Industry News

BWF joins the Sustainable Traditional Building Alliance

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has joined the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA).

The collaboration between the two not-for-profit organisations aims to establish a forum for sustaining and improving traditional buildings in the UK. 

Formed in late 2011, the Alliance draws its support from three main sectors – Heritage, Industry and Sustainability. ‘Heritage’ in this context does not confine itself to historic and protected buildings, but refers more broadly to any pre-1919 traditionally-constructed building. 

The STBA promotes and delivers a more sustainable traditional built environment in the UK through high-quality research, education, training and policy. It also produces short and usable guidance (e.g.Planning Responsible Retrofit of Traditional Buildings) based upon best current research and practice.

"We will be working with the SBTA to provide better access to information on windows and we very much hope to develop joint training for conservation officers and to highlight the issues", BWF commented.


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TTF reaction to Brexit vote: Monitoring market volatility and supporting the EUTR

David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has assured that the new scenario post-Brexit vote won't affect projects and strategy of the Federation.

In particular the Federation has pledged to monitor market volatility and keep supporting the EU Timber Trade Regulation (EUTR).

In a statement issued this morning, Mr Hopkins underlined that "the TTF will continue working with all European trade association partners to reassure them that the UK is still a strong market which is very much open for business, and that we will maintain strong market relations regardless of volatility."

"We have also been in contact with the Government, its agencies and enforcement bodies, the European Commission and others. On this, I would like to remind all members that EUTR is now a matter of UK law – regardless of the EU initials at the front! – and is still being enforced in the UK and across the EU. It is a sensible risk-based regulation and an approach we continue to support", he added.

TTF Managing Director also highlighted that "regardless of last week’s vote, it is inconceivable that the UK will want to be seen to be weakening rules against illegal logging. From formal and informal discussions we’ve had with UK officials the mood seems to be to prove that the UK can continue with strong regime of environmental regulation, whether in or out of EU." Similarly, TTF members and contractors "will be maintaining the strictest environmental and responsible sourcing standards regardless of the UK position in EU."

Mr Hopkins concluded his note with an appeal to unity and collaboration within the UK timber industry: "We have been in regular close contact with all of our UK timber trade association partners including the BWF and STA. Together we are working as the CTI to ensure that we maintain a strong, united, timber voice in the ensuing debate.

Our parliamentary and public affairs work will be focused on improving education & training, expanding our timber manufacturing base and putting skilled timber jobs back at the heart of the construction sector and our communities.

In or out of Europe, we must now work together to give us the best chance of a successful future.”


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FSC Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee calls for switch in forest economics

During its seventh meeting held in on 7–9 June 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee (PIPC) of FSC called for a change in forest economics, urging Forestry Industry stakeholders to move away from extraction towards “hope generation” via investment in indigenous cultural landscapes.

Such areas are becoming centres of indigenous-led forest management and local manufacturing, with ecosystem service management guaranteed by FSC certification.

The meeting - hosted by representatives of the Orang Asal in Malaysia - brought together Indigenous Peoples from Tanzania, Canada, Japan, Nicaragua and Scandinavia.

The PIPC was launched in 2013 in order to implement the collaboration among FSC and indigenous communities around the world under the criteria of equality in the relationship, fair reciprocity in the exchange of ideas and expertise, mutual learning and the joint development of appropriate tools for facilitating the certification of forest management.


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STA calls on timber industry to stick together over uncertain Brexit period

The Structural Timber Association (STA) has urged the major UK timber and forestry organisations to collaborate in the aftermath of the EU Referendum vote.

In his appeal, Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of the STA, has invited the timber industry to stand together in this period of adjustment: "This is not a time to let divisions of political ideology split us," he said to Builder & Engineer magazine. "Instead, we must continue to relentlessly work towards our common goal – to grow the structural timber frame sector and promote the inherent benefits that structural timber frame as a building material offers.

"The STA respects the democratic will of our members and the British population in general. As such, we wish to issue a rally call to those within the structural timber sector", Mr Carpenter added. "The structural timber industry, as continually proven in our distant and near past, is an incredibly resourceful and resilient sector. The STA has the robust and stable infrastructure that will continue to work for the interests of its members and the wider timber frame sector."

“Following the last 12 months most successful and significant growth in market share, now is the time for the structural timber industry to stand resolutely together and seek to embrace any opportunities that this change may bring", he concluded.


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Oak tops list of specified hardwood in UK, GIB research shows

According to research from Grown in Britain (GIB) Woodstock, Oak is the most commonly specified hardwood in the UK followed by Ash, Beech, Maple, Tulipwood (Poplar) and Walnut. Sapele is the prominent tropical hardwood being specified instead.

These findings emerged from the Customer and supplier surveys completed in the Innovate UK funded project and were backed up by data from the Forestry Commission on imports to the UK.

Grown in Britain research also identified that the main uses for hardwood were internal and external joinery, such as doors frames, screens, windows, architraves and skirtings, along with other external uses, such as cladding and decking, and internal flooring.

According to survey respondents, there was a lack of information available on UK hardwood, particularly around visual grading, and this was identified as one of the key barriers to the specification of home grown timber.

Many customers and suppliers were not aware that, for many of the applications for which they specify imported hardwood, timber could be sourced from UK supply. Processors did not have a clear picture of the demand for hardwood.

Forestry Commission data also confirmed that there were sufficient quantities of standing timber to meet a 20% increase in timber production for all home grown species in the short term, and for a 100% increase (except for Oak) in the long term, with some species such as Ash, Beech and Sweet Chestnut in sufficient quantities for a much larger increase.


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