Higher costs, happier customers -that ‘Going Green’ warm glow

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Trevor0 Comments


Well news is that people these days are apparently willing to pay more for their timber goods for the warm glow of having acted ‘greenly’ and with an environmental conscience.

So, suggests a report  from the environmental group of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). Highlights the report online at http://www.eco-business.com

“The use of sustainably sourced forestry products is good business for retailers, despite the perception that it costs more and does not help win market share.

In a study of 54 retailers from 20 countries launched last week, more than half said they think that using sustainable forest products would mean larger operational costs, but 80 per cent said sustainable sourcing boosts brand reputation.

Some 70 per cent said their staff are happier, and 60 per cent saw a bump in customer satisfaction and stakeholder engagement thanks to sustainable sourcing practices.

The study did not measure the impact of responsible sourcing on a company’s bottom line, because of a lack of available data. WWF suggested that companies should be more transparent about how responsible sourcing is affecting their balance sheets.

Though the growing number of public deforestation-free commitments made by companies  is “encouraging,” the report cautioned that progress has been “too gradual”. Most commitments are not time-bound, and two-thirds of them do not publicly report quantifiable progress, WWF pointed out.

British home-ware retailer Kingfisher uses 96 per cent of its wood from sustainable sources, and aims to lift that ratio to 100 per cent. But no time-frame is given to reach this target in the company’s sustainability report.

But Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer which uses 1 per cent of all commercially harvested wood, has said that by 2020 it will plant at least as many trees as it uses to make products through its Forest Positive scheme, and quadruple the volume of wood it buys from certified sources”

WWF noted in the report that certification from industry bodies such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a sustainability certifier for the forestry industry, could be used to “pro-actively engage NGOs and policy stakeholders so they can identify and resolve contentious issues and mitigate impacts.     

Updates galore from the latest TTF news bulletin

In Blog by Trevor0 Comments


Trusted Timber… July stats… On the run…  ……skills development …..and more…..

1. Trust the TTF

You will recall Timber You Can Trust was launched by the TTF to promote the use of responsibly sourced timber. The latest step forward is the launch of a new dedicated website timberyoucantrust.com


Alongside explaining the aims and objectives of the Campaign, the website features the complete photo gallery of “Timber You Can Trust” supporters and testimonials.

social media

Please have a look and remember that you can join the Campaign by taking a picture with the Pledge Card here and sending it to us at ttf@ttf.co.uk You can also share it on social media using the hash-tag #trustedtimber.



Explains the web site :- The Timber You Can Trust campaign is about promoting the use of one of the most sustainable and beautiful materials around  that’s ‘Timber’ of course! 


It’s also a reminder to the UK government of the great work that has been carried out over the last few years to ensure that the timber used in the UK is responsibly and ethically sourced.


The TTF are asking anyone with an interest in timber, to key stakeholders in the industry to MPs and politicians to members of the public to pledge their support to the campaign.

Simply download the campaign banner here [http://bit.ly/2upwvvO], take a photo of yourself with the banner and share it to social media and/or send it to us using the hash-tag #TrustedTimber.

Do you want to know more about the Campaign?

Download the press release – here

Download the pledge card here

View the photo gallery on Flickr – here

2. TTF Statistical Bulletin July 2017 – Focus on: Changing Supply Lines in 2017

The Timber Trade Federation has issued its Monthly Statistical Bulletin for July 2017 including a Focus on Changing Supply Lines in 2017.


The Stats – downloadable here for TTF Members – show that volumes of imported timber and panel products in the first four months of 2017 were the higher than in the same period in 2016 by nearly 430,000 m3.

sharp fall

Remarkably, the level of Russian Softwood imports fell sharply by -22% in this period compared to the same period last year, however market share from Latvia, Germany and Finland increased significantly.


The July Statistical Bulletin also offers an insight on the Changing Supply Lines in 2017 which discusses this decline and the fluctuations in the supply markets for other products.

To find out more, click here or contact owalton@ttf.co.uk

3. TTF Skills Development Programme – Training Days Announced

The TTF is travelling across the UK in November to January to introduce a new programme of skills development and training, free for TTF members.

technical and compliance

We have organised a series of four, regional, two-day training sessions covering a variety of technical and compliance topics from EUTR and RPP to CPR and product standards.


As of yet we are still booking venues to host the training and we will be announcing further details in the coming weeks months, along with instructions on how to register for the limited places at the workshops.


20 & 21 November 2017 Leeds venue – TBC;11 & 12 December 2017 London CILIP 16 & 17 January 2018 Edinburgh Venue – TBC; 30 & 31 January 2018 Bristol Marriott Hotel

We hope to see you there!

4. TTF running Royal Parks Half Marathon for the TTBS

On Sunday 8th October 3 members of the TTF team will be running the Royal Parks Half Marathon to raise money for the Timber Trade Benevolent Society (TTBS).

personal bests

Mike, Narelle and Owen will be dusting off their running shoes and getting out to train over the next couple of months to smash their personal bests and tear up the track.


For those who are unfamiliar with the TTBS, it is the only UK charity dedicated to assisting the retired and less fortunate from the Timber industry and has been operating throughout the UK since 1897. Please see their website here for more information.


