Stats… stats …and more stats … from the TTF !

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Here on this Blog we are pleased to feature key vital industry statistics reports from the TTF sure to make thoughtful reading for many in the Timber business.


Since 2006, the TTF has produced a comprehensive annual breakdown of the UK timber industry and each year the organisation publishes a Statistical Review of the Timber Industry.

TTF members and associates can download the latest version as a pdf here.

For the TTF Statistical Review Archive click here.

A second report is a summary analysis of all timber imported to the UK by TTF members during one year. The data are provided by member submissions to TTF Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP).

The latest version is downloadable as a pdf here or accessible online here.

For the TTF Responsible Sourcing Report Archive click here.

For more visit –

The final trio of winning projects at the 2017 Wood Awards

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Here below is information on the final three Project winners at the recent 2017 Woods Awards in the Bespoke Production Made and Student Categories

The winner of the Bespoke category is Time and Texture Installation (‘A Landscape of Objects’). The judges praised the beautiful body of work which shows control and expression of the material.

Time and Texture is an installation of works forming part of ‘A Landscape of Objects’, a site-specific exhibition set in the gardens of Forde Abbey, curated by Flow Gallery for Somerset Art Works. The brief was to reference both the shapes, colours and texture of the gardens and buildings and the importance of water on the site.

The installation is formed of three hollowed vessels on rusted plinths and four solid forms designed to show how natural elements erode and work away at materials. Through building up layers of texture through carving and sandblasting away the softer wood, it is possible to show how natural elements and processes layer and colour wood.

The wellingtonia and sycamore vessels were turned on a lathe and hollowed out through a small hole. The four solid pieces are sculpted from English oak and cedar. The spherical form was chosen to reflect the natural shapes in the garden. The textures are reminiscent of seeds, pollen and rocks eroded by water.

Location: Chard, Somerset
Designer and Maker: Eleanor Lakelin
Client and Owner: Flow Gallery/Somerset Art Works
Wood Supplier: English Hardwoods
Wood Species: British Oak, Cedar, Wellingtonia, Sycamore

Click here for the photo gallery.

The judges awarded the Narin Chair the Production Made award for its elegant, distinctive, logical and comfortable design.

Case wanted to change preconceptions of what a folding chair is; a piece of furniture you would be proud to have on display at any time and not the emergency chair that comes out of the cupboard at Christmas.

The Narin doesn’t comprise on aesthetics or comfort despite the folding design. Its smooth, sweeping transition is accentuated through the solid timber turned legs into the formed backrest.

The comfortable backrest acts as the pivot from where the back legs rotate. The seat and back are made of a high-grade birch ply with oak or walnut veneer while the rest of the chair is solid wood.

Designer:David Irwin
Maker/Manufacturer:Case Furniture
Wood Species: American White Oak and Black Walnut, European Birch

Click here for the photo gallery.

Within the Student Designer category there are two cash prizes; £1,000 for Winner and £500 for People’s Choice. Voting for the People’s Choice Award will take place at the London Design Fair.

Rustic Stool 1.0 was developed through a process-driven approach to design engaging directly with the manufacturing technique itself: a 3-axis CNC router. Through manipulating the machine’s software, unexpected and unconventional surfaces are created.

These artificially generated rough textures begin to evoke the raw state of the material in its natural form. The stool is part of Mark Laban’s Digital Daiku collection, which interprets traditional Japanese aesthetic principles and explores their possibilities using contemporary digital manufacturing processes. American Maple was used for its fine grain and delicate colouring and tonality.

The People’s Choice Award was given to Damian Robinson’s Hex Drinks Cabinet which was inspired by a bees’ nest found in the maker’s garden.

Designer/Maker: Damian Robinson (BlytheHart Made)
College/University: Williams and Cleal
Hexagonal Template & Brassware Laser Cutting: Luffman Engineering Ltd
Wood Supplier: Adamson and Low, Mundy Veneers
Wood Species: British Bog Oak, Fumed Oak, English Cherry, Black Walnut, Tropical Olive, Teak, Olive Ash

Click here for the photo gallery.

