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Wooden buildings – more on the new generation

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information, Uncategorized by Nicks Timber0 Comments

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 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

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:


Images credit – The Forestry Commission

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Idyllic timber – bringing the outside inside in style

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information, Uncategorized by Nicks Timber

The bustle of modern day life has us yearning sometimes for an idyl away from it all and on that subject, we picked up a nice introduction story blog link this week, from the always informative TTF News Bulletin and the excellent renowned design people


elusive quality


It was reference a hugely idyllic wooden home, that not only sits in the most superb setting, but achieves with true success that elusive architectural and much sought after quality of bringing the outside inside with an ultimately atmospheric and idyllic striking effect.




As designboom reports – “this particular idyll – made of timber of course, is set against a backdrop of an evergreen forest. It is a hexagonal residence known simply as the wooden house”.




The design is by studio PIKAPLUS. It is located in Slovenia and responds to the intent to withstand the harsh weather conditions that come with the changing seasons all around its stunning location.


outdoors feeling


Reports designboom further – inside, the comfortable dwelling —also wrapped in wood— instills a feeling of being outdoors; the softer wooden interiors shielded by a durable dark outer envelope.




Situated on it’s own in the forest clearing, the positioning of the structure was carefully taken into consideration and with little room to manoeuvre, due to the compact nature of the site, the focus was to utilise the available space to accommodate a family’s day-to-day needs.




The residence explores the use of timber as the dominant material in order for the house to blend with the wooded background. Simplicity in the design is complemented by the oblique lateral facade. the living volume is recessed to allow the roof to become a sheltered space before entry.


expansively vivid


Inside the wooden ‘home’ , the rooms are shaped by the steep angularity of the roof and with the exception of the bathroom, each space face towards the expansive glass façade, inviting the vivid colours and glimpse of the natural surroundings.




The home includes a living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom with sauna which are on the ground floor while the two bedrooms are based upstairs, overlooking rooms on the ground floor.



‘Top of the tree’ … two times over ….that’s Ivan!

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

It’s very much ‘a first’ this month for Ivan Savage of the Timber Trades Benevolent Society.


He was the TTB General Manager and now, he is the very first person in the organisation’s 120 year history, to hold two ‘top of the tree’ posts. Earlier this month he was appointed National President for 2017 and 2018, as well as continuing his General Manager role, succeeding Robert Bruce of MH Southern & Co Ltd.


South coast start


Ivan Savage joined the timber industry over 50 years ago in October 1960 on the south coast with A.Olby & Sons Ltd (now part of the Cover Group), moving to Cox Long Ltd (now part of the Walker Group) in Stafford in 1976.

Group Sales

He was subsequently a Director of S. Jackson (Walsall) Ltd which was bought in August of 1993 by the Carver Group, based in Wolverhampton and in 1994 he was appointed as the Carver Group Sales Director, the first non-family director in nearly 100 years, a position he held until his semi-retirement in November 2008.

stepped down

He was also a founder Director of the Carver subsidiary, Engineered Timber Solutions Ltd, Rodington, near Shrewsbury and continued in that position until February 2011 when he finally stepped down to take up his appointment as the TTBS General Manager.


Reports the most recent TTF Weekly Industry News Bulletin, “Having at that time completed over fifty years unbroken employment in sales and administration within the timber and timber engineering sectors, together with many years involvement with the Midlands Region TTBS, the Society’s Trustees considered that he was exceptionally well qualified to understand the needs of the beneficiaries and to appreciate and nurture the relationships with the timber industry itself”.

Outside the industry he was often ‘on the run’ – literally! Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, Ivan was very active as a distance runner and triathlete throughout the UK, having competed in 29 marathons, including 5 London Marathon events and over 130 open water triathlons, as well as many other long distance road races and fell running events.

Triathlons and walking too


He was secretary of Stone Master Marathoners veterans athletic club and also secretary of the North Staffordshire Triathlon club for many years and a member of the British Triathlon Association. He was also a keen walker, completing the 192 mile Wainwrights Coast to Coast in 1993, together with many other UK long distance pathways.


marathons organiser


Since 1998, he has served on the Wolverhampton City Marathon organising committee and was committee chair and administrator in 2009 and 2010, as well as being a Trustee of the marathon registered charity. To date, this Carver Group sponsored annual event has directly raised over £350,000 for local organisations to assist the less fortunate in the West Midlands region.