We have set up a JustGiving page for the event and would kindly ask anyone interested to donate whatever they can to support a great cause at the heart of the Timber Trade.

sponsorship opportunities

For any companies who are interested, we are also offering a running T-shirt sponsorship opportunity for members. For a donation of £250+ we shall put your company logo on each of the TTF team running t-shirts for the day to be seen by all attending.


We are hoping, with your help, to raise at least £2,000 for the TTBS and appreciate any and all donations, assistance or support you can offer. If you have any questions, would like to offer a donation not using the

JustGiving page or would like more information on this event or the TTBS, please contact Owen at owalton@ttf.co.uk.


We will be sure to keep all members updated on our fund-raising progress and how the team get on in October. Thank you for your support!

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Sweetening and spreading ‘certified’ celebrations for Canada’s 150th year

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

There’s the maple tree and there’s that legendary maple syrup ….. and both – as the also legendary tree hugger reports – both are to the fore in the 150 year heritage celebration of all things Canadian!



Maple syrup has been part of Canadian cuisine since before Canada was born in 1867. It was valued by the indigenous peoples who were first there and who taught the first Europeans to tap trees.





So reports Treehugger – In 2017, maple syrup is still helping to define Canada’s deep connection to its forests and the generations of families who have relied on them. Stone Maple Farms syrup is the first forest product not made of timber to be certified to the chain-of-custody standard of the independent, non-profit Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).



For a product to be certified to the SFI Chain of Custody Standard, it must be sourced from a forest that is managed responsibly, meeting strict requirements for water and air quality, biodiversity, preservation of wildlife habitat, and more.


Stone Maple Farms includes a family woodlot in Nackawic, New Brunswick that has had family ties for nearly 80 years. The location is well known in the local community and is currently part of Freehold Land owned by A.V Group NB Ltd. As a result of a partnership between Carter Stone and A.V. Group NB Ltd, Stone began operations of the family-owned business in 2013.



SFI certification in sustainable forestry has been another way Stone has looked to the future. This year, Stone Maple Farms expects to double the number of trees tapped for the sap that goes into maple syrup production.



In addition to syrup, Stone Maple Farms also makes maple butter, candy, taffy, maple sugar, and even supplies another local company – The Big Axe Brewery – with pure maple sap that goes into its award-winning maple ale craft beer.



Adds Treehugger ‘Earning third-party SFI chain-of-custody certification means Stone Maple Farms will be able to use the SFI Chain of Custody label on its syrup, so you can identify it as a responsible choice on grocery store shelves.

no compromising


Sustainable forestry means practicing a land stewardship ethic that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, too.

future generations


Adds Stone Farms “When people see the label and ask ‘what’s SFI?,’ it leads to a good conversation about how we source our syrup from a forest that is being well-managed so future generations will be able to continue enjoying its benefits,” Stone says.


To find out more about SFI and the SFI label as a symbol of responsible forestry, visit sfiprogram.org.



Tall timber update – the world’s tallest wooden office building in Brisbane?


Here on this blog we always track the battle on the world’s tallest buildings with wood to the fore in construction. The Editor. – a bit of a Guardian reader if the truth be told – recently spotted in that ‘august’ journal news of something of yet another tall building ‘first’ – this time in Australia!


ten levels


Reports the Guardian – The famous Queenslander tradition of building houses upon wooden stilts is escalating to a whole other level– or 10 levels, to be exact.




The sod-turning ceremony at 5 King Street in Brisbane will be a groundbreaking event in more than just in the literal sense. When complete in 2018, 45 metres of the 52-metre office tower will qualify as the world’s highest to be held aloft not by steel and concrete, but timber and glue.


wood towers


The project is apparently the latest of a number of engineered wood towers in Australia using solutions such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), the load-bearing material on projects such as StrongBuild’s The Gardens Macarthur affordable housing project in Campbelltown. Sydney’s International House at Barangaroo is constructed from CLT and the similar Glulam method.




As any all know the CLT process involves glueing thick layers of wood together with the grain alternating at 90 degree angles.




Says Chris Ammundsen, the Aurecon lead structural engineer behind 5 King Street, “Using timber as the primary structural load-bearing element creates interesting questions during the design process of any building.”


timber surrounds


Ammundsen has a lot riding on the answers he came up with – his company is setting up office within the building in order to enjoy the benefits of working in timber surrounds, which a PlanetArk study indicated can lead to a lower heart rate and blood pressure.




Using CLT as we have reported often gives key environmental ‘green’ benefits. Every tonne of cement creates 900kg of greenhouse gas emissions whereas engineered wood acts instead as a carbon sink.





The GBCA (Green Building Council of Australia) last year updated its Green Star accreditation to incentivise CLT. Then Chief Executive, Romilly Madew, says: “CLT provides great thermal performance, which means buildings using such are efficient to heat and cool and save considerable amounts on utility bills.”