The 2017 Wood Awards – more stylish winning projects …

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Yet another couple of the final selection of Project winners at the 2017 Wood Awards, staged in London last month – these two are actually located in London too… at Waterloo and Chelsea.

Feilden Fowles Studio was selected as this year’s Small Project winner. The judges praised the how simple yet beautifully thought through the project is.

Feilden Fowles master-planned Waterloo City Farm from the design of animal pens, sheltered outdoor classroom and barn, to their new studio which was offered in exchange for their design services.

The positioning of the studio against the north boundary creates a south-facing courtyard garden. The timber frame structure clad with corrugated Onduline sheets, can be dismantled and re-erected when the lease comes to an end.

The materiality and approach are redolent of agricultural building forms. To the north the timber frame projects at high level to articulate large lights which run the full length of the space, referencing traditional artist studios and providing generous diffuse light and cross ventilation.

The long south elevation is articulated by steel T-columns and full-height glazing shaded by the overhanging roof. The 1830mm column grid and 2440mm datum running around the ply-lined interior, demonstrates how proportions have been carefully calibrated to minimise cuts and waste.

Location: Waterloo City Farm, London
Architect and Client: Feilden Fowles Architects
Structural Engineer: Structure Workshop
Main Contractor and Builder: Miles Builders
Joinery Company: Timber Workshop
Wood Supplier: S H Somerscales Ltd
Wood Species: British Douglas Fir

Click here for the photo gallery

The Smile was awarded this year’s Structural Award, which chosen from all the buildings short-listed in each category. The judges were impressed by the ease with which The Smile rested in place which masked some impressive and complex engineering.

Conceived as a habitable arc, The Smile was a 3.5m high, 4.5m wide and 34m long curved timber tube that cantilevered 12m in two directions with viewing platforms at both ends. Up to 60 visitors could enter at one time through an opening where the arc touched the ground.

Innovative solutions using long screws were developed, allowing the opening to be in the most highly stressed region.

The Smile at the Chelsea College of Art was the first project in the world to use large hardwood CLT panels, the entire structure was made from just 12 tulipwood panels, each up to 14m long and 4.5m wide. The CLT panels were connected with 7,000 self-tapping screws.

At the base, a glulam timber cradle filled with 20 tonnes of steel counterweights, allowed the project to be self-supporting. Perforations in the walls, concentrated in areas where there was less stress in the structure, brought dappled sunlight into the interior and dispersed where the timber was structurally working harder.

Location: Chelsea College of Art, London Architect Alison Brooks
Architects Client: American Hardwood Export Council / London Design Festival
Structural Engineer: Arup
CLT Manufacturer: MERK Timber GmbH, Züblin Timber
Main Contractor/Joinery Company: Aldworth James & Bond
Lighting Designer: SEAM
Balustrade: Joinery John Stidworthy
Wood Species: American Tulipwood

Click here for the photo gallery.

More Wood Awards Success – Education & Public Sector and Private

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Take a look at two more of the excellent winning entries from the Wood Awards last month.

The Wood Awards are the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in the world’s only naturally sustainable material. Their aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.

Education and Public Sector

Maggie’s Oldham was chosen as the Education & Public Sector winner as dRMM have created a sensitive interior that is also a world-first.

Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres offer free practical and emotional support for people affected by cancer. The design of Maggie’s Oldham is less about form and more about content. Supported on slender columns, the building floats above a garden framed by pine, birch and tulip poplar trees.

From a central oasis, a tree grows up through the building, bringing nature inside. Maggie’s Oldham is the first permanent building constructed from sustainable tulipwood CLT. The tulipwood has been carefully detailed to bring out its natural beauty.

The slatted ceiling was created from wood left over from the CLT fabrication process, ensuring no waste. Externally the building is draped in custom-fluted, thermally modified tulipwood.

Maggie’s Oldham

Location: Oldham Architect dRMM
Client/Owner: Maggie’s Structural Engineer Booth King UK Timber
Advice & Procurement: American Hardwood Export Council Main
Contractor/Builder: F Parkinson
Structural Timber Subcontractor: Züblin Timber
Machining of Fluted Cladding: MorganTimber
Window Manufacturer: Falegnameria Aresi
Cost Consultant: Robert Lombardelli Partnership
Wood Supplier: Middle Tennessee Lumber, Morgans Timber and Northland Forest Products (NFL)
Wood Species:American Tulipwood, American White Oak, American Ash, American Black Walnut

Click here for the photo gallery.

