Page 1


WINTER 2019 ISSN 2515–8686 (PRINT)

WINNING WITH WOOD Showcasing the stunning projects and products that made the grade at this year’s Wood Awards / 23 BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE


How timber homes can help tackle the climate change crisis / 11

Andrew Mitchell from NBT Soprema talks about re-thinking the building envelope / 21

Wat er Eco - -based Frien dly


02 News


The latest industry news

11 Timber homes Why the future of housing is timber

15 Fire safety 11

Jeremy English, UK Sales Director of Södra Wood, offers advice on specifying timber frame and minimising the risk of fire during the construction process


17 BIM boost for housebuilding Damian O’Neill, director at Lyons O’Neill explains how BIM, timber and modular construction can help tackle our housing crisis


19 Building up BIM The latest annual report from NBS shows some stagnation in the adoption of BIM. So, what will it take to convince non-users?


21 Air tightness Andrew Mitchell from NBT Soprema talks about re-thinking the building envelope


23 Wood Awards 2019


View this year’s stunning winning projects

30 Review: UKCW All the latest news from UK Construction Week Cover image – Cork House, Eton, Winner of the Gold Award and Private category at the Wood Awards 2019. Pic credit © Magnus Dennis.

Editor: Michelle Gordon

Sales Director: Terry Hanlon

Artwork: Pete Awad


  01925 270093

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


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

Winter 2019



Hardwood CLT plant to be built in Tasmania A new, purpose-built hardwood CLT plant is being constructed in Tasmania, Australia. Australian company, Stirling Machinery was selected by CLTP Tasmania to supply state-of-the-art machines for stage 1 of the project, in the state’s north-west industrial centre of Wynyard. The new partnership will help deliver the first commercially available hardwood cross laminated timber panels and several significant innovations were established including: •

‘Whole of log’ sawing to deliver the entire spectrum of structural characteristics from all parts of the tree, not only low grade, delivering a superior engineered outcome over softwood panels.

Creation of a new structural product from a plantation species that is otherwise only processed as high-quality chips for the pulp and paper industry.

A ‘plantation to project’ approach by utilising 15 to 20-year-old

Stirling Machinery managing director, Craig Honeyman; CLTP Tasmania CEO, Chris Skeels-Piggins.

sustainably grown Tasmanian plantation hardwood Eucalyptus nitens (shining gum).

technology and automation, employee costs will be significantly

With Australia currently running an annual wood and wood


products trade deficit of nearly $2billion; replacing presently imported

The new CLTP Tasmania operation will deliver hardwood

wood products with Australian grown and processed plantation

manufactured products into new markets and any waste material

hardwood timber will support a sustainable timber industry and assist

generated will be converted into direct injection biofuel which will feed

in Australia becoming internationally competitive.

back into the grid as dispatchable, on-demand electricity.

Stirling has been compiling the comprehensive portfolio of machines

Australia is positioning itself as an emerging leader in engineered

required including cross-lamination timber building systems, CNC to

wood manufacturing with many purpose-built CLT and glulam plants

specification cutting and glue lamination and finger jointing lines.

opening in the past 18 months, and more in the pipeline in 2020/2021.

The Wynyard plant will involve a considerable capital investment in laminating machinery at the outset and with a strong focus on

Plans for North America and Europe expansion are already underway.

Government appoints MMC champion Construction and real estate expert Mark Farmer has been appointed as the Government’s new champion for Modern Methods of Construction in housebuilding. He will oversee the delivery of Housing Minister Esther McVey’s Advanced Construction Corridor in the North and promote wider innovation in the sector.

Technical appointment

Farmer brings 30 years’ experience in construction to the role and will provide independent scrutiny and advice to the Government on how to increase the use of MMC in homebuilding.

Donaldson Timber Engineering (DTE) has promoted Oli James to the

He will also act as an ambassador overseas for the UK’s MMC activities in homebuilding, using international networks and trade

role of the group’s technical director. He will initially be overseeing Cambridge and Ilkeston Roofs, as

opportunities to attract investment into an industry that could be worth

well as supporting and advising on technical standards and issues with

an estimated £40 billion once mature.

national housebuilders and their technical teams.

He said: “This is a really important time for the construction industry

Oli joined DTE in 2011 as general manager for Ilkeston Roofs and has

and there is an urgent need to rethink how we build homes, delivering

more than 20 years’ experience in the industry. Before joining DTE, he

better quality, improved safety, carbon reduction and an array of

worked as a designer, then assistant manager and finally branch manager at

exciting new career opportunities.

Palgrave Brown, as well as field sales manager for SIG Roofing.

“I look forward to working with both industry and Government

He said: “I’m really pleased to be taking on this new role and I am looking

to make sure we now accelerate the uptake of modern methods of

forward to new challenges ahead. I look forward to pushing DTE’s technical


capabilities nationally and working alongside the rest of the team.”

Winter 2019



Nordic Swan Eco-label for public school A new public school, situated on the outskirts of Oslo, in Norway has become the first to achieve the highly regarded Nordic Swan Eco-label. The Sydskogen school passed the stringent environmental standards, which exceed those that are required of public buildings by local authorities in Oslo, to create a building with an energy requirement that is 25% lower than conventional buildings in the Nordic region. In addition to extensive roof solar panelling, the architects selected Kebony wood for each of the building’s facades due to its strong environmental credentials and aesthetic quality and it was instrumental in securing the Swan eco-label which requires all timber used in construction to be sustainably produced. The school is the brainchild of architectural practice,

Photo © @gamasj

tegn_3 which worked with contractors Bermingrud to develop the building and the project received the full

the support of the local council and the use of innovative materials like

backing of Røyken local authority.

Kebony. We are confident that the children will thrive in a building allied

The promotion of sustainable living was an integral value for the

with nature.”

team, but selecting materials and methods which were both sustainable, strong and maintenance-free in equal measure was essential. The lead project architect of tegn_3 said: “We are delighted to have

Mette Valen, sales manager Norway at Kebony, added: “Kebony is delighted to have contributed to this beautiful school in Oslo. It’s fantastic to hear that the school is the first Swan eco-labelled school

helped achieve the Swan Eco-Label for this exceptional school in Røyken.

in Norway – we are all really proud of this and would love to revisit this

It is a really special space, and it would not have been possible without

project as the wood adopts its silver-grey patina.”



PEFC: Your assurance of responsibly sourced timber



Designing the Future with Sustainable Timber Ask your suppliers for PEFC-certified wood products


Discover more at



s a l e s @n p st ru ct u r .u k | w w w. nps t ruc t ure s . c o. uk | +4 4 ( 0 ) 1 2 8 2 8 7 3 1 2 0

Winter 2019


PEFC – Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification

Photos: Oporkka/iStock, Fausto Franzosi/PEFC Italy



BBA chief impressed with offsite construction innovation Offsite construction was top of the agenda

The new site will be renamed the JCG Buildings

when senior management from the British

and bring JG Hale Group’s Hale Construction

Board of Agrément (BBA) visited SO

and Hale Homes together under one roof.

Modular, a leading UK timber frame and SIPs

They were accompanied on the visit by

producer investing heavily in its South Wales

Jonathan Hale, chairman of JG Hale Group,

manufacturing base.

and Charlotte Hale, director of SO Modular.

BBA CEO Claire Curtis-Thomas and head of

The group also visited a Wales & West housing

marketing Wendy Ajuwon visited SO Modular’s

project in Llanishen, Cardiff, where the Triso-

plant in Neath to find out more about its

Warm system is being used in a £10 million

timber frame products and innovative BBA-

development of 82 affordable housing units.

Certificated Triso-Warm structured insulated

Curtis-Thomas said: “It was fantastic to see

panel system, which allows it to construct six-

how forward-thinking, creative and enthusiastic

storey buildings.

SO Modular is,” she said. “It is great to see

SO Modular is the largest timber frame

a UK manufacturer innovating product and

manufacturer in Wales and recently announced

supporting its locality – its investment and job

plans to relocate its operations to the former

creation at the Metal Box site is critical for the

300,000sqft ‘Metal Box’ factory in Neath,

local economy.

investing £6.5 million and using the location

“It pleases us to see how JG Hale has

On-site at the Wales & West housing project in Llanishen, Cardiff

as an indoor offsite construction hub. The

used its BBA Certified Triso-Warm product to

company anticipates doubling its workforce in

provide a long-lasting and effective solution to

by JG Hale and SO Modular in the continual

the next year, allowing it to increase production

the construction of offsite housing in Wales.

expansion of its business footprint can only

from 1,000 to more than 3,000 homes per year.

The innovation and development displayed

bring about positive changes for the industry.”

Photo courtesy of Richard Burbidge

Online resources to help you specify and build robust and long lasting decking and cladding structures in wood.

Photo courtesy of Silva Timber

Your route to independently accredited materials, accessories, designers and installers.

Photo courtesy of Simpson Strong-Tie

Independent inspection and expert witness services.

5C Flemming Court, Castleford, WF10 5HW  01977 558147   www. The TDCA is an independent, technical and advisory body for the timber decking and timber cladding industry. It was established to promote the materials, design and installation practices required to create good quality decks, associated landscape structures and cladding on buildings.