Also take note wood high rise has safety is a key factor.? Nick Henson, a technical manager with engineered wood suppliers XLam says that when Australia’s building code changed last year to allow for medium-rise timber buildings, the rules were based on requiring sprinklers in buildings and cladding in fire-rated plasterboard – a measure he conceded would lessen the psychological benefits of exposed wood in buildings.


thick wood


“Where architects don’t want to cover the wood in plasterboard, an alternative is using timber thick enough to self-protect. With thick wood you can subject it to long periods of fire exposure, it starts to char which insulates the material inside. It can burn through slowly but maintain its strength,” he says.


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The plywood revival is now – it really is

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

You may recall we have been trumpeting the designer-led revival of the humble plywood material of late here on this blog

modern world material

Some readers have been personally checking up what all the fuss is about by beating a path this past two or three weeks to the V and A Museum in London where Plywood: Material of the Modern World” runs from now up to November 12th.


This new exhibition Plywood: Material of the Modern World,” is dedicated to the eclectic history of plywood and via edition.cnn.com we’ve been getting more run-down facts exhibition -wise and how it aims to bring this underrated material to prominence once and for all — and thus reverse some institutionalized snobbery at the same time.


no limit


Highlights the edition.cnn.com report – from curvy chairs to Victorian sideboards, and pre-war planes to prefab houses, there seems to be no limit to plywood’s versatility, flexibility and strength. While the plywood technique goes back millennia (fragments of layered board have been found in Egyptian tombs) it was the Victorians who shaped our perceptions of the material today.


snooty disregard


Mass manufacturing and new production techniques in the mid-19th century meant plywood was ubiquitous, especially in furniture manufacturing. But with plywood’s popularity came, as you would expect of the class-obsessed Victorians, a snooty disregard for it.




The word ‘plywood’ was apparently first used around 1906 and, as the 20th century came to life, perceptions of the material slowly changed. A growing number of manufacturers in time re-thought the possibilities of this light, inexpensive and easily mould-able material, especially in aviation, reports edition.cnn.com




Did you know ‘for starters’ that Geoffrey de Havilland created the Mosquito plane out of plywood – yes, plywood in the early 1940s. It was one of the fastest, highest-flying air-crafts in the Second World War?

“It was a fraction of the weight of the Lancaster bomber and was faster than a Spitfire,” says uniquely informed Plywood Exhibition Curator, Chris Wilk.


can’t split


He adds, “It really is strong and stable,” To make his point he layers thin cross-grained veneers of wood with the palm of his hands: “Each layer of the sandwich is in a perpendicular direction. Wood splits along the grain. This can’t split.”




Transportation has done well out of plywood ever since: everything from canoes to racing cars to surfboards to skateboards. While plywood became successful in the furniture industry because of its superficial nature, its unique structural qualities now mean it is developing huge significance in construction.




Mid-rises everywhere from Vancouver and London use cross-laminated timber instead of steel for support, and the number of both floors and buildings the material supports is growing as technology develops.



Despite all this Chris Wilk points out, some of those latent Victorian concerns remain. I was walking past a furniture shop one day and there was a sign saying, ‘100% solid, 0% veneer!'” says Wilk. “I thought, wow, it’s still going on today!”


rise and rise


But not for that much longer it would seem – future construction techniques with timber CLT it seems will ensure the humble plywood ‘rise and rise’ will go on and on and on ….up up and away!





Proud… unique … and yet more stylish timber design


There’s no doubt about it – it makes you proud to be in the timber biz when you see the stunning and remarkable wood design buildings that are going up ongoing it seems, world wide day after day, week after week.




Our wood is good series arrives in Japan to see a truly remarkable pavilion style building with hundreds of thousands of wooden shingles covering its contoured form as it stands majestically in the grounds of Japan’s Shinshoji Zen Museum and Gardens.




As the always remarkable and informative www.dezeen.com shows us the building is designed to evoke the shape of a ship’s hull. Reports dezeen.com further -‘ This his Kohtei pavilion was added to the gardens in the campus of Tenshinzan Shinshoji temple in Fukuyama city, Hiroshima, which was established as a tribute to workers who lost their lives at sea or as a result of industrial accidents.




The structure was designed by artist Kohei Nawa and architects Yoshitaka Lee and Yuichi Kodai from Nawa’s Kyoto-based creative studio Sandwich, which was commissioned to create an artistic installation that complements the setting of the landscaped gardens.




Says the Project Team, “Kohtei’s distinctive form was inspired by the roots of the temple’s establishment, which led us to create a building that resembles the motif of a ship. It is an architecture that floats on waves surrounded by mountains and is themed to work with three fundamental materials: wood, stone and water.”


roofing technique


The pavilion is raised above the landscape on two rows of pillars, creating a sheltered space beneath the smooth wooden surface. Its entire exterior is clad in Japanese cypress shingles applied using the traditional Kokera-buki roofing technique, which involves affixing layers of the thin tiles using bamboo nails.




The roof comprises 340,000 shingles laid by a 16th-generation master roofer from Kyoto. It features 250,000 tiles, creating a smooth surface that lends the structure a monolithic quality when viewed from below.