Private Sector

The winner of the Private category was Hampshire Passivhaus. The judges were impressed by the design, craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Hampshire Passivhaus is a self-build home on the south coast. It is an L-shaped detached dwelling, creating private courtyard spaces, on a tight brownfield site with multiple neighbours. Spruce CLT panels form the entire super structure, walls, floors and roof. The spruce panels give a tactile and harmonious quality to the living spaces and bedrooms.

The prefabricated CLT superstructure was complete and watertight in just four days. European oak bespoke joinery is used to highlight interior features including the open tread staircase, recessed handrails, worktops and integrated shelves.

Externally, the house is clad in Siberian larch rain-screen cladding, chosen for its straight grain, uniform texture and durability. The untreated larch ages over a short period of time to become silver, providing a maintenance free finish well-suited to the coast.

Hampshire Passivhaus

Location: Hampshire
Architect: Ruth Butler Architects
Structural Engineer: Price & Myers
Main Contractor and Joinery Company: Nicholas Coppin Ltd
CLT Manufacturer: KLH UK Ltd
Building Services Engineer: Cundall
Wood Supplier: Timbmet
Wood Species: European Spruce, European Oak, Siberian Larch

Click here for the photo gallery.

Budget re-action – lead feature in latest Timber Forum News

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Trevor

Reaction by the Timber trade to last week’s Budget is a key lead item in the third edition of the Timber Forum News now out. The magazine is specifically designed for timber merchants and traders.

Other news of interest featured in this latest edition includes Responsible Timber Sourcing; Softwood forecasts for 2017-18; Engineered timber; Wooden panels and also trends from the Decking Market.

There is also a focus item on future plans of help and support to the up and coming generation of Timber Merchants.

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) and the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) jointly produce this publication. Click on the link to view this third edition of Timber Forum News

The publication is aimed at sharing best practices and informing merchants and Industry Stakeholders on the latest developments in timber and wood-based products.

The Wood Awards 2017 winning projects chosen

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Trevor


The TTF has updated our Editor here on this blog with all the details as to the winners of the recently announced annual Wood Awards – and some splendid offerings there were to be sure! Check out two leading winners here and now – and there’s more to follow too – so check back soon perhaps?

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) is, of course, a proud sponsor of the Awards along with major organisations and companies such as Arnold Laver, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the Carpenters’ Company, TRADA, the London Design Fair, American Softwoods, Forestry Commission, Wood for Good, the Furniture Makers’ Company and Party Ingredients.

The Woods Awards winners were announced last week at a ceremony at the Carpenters’ Hall in London hosted by Johanna Agerman Ross, Founder of Disegno magazine and Curator of Twentieth Century and Contemporary Furniture and Product Design at the V&A.

The Wood Awards is – as you may know – the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in the world’s only naturally sustainable material.

The Awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood. Established in 1971, the Awards are the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in the world’s only naturally sustainable material.

The Awards are free to enter and aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.

Arnold Laver Gold Award and Interiors Winner

The Coastal House, Devon by 6a architects, has been awarded the Arnold Laver Gold Award, the winner of winners. The project is also the Interiors category winner. The judges were seduced by this entry while looking at the shortlisted builds. The interior of this house uses timber in several different ways to create a wonderful home which feels natural and unaffected.

Coastal House, Devon is an early-twentieth century family home with extensive views of the sea. The house has been transformed by stripping it back to its stone walls. Originally raised on a plinth above a basement, the ground-floor has been lowered to the level of the ground.

This has increased the size of the rooms and created tall, elongated openings to the outside. A series of oak beams make up the exposed primary structure. The internal spaces have been completely reconfigured.

Three floors on the north end of the house connect to two floors on the south. Each space has a distinct volume and ceiling height, with the central stair offering clear views through the whole house. Tapered oak verticals are used as supports throughout, including primary drawing room columns, external veranda posts and the stair spindles.

