Industry Events

AHEC conference in Copenhagen shows the future for American hardwood

Last week nearly 150 European hardwood importers, architects and American hardwood exporters came together in Copenhagen to discuss the future for American hardwoods at the AHEC European conference. The event provided networking opportunities for the timber trade and updates on market conditions, as well as forecasts and trends which will impact on their business in the future.

Under the conference’s theme ‘The Future For American Hardwoods’, a series of discursive seminars with expert panels explored the topics of hardwoods in construction and new approaches to sustainability as two key drivers towards a bright future for U.S. hardwood species. Practical workshops with industry specialists focussed on the technical aspects of using and specifying American hardwoods; from understanding the forest resource, the breadth of individual species, lumber grading and exterior applications.

Mike Snow, AHEC Executive Director, opened with an update on the globalisation of the American hardwood industry, commenting on the decline in domestic demand versus the rapidly growing Chinese appetite for American hardwood. He stated the astonishing fact that “one in every five boards of American lumber will now end up in China”. He also stressed the continued importance of high value European markets where there are opportunities for new applications.

Next, Brogan Cox and Rocío Pérez-Íñigo of AHEC Europe revealed the new promotional tools and messages that AHEC Europe are focusing on through their series of successful creative projects, such as Along The Lines of Happiness in Italy, The Smile in UK or The Workshop of Dreams in Spain, addressing key messages such as promoting underused species or finding new applications.

Architect Jasmin Sohi (dRMM Architects) presented the latest shots and design details from the site of the new Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre currently under construction in Oldham, England; the first commercial building ever built using hardwood CLT, made with American tulipwood.

Following which, Andrew Lawrence (Arup) presented the engineering challenges behind The Smile, the timber pavilion AHEC created for the London Design Festival this September, in partnership with Alison Brooks Architects and Arup, using the largest ever panels of cross-laminated American tulipwood. This experimental pavilion is a vital step towards timber, hardwoods in particular, playing a greater role in the construction industry and making the built environment more sustainable.

This presentation was followed by a great debate chaired by AHEC European Director David Venables, with the participation of Daniel Kressig  from Zueblin Timber, and both Jasmin Sohi and Andrew Lawrence, who expressed their views on the potential for U.S. hardwoods in construction and, specifically, on the next exciting steps for hardwood CLT as a commercial reality.

The conference followed with an Industry Panel where American hardwood exporters discussed the concerns about the devastating EAB (emerald ash borer) and its impact on long term U.S. ash supplies. Other discussion points included white oak availability, given the continued pressure on log supply from the growing barrel stave market and generally how the hardwood industry could further adapt their production to the current needs of the European market.

AHEC Consultant Rupert Oliver began the afternoon session by explaining AHEC’s innovative approach to communicating the environmental benefits of U.S. hardwoods by providing access to reliable forest inventory data, environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and regional risk assessment. Rupert highlighted that “around 90% of U.S. hardwood supply derives from private forest owners, of which there are 9.8 million, with an average forest holding of only 15 hectares.” Dr Randy Wynne (Virginia Tech) developed this theme demonstrating the power of satellite and drone remote sensing to monitor forest condition. Al Goetzl, President of Seneca Creek Associates, spoke about on-going work to review and update the Seneca Creek study, first published in 2008. He noted how the Seneca Creek study links to evolving regulatory initiatives like EUTR and the Lacey Act, and to forest certification systems like FSC and PEFC, providing supporting information for individual operators to form valid conclusions about the risk of illegality and unsustainable practices in the U.S. hardwood supply chain

In the ensuing panel discussion, the presenters were joined by Jakob Rygg Klaumann and Mike Worrell, respectively of the Danish and UK timber trade associations, who commented on the relevance of the Seneca Creek review to their members and market implications of the new high tech data sources described by Randy.

The first day concluded with an industry showcase which proved to be a productive networking event for both American exporters and European buyers.

The second day started with an interesting session in which Rupert Oliver (Forest Industries Intelligence) talked about the American hardwood resource and presented for the first time the revolutionary, interactive online map AHEC have created, showing the detailed distribution of 20 American hardwood species across the United States as well their individual rates of harvest and growth.

Mr Oliver also presented the American Hardwood Environmental Profile (AHEP); a very easy to use visual tool that enables American hardwood exporters to provide a comprehensive consignment-specific shipping document with information on the risk of illegality as well as sustainability of the U.S. hardwood species contained in that consignment and which satisfies all “due-diligence” requirements from the EUTR.