Adds the designers, “The experience of standing underneath such a space enhances the stark materiality of the landscape against the airy contours of the wooden roof. Surrounding views are framed and visitors can experience ever-changing scenery.”


quarried stone


The building – reports dezeen.com – appears to float above a landscape featuring loose chunks of locally quarried stone chosen to evoke the surface of the ocean. Gravel paths create routes through the landscape, connecting the building and gardens.


single form


A simple footbridge carries the visitor to a small entrance incorporated into one end of the pavilion. This opening leads into a dark space where a meditative installation intended is located. The overall aim of the pavilion is to create a single form where the exterior, interior and sheltered area below all contribute in different ways to the visitor’s experience of the gardens and installation




“The installation represents the immensity of the ocean and visitors can experience meditation while observing the shimmering lights reflected on the quietly rippling water waves,” the designers explained.

“The darkness together with the faint sound of the room, curiously sharpens the visitor’s vision and auditory senses.”



Sculptor Kohei Nawa was born in Osaka in 1975 and established Sandwich in 2008 as a platform for his creative activities. The studio previously created a two-storey house featuring a sculptural facade made from three truckloads of timber.


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‘Droning’ on about lost trees ….and saving our environment!

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

There’s been news of late regarding the need for control regulations on the operation of drones and here now some other some ‘drone’  news reference the Timber b iz and how drones can indeed play a part aiding our environment!




www.weforum.org reports how with a net loss of six billion trees a year and with hand planting being so slow and expensive – a whole new way to go seems needed – and it could ‘the drone’


industrial solution


To keep pace with the tractors and bulldozers clearing vast areas of land, we need an industrial-scale solution reports www.weforum.org – and would you believe that drones that can plant up to 100,000 – yes 100,000 trees a day could be a key answer!


difficult access


www.BioCarbon Engineering, a UK-based company backed by drone manufacturer Parrot, explains how it has come up with a ‘drone’ method of planting trees that is very quickly and cheap too!

These drones  can also get trees can get trees planted in areas that are both difficult to access or otherwise unviable.


so how does it work?


First a drone scans the topography to create a 3D map. Then the most efficient planting pattern for that area is calculated using algorithms. Then a drone loaded with germinated seeds fires pods into the ground at a rate of one per second, or about 100,000 a day on all the required targeted locations.




Scale this up and 60 drone teams could plant 1 billion trees a year. The system’s engineers estimate that their method is about 10 times faster and only 20% of the cost of hand planting.


hard to reach areas


And because there is no heavy machinery involved, it’s possible to plant in hard-to-reach areas that have no roads or and are a steep, inaccessible terrain. The BioCarbon team has tested its technology in various locations and recently trialled re-seeding historic mining sites in Dungog, Australia.


precision forest


Elsewhere, a similar idea is being used by Oregon start-up Drone Seed. They are attempting to create a new era of “precision forestry” with the use of drones to plant trees as well as spray fertilizer and herbicides.



At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos this year, Norway announced a $400 million fund to kick-start investments in deforestation-free agriculture in countries that are working to reduce their forest and peat degradation. It is estimated that the world loses between 74,000 and 95,000 square miles of forest a year – that’s an area the size of 48 football fields lost every minute.

Image: REUTERS/Feisal Omar




Weighing up tactical effective timber purchasing sustainably


A fundamental of our industry is surely the successful environmentally aware sourcing of timber and as we do so there are, for sure, numerous considerations to weigh up.




With this in mind, here is an impressive presentation from www.woodforgood.com which emerged very recently. – This offered some considered thoughts prompted from expert Julia Young, Global Forest & Trade Network Manager UK.


thoughts to ponder


There were for sure many issues to ponder -What are the most important questions to ask when procuring timber? What are typical procurement mistakes and how to avoid them? How to distinguish between sustainably sourced timber and potentially non-sustainable sources? Check out this goodwood.com read – assured and offering much food for thought ….


Most important questions to ask when procuring timber


First – keep it simple: you want to buy sustainably, and all main timber merchants in the UK are capable of supplying either FSC or PEFC timber, for virtually all types of timber that you may need. They will understand why you want to specify certified timber, and be able to provide an invoice with chain of custody clearly shown.




So check your merchant – if they can’t readily confirm that they can fulfil your order with certified timber, then move on to another supplier who can. Once you have got your supplier – make it crystal clear on your order that you want certified timber, and for the chain of custody to be clear on the invoice.




But remember – it is up to you to ask, and then to make sure that you get what you asked for, so that you know you are achieving compliance against your own sourcing policy and sustainability commitments.


Do’s and don’ts


Especially for tropical hard-woods, as soon as you know that you might be using them in some way start looking for a supplier who can provide FSC timber. FSC is more prevalent in tropical countries than PEFC, and in WWF’s view, a more robust and credible scheme.




This is high value timber in a lot of cases and heavily exploited for several species – so don’t accept tropical timber that you know nothing about where it came from – it could be illegal if the timber supplier hasn’t done their homework on its origins.






right sources


If you need larger volumes – for example, for marine works, then you may have a longer lead time to get the timber you need for your project, so the sooner you start looking for the right sources, the better.




Even if a contractor or supplier pushes you to accept timber that they have in stock, because they claim a project might be delayed if you wait for the timber you want (certified!), don’t accept it if they don’t have good evidence of its origins .