Winter 2019



MPs call for Government focus on timber industry to tackle housing crisis and climate change A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber

In order to meet the skills requirement needed to build more homes,

Industries (APPG), highlights the key role timber industries can play

it recommends that Government places an increased emphasis on

in helping the Government meet its housebuilding targets whilst

construction apprentices and invests in developing construction courses,

working to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

bringing together skills development with technological solutions.

The report urges the Government to implement the

Martin Whitfield MP, chair of the APPG, said: “This report addresses

recommendations of the Climate Change Committee by increasing

an important dilemma governments have: increase housebuilding whilst

the use of timber in construction, which it argues is key to meeting

reducing carbon emissions. The timber industry will provide skilled jobs,

emissions targets.

it can deliver sustainable and affordable homes and it should be at the

A long-term spending commitment, reform of Right-to-Buy and building regulations that encourage innovation in construction are amongst the recommendations to Government made in the report.

forefront of addressing the climate emergency we face. “Housebuilding should be part of an environmental revolution that is firmly integrated into our net-zero emissions targets. Using timber will lock carbon within homes for generations and is considerably more


environmentally friendly than other core building materials such as concrete.” Roy Wakeman OBE, chair of the Confederation of Timber Industries, added: “We know there is capacity in the industry which can be unlocked with the right policies, regulatory framework, and partnership between the public and private sectors. “By bringing together experts from across the timber supply chain – all the way from the forest to the finished house – we will be able to


make an even greater contribution.”

Timber & Panel Products South East Competitive Salary + Bonus

how the timber industry can contribute towards solving the housing crisis.

The report follows a UK-wide inquiry launched by the APPG to explore

Norbord appoints national sales manager

REGIONAL SALES EXECUTIVE Hardwood Products South East & London Competitive Salary + Uncapped Bonus

Norbord has appointed Dan Clarke to the role of national sales manager,


with responsibility for extending its

Timber Frame/ Timber Engineering Competitive Salary + Bonus

manufacturing, modular, timber frame,

Contact our specialist Consultant Fiona Hamilton to find out more or discuss other career opportunities

for Kronospan, Clarke has 24 years’

portfolio in the new build, offsite MMC and timber engineering sectors. Previously national sales manager experience in the panel manufacturing and timber distribution industry.

Tel. 01234 826450 Email. web.

“I am excited to join Norbord and am looking forward to providing support and guidance to the team to further build the brand and encourage specifiers to use Norbord products nationwide in all areas of property building markets,” he said.

Winter 2019



Housing minister launches ‘centre of excellence’ for MMC across the north of England Photo © Google Earth

Housing minister Esther McVey has launched new ‘centre of excellence’ for MMC across the north of England.

“To build all these new homes we will need a brand-new workforce to make these homes offsite. Skilled, high quality jobs, for life.

Addressing industry leaders during a visit to Factory 2050, part of the

“The north of England has the potential to be the construction

University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, she

capital of the country for this new technology, and we need to fully

said the north of England has the potential to become a world-leader in

embrace this.

the creation of modern, high-quality homes.

“This could be a new hub. Think Silicon Valley. The construction

“We must invest in this new technology. It’s as simple as that,” said McVey. “The benefits are clear. Some modular homes can be built in a factory over a week. And assembled on site in a day.

corridor.” In order to ensure that the industry has the skills it needs to keep up with advances in technology coming down the line, the government will

“Industry has told us some homes built using modern methods can have 80% fewer defects and heating bills up to 70% lower. Homes built using modern methods can be of higher quality, greener and built to last. “I want to see a housing green revolution. In the north of England where the first industrial revolution began.

encourage business to link up with academics across the North – sharing expertise and working together. The ‘centre of excellence’ will create a new network of people, connected in their aim to boost the use of MMC whilst also sharing ideas and future uses.

“With our emphasis on safety, quality and beauty, we could be the global leaders in housing standards.

During the visit to Factory 2050, the housing minister met with several apprentices who are working towards qualifications in Advanced

“And if we get it right, once the industry matures it could be worth an estimated £40 billion to this country. A new post-Brexit industry.

Manufacturing and Engineering, working with cutting-edge technology day in and day out.

LIGNIA adds to global team with appointment of United States sales manager British modified timber manufacturer LIGNIA Wood Company has further expanded its global team with the addition of US sales manager Lisa Ayala. Ayala is leading the development and growth of LIGNIA products throughout North America and brings with her considerable industry experience. Previously with Accsys Technologies, she has been responsible for securing major distribution agreements, creating CPD training for American architects and establishing relationships with global brands. Her other sector experience includes positions at high-profile brands MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc. and American Woodmark Corporation, where she worked with distributors, architects, builders and woodworkers. She said: “I’m very excited to be joining LIGNIA and look forward to helping to drive the company forward. I have built some great relationships within the industry and I am eager to continue doing so with this genuinely innovative company.”

Steve Rogers, LIGNIA’s commercial director, said: “Lisa joining our team

Ayala has joined LIGNIA at a time of real growth as the company begins

is a hugely significant step for LIGNIA in our expansion throughout North

commercial production at its state-of-the art plant in Barry, Wales, where it

America. She has demonstrated a high level of professionalism and ability

modifies softwoods grown in legally-sourced, FSC-certified plantations to

to build strong relationships within the industry and she will be a great

have the aesthetic appeal, durability and performance of hardwoods.

asset to our global team.”

Winter 2019


The world leader in timber preservation technology Protim





DELIVERING HIGH QUALITY TIMBER SOLUTIONS FOR DECADES FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit: Email: Call: +44 (0)1628 486644 Fax: +44 (0)1628 476757 Protim Solignum Limited, Fieldhouse Lane Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1LS Protim Solignum Limited trading as Koppers Performance Chemicals. Koppers is a registered Trademark of Koppers Delaware, Inc. Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information contained in this document, Protim Solignum Limited gives no undertaking to that effect and no responsibility can be accepted for reliance on this information. Information will be updated when the need arises. Please ensure you have an up to date copy. All products are produced by independently owned and operated wood processing facilities. All other trademarks Solignum Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 1LS. Visit:, are trademarks of their respective owners. Koppers Performance Chemicals, Protim Winter 2019 Limited, Fieldhouse 07 Email:, Call: +44 (0)1628 486644, Fax: +44 (0)1628 476757. Registered in England 3037845. Š Copyright 2018.

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


Agreement to protect over 300,000 hectares of untouched forests in Russia Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), WWF

greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere,

programme director, added: “All of this was

Russia, Greenpeace Russia and seven FSC-

and at the same time they are rich in rare flora

done while taking the local community’s best

certified companies have joined forces with

and fauna,” says FSC director general Kim

interest into consideration. Small things like

local government to protect over 300,000


permitting fishing and hunting shows that

hectares of untouched forests in Russia.

The territory is inhabited by more than 60

Russia is one of the few countries in

species of rare animals and plants listed in the

to the local community and ensures that its

the world with vast remaining intact forest

Red Book of the Russian Federation and the

members will maintain and possibly generate

landscapes (IFLs) – large areas of connected

Red Book of the Arkhangelsk region but these

new revenue streams.”

habitat, free from man-made disturbance

parts of the wild taiga have not been officially

that are crucial for mitigating climate change,

protected and have been leased out to logging

and FSC-Russia have signed an agreement

maintaining water supplies and protecting

companies. However, companies in the area that

to move beyond the achievement of the


are FSC-certified are obliged to comply with high

Dvinsko-Pinezhsky Reserve, which relates to

requirements of environmental responsibility.

the conservation of intact forest landscapes in

However, IFLs are diminishing in Russia and over 1.5 million hectares are being lost

Currently, FSC certification is the only

protecting the landscape will not pose a threat

Titan Group of Companies, WWF-Russia

the entire lease area of the Titan Group in the

every year due to human activities, including

practical tool in Russia to protect intact

Arkhangelsk region. It became one of the first

logging, man-made forest fires, road

forest areas that do not have the status of

logging companies in Russia, which, together

construction and mining.

a protected area. A productive dialogue

with WWF-Russia, carried out the zoning and

between environmental organisations and

allocation of particularly valuable intact forest

to create the Dvinsko-Pinezhsky State Natural

businesses to preserve the unique northern

areas on its entire lease, which amounts to 5.7

Complex Reserve, protecting over 300,000

taiga was only possible because of voluntary

million hectares.

hectares of intact northern taiga and preserving

forest certification.

On 1 October 2019, the government agreed

a distinctive range of unbroken habitats for important terrestrial wildlife populations. The reserve includes a unique array of intact

Thanks to the agreement, by 2028 about

“It is obvious that without FSC these forests

30% of all intact areas in the lease of the

would have been cut down. The decision to

company is intended to receive protection

create the reserve is also an obvious step

status by the government of the Arkhangelsk

northern taiga between the Northern Dvina

towards coordinating the mechanism of

region. The FSC will continue its active

and Pinega rivers in Russia which have not been

management of particularly valuable natural

participation in this process.

affected by human activities and have remained

areas within the framework of FSC certification

in a natural state for thousands of years.

throughout Russia,” says Nikolay Shmatkov,

of forest – about 25% of all forests leased for

director of FSC Russia.

logging purposes – are currently certified under

“Intact forests are part of the planet’s natural climate regulation by keeping

Andrey Shegolev, WWF-Russia’s forest

In Russia, more than 47 million hectares

the FSC scheme.