Since retiring from the Carver Group in 2011, Ivan has remained a Trustee of the Carver Marathon charity and has continued to assist the committee throughout the year in readiness for the annual September events.


golfing too!


Outside of his full time TTBS work and industry responsibilities, Ivan is a member of Stone Golf Club in Staffordshire and enjoys competitive weekend golf with his regular playing partners.




He will be supported during 2017 and 2018 by National Vice President Paul Snape of WS Logistics of Bromborough, Wirral, a long standing supporter of the North West Region TTBS and representative on the TTBS Board of Management.


Breezing through the working day – no problem!

In Audio, Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

Listen to the weather

Down here at Nicks life is a ‘breeze’ it would seem. No, it’s not a move by the Editor to instal half day working until the Summer… or anything of the like!  

on air

The ‘breeze’ in question in this instance is the local radio station down here in Gloucestershire, 

Breeze Radio!


The Editor decided a little promotional on air weather sponsorship action would be good to boost the late Spring  and early Summer sales locally, both timber and DIY-wise.  You can get an earful of the tuneful tags if you like – …..just click the links below and hum along! 

deals of the day 

Perhaps, as a follow-up, we could run sponsorship ‘sound bites’ between all the Blog stories here for the future promotion of our ‘deals of the day’ and our best latest best cut prices offers  …. or even run wise DIY words of advice from the Nicks experts ….. etc  – hmm…well it’s a thought!

 ….. have a listen ……..have a sing along….  … whatever the weather  ..enjoy!  


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Programmable digital wood design? Wow!

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

Our Editor has an eye for the intricate designed uses of wood and his latest favourite is a most ingenious furniture stool that can be intricately different in so many ways.

shown off

It’s a piece of furniture called the Swift stool – spotted on which was shown off at Cassina’s 90th anniversary exhibition, Cassina 9.0, at the Milan design week.


It demonstrates a very particular design approach from the Italian architecture office professor Carlo Ratti. It is an item that calls upon a systematising approach named “implicit programming”.



The approach sees the team use digital design and fabrication methods to tailor an object so it can take different pre-set forms. Architecture office Carlo Ratti Associati used digital processes to produce this collapsible wooden stool that can be adjusted into different predetermined shapes.




Ratti describes the product as a kind of “programmable wood”. He explains, “Swish has been the culmination of a very exciting research path for us. We started working on self-assembly and implicit programming – the possibility for an object to assume predetermined, kinetic configurations – a few years ago.”




“The Swift stool uses parametric design, an approach that involves using modelling software to gradually tweak spatial parameters until a desired form is reached. The wooden elements of the stool were then milled on computer numerical control (CNC) machinery in Italy” – reports


four versions


Four versions of the prototype – three in cherry wood and one in elm wood – were on display during Milan design week, where the Cassina 9.0 exhibition ran from 4 to 9 April at the Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli on Viale Pasubio 5.


new products


Cassina also launched several new products during the event, including a sofa by Konstantin Grcic that borrows from the design of the Milan Metro.


See The Swift stool in action on You Tube via




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Orders up, output and retail sales too … but house prices slow notes CPA

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

It’s rising orders for businesses and output on the up and up, but a slight downturn in house price increases for the second month running – these are the key head-liners highlighted in this month’s notes of from the ever informative CPA organisation.




According to Nationwide, in April, UK house prices rose 2.6% year-on-year, the weakest annual growth since June 2013. On a monthly basis, house prices fell 0.4%, marking a second consecutive month of decline. The average UK house price in April was £207, 699.


under pressure


Although the weakening in house price growth may indicate that household budgets are coming under pressure from a combination of rising inflation and subdued real wage growth, Nationwide cautioned that it is too early to draw any conclusions about the slowdown.




Alongside the price ease-off, The British Bankers Association reported that the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase decreased 6.4% on an annual basis in March and was 2.8% lower on a monthly basis. The value of these loans were 6.0% lower than a year ago and decreased 3.7% compared with February.




On the general Economic outlook front, the UK GDP showed an increase of 0.3% in this past first quarter of the year, compared with growth of 0.7% in 2016 Q4 and was the slowest rate of growth since 2016 Q1. But this was 2.1% higher compared with the same quarter a year ago.