Location: Dartmouth
Architect: 6a architects
Structural Engineer: Price & Myers
Main Contractor/Builder: JE Stacey
Joinery Company: Touch Design Group
Wood Supplier: Traditional Oak and Timber Co.
Wood Species: French Oak, British Douglas Fir, British Pine

Click here for the photo gallery.

The Commercial Award Winner

The judges selected The Rievaulx Abbey Visitor Centre & Museum as the Commercial & Leisure winner as it does something highly unusual – it creates an abstract, numinous space using timber as an expressed structure.

The aim of the project was to upgrade the museum building to meet modern curatorial standards, encourage visitors into the ruins, and improve facilities. A glulam spruce central hall has been inserted into the existing Lshaped timber visitor centre.

Visually the new structural frame echoes the existing columns and arches of the abbey ruins. The frame gradually splays to reveal previously obscured views. The frames are connected by CLT sheeting at roof level and a perimeter edge beam containing concealed lighting and services.

These panels are exposed where possible and stained to match the mainframe. The slot windows formed within the vertical CLT panels echo the local timber agricultural buildings and provide discreet views to the terrace. Off-site fabrication solved the problems of a restricted site and tight programme over winter. Click here for the photo gallery.

Rievaulx Abbey Visitor Centre & Museum

Architect:Simpson & Brown
Client/Owner:English Heritage Structural Engineer Dosser Group
Main Contractor/Builder:Simpson (York) Ltd
M&E:SDS Engineering Consultants
Quantity Surveyor:RNJ Partnership
Joinery Company/Wood Supplier:Cowley Timber & Partners
Wood Species:Scandinavian Spruce
Photography Credit:Giles Rocholl Photography

Check back here again for further winner information or go here:-

Check back here again for further winner information or go here:-


Trees ..trees …trees …..and more trees – a ‘brilliant’ CONFOR success!

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Trevor


There’s a bumper tree-planting ‘bonanza’ lined up for the winter reported by Confor earlier this month -It is described by Confor as ‘brilliant news’!!

It’s the largest productive tree planting scheme in England for more than 25 years, and it has been approved on a site on the fringes of the Lake District National Park.

This means that more than 213,000 trees will be planted this winter over 170 hectares at the Lowther Estate, south of Penrith, Cumbria. Some 120 hectares of the site will be planted with productive softwood species, while the remainder will be predominantly productive broad-leaves.

Confor’s England Manager, Caroline Harrison (above) says the granting of Countryside Stewardship approval was “brilliant news” for the sector, especially with other large productive planting schemes in the pipeline awaiting approval.

Says Caroline ” We are now seeing the combined fruits of Confor’s hard work and the determination of applicants like retired Estate Forester, Ian Jack – and proving that it is sometimes a small investment early in the process that can make all the difference. The Woodland Creation Planning Grant really has been the key to unlocking new productive planting at scale.

She adds, “We have seen productive planting plummet to its lower level in a generation, but Confor has continued the fight to turn the tide – and now we are hopeful of really gathering some momentum behind new productive planting.”

David Bliss, Estate Manager for Lowther Estate, a Confor member, said, “We are extremely excited to have gained consent for the largest conifer planting scheme in recent times. The successful application is entirely down to Ian Jack.

Woodland Creation Planning Grant funding helped him plan and gain approval for this magnificent commercial woodland, which will in the fullness of time support many local jobs and associated forestry businesses. We now look forward to the challenge of planting.”

This is quite a turn around on the overall outlook just a year or so ago.

Then, 2016 was the worst year for new planting on modern record and Confor calculated that the UK Government’s target to plant 11 million trees by 2020 was more than seven years behind schedule – unless new large-scale planting schemes started to be approved.

It secured a Westminster Hall debate and prompted an inquiry into forestry by the Westminster EFRA select committee.

Caroline Harrison said she was hopeful that Lowther was a sign that the tide was turning: “Hopefully, other schemes will follow Lowther and give real confidence to the sector that England is open for high-quality, large-scale productive planting schemes.