Timber frame used for vineyard hotel extension Taylor Lane Timber Frame Ltd has supplied a bespoke timber frame for a new-build extension to a hotel at the Llanerch Vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan.

position as the build progressed. The Taylor Lane designers also had to factor in the expected transmission of noise between rooms and from the outside, designing

The new building comprises 27 bedrooms and three meeting rooms,

the floors and walls accordingly.

expanding the accommodation offer from the 11 existing rooms. The project architect proposed timber frame construction for the new building, which was erected in around six weeks, due to speed of build, noise insulation and energy performance. Based on the architect’s recommendation, Taylor Lane Timber Frame was appointed to manufacture and erect the timber frame kit, supplying 140mm pre-insulated panels with factory-manufactured Masonite floor cassettes. The frame was erected by sub-contractor, 3M Timber Frame & Carpentry Ltd. For speed and efficiency the floor cassettes were designed and factory-built with a pocket for bathroom pods to slot in so that the floor levels married up. The pre-fabricated bathroom pods were craned into

Winter 2019



Timber fire doors pass stringent fire tests Timber fire doors have been given a major safety endorsement after passing stringent fire tests ordered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. One of the UK’s leading suppliers of timber and construction materials, Arnold Laver, provided a wide range of door sets for furnace testing between October 2018 and March 2019, and they were all found to exceed the minimum burn time requirement of 30 minutes. The testing of the 25 timber doors from Arnold Laver, along with other leading industry suppliers, came after it was discovered that many glass reinforced polymer foam filled fire doors were failing the tests after approximately 15 minutes.

certification bodies to continually drive quality and safety standards.

David Oldfield, director of Joinery at Arnold Laver, said: “We

We also regularly bring together industry experts to deliver compelling

were confident that all the doors that Arnold Laver submitted would

and informative CPD-accredited fire door safety seminars detailing the

exceed the minimum 30-minute burn time requirement and perform

advancement in fire door installation and building regulations.

exceptionally well. Fire door safety is of paramount importance to us and

“A fire door is there to hold back fire, smoke and toxic gases, delaying

these results are a testament to the work that we put into ensuring that

the spread around a building and keeping escape routes clear. They

our doors are made to the highest standards, as well as being rigorously

only work properly if they are specified, manufactured, installed and

tested by an independent third party.

maintained correctly, as well as being kept closed. We always advise

“As an organisation at the forefront of this industry, we pride

building owners, developers and architects to seek professional advice

ourselves on being part of the BWF Fire Door Alliance and BM Trada

when specifying fire doors and it’s important that they double check the

Third Party Door Certification schemes and work closely with all door

product’s documentation and certification is fit for purpose.”

Never miss a good deal

Register for free today!

In a click, WoodScanner connects you with the very best timber suppliers. See availability of stock in real-time, compare a variety of products, and discover the best price options for your business.

Winter 2019


Ready for whatever life throws at it Sustainable beauty. Unbeatable versatility. A sustainable softwood modified to match the performance and long-lasting natural � beauty of tropical hardwood, LIGNIA is the pH-neutral timber choice for construction – with the versatility and strength to perform indoors and out. Learn more about LIGNIA today from our UK distributor, Timber Connection.

Winter 2019



The future of housing is timber

2019 is the year that the climate crisis came to the forefront of the global agenda. With protests and city shutdowns around the world, it’s an issue that has grown in momentum and is now firmly in the spotlight. What can the construction industry, one of the biggest carbon emitters, do to mitigate the damage?


The Redshank, located on the flat coastal landscape near Clacton-on-sea in Essex is perched on three elliptical steel legs to raise it above the floodwater. Photo courtesy of Lisa Shell Architects – © Helene Binet

he pressure to find solutions is

chaos, particularly across Cumbria, Lancashire

common redshank bird, it sits on a concrete

increased by the call to churn out

and the Scottish Borders. More than 5,000

raft foundation. The superstructure is made

200,000 homes per year to alleviate

homes were flooded, many of which were

from cross-laminated timber (CLT), light

the continued shortage of housing in

left inhabitable. Cue Flood Re, a re-insurance

enough to be supported by the steel legs and

the UK. For most new homes that are

scheme introduced by the Government

forms the floor, walls and roof, with no need

currently delivered, the cultural norm to build

which helps households at the highest risk of

for any interior decoration. It’s clad in non-

with less environmentally friendly materials

flooding keep their premiums down.

hazardous and biodegradable cork, adding to

and to relatively low performance standards is still not being challenged.

So, what can be done for building in areas prone to flooding? The Norfolk Broads is notorious for flooding but that didn’t

Designing for the future Timber is a natural, renewable and carbon-

prevent Platform 5 Architects from building a client’s home there. A stick-built timber frame

sequestering building material so should be

superstructure was chosen for its lightweight

the first material to consider when building

yet high strength-to-weight ratio, its ease

new homes.

and speed of assembly and its environmental

However, all homes need to be designed

benefits. Built on top of a dry deck, the house

to meet the challenges of the changing

is raised on piles with galvanised steel ground

climate. Flooding is a growing problem for

beams mounted on top to accommodate

our heavily-populated island and as the

changing water levels.

ice caps continue to melt, it’s an issue that

For a more unusual approach, the

needs to be addressed, especially for future

Redshank is a spaceship-like structure located

housing. Mortgage lenders don’t want to

in the flat coastal landscape near Clacton-

lend, developers don’t want to develop, and

on-sea in Essex. Perched on three elliptical

insurers don’t want to provide insurance. It

steel legs to raise it above the floodwater and

is four years since Storm Desmond caused

painted red as a nod to its namesake of the

Winter 2019


Photo courtesy of Lisa Shell Architects – © Helene Binet

FEATURE: TIMBER HOMES Wudl Space modular building

the environmental benefits of using a low embodied carbon material such as CLT. Though the design may not to be everybody’s taste, it’s a structure that works.

Don’t pass up on Passivhaus The UK’s existing leaky, draughty housing stock has a lot to answer for when it comes to costly energy bills and cold homes. Building to the Passivhaus standard or Passivhaus principles helps to keep homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Contrary to popular belief, the costs are not out of reach which is best demonstrated by social housing development, Goldsmith Street. The RIBA Stirling Award prize winner and overall winner for this year’s Housing Design Awards was constructed from timber frame and designed to Passivhaus standards to help to reduce energy bills by up to 90%.

Homes that will last With the Future Homes Standard on the horizon, the pressure to build future-proof homes is on. Building adaptable homes that are flexible to the needs of the occupants is a sensible option. As our living situations change, the ability of our homes to grow and evolve with us is a fundamental part of housing design. Wudl has embraced this concept with its Space design that starts with basic studio-style spaces that can then be extended or have additional storeys added to expand in line with the homeowner’s needs. Made from a timber frame, the structure incorporates wood fibre insulation, composite timber-aluminium windows and can be clad with cedar. This makes it a sustainable option which can achieve zero carbon status. The challenges that we face in providing housing for our growing population are both complex and varied. Choosing timber can help to reduce and mitigate the impact of climate change, while providing comfortable, adaptable living spaces for generations both now and into the future.

Case study: Building on a flood plain Project: Backwater Location: Norfolk Broads Architect: Platform 5 Architects Timber suppliers: Acre Joinery; Newnham Structures; Gripdeck; Velfac

Located on the Norfolk Broads, Backwater demonstrates that homes can be built on a flood plain, providing simple principles are observed. The property is raised on piles driven down a full 10 metres into the chalk rock layer. The house is elevated, to accommodate changing water levels, by a grillage of galvanised steel ground beams which have been mounted on the piles. Its stick-built timber frame superstructure

Architects Image Alan Williams

is erected on a dry deck and the combination of engineered and traditional timber components was chosen due to its secluded

Use of timber also minimised the load on the

location which meant that materials had to

substructure and was adaptable to complex,

Backwater’s three low-rise, splayed bays are

be transported down a limited narrow access

bespoke connections within the roofs.

supported on a regular arrangement of timber

road or by boat. Cross laminated timber and

The highly insulated building shell was

The lightweight pitched roofs of

portal frames and the side walls and roofs

panelised systems were discounted because

designed to deliver exceptional levels of

are clad with blackened western red cedar

there was no crane access.

airtightness, with an MHVR system provided

shingles. The front and rear elevations are also

to minimise heat loss through ventilation and

shingled but have been left untreated to allow

softwood structural material and easily

the lightweight timber construction allows for

them to weather naturally.

available on short lead times. Benefits included

quicker warm-up times that reduce the need

its high strength-to-weight ratio, workability

for prolonged use of heating systems and their

house’s waterside frontage to provide external

on site and the ease and speed of its assembly.

consequent running costs.

space that is usable throughout the seasons.