Next, Neil Summers (Timber Dimension) explored the growth opportunities for exterior applications of American hardwoods and focused on the several U.S. species which are clearly suitable for thermal modification; an application which AHEC is very excited about as the market for exterior wood applications continues to grow. Neil also talked about how as the industry prepares for the loss of American ash as a substrate for thermal modification, we must consider suitable alternatives and the audience suggested red oak. He showed some inspiring examples of recent projects made in Europe using U.S. TMT (thermally modified timber), such as Room on a Hill.

The conference concluded with a highly informative and practical session delivered by Dana Spessert, NHLA’s Chief Inspector, on grading hardwood lumber to the NHLA standard.


[News URL:]

Mark Farmer to be keynote speaker at Explore Offsite Futures 2016

Mark Farmer, CEO and Founding Director of the Real Estate & Construction Consultancy Cast, is confirmed to speak at Explore Offsite Futures on the 24 November at the NEC, Birmingham.

Mark was most recently commissioned by the Construction Leadership Council, at the request of government, to undertake a review of the UK’s construction labour model. The report under the banner of 'The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model' and subtitled 'Modernise or Die'- has now been delivered and has focused a great deal of media attention towards the construction industry's dysfunctional training model, its lack of innovation and collaboration as well as its non-existent research and development (R&D) culture.

One of the main suggestions within the report, is that the UK construction industry needs to embrace offsite manufacture, and therefore Explore Offsite Futures is your opportunity to hear directly from the author and the Q&A session will provide answers to your questions about this report.

Mark will be discussing ‘Building a Mature UK Pre-Manufacturing Sector: Implications of the Farmer Review’ at Explore Offsite Futures.

You can book your place at the event by following this link:

View other events on CTI Calendar.


[News URL:]

PEFC UK to run stakeholder seminars on Sustainable forest management certification

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is running two seminars in the New Year to help participants gain a clearer understanding of sustainable forest management certification.

Key personnel from certified companies such as Chain of Custody administrators, marketing and sales are invited to attend these seminars covering a wide range of topics including Chain of Custody certification, the use of the PEFC label and the market drivers for certified forest products.

The possible dates are:

London - Wednesday 11 January

Birmingham - Wednesday 18 January

The workshops are free to attend but places are strictly limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis, so early registration is recommended.

For more information, download the pdf form or contact [email protected].


[News URL:]

Minister Nick Hurd to be keynote speaker at TAF Brexit Debate | 3 November 2016 | London

The Trade Association Forum (TAF) will hold a debate on Brexit aftermath at One Drummond Gate in London on Thursday 3rd November 2016.

The keynote speaker will be Nick Hurd MP, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry within the newly formed Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Mr Hurd will discuss any concerns that industry has about the UK’s trading outlook and will explain what the Government is doing in the lead up to Article 50 being invoked.  

The event will also include discussion sessions delivered by experts and Award winning trade associations covering:

- TAF Governance Surgery for 2016 – Measuring Board Skills and Effectiveness

- How to create a successful in-house magazine

- Membership Recruitment – Tips for Success

- The Importance of Good PR

- Using Your Members for Promotion

- The Internet of Things

- Benchmarking your TA Against Others

- Communicating with the World – What your Website says about You

- Collaborative Working at its Best

- Lobbying Ethically and Influencing Policy in the Right Way

Debate tickets are available for £155 + VAT each or £310 + VAT for three people.

To reserve your place, please email [email protected] or call 020 3869 8650.

View other events on CTI Calendar.


[News URL:]

BMF Timber Forum 2016 | 29 November 2016 | Stoke on Trent

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) will hold its next Timber Forum meeting at Meyer Timber Ltd in Stoke on Trent on Tuesday 29th November 2016.

Organised and run in collaboration with other trade and regulatory bodies, the Timber Forum aims to support merchant members and their suppliers in the timber and wood products market.

It focuses on sharing best practice, disseminating information and gathering views on legislation, product and building standards and other issues that may affect trading.

The 2016 Forum programme and agenda include:

  • 09.30 - Coffee
  • 10.00 - Introductions, matters arising and key points from the last meeting: Gary Froggatt, Howarth Timber, Forum Chairman. Will include nominations for Forum Chairman and Vice Chairman
  • 10.15 - Mike Greenland Ligna: Assuring Timber Supply Chains
  • 10.45 - Dave Hopkins Managing Director TTF: Updates on TTF and CTI
  • 11.15 - Hannah Mansell, BWF Schemes and Technical Manager: Fire Door Safety
  • 11.45 - Open Forum
  • 13.00 - Networking lunch and tour of Meyer group facility
  • 14.00 - Close of event

The event is free of charge and restricted to a maximum of 2 people per organisation.

For more information and to book a place please email Alyssa Moore at [email protected].


[News URL:]