“This winter, we will see more large-scale planting activity in England than we have for some time and we hope it will usher in a series of busy planting seasons – to help protect and create jobs and investment in our rural communities, have a positive impact on climate change targets and the wider environment and provide a great raw material for future generations to build with,” she added.

For more go here

TTF ‘flags up’ guide on timber consignments

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The Timber Trade Federation reports of a new guide aimed at ensuring buying companies can always make themselves aware of all factors and status relating to timber consignments from overseas to the UK.

The Brazilian BVRio is behind the guide. It is free to download – here on the ttf web site

The objective of the guide is to summarise the main documents that need to be collected, and how to interpret them, in order to conduct due diligence of timber consignments to be imported from different countries into the US and European markets.

The guide complements the active BVRio Due Diligence and Risk Assessment system, an online system to assist timber traders in conducting the due diligence of individual timber consignments.

“The illegal production and trade of tropical timber is one of the main drivers of environmental degradation worldwide, leading to loss of habitats and biodiversity, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, human rights abuses and corruption”

The enforcement of legality by some countries (e.g. the EU Timber Regulation – EU TR1, the US Lacey Act 2008 and Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Act) requires traders and operators to conduct their own due diligence on the timber they import into these markets.

In parallel, initiatives such as the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) have helped to increase capacity to implement these laws.”

The ability to conduct due diligence, however, is hindered by various barriers. This guide summarises the main documents that need to be collected, and how to interpret them, in order to conduct due diligence of timber consignments to be imported from different countries into the US and European markets.

It also provides a summary of the main risks associated with timber legality that the due diligence must address, for different countries.”

The main objective of this practical guide and of BVRio Responsible Timber Exchange is to enable wood traders to screen out illegal timber from their supply base and, through demand-side pressure, help combat illegality in the sector.

The BVRio

The BVRio Institute promotes the implementation and enforcement of environmental laws related to several sectors, as well as the use of market mechanisms to facilitate compliance with numerous active laws.

They operate an online trading platform. The objective of the platform is to connect buyers and sellers of legal and certified timber products in a safe, transparent, and user-friendly environment. Participants can post their requests and offers and receive replies online, increasing market efficiency. Its use is free of charge.


Are timber high rises the best way to fight climate change?

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The above headline would seem to be something of a contradiction – wouldn’t it? To review the thought, check the below Timber Report offering found by our Editor on the always stimulating International Timber online offering….

Last month, London architecture firm Waugh Thistleton said sustainable timber could help London address its housing shortage whilst fighting an ever-growing climate change problem.

“If you look at a building’s climate footprint over 14 years, it is about 80% the building materials that go into it,” Andrew Waugh, a founding partner at Waugh Thistleton, told CNN Money. “We need to change the way we live for climate change.”

It now seems that architects are turning to one of the oldest building materials in the world to combat this growing problem. Timber has been used for millenniums in the name of housebuilding, but in recent centuries it’s been eclipsed by brick, steel and modified materials.

With 45% of carbon emissions in the UK coming from buildings however, timber is now being looked at as a dominant construction material once more, particularly with high rises.

With the ability to create a carbon neutral atmosphere – taking in all the negative aspects of the air, and creating clean, healthy air – as well as being renewable and recyclable, timber is the more environmentally friendly option for new builds and high rises.

Waugh Thistleton has recently built a 10-story, 17,000-square foot structure entirely of timber in east London. It’s being called the world’s largest construction made out of cross laminated timber (CLT).

In the same breath, Engadget , a news site that focuses on innovative technologies and inventions, posted an article claiming “Timber-scrapers could soon dominate urban skylines”, taking a look at how CLT is set to revolutionise the construction industry.

At International Timber, we supply a huge range of softwood, hardwood and modified timbers that can aide with any construction project – we’ve supplied timber for projects ranging from national supermarket chains to ski centres. Take a look at our case studies!

If you’d like to read the full report on CNN Money, you’ll find it right here.

It’s looking like the future of construction has well and truly arrived, and that future is timber.

And that’s it!

If you’re a part of a large scale construction project, or just taking part in some woodworking projects in your own time, get in touch and browse our range of timber today.

Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to keep up to date on all the latest timber news!