Most of the timber specified was standard

Layered timber decking projects from the

This article has been supplied by Wood for Good

Winter 2019


See you in Stuttgart! German Roofing Contractors Association Zentralverband

Winter 2019

Association of German Master Carpenters in the German Construction Confederation



Using wood products from responsibly managed forests is key to any green building project. Third-party forest certification standards, like the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI), are a proof-point that wood comes from responsibly managed forests that have been managed for multiple environmental, social and economic values — today and into the future. Architects and builders are turning to products certified to the SFI Standard to meet their green building needs. Learn more at

Products certified to SFI are recognized by many leading green building rating programs around the world like the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Winter 2019




Internationally endorsed by


Does Barking change anything for use of timber? A recent fire in Barking focused attention on the use of timber as a construction material. So, if you want to specify timber frame construction, should you be concerned and what steps can you take to minimise the risk of fire during the construction process? Jeremy English, UK Sales Director of Södra Wood, offers some advice


imber is becoming increasingly popular as a construction material and not just for external structures like the balconies highlighted at Barking. As with any building material, it’s all about understanding what you are working with.

Growing popularity of timber frame construction Timber frame construction now accounts for around a quarter of all

new homes being built in the UK, with all sectors in the construction industry using it, including social housing. Let’s start by looking at the growing popularity of this build method. What’s driving the move away from bricks and mortar? And why do so many architects now choose to specify timber? There are a number of reasons for increased demand for timber as a building material. Firstly, it is remarkably strong and durable – so even with fast construction methods, there’s no risk of compromising on quality. It’s also extremely versatile, offering the design flexibility you may need as an architect to achieve your aesthetic vision or meet specific planning

unburnt core. This means that the core will continue to function, providing

requirements. For example, a timber frame can be clad in a wide range of

a predictable period of fire resistance that allows time for a building to be

external materials to comply with local regulations.

safely evacuated and fire services to arrive.

In addition, timber has excellent environmental credentials. It’s a

By specifying an appropriate cross-section and number of timber-

natural, sustainable material and, once harvested, it’s relatively lightweight,

ply layers, you can therefore ensure that a structural timber member is

making it cheaper and easier to transport. Its carbon footprint is much

sufficiently sized to retain its structural integrity for defined periods in a fire.

lower than for other build methods and recent climate-change studies have shown that timber construction reduces greenhouse gases by about 50% compared to concrete structures.

Mitigating fire risks during construction The one time when a timber frame building is vulnerable is during

Timber offers other key benefits too. It’s aesthetically pleasing and

the construction phase. But here too you can mitigate the risks. For

enables quicker, quieter, and less disruptive construction, making it ideal

example, you can take the construction off-site by specifying closed-panel

for brownfield site construction, urban development and building above

solutions. Made from studs, rails and insulation, with sheathings and/

underground structures, such as Crossrail 2.

or linings on the faces of the panel, these offer excellent thermal and

Given these considerable attractions, it’s little wonder that timber is

airtight properties. Alternatively, you can specify that timber products

increasingly in demand and it’s likely this trend will continue. But if, like

should be treated with a flame-retardant shield. At Södra, for example,

many others, you’re considering specifying timber in a construction project,

we can supply timber treated with Protim Frameguard. This is a combined

should you be concerned in light of the Barking fire?

flame retardant and preservative treatment that will reduce flame spread in framing timbers and plywoods during construction.

Predictable charring rates My advice is to take a considered approach and look at the evidence. Timber does not, in itself, carry greater fire risks than any other building

Talk to your timber supplier The Structural Timber Association already has considerable fire-

material. Most things will burn when you subject them to sufficient energy

resistance testing data and is currently looking at how structural timber

and oxygen, and many factors affect building fires including design and

systems can best be exploited in modern, high-performance buildings. I

how the system is engineered and constructed.

look forward to reading their findings in due course.

What the evidence shows is that timber products have very predictable

In the meantime, if you want to specify timber frame construction, then

charring rates. When you expose a beam or truss to fire, the load-bearing

make sure you are fully compliant with building regulations and relevant

core will remain intact within an outer char layer. The char layer will act

legislation such as CDM 2015 and HSG 168. And if you do have any concerns

like insulation, preventing an excessive rise in temperature within the

about the timber you’re using, seek advice from your timber supplier.

Winter 2019


Egger Advanced Structural Flooring System. A lifetime guaranteed.

A stronger system for stronger floors. Simply use our enhanced moisture resistant boards, our quality joint & joist adhesive and our reliable fitting method to benefit from the EGGER Advanced Lifetime Guarantee. For more information and terms and conditions, please call 0845 602 4444 or email

Winter 2019



BIM boost for housebuilding

Damian O’Neill

Kingston Road Phase 2

Damian O’Neill, director at Lyons O’Neill explains how BIM, timber and modular construction can help tackle our housing crisis


t’s no secret that the UK is wrestling with an ever-widening housing

down local pollution and conserves resources, helping address our pressing

shortfall. In December last year the government reported that the

sustainability needs.

UK needs between 240,000 and 340,000 new homes per year to fulfil

Modular construction has previously been strongly associated with

demand. Tackling this housing crisis requires action from many different

1950s post-war building but engineering innovations have meant it proves

sectors but it’s the construction industry which will ultimately be tasked

more versatile than sceptics might think. Just this month, the final module

with the delivery. It’s a hefty challenge as addressing the shortage also

was inserted into the world’s tallest residential modular building, in none

involves addressing a range of other factors including meeting sustainability

other than Croydon. Standing at 135 metres high, the 44-storey building

goals and rapid urbanisation. However, we’re witnessing the growth of a

defies modular stereotypes and proves that this technique can and should

number of tools and techniques which can help us rise to this challenge.

play a pivotal role in the future of construction.

One such tool is Building Information Modelling (BIM) which will

A lot of consideration has gone into new building techniques in tackling

be recognisable by now to every player in construction. BIM provides a

the housing crisis, but the materials being used should be given just as

visual representation of a building project, displaying its inner features,

much of a spotlight.

foundations and drainage systems. In providing this visual aid, BIM gives

The building sector has seen a huge resurgence in the use of timber,

project stakeholders the foresight to anticipate a site’s main challenges

which has been touted as a viable solution to both environmental

and opportunities -- before construction even begins. This allows those

and housing concerns. For example, a recent report by the All-Party

working on the project to effectively plan and streamline work and slash

Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries highlighted the

delays and mistakes, cutting back production time and costs and allowing

versatility of wood in house building. Almost every part of a house could

for an accelerated construction process. BIM also affords a greater level

be built by wood – meaning more people should value it as a legitimate

of precision in construction which is crucial when working on projects in

alternative to steel and concrete, which produce harmful emissions

areas of high building density. When working in built up areas it’s vital not

(concrete is responsible for 4-8% of the world’s CO2 emissions). In

to disrupt local water and electricity services and minimise disruption and

contrast, building with timber means more carbon is absorbed, helping

pollution to those nearby.

the government stay on track to reaching its 0 emissions 2050 building

However, one of the main advantages of BIM is its interaction with

target. A timber building also weighs 20% of that of a concrete building,

modular construction, which is being hailed as a key strategy in tackling the

reducing gravitational load and so needing minimal foundations. Finally, it’s

housing crisis. Modular construction is the manufacturing of pre-erected

a material which lends itself particularly well to prefabricated construction,

units in factories before they are put into place on site, which means up

helping secure all its advantages.

to 80% of the work can be completed off site. Building these pre-erected

The housing shortage crisis is one of the UK’s biggest challenges but

units (‘modules’) offsite allows for a radically reduced construction time – a

there are already answers developing within the construction sector.

recent report by McKinsey estimated that modular construction can cut

The intersection of BIM and modular construction with new sustainable

production time by 40-50%. This time saving can lead to dramatic cost

materials is a source of massive opportunity and, as yet, untapped

savings; it’s been suggested that modular construction can cut total project

potential. We hope an increased awareness of these techniques will mean

cost by more than a third. This technique can help address more than just

that they are no longer considered industry buzzwords but legitimate

financial questions, however, as the speed of offsite construction also cuts

solutions to a growing crisis.

Winter 2019



DACH+HOLZ International 2020 An extra hall, additional forums and a new Architects’ Lounge with a Future Shop: DACH+HOLZ International will take place in Stuttgart 28th-31st January 2020


he trade show DACH+HOLZ International takes place every

Building Industry) will join forces in Hall 9, including a Speakers’ Corner – a

two years. The event location alternates between Stuttgart

new platform for knowledge transfer which will be used by associations to

and Cologne exhibition centres. As an industry meeting point

address common topics such as safety at work. The Architects’ Lounge with a

for roofers and carpentry, it offers all product and service

Future Shop in Hall 6 is another new feature which is intended to get visitors

areas for the building: timber construction and disassembly

discussing and interacting with each other. Hall 6 will also be where the general

and roof, wall, jointing and plumbing technology. The trade show

expert forum will present industry-specific lectures on the key topics of young

primarily appeals to carpenters, roofers, building plumbers, architects,

talent, digitisation, timber construction and sustainability.

planners and engineers. “We are planning to completely redesign DACH+HOLZ International in Stuttgart and add on another hall,” says project director Robert Schuster. “This

Digital construction: BIM your life! More and more construction projects are being optimised using BIM: if

means that 2020 will see six halls being used rather than five.” Schuster goes

you don’t want to miss this digital revolution, find out about the opportunities

on to state that there will be more opportunities to interact, a better-quality

and offers currently on the market; and DACH+HOLZ International will also

visitor experience, a range of exhibitions from numerous different companies

be providing helpful guidance. On Thursday 30th January 2020, the forum will

and optimised visitor guidance: the structure of the new hall and the range of

focus on the topics of BIM and digitisation. Experts and solutions providers will

industries will ensure significantly enhanced cross-linking of trades across all

give tips and best practice examples that can be utilised by every company.

the trade show halls. While the fields of frontage, pitched roofs and flat roofs as well as conventional insulation will now be mixed across three halls 4, 6 and 8. Hall 7 will house the full range of metalworking products. The field of timber

“Triple Wood” Roadshow A further highlight of DACH+HOLZ International will be the European

construction will be found in Hall 10, which will present the full package of

roadshow “Triple Wood”. Sustainable timber constructions from seven Alpine

materials in the timber construction industry. “Numerous renowned machine

countries – Germany (Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria), Italy, France, Austria,

manufacturers in timber construction are already on board. Stuttgart has never

Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Slovenia – will be exhibited in Hall 10. Various

seen a range of exhibitions of such breadth and depth,” Schuster enthuses.

projects, including office and engineering constructions, renovations and commercial buildings, will be presented alongside handicraft businesses which were involved in the projects and will provide information in the forum about how they helped execute such projects.