You could be taking a real risk.


Also don’t be put off by initial claims that buying certified timber will be automatically more expensive, as for a lot of timber, this is not going to be the case. If you are told buying sustainably is going to cost you 30% more – don’t believe it without asking for credible evidence as to why the timber is more pricey.




There may be some premiums for certified timber in some cases – but the likelihood is it shouldn’t cost tens of percent more than uncertified. Investigate prices with suppliers, and make sure someone isn’t taking your sustainability journey as an easy profiteering opportunity, because that money certainly isn’t going back to the forest or covering the investment in better forest management.


Typical procurement mistakes ….and how to avoid them


The main mistake I see is that buyers see that a supplier holds a chain of custody for either PEFC or FSC, and then assumes that because they have seen or been sent this certificate, it means all the timber they have bought from the supplier is certified.


completing the chain


It is only by the supplier having this chain of custody, and then supplying certified timber which is confirmed by identifying it as such in compliance with the respective COC requirements on a delivery note or invoice, that you have completed the chain.


making sure


If you don’t at least do some compliance checks, you can’t guarantee you got certified. Once again – it comes down to making sure you ask, and checking you get the certified timber you ask for. Your supplier is there to help you with that – but it is up to you to make sure it happens.


How to distinguish sustainably sourced timber from potentially non-sustainable products


The simplest way is to ask for certified timber first. This loops you into systems that are set up to do the checks that the forest is well managed, and the timber is making its way through the supply chain without being mixed with other potentially unwanted timber sources.


sourcing plywood


Potentially non sustainable sources are perhaps best looked at by timber or product type. Sourcing plywood? Where does it come from? Scandinavia – or China? There is a lot of public information about Chinese plywood for example, and sustainability issues and risks.


illegal logging


Sourcing tropical timber? For decades now we heard about illegal logging and clearance of natural forest in tropical countries – so make sure that you are thinking about where the timber could be coming from, and therefore what kind of evidence you could expect to need to make sure you aren’t buying from illegal or non-sustainable sources.


online info


Does a product seem suspiciously cheap for a high value timber – teak, oak, sapele? And where is it coming from? It is by being vigilant and thinking through the product and its source, and checking easily via online info, that you can get an idea. Greenpeace for example, has tool which can help you check timber species, and whether there is any risk of sourcing it. Other tools show risk ratings for countries.


The Global Forest & Trade Network


The Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) links more than 300 companies, communities, NGOs and entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries around the world.


re-frame the way


Probably the biggest impact the GFTN programme has had over its history, is to help re-frame the way we think about wood and timber – taking it from being, well – timber, to a much more differentiated global market – illegal timber, controversial timber, high risk, limited knowledge of source, known legally sourced timber, verified source timber, certified timber, in progress to certification, and credibly certified.




This has helped drive broader narratives among stakeholders about improving forest governance, pushing for better forest management by business, improving supply chains for timber worldwide, setting legality as a baseline through market regulations, and so on.




We really encourage businesses investing in sustainable supply to show off that they can deliver certified timber to the market, and we definitely want buyers to help by asking for this, so they play their part in more sustainable future for global forests.

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More ‘Wood is Good as Rugby club ‘try’ for top award

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information, Uncategorized by Nicks Timber

Nicks Timber were delighted to play a part in this project by supplying the stylish larch timber cladding!

Another in our never-ending – it seems – ‘wood looking good’ series. This time very close to home to us here at Nicks, in Gloucestershire

award winner

A few miles away from Nicks HQ  in the picturesque Stroud Valleys is the charming village of Minchinhampton and their Rugby club’s new club house could prove to be a major Timber award winner – woodn’t you know! 


The new Club House was designed by the Austin Design Works Architects Practice from nearby Nailsworth, who produced the very eye-catching stylish new clubhouse for the Rugby Club which have now been short-listed in the Structural Timber Awards.


The Structural Timber Awards celebrates innovation, best practice and expertise in timber technology. Taking place on 10 October 2017 at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham alongside Timber Expo, the Awards will showcase innovative solutions and ground-breaking developments from across the UK timber industry.


They are finalists – in the Architect of the Year category – no less. A splendid achievement indeed …and how splendid the club house looks too….. as you can see here!


Matt Austin, owner of the Austin Design Works company is a former Captain of the Minchinhampton Rugby Club and is thrilled to see this Club House project up for an award . The club house was opened in the early Spring by HRH Princess Anne.


Says Matt, “This has been such a fantastic project to work on, and I am so proud of leading the design on this scheme. Having been with the club since I was a teenager this is close to my heart.

unique ..and beautiful

We provided the architecture and landscape design for the club house, as well as management of the build. This is a very unique Sports club house and demonstrates that a building can be appropriate to its setting; practical….. and also beautiful.”

For more visit https://austindw.co.uk/ or call 01453 836393

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Construction Products Association

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

Rising costs means mixed start to 2017 for construction industry

As the political situation plunges into more uncertainty, the concern mounts within the Construction  Industry as to ongoing effect that will emerge as through the remainder of 2017 after a positive start for the year so far.



