push timber into the planer. Ease of use, health and safety features and flexibility all come together in Weinig’s Cube”.

Alsford Timber installed the 100th Weinig Cube in the UK at its main branch in Erith, Kent; home to the company’s timber mill and production centre for its 19 branches across the South East. Roy Stevens, timber support for Alsford Timber said, “We need to make sure our machines are being used in the most efficient way possible. Having the Cube Plus means that we don’t tie up our moulders just for four-sided planing. It helps us work more efficiently and it is so easy to use, operators can start using it within a matter of minutes. We are really pleased to have Weinig’s 100th Cube in the UK at Alsford Timber.”

Exceptionally simple setting is supported by automatic adjustments, and the MoulderPreView (MPV) green and red lasers clearly show exactly how much will be planed off before the timber goes through. The Cube Plus creates straight, dimensionally accurate, 90-degree right-angled workpieces in a single pass. New features for the Cube Plus include a 10-inch touchscreen, improved chip extraction, noise reduction, and the EasyLock knife change system which enables the operator to change knives without dismounting the cutterhead.

Weinig Expo UK - Innovation Centre for Manufacturing Excellence The UK has a brand new centre of technical excellence. Located in Abingdon, Weinig Expo UK is an innovation centre for manufacturing excellence, which houses more than 20 of the latest machines from the global leader of solid wood processing machinery and systems. Weinig, sister company Holz-Her, and modern classical machines from Hofmann offer practical solutions to timber merchants. Contact or call 01235 557600 to arrange your tour and discuss how you can add value to your timber. For more information, visit

01235 557600 | | 35



nature in architecture © Waugh Thistleton Architects

Leading European company for solid wood products and innovative building solutions

binderholz stands for innovation. Because progress and advancement have been the driving forces of the company ever since its founding in 1950. A small sawmill operation at the onset of our history, the Dalston Lane, London | GB company has grown into one of the leading European manufacturers of products for timber construction and a supplier of one-stop solutions for solid wood construction. The range of solid wood products includes lumber, profiled timber, single-ply and multi-ply edge glued solid wood panels, glulam beams and binderholz CLT BBS. Any waste timber, resulting as a by-product from production, is processed as densified biofuels, green electricity, multi-purpose panels, moulded pallet blocks and moulded wood pallets.

The trade magazine for timber merchants, saw millers and timber importers

Mark Wayne Probert | Head of Sales UK & Ireland | Binderholz UK Ltd. | London | United Kingdom mobile +44 7399484 490 | fon +44 1639 892 508 | |

We are a marking systems company dedicated to the timber industry. We’ve been in the timber business since 2004, and in the inkjet business for a little while longer. Our blend of skills includes mechanical design, software and controls engineering, and commitment to providing excellent customer support. We can deliver special software and external data integration projects, taking system responsibility for the marking aspect of your project. Our systems are robustlyengineered and built heavy duty to last for years in sawmills and pallet factories. Fully insured for public liability, and familiar with site safety procedures, you can be confident that we understand your production environment.

For all Timber Trader UK magazine and online advertising enquiries contact Terry Hanlon on  01925 270093

Tel : +44 (0)870 803 1877 • Email : •

At last – Chinese plywood you CAN trust – Diamond Mark Certified Plywood arrives in the UK

IT’S FAIR to say that Chinese plywood hasn’t always had a very good

at the Plywood Mill in Nanning.” Jim Coulson reported, “what I saw

reputation – until now. It has sometimes been known for being cheap,

there convinced me that it really is possible to make good plywood in

but the word “nasty” has often not been far behind, however, all that is

China, if the right attitude is shown”. He went on to say: “Here, each

about to change.

worker is encouraged to think about quality at every stage, avoiding the

In the latest development in the quest to improve the quality of

need for re-work or rejection of the panels. I found Quality Inspectors

EN 314 -2 and -3 plywood from China, the first shipment of Diamond

continually overseeing and checking the production, even conducting

Mark plywood is due to reach these shores as Timber Trader goes to

spot-checks at every stage, including the glue bond, the main

press. The result of a collaboration between Glasgow-based Caledonian

component that usually lets Chinese-made plywood down.”

