Industry News

Wood for Good delivers new package of workshops on timber in construction

Wood for Good, in partnership with the Forestry Commission and Exova (previously BM TRADA) has launched a new set of CPD seminars to be held throughout 2016.

The workshops will explore the role of timber in construction as well as modern methods for using wood as a building material. The sessions will analyse how new developments in engineered wood products can provide larger, stronger and stiffer components. 

In addition, the seminars will update delegates on the different wood species and timber products available in the UK and demonstrate what can be constructed with them through example case studies.

Speakers will showcase a series of timber products and decay agents to highlight the different performance of wood in a range of building types.

The next workshop will take place on 14 April 2016 at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford.

For more information visit


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Barratt Homes plans to expand timber frame houses offer

Barratt Homes, one of Britain’s leading house builders, is seeking to increase efficiency of housing delivery through greater use of timber frame.

In the announcement of half-yearly results for the six months ended 31st December 2015, Chief Executive David Thomas said: “Whilst we have seen an increase in the supply of skilled subcontractors over the past year, there remains an industry shortage in the UK, with increases in labour costs remaining the largest driver of overall build cost inflation. We are well placed with the necessary labour to meet our operational and quality requirements. We are also seeking to increase efficiency through the use of timber frame on around 6% of our plots during FY16 and through the use of alternative off-site manufacturing options, including closed panel roof solutions.”

For more information click here [see page 6 of the financial results].


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Wood Awards 2016: Call for Entries to open 14 March 2016

The Wood Awards 2016 call for entries will open on Monday 14 March till 27 May 2016.

With permission from the owner, anyone associated with a building or product design can enter. The project must have been completed in the UK in the last two years. Entry is free and you may submit more than one project.

For 2016 there are likely to be eight main categories for which one winner and one highly commended project can be awarded at the discretion of the panel of judges. The criteria for the Wood Awards are based on design, craftsmanship, quality of installation. Neither size, nor value are taken into account, except where special attention is given to small projects for the Small Project category. Categories will be confirmed at shortlisting.

The Wood Awards shortlist will be announced in July and everyone involved in a shortlisted project will be invited to attend the Wood Awards ceremony in London on 22 November 2016

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


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EU Papermakers write letter to Commission: "Too many loopholes in EUTR"

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) and the European Federation for Print and Digital Communications (INTERGRAF) have jointly written to the European Commission raising their concerns on the confused application of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

Commenting on the recent EUTR report issued by the Commission, the two organisations underlined how "a number of different timber-based products are not covered by the current legislation." In particular, the most concerning loophole is the exemption for printed products, such as books, magazines and other products of the Printing Industry.

"Printers in the UK, quite rightly, are required to ensure the legality of the paper they use. Yet printers outside the European Union, that can be based in locations where illegally harvested timber products are present, have no such requirement – even when they are exporting to the UK", the UK Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) added.

"While this exemption has never been sensible, the increasing imports of printed materials from potentially problematic areas means the loophole needs to be closed. As part of the consultation process to inform the review, a wide range of environmental and industry groups called for this issue to be addressed, and it is disappointing to see no proposals in the review", the UK Papermakers organisation concluded.

Click here to read the letter in full.


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BWF Chief sends letter to Chancellor asking to tackle skills gap

Iain McIlwee, Chief Executive of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), has sent a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne underling problems and opportunities within the UK woodworking sector.

The letter - written ahead of the Government Budget announcement on March 16th - focused on four main themes:

  • Bad payment practice continues to undermine the market
  • Supporting UK Manufacturing 
  • Cost of doing Business
  • Nurturing the skills needed to meet demand

"The UK wood products manufacturing sector is a vital part of the UK economy supplying furniture and products for the construction industry, adding over £3 billion to the UK economy every year", said Mr Mcllwee. "Carpentry and joinery also represents the third largest sector of employment in the construction industry and brings skilled jobs to both rural and urban areas."

"Thanks to growth in construction and a realisation that renewable material is intrinsic to a sustainable built environment, we are optimistic about the future of the timber sector. Despite this we remain concerned that the benefits of this growth may not be fully realised in the UK and are not shared equally or in a timely fashion through the whole of the supply chain", BWF CEO warned.

Mr McIllwee particularly pointed out the problem of skills gap in the Woodworking sector, as already stressed by the BWF Joinery State of Trade Survey Q4 2015: "We should be looking at clearing systems for apprentices in order to prevent wastage and also help to target interested parties with information and informed choice.  Developing a meaningful and scalable interface with schools is a priority as adequate careers guidance in schools is now non-existent. This is not the fault of schools as they are being pushed towards academic subjects but there is a fundamental failure to help young people to understand the choices they have, let alone prepare them for them."

Read the complete letter here.


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