The Construction Products Association’s Construction recent Trade Survey for the first quarter of the year painted a positive picture for 2017 with companies reporting an optimistic outlook for the year ahead.


sales increases


Reports the Association “SME builders, civil engineering firms, product manufacturers and specialist contractors all reported a strong start to 2017 with increases in sales, output and workloads in Q1 driven by increased demand. The Construction Products Association’s Construction Trade Survey Q1 also painted a positive picture for 2017 with companies reporting an optimistic outlook for the year ahead.


weak activity


Meanwhile, weak activity in the industrial and commercial sectors resulted in main building contractors experiencing a decrease in activity, with 31% reporting that construction output fell in the first quarter of 2017 compared with a year ago. In addition, Q1 order books were reported to be lower across the majority of sectors for both main contractors and civil engineering contractors”


upward pressure


The latest statistics also highlighted that the past depreciations of Sterling continue to exert upward pressure on input costs across the industry and  of course this an area which is already being much affected by the hung Parliament election result.


cost rises


Further key stats from the CPA  were – “an increase in overall costs was reported by 84% of civil engineering contractors, whilst 86% of main contractors, 93% of heavy side manufacturers and 93% of light side manufacturers also reported a rise in raw materials costs”





Commenting on the survey, Rebecca Larkin, Senior Economist at the CPA, said: “Q1 was a positive opener to 2017 for product manufacturers, specialist building contractors and SME builders, continuing the momentum built up over the last four years of growth.


bright spots


For main contractors, however, it was only private sector house building that provided the bright spots of activity during the quarter. Falling orders in the commercial and industrial sectors also spilled over into infrastructure in Q1 and signal a broader weakness ahead.




“Furthermore, in contrast to the continued rise in costs reported during the quarter, particularly for imported raw materials, building contractors’ tender prices are moving in the opposite direction. This suggests that it is margins, rather than clients, that are bearing the brunt of cost inflation.”she adds


News here via the TTF this week of a Timber magazine ‘next edition’ now out and a Trade Association re-start ‘coming soon’


Timber Forum News ‘presses on’


Here’s a valuable read – says our Editor – the Timber Forum News …which is now out!




Released by The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) and the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF)

the magazine is specifically designed for timber merchants.


joint venture


The publication is the result of a joint venture between the two major trade organisations aimed at sharing best practices and informing merchants and Industry Stakeholders on the latest developments in timber and wood-based products.




The Magazine will be circulated to all members of the BMF – along with trade media and other interested parties – thus promoting TTF timber expertise and projects to key audiences.


Check it out – here’s a run-down on the magazine news content:


Protecting Business in the post-Brexit scenario


Launch of Timber You Can Trust Campaign


Timber Merchant Survey results


Treated Timber: What you need to know


OSB Market on the rise


BMF and Timber Industry upcoming events


How to ensure Plywood and Panel products quality …and much more!



Trade Association re-launch


The London & South East Timber Trade Association is all set for a re-launch in a few weeks.


The Association represents importers, saw-millers, merchants, agents and builders merchants supplying timber and related products in Greater London and South East area


In September 2017 the L&SETTA will come to life again after lying dormant for a few years. Old and new L&SETTA members will be invited to attend the re-launch meeting and lunch so please watch this space for further information.


Those operating in London or South East England who would like to join the association, please contact Karen Sussex. All TTF Members are welcome. All members of Association must also be members of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF)


Key Contacts are:-


Chair Gerald Lenanton Email: gerald@qptimber.com

Vice Chairman Mark Cheriton Email: mark.mdm@btconnect.com

Secretary/Treasurer Karen Sussex Email: ksussex@ttf.co.uk D/L: 0207 291 5372

Mobile: 07568 182162



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TTF ‘Timber you can Trust’ initiative widens

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) continues to rev up its membership to introduce candidates to their growing timber industry initiative ‘Timber you can Trust’ – a campaign, highlighting the need to source timber responsibly.


my targets


Many stakeholders have already pledged their support for the campaign, including architects, contractors, builders’ merchants and key targets now are Councils, business and other professionals.




As councils across the UK commit to build new homes in increasing numbers, the need for sustainably sourced construction materials is even more essential, explains the TTF and the organisation is committed to partnering with local authorities to ensure that high standards of responsible sourcing are maintained in local government and in procurement policies across the private sector.


free course


The TTF is inviting stakeholders to lend their support to the ‘Timber you can Trust’ campaign by taking the TTF pledge and completing a free timber-procurement CPD course




Says David Hopkins, TTF’s Managing Director, said: “I’m excited to be working with local government to increase awareness about the importance of responsible timber sourcing, the good management of forests, and the sustainability of the whole timber supply chain.”