The biggest platform for roofers, carpenters and plumbers worldwide “With around 600 exhibitors our visitors receive all the valuable knowledge possible about product and process innovations and are able to handle and compare products,” says project director Robert Schuster. “There is no other trade show that offers such a comprehensive range of exhibitions at this magnitude for carpenters, roofers and plumbers. We are also pleased to host foreign delegations such as the IFD International Federation for the Roofing Trade and the TCE Timber Construction Europe, the European roofing association for carpenter and the timber construction industry”. The trade fair’s host city of Stuttgart offers international visitors outstanding infrastructure, and the trade show grounds themselves have superb public

New forums, even greater knowledge transfer Holzbau Deutschland (German Timber Construction Germany),

transport connections; regardless of whether visitors arrive by car, train, bus or aeroplane. In fact, Stuttgart Airport is just a short walk from the hall.

Zentralverband des Deutschen Dachdeckerhandwerks (Central Association of German Roofing Trades) and BG BAU (Professional Association for the

Winter 2019

Further information about the trade show:



Believing in BIM

BIM awareness and adoption in the UK has grown massively over the past decade but the latest annual report from NBS shows some stagnation in adoption. So, what will it take to convince non-users? by Michelle Gordon


hen NBS started running its National BIM report in 2011 overall BIM awareness and adoption was at little more than 10% but this year it reached 70%.

time since 2015 there hasn’t been an increase in adoption. The data shows that organisations are continuing to embed BIM in their ways of working and both those using BIM and those yet to adopt

“Over the last eight years, through our survey, we have

observed the growth in awareness and use of BIM,” said

it recognise its benefits. But the report acknowledges that BIM requires significant changes to workflows, practices and procedures, as well as

David Bain, research manager at NBS. “Simultaneously, the construction

investment of knowledge in BIM standards and protocols, training in new

industry (partly enabled by BIM) has begun to transform as it embraces

software platforms and financial investment to access the digital tools.

digital ways of working.”

“It can be challenging to find the resources to make these changes

Structural and civil engineering consultancy Farrow Walsh has been

alongside day-to-day project delivery,” said Bain. “Organisations need

using BIM since since 2009, developing schemes from single residential

sufficient motivation to go through such a significant period of change,

properties, commercial office and industrial buildings through to multi-

such as the promise of further work because clients require BIM.

phase residential care villages.

“Several themes emerging from the findings of this year’s BIM survey

It uses BIM on all timber projects, large and small, whether the

may indicate why BIM adoption hasn’t leapt forward this year. These are:

architect develops the initial model or not and all models on the recent

different levels of BIM knowledge among clients; particular challenges for

Warwick Gates Care Village development were modelled using AutoDesk

certain sectors of the industry; changes in the BIM support framework and

Revit Structures and shared collaboratively with the author and supply

standardisation and consolidation.”

chain users.

While the Government mandate on the use of BIM Level 2 on all

“BIM has had a significant impact in improving the efficiency of timber

centrally funded government projects from April 2016 was a driver for

construction. As well as this, the technology has also improved waste

adoption of BIM, two thirds of survey respondents do not feel it that

minimisation, modularisation, and most importantly, raised functionality,”

momentum has been successfully maintained.”

said managing director Chris Farrow.

Also, many in the sector don’t know what to do to comply with the BIM

But while BIM is now widely used in UK construction and is firmly embedded in design practice for many companies, there is still a proportion of the sector that is yet to adopt it.

mandate and how to take it to the next level, with BIM Level 3 yet to be defined. “This lack of knowledge about BIM is particularly evident among

Almost 1,000 construction industry professionals completed this year’s

clients,” said Bain. Just under half (46%) of survey respondents agree

NBS survey and almost all respondents know about BIM, with just 2%

that those procuring assets for central Government don’t understand the

saying they were not aware of it and 1% that weren’t sure but for the first

benefits of BIM.

Winter 2019


FEATURE: BIM Clients’ understanding of BIM has sometimes been a challenge

The overall proportion of respondents who are confident in their

for Farrow Walsh. “There has been a huge learning curve which has

BIM knowledge and skills is 1% lower than last year and confidence is

focused on the wider client team still learning about the varied uses

lower among smaller practices, with a link between confidence and

and flexibility that the BIM concept can bring to a project,” said Farrow.


“Fundamentally, it starts with the client and agreeing an execution plan

The survey also flagged up that not everyone has the same

which each party can buy into, otherwise the value is lost.”

understanding of what BIM means with some organisations claiming to

The survey shows that public sector and commercial projects are

meet BIM Level 2 when they do not.

more likely to be carried out using BIM and respondents working on

“These differences in perception may also potentially account for

one-off new houses, extensions, conversions or alterations are less

fluctuation in the pattern of BIM adoption. In the early days of BIM,

likely to agree that BIM is the norm for project information.

some may have equated it to simply generating drawings from a model.

“It is perhaps partly for this reason that fewer small practices

There is now a wider understanding that BIM is about project teams

(rather than larger organisations) believe that in future they will need

following a common process, based on standardised information and

to use BIM on all projects, or that clients or contractors will insist that

collaboration,” said Bain.

they use BIM,” said Bain.

January 2019 saw the publication of the ISO 19650 series of

“And among those yet to adopt BIM, fewer small practices are

international standards that define the collaborative processes for

concerned that they will be left behind if they don’t adopt it. More small

managing information when BIM is used and 16% of respondents have

practices also tell us that they would rather not adopt BIM, and fewer

already started to use ISO 19650-1, with 14% using ISO 19650-2.

recognise the benefits.”

NBS is playing its part in helping to standardise information

There are examples of small practices using BIM for a variety of

management, leading on the development of Uniclass 2015 on behalf

projects, including one-off residential but they are less likely to do so

of the UK Government. It has also developed the BIM Object Standard

than larger firms, with 56% of practices with 15 employees or fewer

to support the use of high-quality and standardised BIM objects.

adopting BIM compared with at least 80% of practices with more than

While the adoption of BIM appears to have lost the momentum

15 staff, although the vast majority of small practices do intend to

generated by the Government mandate, changes to standards and the

adopt BIM within five years.

setting up of organisations to support BIM and digital transformation,

“This is partly explained by some projects which are perceived

will help to consolidate its use in the future.

to be too small, as well as the cost of adopting BIM. We can see too

The report concludes: “Perhaps the focus for BIM should now be on

that fewer respondents from small practices are confident in their

communicating the benefits to all parts of the industry and building on

knowledge and skills in BIM: 45%, compared with over 60% of those

the existing support framework to help all those organisations wishing

from larger practices,” said Bain.

to use BIM to realise its benefits.”

the complete package Scotframe manufacture Val-U-Therm PLUS the unique factory insulated PU closed panel wall, roof and floor system. • Meets & beats building regulations • Reduces build time, waste and labour costs • Full range of thermal options • Acheives extremely low U values • Wall, roof & floor panels AIRTIGHTNESS


01467 624440


Cumbernauld 01236 861200



01382 561772



01463 717328


01793 234503


0161 667 0225

Winter 2019



Re-thinking the Building Envelope

Andrew Mitchell from NBT Soprema, the UK supplier of Pavatex woodfibre insulation, discusses the need for innovation in building envelope design to meet the low carbon and climate change challenges of the future


he way we live has changed over the

form of North Sea gas, meant that insulation and

homes mean that we now also face the issue of

decades and the layout of our homes has

airtightness were low priorities.

over-heating, particularly as cities become super-

also evolved to reflect modern lifestyles.

More recently, greater awareness of the

sized and the urban heat island effect becomes

Open plan kitchen diners with high-tech

impact of CO2 emissions on our environment

more pronounced. Improved airtightness

appliances have replaced small kitchen

has led to the construction of better insulated

and insulation also raises the issue of trapped

spaces with larders, we have en-suite master

homes, supported by building regulations that

moisture if adjustments are not made to mitigate

bedrooms and garages.

are gradually increasing the baseline requirement

this in the way we design and specify.