Plywood Company Ltd, and Third-Party Certifiers TFT Woodexperts

Mr McKelvie further commented “as part of the process,

Ltd, it has been produced by the first Mill in China to carry the Diamond

TFT Woodexperts Ltd undertake random sampling of the Jinlung

Mark to both EN 314 -2 and -3, and is the result of the importer, agent

production as delivered into our warehouses in the UK, and conduct

and mill working together in an exclusive partnership.

their own rigorous quality checks on it - looking at every aspect of its

Stuart McKelvie, of CPC said “we asked Jim Coulson, Woodexperts’

manufacture. We at Caledonian Plywood are confident that it meets the

director, to visit the Mill in South West China in December last year, to

exacting standards that carrying the Diamond Mark demands, and that

personally check out the manufacturing and quality control procedures

it will continue to do so”.

For more information contact TFT Woodexperts Ltd | +44(0)1765 640 445 | |




MDF From standard, light, moisture resistant and fire retardant to exterior, flexible and profiled, our extensive range of Medium Density Fibreboard can offer a solution to any construction or design requirements

Live, work and play... Veneered Panels With a mixture of contemporary designs and patterns, we offer the widest range of high quality veneered stock in the UK from Europe’s most respected manufacturing companies

Decking As well as a range of durable hardwood decking, we offer an exciting new composite decking material that brings style, functionality and flair to any outdoor spaces.

Accoya® Modified Wood Accoya® is a modified timber which is guaranteed for 50 years above ground and 25 years in ground or freshwater. Its performance and properties are remarkable, from joinery for the home to bridges submerged in water, Accoya long life wood stands up to every application challenge.

Cladding With a multi-million pound stock holding across a wide range of products, you can be confident in our ability to satisfy your cladding requirements

Birch Plywood Our range of high quality Birch Plywood is available with either FSC® or PEFC certification and we have a comprehensive chain of custody in place to ensure transparency in the sourcing of all our timber products

Solid Surface The wide variety of colours, its translucency, its thermoforming properties and its hard wearing nature ensure that Solid Surface stands out in every project, allowing interior designers the freedom to develop results that have no limits

Performance Doorblanks Decorative Panels Whether for residential or commercial applications, with over 500 laminate decors and a massive collection of melamines, no matter what your project requirements, we’ll have the solution.

We have the widest selection of certified door types, sizes, thicknesses and finishes in the country and our highly experienced team has an in-depth technical knowledge and understanding of all the products we supply

Flexible Products Flexible sheet materials offer interior designers a simple and cost effective method to produce complex, curved designs, with minimum effort

Hardwoods Working in partnership with our reputable suppliers from around the World, we maintain a good and varied stock of hardwood and we’ve recently added some really exciting new species.

Latham's extensive range of panel and timber products enhance the environments where we all live, work and play. Find out more... Call 0116 257 3415 email Visit

With 2 million tonnes of forest products handled every year, timber is where our head's at.

16 of our 21 ports serve Timber Merchants, Sawmillers and Importers across the UK with state of the art facilities including: • Tanalising services

• Steam fixation with Surcon

To find out about a port facilities package, tailored to your business, speak to our specialist team quoting TTAPR18

• Lonza plant control for consistent results • Covered storage

• Dedicated facilities and national road and rail connections

Southampton Ipswich Lowestoft

King’s Lynn Teignmouth Plymouth

Grimsby Hull Immingham

01482 608 493 Goole Silloth Barrow

Fleetwood Garston Cardiff

Swansea Barry Newport

Port Talbot Ayr Troon

Timber Trader UK Magazine Issue 1 Spring 2018  
Timber Trader UK Magazine Issue 1 Spring 2018