Timber is the world’s leading renewable, low carbon construction material. Responsible procurement is at the heart of a low-carbon future. We’re going on. asking all those who share TTF’s commitment to high standards and who value the benefits of timber to sign up to our Timber Procurement Pledge and buy only ‘Timber You Can Trust’.”


diligence system


The UK has one of the best environmental records on timber procurement across the world because

all TTF members are nowadays required to commit to the TTF’s Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP) – an audited due diligence system to ensure that only legal and sustainably sourced timber enters the UK market.


free training


Our members are active employers, providing low-carbon materials and skilled jobs in virtually every local authority in the UK. That means all councils can get in touch with a local business to receive free procurement training from them,” Mr Hopkins added.


support cards


Search for #trustedtimber to see a list of all those taking part. The TTF wants to see photos of TTF Members, local businesses, local authorities holding the pledge card and showing their support for “Timber You Can Trust”.


Please remember to use the #TrustedTimber hashtag for all Tweeted pictures. Click here to view the “Timber You Can Trust” photo gallery.




A truly wooden ‘ambassador’


More wood ‘in style’ action reported in by our Editor and found on inhabitat.com – this time a very unique – “ambassador for wood” read and and check the visuals – and you’ll surely fully understand and appreciate the ambassador tag!


warmth and comfort


Wood of course has a wonderful way of adding warmth and comfort to a home. Austrian design studio Innauer-Matt Architekten shows off the beauty of the building material in its Exhibition House, a mobile pavilion, commissioned as a showroom for timber construction company Kaspar Greber.


clean lines


The 30-square-meter building features a gabled roof inspired by the local. Despite its traditional gabled shape, the compact pavilion is decidedly modern in design with its clean lines, minimalist style, and playful circular windows and door.




Innauer-Matt Architekten built the pavilion in the shape of a house in reference to the client company’s housing building services.




Kaspar Greber’s in-house solid wood product “Nadelstreif/Pinstripe” is used in the exterior and interior. Different varieties of untreated, raw timber, which range from spruce to fir to oak, add texture and subtle gradients of color.




“Doors and windows are round and invite visitors to take a closer look,” write the architects. “The protruding wooden dowels in the cut-out openings demonstrate the stiction-based construction. Moreover, the wall, ceiling and floor connections can be seen true to scale.


events use


The Exhibition House is movable and spacious enough to be used for events, from trade fairs or the setting of corporate dinners and weddings. The building is designed as a mobile brand ambassador for wood.










Entries call for BWF Awards


The CTI reported recently that The Brititish Woodworking Federation (BWF) has officially opened the call for entries for the BWF Awards 2017.




The Awards are designed to offer a showcase for the joinery and woodworking industry’s best projects, products, processes and people.




Joinery manufacturers, timber door, window and interiors companies, and woodworking experts across the UK are being encouraged to seek recognition through entering this year’s Awards.




Entry is free and open to all, including non-members of the BWF so long as they are from the joinery and woodworking sector. The deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday 8th September 2017.




The winners will be announced at the BWF’s Annual Awards Dinner at Drapers’ Hall, London on Friday 24th November. All shortlisted entrants will receive a free place at the event and will have their achievements promoted through a high profile marketing and social media campaign.




Last year’s winning companies included Deacon & Sandys, Howdens Joinery & Norma Doors, Two Twenty Stairs, Kierson, Gowercroft and Law & Lewis. Entries for this year’s awards can be submitted at www.bwf.org.uk/choose-wood/awards.




BWF Chief Executive Iain McIlwee said: “The Awards have never been more important in raising the profile of British joinery – they give great projects, products and people the recognition they deserve, and help joinery businesses benchmark their progress against the very best of the industry.




Many an experienced joiner would consider the carved and hand finished oak staircase that won last year’s Project of the Year to be something of a one-off, but it was simply the best of a number of breath-taking projects competing for the prize.




The Awards extend further than showcase projects. Rising stars of the industry are celebrated, innovative product design rewarded and the Process Efficiency Award showcases where businesses have prospered from organisational change to become more profitable, sustainable and productive than ever.




The joinery industry has never been a safer place to work, but the human cost of poor Health & Safety practice is as high as ever and the financial implications of getting it wrong can be eye-watering. This is why we have the Health & Safety Hero Award – to show how Health & Safety is more than a tick box-exercise.




Have you worked on an amazing wood project? Does your joinery business have any rising stars within the workforce? We urge all UK woodworking businesses to spare a minute and think about what, or who, they might want to put forward as an entry.”



The BWF Awards 2017 categories:


The Product Design in Wood category (sponsored by Teknos) recognises excellence in technical expertise, application and innovation in joinery product manufacture and design.


The highly prestigious Woodworking Project of the Year (sponsored by Accoya) recognises the very best in design, application or ability in joinery manufacture, and innovation in joinery projects. This award is given every year in memory of John Hedgecock, former technical director at the BWF.


Process Efficiency (sponsored by W18) – recognising lean processes which have improved business performance, including maximising value for money, quality and speed of delivery.


Health & Safety Hero (sponsored by Didac) – acknowledging an individual or collective effort which has made a notable difference to the health and safety practices and culture of a business. The award will be presented in memory of Michael Lee, former membership director at the BWF who passed away last year.


Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by CITB) – celebrating apprentices who have really stood out from the crowd, whether through fantastic feats in their work or extraordinary commitment that adds value to a business.


Trainee of the Year (sponsored by CITB) – also celebrating the work and commitment of those who have entered the joinery industry through alternative routes, including graduates, A-level students and in-house trainees.