While living spac es have evolved, however,

for thermal performance. Gas from the North

Post Grenfell disaster, the combustibility

building envelope design has failed to keep

Sea now accounts for less than 40% of the UK’s

of the building envelope is, rightly, scrutinised

pace with our changing needs. Nor do design

needs and the increased cost of heating our homes

more than ever. As cities become more densely

developments adequately address the challenges

as energy prices have risen has also influenced

populated and characterised by high-rise

that will affect us in the future, including climate

the need for improved building envelope design

buildings, fire safety concerns are increased,

change and the imperative to prioritise sustainable,

and specification. Meanwhile, central heating

along with the need to minimise the acoustic

renewable and recyclable materials.

systems, fuelled by previously ‘cheap energy’ have

implications of so many people living in such

changed our expectations of how warm our living

close proximity.

The advent of cavity wall construction and improvements in the baseline level of insulation for new build homes, driven by building

environment should be.

The environment, our specification choices

Against this backdrop, building materials

and building lifecycle considerations present

regulations, means that properties constructed

offer enhanced functionality and there is greater

increasingly complex design challenges for the

in the early 21st century are more thermally

choice than ever for specifiers. Woodfibre

building envelope and we’re asking more of it

efficient than equivalent homes built 100 years

insulation alone provides varied options for

than ever before. A high-performance building

ago. But the question remains whether a more

internal, external and retrofit installation

envelope is no longer a build-up that simply

innovative approach to building envelope design

with excellent thermal performance from a

traps in heat; it must also be capable of offering

and specification could reduce wasted energy.

breathable, renewable and recyclable material.

comfortable year-round temperatures, improved

Moreover, we also need to ask whether reducing

Unfortunately, more choice and functionality

airtightness and effective ventilation. Meanwhile,

heat loss is enough; as our climate changes and

doesn’t always encourage new approaches

with a focus on sustainability and the lifecycle

temperatures rise, occupier comfort and managing

to design, however, and often we’re simply

impact of the building, the specification must also

heat gain during warmer weather must also be

rehashing accepted building envelope practice

consider the environment profile of the materials

part of the equation.

with a new generation of materials.

used: are they renewable, durable and recyclable and are they compatible with each other?

Our building envelope legacy A century ago, we were building solid wall brick houses, which were poorly heated and were

Where next for building envelope design? A more thermally efficient housing

Building innovation Only by rethinking the building envelope

ventilated as much by the drafts at interfaces

stock has been a positive change, but design

as a single, integrated building component

such as doors and windows as they were by any

methodologies like Passivhaus make it clear

delivered by a joined up supply chain can we

intentional ventilation strategy. Building envelope

that we are only scratching the surface of what

develop a complete solution that resolves these

design was principally about providing shelter

can be achieved. It’s also important to consider

complexities. By looking beyond conventional

rather than comfort. Historically the UK’s mild

that keeping our homes warm is only part of the

approaches in this way, the building envelope

climate, along with a hardy culture of layering up

challenge; we must also be able to keep them

could even become an off-the-shelf product

the woolly jumpers and the blankets when it was

cool and comfortable in the warmer months.

with a warranty for longevity, performance and

cold, followed by, more recently, cheap fuel in the

A warmer climate and better insulated

Winter 2019


health & wellbeing.

If you care about something, you have to protect it Preservation & fire retardant treatments for timber

Protection from the elements

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

Winter 2019



Winning with wood The annual Wood Awards has once again showcased the very best projects from furniture to commercial buildings The annual Wood Awards were held on the 19th November at Carpenters’ Hall in London hosted by Priya Khanchandani, editor of Icon magazine. The winners, which are split into two categories – buildings and furniture – are as follows:

Gold Award winner and winner of Private category: Cork House, Eton Architect: Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton

Main contractor: Matthew Barnett Howland with

Furniture: Tom Graham Workshop

M&P London Contractors Ltd

Wood supplier: NFP Europe Ltd

Executive Architect: MPH Architects

Joinery: Whyte & Wood

Client: Matthew Barnett Howland and Dido Milne

CNC machining of cork blocks: Wup Doodle

Wood species: Portuguese cork oak, New Zealand pine, Estonian spruce, American/Canadian western

Structural engineer: Arup

Internal joinery: Nic Rhode Furniture

red cedar, Austrian spruce and American white oak

Cork House is built almost entirely from cork

expanded cork were CNC-machined off-site

on Accoya beams supported on steel screw

and timber. Monolithic walls and corbelled roof

and then assembled on-site by hand without

piles. Accoya is also used for the bespoke

pyramids are built with load-bearing expanded

mortar or glue. All 1,268 pure cork blocks will

doors, windows and external steps. Western

cork made from the bark of the cork oak tree,

be available at end-of-building-life as either

red cedar weatherboarding is used on the roof

a by-product from wine stoppers. Conceived

biological or technical nutrients. A CLT floor

and rear façade. All internal built-in joinery and

as a prefabricated kit-of-parts, blocks of

platform, finished with oak floorboards, rests

loose furniture is made from spruce.

Photo © Magnus Dennis

Cork harvest

Private Highly Commended: Pocket House 

Winter 2019



Commercial & Leisure Winner: Royal Opera House ‘Open Up’ Location: London

Main contractor: Swift Crafted Ltd

Wood supplier: Missouri Walnut LLC

Architect: Stanton Williams

Joinery: Birmingham Veneers Ltd, TT Gillard,

Veneer supplier: Reliance Veneer Co Ltd

Client: Royal Opera House

Thornell Veneers Ltd

Structural engineers: Arup, Robert Bird Group

Wood species: American black walnut

Construction manager: Rise

The transformation of the Royal Opera House aims to strike the right balance between heritage and 21st century life. At entrance level, subtle timber elements inlaid in the stone floor offer a warm welcome. Descending into the double-height Linbury Theatre foyer, the atmosphere becomes more intimate and theatrical as book matched veneer surfaces are complemented by elegant linear grids of timber batons and solid wood parquet. The Linbury Theatre is entirely clad in black walnut, inspired by the rich cherry cladding in the main 1858 Opera House auditorium. Lights, acoustic insulation and sound equipment are integrated within the timber.

Highly Commended: Wildernesse Restaurant, Sevenoaks Photo © MorrisCo

Photo © MorrisCo

Education & Public Sector Winner: Cambridge Central Mosque Architect: Marks Barfield Architects Client: Cambridge Mosque Trust

Main contractor: Gilbert Ash

Timber frame engineer &

Joinery: The Deluxe Group

installer: Blumer Lehmann

Wood supplier: Mayr-Melnhof

Structural engineer: Price & Myers

Holz Reuthe GmbH

Building services & sustainability

Project manager: Bidwells Wood species: European spruce, oak and mahogany

consultant: Skelly & Couch

Timber was chosen for its natural, warm and calming qualities. The expressed vaulted structure is glulam, while the surrounding wall and roof structure is CLT. The guiding geometry of the building is The Breath of the Compassionate, a historic Islamic pattern

Photo © Morley Von Stern

which evokes breathing in and out. Repeating star octagons are converted into a continuous

structural pattern and projected onto the three-dimensional fan vaulting form. Alternate octagons are converted to the structural columns or ‘trunks’. The 30 trees create an overall impression of stillness, quiet and focus. 2746 pieces form the vaulted structure. Wherever possible metal connectors have been replaced with half lap joints for continuity of timber grain.

Photo © Morley Von Stern

Highly Commended: Eleanor Palmer Science Lab, London Photo © Kane

Winter 2019


Photo © Kane


Small Project Winner: MultiPly

Highly Commended: Hanging Dovetailed Staircase

Architect: Waugh Thistleton Architects Client: American Hardwood Export Council Structural engineer: Arup Main contractor: Stage One Lighting design: SEAM CLT panel manufacturer: Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) Wood supplier: Glenalmond Timber Company Wood species: American tulipwood

MultiPly, a carbon neutral engineered timber pavilion, is the first structure made from UK manufactured CLT. The vertical maze of stacked modules and staircases creates labyrinthine spaces which intertwine, inviting people to explore the use of wood in architecture and reflect on how we build our homes and cities. It arrives as a kit of parts and can be quietly assembled in under a week.

Photo © Waugh Thistleton

Interiors Winner: Battersea Arts Centre, London Architect: Haworth Tompkins Structural engineer: Heyne Tillett Steel Main contractor: 8build

Lattice ceiling joinery: Joinery Fixing and Finishing Ltd

Wood species: European poplar plywood with birch veneer face

Wood supplier: IBL

Grand Hall ceiling second prototype. Photo © Haworth Tompkins

In March 2015, a fire broke out in the northern half of the 1890s

the plasterwork. Constructed of three layers of 18mm thick birch-

grade II* listed building destroying the roof to the largest

faced plywood, it is much more porous and suitable for a modern

performance space. The original decorative plaster barrel vaulted

theatre’s requirements. Many apertures provide multiple rigging

ceiling was completely lost. Rather than replicating the lost

and lighting positions from the technical walkway built into the roof

ceiling, a contemporary plywood lattice ceiling was conceived,

space above. Hidden banners within the roof space provide a variety

following the curvature of the original and echoing the motifs in

of acoustic options.

Highly Commended: Mitie Headquarters, The Shard, London 

Winter 2019


ZÜBLIN Timber, a “House in a Garden” project partner. Timber Construction Competence ZÜBLIN Timber stands for ambitious and pioneered solutions in the field of timber construction. We are your single-source provider for the development, production, delivery and execution of high-quality timber construction systems, from simple to complex engineered timber structures and turnkey project execution. Together with our clients we develop efficient solutions and a sustainable quality of life.

