Industry News

David Birkbeck appointed as ambassador and chair of Wood For Good

Wood For Good, the timber industry’s campaign established to promote the use of timber in design and construction, has appointed a new ambassador and committee chair.

David Birkbeck (pictured on the left), Design for Homes’ chief executive, is to lead the Wood for Good campaign, taking over from Craig White, who has been involved since 2013.

David has been at the helm of Design for Homes since 2000. He incorporated it as a social enterprise to promote what works best in housing and campaigns for homes to be better designed and produced in greater volumes.

David will use his extensive experience and industry networks to help Wood for Good push for new opportunities to position timber as a first-choice material in construction, from interiors through to large scale commercial projects.

Discussing the current housing situation in the UK, David says: “Everyone knows the country can’t get anywhere near the level of production it needs without more companies and more solutions in the supply chain."

“The next few years should offer a range of platforms for the timber industry to show its potential and help tackle an increasingly corrosive problem - access to a home."

Christiane Lellig, campaign director for Wood for Good says: “Craig has done a fantastic job with Wood for Good over the past four years and we are lucky to have him as a continued friend to the campaign."

“We are very pleased to have David on board. With the continuing development and growing support for the timber industry, David’s experience and knowledge complements our values and objectives perfectly.”

Craig White says: “During my time with Wood for Good, interest in new timber technologies and methods of construction has grown rapidly. The timber industry is perfectly placed to meet this shifting market demand and Wood for Good will continue to provide valuable support.”

Wood for Good’s objective is to make wood a first-choice material for specifiers and designers by demonstrating that wood is a versatile building material with numerous application possibilities beyond traditional use."

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/david-birkbeck-appointed-ambassador-and-chair-wood-good]

STA launches 'Time for Timber' podcast

The Structural Timber Association (STA) has launched 'Time for Timber', a series of interviews with high-profile construction professionals about features, projects and potentialities of the Structural Timber Industry. 

The podcasts - freely downloadable on iTunes and AudioBoom - can be listened to ‘on the go’ from mobiles or other portable devices.

The first Podcast features Tim Snelson, Associate Director for Arup - a company that offers multi-disciplinary design, with Architecture and Engineering services. This unique fusion of engineering and architecture enables Arup to develop technologically advanced design that is appropriate, economic - sensitive to both environmental and human needs. In this inaugural Podcast, Tim Snelson discusses the opportunities for timber to provide smart solutions to the current and future challenges in the construction industry.

To listen to the full interview, go to: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=1278961345&i=1000391820214

Android users can access the podcast by entering this link in to a podcast app: https://audioboom.com/posts/6263332-ep-1-tim-snelson-of-arup

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/sta-launches-time-timber-podcast]

Timber and joinery products drive positive trend for UK builders merchants' sales

The latest data released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) confirms a continuing positive trend for UK builders merchants with Q2 sales increasing by 5.3% compared to Q2 2016.

The actual Q2 year on year sales figure (for 61 days trading compared to 63 in 2016) is still positive at +1.9%. Year to date sales figures to June are 3.8% higher than for 2016, a period with the same number of trading days.

Significantly, value growth year on year for the first half of 2017 was driven by the major categories of Timber and Joinery (+4.6% – particularly Cladding and Stairs and Stair Parts) and Heavy Building Materials (+4.1% – primarily Lintels, Roofing Products and Bricks and Blocks). In the picture here you can see the development of timber and joinery products' sales.

Nigel Cox, Managing Director Timbmet and BMBI’s Expert for Timber & Panel Products, commented: "Our view in Quarter 1 was that the market for Timber and Panel Products looked promising and that we should be optimistic for the year. In reality the second quarter has been more challenging than expected." 

"The run up to the election and the surprise result created uncertainty and confusion - and political uncertainty, whether domestic or foreign, continues to influence trade and impact our markets. At best we can say quarter two’s performance was flat. The market for hardwood timber though is stable with no major supply issues."

"European oak remains popular and with the traditional summer closing of the mills, the supply chain will slow and there could be a short term impact on stocks during August and September. The OSB (Oriented Strand Board) sector is still difficult and is feeling the effects of shortages as demand continues to outstrip supply."

"Prices remain volatile and continue to rise. Additional production capacity will ease the situation as we enter 2018. MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) supply chain shortages eased slightly in Quarter 2 compared to the previous quarter but product availability has stayed on allocation which in turn leads to continued pricing pressure."

"The well-publicised and tragic fire at Grenfell Tower has shaken our industry and raised concern over building regulations and standards. Various timber and panel products are fire treated and the increased demand is impacting on the lead time for treated products. Merchants are encouraged to check availability well in advance of requirements. In summary, we had a bumpy second quarter and the outlook for the next three months is modest."

The complete BMBI report can be downloaded here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/timber-and-joinery-products-drive-positive-trend-uk-builders-merchants-sales]

Wood Window Alliance takes on the challenge of 'timber lookalike' PVC-u windows

The Wood Window Alliance (WWA) has recently launched an informative campaign to warn against the use of PVC-u 'timber-lookalike' windows.

"These products flatter timber windows by mimicking their construction, detailing and finish," the Wood Window Alliance underlines. "Moreover, many of the claims made for these windows on the internet and in marketing materials are misleading, although they are presented as 'facts'."

In this context, the WWA has produced a series of infographics and fact sheets to dispel some myths surrounding "plastic promises from the PVC-u industry"

The Campaign includes an analysis of the performance of PVCu vs wood windows in relation to environmental impact, fire resistance, toxic legacy, maintenance and durability.

"The Wood Window Alliance has done considerable work over the past few years to ensure we make our claims consistent, clear and honest," said WWA Chairman Tony Pell. "Having reviewed the available data and latest research, we have decided to challenge the worst of these misleading so-called ‘facts’. Following this, you will find a list of ‘fake facts’ and misleading statements that are being presented by individual companies, and even the industry body of the PVC-u industry, as true."

"Whilst PVCu frames might seem cheaper, wood frames are the better investment for long-term value, even taking maintenance into account, because of their longer life and low impact on the environment".

The Wood Window Alliance is a group of over 20 leading names in the UK wood window market. Launched in 2007, it aims to raise standards and promote the benefits of modern wood and aluminium-clad wood windows and doors. 

Find out more here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/wood-windows-alliance-takes-challenge-timber-lookalike-pvc-u-windows]

Sir Peter Bonfield receives Honorary Doctorate of Engineering at Edinburgh Napier University

Sir Peter Bonfield, Chief Executive of the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Group, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering by the Edinburgh Napier University.

The award comes as it emerged that Sir Bonfield has also been appointed to a Government fire safety advisory panel set up to implement lessons from the Grenfell Tower blaze.

Sir Bonfield is passionate about the role science and engineering play in finding solutions to the challenges facing the built environment, with sustainability as his main focus.

Sir Bonfield commented: “I am so pleased and honoured to receive this award from a university that I have long admired for its pioneering, ambitious and impactful research and teaching that is so distinctive. It is a great pleasure to have this new association.”

Edinburgh Napier University’s Institute for Sustainable Construction has enjoyed a long working relationship with BRE Group under the guide of Professor Sean Smith, Director of Sustainable Construction, who is also a BRE Trust Fellow. 

The Institute for Sustainable Construction (ISC) worked in partnership with BRE Group to establish the BRE Innovation Park at Ravenscraig.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/sir-peter-bonfield-receives-honorary-doctorate-engineering-edinburgh-napier-university]

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