According to the CBI Industrial Trends Survey for the three months to April, 22% of firms, on balance, reported an increase in output volumes, the highest since July 2014.


new order growth


Furthermore, in the three month to April, 25% of firms, on balance, reported growth in total new orders, the highest since April 1995. Looking to the next three months, a balance of 16% of firms expect output volumes to grow still further.




In April, according to the CBI’s Distributive Trade Survey, 59% of respondents reported an increase in sales volumes compared to a year ago, and 21% said they had decreased, giving a balance of 38%, the highest since September 2015.



above norm


The CBI reported that the increase in retail sales was above norm for the time of year. However, retailers expect slower growth in the coming months, as rising inflation erodes households’ spending power.


For further information contact

[View online the full report here]


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New role for WTA Chairman Phil McCormick MD of Nicks Timber

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

New role for WTA Chairman

WTA Chairman and Nicks Timber Managing Director, Phil McCormick has left his Chairman role with the WTA organisation to move on into another new leading industry role.



He has taken up a brand new position on the Governing Board of the Timber Trade Federation as Chair of the Education Board, which has the challenge of creating a new total training programme for the Confederation of Timber Industries across all Timber product sectors.


Phil was Chair of the WTA for two years. His final duty was to award prizes to Architectural Students from UWE at the organisation’s recent Annual Dinner at the Marriott Hotel, Bristol recently. The event was attended by 200 West region Timber Traders.

Earth day 2017 ..and Timber …and so on ….

Members may or may not have known that it was Earth Day this last weekend – important for us in the Timber business  some of you may probably well know.

annual event

Earth Day WAS on Saturday last and reveals the Telegraph online “Earth Day began  in the US in 1970 as a day to celebrate the planet and encourage people to be more environmentally friendly. It is now an annual event and is widely regarded as the beginning of the modern environmental movement”


Activities associated with the day often include planting trees -very much key to our industry of course – raising awareness about recycling, volunteering for green projects, and reducing the amount of energy people consume.


Further checks online by this Blog Editor revealed a Timber Biz ‘call of support’ for Earth Day from a colleague Timber business, the high profile Champion Timber located in Surrey.

(source –




They – and members too may fully back the sentiment – are calling for people to be more environmentally aware by ensuring the wood they buy comes only from sustainable sources.




The Champion people point out that according to the Forestry Commission, forest loss is the world’s second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute significantly to climate change, so sustainably managed forests for harvesting wood are imperative to protecting the environment and preventing illegal logging and deforestation. A vital sentiment for Earth Day for sure.




This year Earth Day is focused on education and inspiring action to help protect the environment.

Chris Bergin, branch manager at Champion Timber of Guildford, says: “Trees are hugely beneficial to the environment; they store carbon dioxide, and other harmful greenhouse gases, binding them away even when the tree is sawn for wood.




They also produce the oxygen we breath so correctly harvesting them for wood is essential to ensuring the environment remains protected. Younger trees absorb more CO2 than mature trees, so by cutting down the mature trees and planting saplings in their place will take more of the harmful gas out of the air – well managed sustainable forests generally see three trees planted for every one that is cut down.’ 



Champion Timber is now asking people to consider where the wood they buy comes from and is encouraging them to check it has been approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certifications(PEFC).


well- managed


Both these organisations guarantee products come from well-managed and sustainable forests, which help to protect the natural environment, wildlife and plant species, as well as ensuring trees will be available to turn into raw materials for many years to come,” adds Chris – and quite right too!


In case you want to know still further about Earth Day – here’s a little more from the always informative Telegraph ….. you’ll know for next year now though eh?


Earth Day was founded by Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after he witnessed the ravages of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.


April 22 was picked as the date for Earth Day as it fell between Spring Break and Final Exams.

Shortly after the first Earth Day the passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws followed.


By the nineties, Earth Day had gone global with 200 million people in 141 countries on board, lifting environmental issues onto the world stage.


One billion people across the world now get involved with Earth Day each year now!


Earth Day is supported by a host of celebrities, including Leonardo Di Caprio, Emma Watson, Miley Cyrus and Matt Damon


It is the largest civic civic observance in the world.


