Industry News

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]

New CIRIA handbook promotes responsible sourcing across Construction Industry

The Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) has recently produced its responsible sourcing handbook.

The publication - Minimising risk through responsible sourcing (C767) - is designed to help anyone involved in construction projects to better understand what to look for when making purchasing decisions.

By providing best practises and guidance on responsible sourcing practices and risks reduction, the handbook aims to answer to key-questions such as:

- Where do the materials and products used in construction projects come from?

- What are their social, environmental and ethical impacts?

- Do construction companies and professionals consider them in purchasing decisions?

"Adopting responsible sourcing practices is the key to act on these issues and to manage potential risks and impacts associated with the purchase of materials, products and services, such as child labour, excessive use of resources, or greenhouse gas emissions," says CIRIA in a news release.

"With an economy based on global networks and supply chains this can be very challenging and requires a close collaboration between all the parties involved in project delivery, from clients to designers and specifiers, through to suppliers and product manufacturers."

"The construction industry is increasingly realising this and we are witnessing the evolution of the market and changes in procurement processes: clients and contractors are keen to work with organisations that can demonstrate they are adopting responsible sourcing practices; at the same time, manufacturers and suppliers are seeking third party certification to demonstrate their supply chain transparency and, ultimately, increase their ability to win more work."

Find out more information here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/new-ciria-handbook-promotes-responsible-sourcing-across-construction-industry]

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