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Wooden buildings – more on the new generation

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information, Uncategorized by Nicks Timber

The more you see it – the more you are dazzled by it all….says the Editor – and he is quite right of course. He’s talking about the ever rising proliferation of a new exciting generation of wooden buildings.


At the centre of his most recent waxing lyrical session this time was a presentation online article presentation produced online by The Local’s Client Studio and sponsored by the excellent Swedish re-newables materials company Stora Enso


For sure as they say, “You don’t have to be an architect or a tree-hugger to be dazzled by how good wood is getting and how much ‘gooder’ it is getting all over the planet – with Sweden not surprisingly perhaps very much to the fore!


When people think of the Nordics, they often think of landscapes covered by vast green forests punctuated by compact urban innovation hubs. And a sense of responsibility about how to use resources sustainably.

green’ cities

So, it should come as no surprise that the region’s unique marriage of nature and innovation is redefining the way buildings are conceived and built – with the aim of making construction, buildings, and even entire cities greener and more sustainable.

forest in the city

“We’re bringing the forest into the city,” says Cathrine Wallenius of the renewable materials company Stora Enso. How? By developing new wood-based construction materials that have the potential to replace the steel and concrete commonly used today.

gaining popularity

As a result, wood is no longer just the preferred building material for single-family homes and quaint country cottages; it’s also gaining in popularity when it comes to the construction of apartment buildings, shopping malls, schools, stadiums, and high-rises– even whole cities.

And the results can be incredible.


more sustainable


But what’s almost more impressive is how using wood makes buildings and cities more sustainable. Due to the fact that wood harvested from sustainably managed forests stores carbon absorbed from the atmosphere, using more wood in more buildings has the potential to transform cities into huge carbon stocks.That keeps more carbon out of the atmosphere longer, which helps combat climate change.


Adds Cathrine, “Our main goal is to increase the use of wood and replace as much fossil-based material as possible with wood. And while this transformation to more wooden buildings is still in its early stages, the results so far are pretty amazing.

reach out

The wood industry needs to cooperate in order to function and expand. We need to have a wider transfer of knowledge and expertise in addition to just the products. We also need to reach out to city planners, architects, engineers – that’s where the decisions are made – to make sure they are aware of the possibilities of wood construction and have the arguments for why building in wood is better than using other building materials,” she says.

About Stora Enso


The business is a market leader in spearheading the construction industry’s pivot toward the wider use of renewable, wood-based materials.


The company is among the largest producers of cross-laminated timber (CLT) – which acts like the concrete in traditional construction – and laminated-veneer-lumber (LVL) – which serves the same function as steel.


Stora Enso is also on the cutting edge of developing other wood-based biomaterials that can replace glues, laminates, and even plastic-like materials that are currently dependent on fossil-based materials.


Stora Enso isn’t alone in promoting the advantages of wooden buildings. In fact, the company hopes more and more stakeholders get involved.


Stora Enso’s innovations help more people realize that “wood is good” – for not only builders and home-owners – but also for the environment.


Enough said perhaps – after all a picture says a thousand words – Enjoy!



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CTI Newsletter …. and a ‘foto forest’ contest….

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

Here’s a modest news update of certain ‘happenings’ right now via the always communicative Confederation of Timber Industries…..

latest developments

First news of an always valued now available latest newsletter for the CTI. This fifth interactive issue explores the latest developments of various CTI projects particularly focusing on the Confederation’s activities in the areas of Policy Affairs and Timber Housing promotion.



news galore

In the Newsletter line-up latest issue are:-


A New Chairman and Governing Board for CTI

CTI Parliamentary seminar on Housing & Timber Construction

CTI response to Industrial Strategy Green Paper

CTI & Wood For Good exhibiting at Ecobuild 2017

CTI partners with major UK Construction and Architecture shows

Mass Timber projects in the UK and abroad.


make contact

To read and download the publication click here If you wish to receive more information, please contact Ben Antuono – CTI Communications Coordinator at bena@cti-timber.org or 0207 291 5377


A ‘forest’ of photo experiences contest


PEFC International launched a photo contest, ‘2017 Experience Forests’, aimed at promoting the importance of forests worldwide reports the CTI.


wide variety


Photographers can enter a wide variety of pictures: from forest landscapes to close ups within the forest, also including people living, working or playing in woodlands.


five photos


The competition – open for entries until Monday 5th June 2017 and limited to 5 photos per person – can be joined on Instagram, Facebook or by accessing www.pefc.photo.

international too


The best photos from the contest will enter the international contest and compete for the 2017 PEFC Photographer of the Year Award!


Finland trip


The winner will receive a trip to Helsinki, Finland to attend the 2017 PEFC Forest Certification Week or a cash prize.



The top 12 photos will be publicly exhibited at the 2017 PEFC Forest Certification Week at the Scandic Park hotel in Helsinki, Finland in November 2017 and potentially in other places around the world throughout 2017/2018.




Moreover, the top 12 photos will be featured in the 2018 PEFC ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo calendar For more info, click here


News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/pefc-international-launches-2017-experience-forests-photo-contest


Images credit – The Forestry Commission