CTI urges Government to invest more in Infrastructures, Housing and Education

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CTI urges Government to invest more in Infrastructures, Housing and Education

The Chancellors Budget is looming, and the CTI has plenty to say about it according to our Editor.

Explains Nick’s MD, Phil McCormick, “In its pre-Budget letter to the Chancellor Philip Hammond, the Confederation of Timber Industries outlines a set of measures that can surely contribute to unlocking the potentialities of our very own Timber Sector and thus help the UK move towards a dynamic and low carbon economy.”

Roy Wakeman OBE, CTI Chairman is adamant that more investment is what is it very much about. He urges the Government to invest more in Education & Training, Logistic infrastructures and Housing to facilitate growth in production, trade and use of sustainable timber in construction and furniture.

Adds Roy,“We have already seen in the past that a thriving Timber Industry creates a cascading beneficial effect on key-sectors such as construction, manufacturing and merchanting. For this reason, it’s essential that the Government recognises our Industry as a vital part of the UK Economy and does whatever it takes to restore confidence in the market and boost investments”

Here is the full letter

Dear Chancellor,

Timber Industry Budget Submission Autumn 2017

The timber industry forms a £9 billion supply chain in the UK, supporting some 150,000 skilled jobs across the country. In recent years we have seen steady and regular growth in UK timber production, timber imports and increased investment in downstream joinery and manufacturing businesses, supporting construction and RM&I work throughout the UK.

However, the recent depreciation of Sterling following the Brexit vote, along with the associated slowdown in the economy and erosion of consumer confidence is forecast to negatively affect this growth during the coming year.

Already, our forecasts for softwood imports in 2018 show growth of just 0.5% in volume against 2017. This is sharp drop from the 3.7% increase in growth from 2016 to 2017. Our forecasts have been shown to be accurate to within 1% margin over the past five years.

This is not simply a matter of lower imports which can then be taken up by UK production. The difference in grade, volume and quality of imported and home-grown timber means that our downstream joinery and manufacturing sectors – covering trussed rafters, staircases, windows, floors and other essential items – are largely dependent on imported produce.

These downstream sectors have seen increased investment over the past few years, putting on extra shifts, employing more skilled workers. Indeed, the offsite timber-frame construction sector has seen record growth, particularly in innovative housing solutions. Current output stands at just over 50,000 units per year.

This could easily double to more than 100,000 units per year if the right long-term conditions are in place, and businesses are keen to invest and expand further.

The loss of confidence in the wider economy is putting that investment on hold. However, there are a number of measures we believe would help unlock this growth:

Government should provide a clear focus on ensuring suitable investment in ports and logistics infrastructure to clear customs bottlenecks and alleviate concerns that the bureaucracy will grind industry to a halt and restrict the import of crucial materials. The potential slowdown in deliveries adds cost and time to an otherwise lean supply chain.

Government must ensure support is there for local authorities to make much needed investments and improvements in their housing stock. Activity in public housing RM&I sector fell 21.7% between July 2010 and July 2017 and is expected to fall again next year.

Skills are vital to productivity. Government must maintain a careful eye on its Apprentice funding reforms and support for Further Education. Inadequate careers advice for school pupils and a failure to invest in vocational subjects at schools mean our woodworking and wider construction industries are experiencing a shortfall in new home-grown personnel.

Campaigns such as ‘Wow I Made That’, designed by industry and being rolled out in schools, highlight what a vibrant and creative sector this is to work in, but Government should offer businesses tax breaks that incentivise the recruitment of young people.

The timber industry is poised to unlock housing and deliver a sustainable and world-class construction sector. We regularly host teams of visiting architects touring the timber architecture we have designed and built in the UK.

To continue this, the Government should recognise the innovation that has been driven through the low-carbon agenda, and ensure that all building projects consider their whole-life carbon impacts. Fundamentally, the Government needs to put direct investment into a sustained long-term house building program that gives companies the confidence they need to invest in capacity.

We hope that you find these points useful. We recognise this is a trying time for the Government itself and the economy as a whole. The timber industry would like to support you in providing solutions to these problems wherever possible. Download the letter here