20 million people participated in the first ever Earth Day in 1970


The celebration has its own flag that features a picture of the Earth taken from the Apollo 17 spacecraft on its way to the Moon.


In 2008 Disney launched Disneynature, a channel dedicated to environmental documentaries, in celebration of Earth Day.


For getting actively involved in some way next time perhaps, visit –

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Employment Advice Information from the BWF for YOUR business

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber


There’s news of some telling clear guidance on often-tricky employment matters in the Timber Industry now available from the The British Woodworking Federation (BWF). This follows a fact-find from the BWF recently on this blog regarding work Health and Safety.

draft policies

The BWF of course a much respected Timber industry body has launched a very useful, well devised set of employment guides and new draft policies. These aim to support how a joinery business can Best employ, manage and appraise members of staff.


The guidance package from the BWF also highlighted online by the CTI web site, features a new employee handbook that BWF members can adapt and use, along with further information reference appraisal techniques and appropriate example contracts for prospective employees.


This is in addition to guidance advice templates covering areas such as social media use, company vehicles, data protection and maternity/paternity leave.


The set of guides also includes downloadable information addressing the procedures for managing ill-health absence, how to set out a clear disciplinary and redundancy process and the right way to handle employment tribunal claims.

good practice

As well as aiding the management of staff, the new resources can aid processes to attract new employees. Also, pre-qualification Questionnaires and support compliance with the BWF Code of Conduct further highlight and set out the principles of good practice for a woodworking or joinery business.

key publications

Our Editor, also on further review, highlighted certain other key Publications for the wood & woodworking industry from the Federation including the BWF Employee Handbook, Machine Safety Cards, Model Company Policies, Contractual and Employment Guidance, and Technical Advice. There is also a BWF Guide To Running A Joinery Business.


Most publications can be downloaded free as part of your membership subscription fee; further copies can be ordered direct from the BWF. Members also receive a discount on the publications that are available for purchase.
Read more…

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Wood waste can become a  ‘total’ resource suggests TRADA

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

Wood waste is not so much of a waste these day,  but more of a ‘bonus’ resource with only a modest one per cent these days being thrown away on landfill sites. ( source –


Says Charlie Law, managing director of Sustainable Construction Solutions Ltd and TRADA board member “With much of the waste timber produced being used for biomass, panel board production and surfacing, it has long been suspected that the previous timber landfill figures were out of date.


“It is great to see that TRADA have confirmed this in their latest updated of this WIS, using data from the EA, which estimates that the percentage of waste timber going to landfill is now only around 1%.”


 Its a fact for sure that ongoing, the UK wood recycling sector is recycling an ever increasing proportion of wood waste and moving towards a situation where all wood ‘waste’ is becoming a ‘resource’,  That’s how it seems to be according to the  TRADA’s Wood Information Sheet – Recovering and Minimising Wood Waste’.


 Previously, Waste Resources & Action Programme (WRAP) estimated that the UK generates a little over four million tonnes of wood waste each year.   According to previous  Environment Agency Waste Interrogator data , only 22,500 tonnes of wood waste was of late accepted at landfill in England, which is just over 1% of the 1.8 million tonnes of wood waste estimated to have been generated in England.


Over half of this was from the municipal waste sector. This low landfill figure backs up the assumption that most wood waste is sent for dedicated biomass or refuse-derived fuel energy production.



The Wood Recyclers’ Association has developed a grading system that provides a simple and common understanding of the quality of wood that are suitable for various reuses. It is self evident that the UK needs to rely less on landfill for disposal, of wood and everything else for that matter,  due to both lack of space and the release of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with biodegradable materials.  (Wood is no exception, yet recent research suggests that wood in landfill does not produce greenhouse gases to the extent previously thought anyway.)

If you are not a member, The  Wood information Sheets are available to purchase online in PDF and hard-copy at the Bookshop. View the TRADA full list of Wood Information Sheets  here 


Who  TRADA are


TRADA (The Timber Research and Development Association) is an international membership organisation dedicated to inspiring and informing best practice design, specification and use of wood in the built environment and related fields.

It prides itself in providing independent, authoritative design and technical guidance through this website, on-line software, printed publications, e-books, and our telephone helpline. It links specifiers and purchasers with timber industry members through the TRADA Find a supplier directory.