Winter 2019

ZÜBLIN Timber GmbH, Industriestr. 2, 86551 Aichach /Germany


“House in a Garden”, London, © Edmund Sumner

“House in a Garden”, London, © Edmund Sumner

“House in a Garden”, London, © Edmund Sumner

Timber Construction Competence


Structural Award Winner: House in a Garden, London Architect: Gianni Botsford Architects

Joinery: New Wave

Landscape architect: Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

Structural engineer: Built Engineers

Stair manufacturer: SteelOne srl

Wood species: European spruce, birch and

Main contractor: New Wave

Wood supplier: Roof ZÜBLIN Timber GmbH,

Roof Structure: ZÜBLIN Timber GmbH

Douglas fir

Floors, Walls, Ceilings, Stairs Dinesen

Replacing a bungalow built in the 1960s in the garden of an 1840s villa, the house is on ground and two basement floors surrounded by gardens, light wells and skylights. Wood is used throughout: structurally for the roof; as wall, floor and ceiling linings; and for the floating staircase. The glulam structure is unique in terms of the double curvature and the slender section sizes. The roof curves to conclude in an oculus. Wood-lined ‘internal’ spaces are juxtaposed

Photo © Edmund Sumner

with marble-lined ‘external’ spaces.

Photo © Edmund Sumner

Highly Commended: Cork House • Cambridge Central Mosque

Bespoke Winner: The Kissing Benches Designer/maker: Alison Crowther

Timber conversion: Vastern Timber

Client/owner: Glyndebourne

Photography: Jacqui Hurst

Wood supplier: Neil Humphries

Wood species: English oak

The Kissing Benches were made for the newly reinvented Figaro Garden at Glyndebourne. They are a contemporary take on an old style of outdoor seating, designed to enable people to engage in conversation, embrace or kiss. Gigantic beam sections of green English oak have been hand-carved to create an ergonomic and attractive seat surface. The benches were hand-carved using traditional gouges and mallets.

Bespoke Winner: Littoral Chances 1&2 Designer/maker: David Gates Wood supplier: Adamson & Low, English Woodland Timber and Timberline

Wood species: European oak, bog oak, ripple sycamore, Cedar of Lebanon and Douglas fir, American bird’s eye maple

Vitreous enamel on steel panels: Helen Carnac

This unmatched pair of collecting cabinets is based on the beauty of chance composition. Gates is often struck by the balance and beauty of chance compositions; how stacked and piled objects present themselves sculpturally. The timber has been sawn, scraped, planed, and cleft to emphasise the woods’ varying surfaces. The cabinets appear chaotic and improvised but are carefully made using adaptations of traditional construction techniques. The hand-shaped elliptical section of the legs echoes that of yacht masts, further extending the link to the estuary landscape.

Winter 2019



Production Winner: Ian McChesney Bench Designer: Ian McChesney Manufacturer: Benchmark

Wood supplier: PB Hardwoods and English Woodlands Timber

Wood species: European oak or American Black Walnut

The highly crafted benches are made in two sizes. The gently pillowed top and bottom give the benches a very natural feel. They are carved initially on a 5 axis CNC machine and then assembled and finished by hand to create the elegant edge profile. They are finished with hand applied natural hard wax oils to keep the timber looking and feeling as natural as possible.

Student Designer Winner: Bio Iridescent Sequin Designer/maker: Elissa Brunato University/college: Central Saint Martins, Material Futures

Bio-engineering wood/cellulose: Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), Hjalmar Granberg and Tiffany Abitbol

Bio Iridescent Sequin is a response to the unsustainable shimmering beads and sequins currently used in fashion and textiles. Brunato’s sequin uses bio-technologies to create colourful shimmering sequins from naturally abundant wood. Brunato is working alongside material scientists Hjalmar Granberg and Tiffany Abitbol from RISE Research Institutes in Sweden.

People’s Choice Award: Udon Stool Designer: Anton Mikkonen University/college: The Sir John Cass School of Art Wood Species: ash

As a youngster Mikkonen was fascinated by woodgrain and knots. With the Udon Stool, Mikkonen has matched the uniqueness of woodgrain with a very unique aesthetic. The stool consists of five parts, all CNC routed with a 2D CNC machine. The holes for the legs were also cut out with the CNC router and the legs were then added by hand.

Winter 2019


Wood species: Canadian softwood Kraft pulp



50,000 M3/YEAR OF CLT AVAILABLE IN PINE, DOUGLAS FIR & SPRUCE. PIVETEAUBOIS won the 2019 WPA Innovation award for their HEXAPLI CLT panels with use class 2 durability performance combined with a water repellent treatment to significantly reduce water absorption on all surfaces.



Treatment options : UC2 - UC3.2 (green, grey and brown) or UC4 (green or brown) pre-pressure treated glulam for exterior use (structural or playground equipment). Non-visible rim board glulam for timber frame manufacturers.

FOR AN ELECTRONIC OR PAPER COPY OF OUR CATALOGUE please contact : +44 (0) 7821 807 788 Winter 2019 29

P I V E T E AU B O I S .CO M / E N

PIVETEAUBOIS - Lieu-dit La Vallée - Sainte-Florence - CS 30111 - 85140 Essarts-en-Bocage - RCS 547 250 100 00054



Driving the future of timber at UK Construction Week

Innovation was a big theme at this year’s UK Construction Week which covered all the hot topics in timber


he timber section of UK Construction Week (UKCW), held at the NEC in Birmingham this October, covered all the current hot topics in timber.

and panel discussions on procurement for big timber projects. Industry experts on hand included: Hugh Mansfield Williams, technical manager at BM TRADA; David Thompson, fire consultant at Entuitive;

Learning, networking and innovation were all on the cards in the jam-packed schedule, leaving timber professionals with

plenty to choose from.

Matthew Smith, fire consultant at Entuitive; Wojtek Serwatka; Bruce Bell, founder of Facit Homes; Robert Hairstans, Professor at Centre for Offsite Construction and Innovative Structures, Institute for Sustainable Construction and Edinburgh Napier University; Robin Lancashire, timber

Timber Innovation Zone

structures at TRADA; Piers Taylor, architect at Invisible Studio; Maria

Innovation was a big theme at this year’s show and besides

Vogiatzaki, Professor of Architecture at Anglia Ruskin University; Alex

the UKCW Innovation Zone there was a bespoke timber one too. It

Abbey, partner at Cullinan Studio; Jonathan Roynon, technical director at

included Piveteaubois who has developed a combined Use Class 2 and

Buro Happold; and George Clarke, architect and TV presenter.

water repellent surface treatment to protect HEXAPLY CLT panels

Looking to the future of the industry saw conversations around how

from water ingress during erection and against wood boring insects,

to develop talent, and what educational formats work in construction.

termites, and decay from temporary exposure to humidity.

Sustainability was also covered with circular economy taking centre stage and

Another range of innovative products on display were from Tenmat Fire Protection Solutions. The new range of passive fire

information on how to deliver low-carbon education buildings. To uncover tomorrow’s timber talent, TRADA’s University Challenge

protection products provide fire breaks around ceiling fittings. The

2020 was launched at UKCW. The aim of the challenge is for budding

products include downlight covers, fire rated air valves and ceiling fan

architects, architectural technologists, engineers, landscape architects and

fire stops. A ceiling is only as fireproof as its weakest element, so this

quantity surveying undergraduates to complete a design task, with the

new product range is essential to improve fire safety.

winners walking away with superb cash prizes. The brief for the multi-

The U-Build self-building system by Studio Bark was also catching

disciplinary team is to produce low-carbon, energy and water efficient,

visitors’ attention. It is made up of wooden frames and panels which

climate resilient, healthy and desirable community housing. They will have

can be assembled and dismantled with just a drill and a hammer. It can

access to industry professionals to assist with the challenge, which takes

be used to build small or large structures depending on requirements

place on 17-19 February 2020 at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering.

and once the build is no longer required it can be easily dismantled. Sonae Arauco also showcased a new three-dimensional fibreboard.

In between the seminars there was an opportunity to learn a new skill. Charlie Whinney architect and eco-friendly artist demonstrated

The composite board is formaldehyde free and can be shaped into

wood-bending, showing the audience how to create organic shapes with

infinite forms due to its thermoplastic behaviour under pressure and

a strip of ash and a simple steam machine.

temperature. It is also 100% recyclable.

Exhibitors’ thoughts

Learning galore

Feedback from exhibitors who attended the show was positive. Paul

The Timber Focus Theatre offered a wealth of information and CPDs for

Treacy sales manager at Glennon Brothers, who are based in Ireland and

timber professionals. The sessions were well attended, and covered building

Scotland, said: “The networking has been good; we invite customers along and

standards post-Brexit and post-Grenfell, the development of timber for offsite

take them for a coffee and a conversation.”

Winter 2019



Timber Focus, a Manchester based timber distributor, was pleased with the levels of interest visitors had in its products.

ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the industry. To catch up with the winners visit

Andrew Goto, head of sales, said: “The amount of interest in painted

The inaugural UK Construction Awards and the Fix Radio Awards

products, which need the least amount of work, has been great. People still

were a great success and hope to highlight the best from all areas of

like timber and they trust the new technology such as our painted and fired

construction for many years to come. The UKCW Role Model 2019 was

treated claddings.”

also announced with Anjali Pindoria, project surveyor at Avi Contracts Ltd,

One of the key features in the timber section was the Social Shell.

picking up the award.

This creation came from Scale Rule, which is a collective that promotes diversity and public engagement in the built environment. The project had community engagement at its heart while being a learning opportunity for students in Nottingham.

Health and wellbeing Mental health was also a major focal point at the show, making UKCW the largest event in the history of the UK construction industry to address

Students took part in a two-day workshop where they were briefed on building a structure. They were tasked with sketching out their concept, developing detailed drawings and explaining how they would build it. The Social Shell was cut from 61 sheets of Performance Plywood

the issues. UKCW worked alongside Public Health England to launch Every Mind Matters to the construction industry. Carwyn Lloyd Jones, the creator of the Tiny House at last year’s UKCW, used his talents to create an artistic installation of swings all crafted from

supplied by Hanson Plywood. The design was refined to reduce work

wood. This beautiful installation gave visitors somewhere peaceful to relax

on site, maximise material efficiency and reduce the need for bracketry,

and chat openly.

instead opting for slotted bearing or bolted connections. The Social Shell

Mates in Mind worked with UKCW to help bring together the

was on display in the Old Market Square, Nottingham, before being moved

new Mental Health Zone at this year’s show. Speakers and practical

to the Timber section of UKCW.

advice from an onsite therapist was available and the Mind Your Head

Gary Scott, managing director of Hanson Plywood, said: “There has

campaign launched. It is designed to promote mental wellbeing through

been a diverse range of visitors and some very positive conversations. Our

it’s ‘Material Support’ gallery – a collection of artwork made from

high-performance marine plywood was used in the design of the Social

construction components.

Shell. This sculpture has been outside for three months in Nottingham and it is a great showcase for the performance of our products.

UKCW also worked with STEAM; a mental health charity, which organised UKCW’s first multi-sports cup. Exercise is beneficial to those

“There is massive potential for fully certified timber-based panel products. This show has a central location, and we are going to work with TRADA to drive interest and interaction. We are committed to timber and getting the right product into the right industry.”

who suffer with mental health issues, so the aim of the tournament was to promote the wellbeing benefits of sport and exercise. Nathan Garnett, event director said: “This year’s UKCW for me was brimming with positivity. In a time of political and economic uncertainty,

Rupert Scott, TRADA membership and marketing manager, added:

the UK’s largest showcase for the sector showed signs of transformation,

“UKCW is an excellent opportunity for catching up with old members,

as it adopts innovation at a faster pace than ever. The feeling all around

meeting new ones, and gaining insight into the wider timber industry. To

was that we have a lot of work to do, come what may, so let’s get on with

provide our comprehensive guidance, in a way that is helpful, TRADA must

doing it in the safest, fastest and most efficient way possible by harnessing

listen and respond to the needs of the market – to pinpoint where there

the potential of new technologies.

is not enough information, and to seek to fill it where necessary. We were

“UKCW 2019 also tackled mental health in the sector head on with the

thrilled with the response to this year’s Timber Focus Theatre, which saw

support of the Every Mind Matters campaign, as we continue the role of

busy crowds for many of our CPD sessions, and we were equally delighted

improving mental health in construction for good. I was delighted how open

with the response to our afternoon networking events.”

we have now become on this subject and great conversations have started. Finally, to see the talent and diversity on stage for our UK Construction


Awards, Fix Radio Awards and Role Model 2019 presentation shows how far

There was also the opportunity to celebrate the timber industry with the Structural Timber Awards. Returning for its fifth year, the

we have come in the fifth edition of the event, and although a mountain still to climb, as an industry we should all be proud of that transformation.”

eagerly anticipated event was held at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham, on 9 October. Over 500 timber professionals attended the

Winter 2019

To find out more visit:


New BeA Autotec develops automatic screwdrivers

BeA is the first to develop a tool that can automate the attachment of facade cladding, ceiling and floor shuttering with screws (35-60 mm in length). •

Ideal for integration into manufacturing systems

Positioning speed doubled

Mechanical stop guarantees precise screwing depth

Until now, cladding was always attached manually with screws at the prefabrication stage, mainly with handheld tools. The new BeA Autotec Screwdriver now facilitates the insertion and tightening of screws in a faster, more precise and, above all, process-reliable manner with a higher degree of automation. Fully automated systems require a high level of process reliability. This is guaranteed by the high-quality process used to load the screws into the magazine, the powerful motor, precise guidance when inserting and tightening the screws and the precision with which the mechanical stop can be set.

Norbord products build sustainable dream home Lindrick Eco Build, which specialises in energy efficient off-site housebuilding, has used Norbord’s CaberDek and SterlingOSB Zero on a project in Doncaster, Yorkshire. The new house has been built for a couple who are approaching retirement and wanted to embrace the joys of life in a sustainable home which overlooks Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

The 400 sq. m. new home, which will include views of the polar bear enclosure at the park, solar panels, mechanical ventilation and renewable technology, has been built using only the very best sustainable materials. Lindrick Eco Build prides itself on using the highest quality products, from companies that consider the environmental impact, to produce the highest quality home, and so Norbord’s renowned products were chosen. The SterlingOSB Zero timber frame kit enabled the structure of the house to be developed off-site, while CaberDek ensured that construction on-site continued - even with the bad British weather thanks to its weather-resistant properties which provide protection from dirt and rain for up to 42 days.

This reduces system idle times to a minimum.

Paul Scholey, Business Development Director at Lindrick Eco Build, commented, “When it comes to building a house of a certain quality, you need products of the same quality to match that. We know Norbord’s CaberDek works well, cuts nicely, fits together tightly and is easy to use. It was also important to us to use products with traceability. With Norbord’s SterlingOSB Zero and CaberDek, we know they are FSC certified and so were ideal for use in constructing a sustainable home. It was a win, win.”

More information on BeA and its extensive product range can be found at

For further information on Norbord, please call 01786 812 921 or visit

The BeA Autotec Screwdriver can process one screw a second and is twice as fast as any previously used solutions. The magazine has a capacity of 700 screws when loaded. A larger magazine capacity means that fewer interruptions take place when a coil needs to be changed.

22:59Simpson WINTER 2019 P&S AD.indd 1 Simpson Strong-Tie Introduces Their26/11/2019 All-NORBORD Strong-Tie introduces their 26/11/2019 New Catalogue of Connectors for Timber innovative new Gable Panel Connector. and Masonry Construction

BEA WINTER 2019 P&S AD.indd 1


Leading construction connector manufacturer Simpson StrongTie has released their all-new 2020 catalogue; a comprehensive product guide which showcases the company’s most recent innovations and product line extensions. Designed to make it simpler for builders, engineers and architects to select the right product for their requirements, the catalogue boasts Simpsons’ widest range of products to date. Alongside the UK’s largest collection of connectors for timber and masonry construction, sit numerous new products, including the GPC, Gable Panel Connector, which solves the problem of the connection detail between the masonry wall, the wall plate and the bottom rail of the gable panel. Also new for 2020 are a high movement timber frame tie, decorative and a heavy duty post bases, an adjustable mini hanger, purlin anchor, twisted restraint strap and a 4mm reinforced angle bracket. To simplify product specification, the catalogue contains comprehensive technical data, performance characteristics and safe working loads, as well as easy to follow installation instructions. Managing Director, Malcolm Paulson explains: “It’s been a busy time for Simpson Strong-Tie, we’ve really pushed the boat out to increase our core product range, engineered to stand the test of time. With our new enhanced product lines, along with our rapid made-to-order service, we really can say that if we don’t have it – you don’t need it”. The new catalogue is now available in print on request, and online in the Resources / Literature section at Simpson Strong-Tie continues to develop a wide range of connector solutions to help you build Safer, Stronger Structures.


Leading construction connector manufacturer Simpson Strong-Tie has developed a system of connectors which incorporates new and existing products for the installation of a timber gable panel. The brand new GPC, Gable Panel Connector, solves the problem of the connection detail between the masonry wall, the wall plate and the bottom rail of the gable panel. Sales Director, Jon Head, says “We are pleased to be able to offer a complete solution for connecting timber gable panels to masonry walls and roof structures. The GPC has been developed to safely transfer the lateral wind loads being applied to the masonry and the timber gable ends into the braced roof diaphragm. The solutions give installation options using either a continuous wall plate or raised wall plate at the gable end.’’ Simpson Strong-Tie continues to develop a wide range of engineered and tested products to help build Safer Stronger Structures. For full technical details visit the Resources / Literature section at

27/11/2019 SIMPSON 19:30 STRONG-TIE WINTER 2019 P&S AD 2.indd 1

29/11/2019 01:44

Please send all your Product PR to

Winter 2019


making the transition to a

ZERO CARBON WORLD Join 27,000 industry influencers and shapers with the power to change the future of the built environment.

ACT NOW Get your ticket and be part of the industry’s catalyst for change

Thank you to all that came to see us on Stand T305 at UK Construction Week

Profile for Timber Media Limited

Timber Construction Magazine Issue 10 Winter 2019  

Timber Construction Magazine Issue 10 Winter 2019