News & Events
World Architecture Festival to introduce new prize for Best Use of Certified Timber
The World Architecture Festival (WAF) - to take place in Amsterdam from 28 to 30 November 2018 - has introduced a brand new category to celebrate the use of certified timber in architecture.
The 'Best Use of Certified Timber Prize' is supported by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and aims to "reward project teams and architects that have used certified timber in a creative, innovative and inspirational way".
A special jury – including a PEFC representative – will identify entries that "have used certified timber in an exceptional way" and shortlisted entries will be contacted to confirm that the timber specified and used in the project originates from certified sources – such as PEFC-certified forests – thereby demonstrating clear leadership in sustainable design and responsible purchasing.
The jury will finally judge face-to-face presentations of the 10 best entries on the morning of Friday 30 November 2018, at WAF in Amsterdam. The winner will be presented with their special prize at a Gala Dinner on the same evening.
More than 500 architectural practices are expected to enter join The 11th World Architecture Festival's competition. Past winners include some the world’s most iconic and best-known architectural practices including: Foster & Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects, Snohetta, BIG, Isay Weinfeld, Perkins & Will, Rogers Stirk Harbour, FJMT and Sou Fujimoto.
Interested parties can enter projects via the WAF website - https://www.worldarchitecturefestival.com/ENTER - where there are 16 completed buildings award categories that are all eligible for the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize. The deadline for entry is 11 May 2018.
Wood Awards 2018: Call for entries now open
Yesterday the Wood Awards: Excellence in British Architecture and Product Design launched its 2018 call for entries with a Drinks Reception at The Building Centre in London.
Anyone involved in a UK-based wood project is invited to enter and has until 25 May to submit applications.
Established in 1971, the Wood Awards recognises, encourages and promotes outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood in projects throughout the UK. The Wood Awards’ elite independent judging panel not only judges all submitted entries but also visits the shortlisted projects in person, making the Wood Awards a uniquely rigorous competition.
The Wood Awards shortlist will be announced in July and the winners will be announced at the Wood Awards ceremony on 20th November 2018 at Carpenters’ Hall in London. The shortlisted projects will be on display at the ceremony and during the London Design Festival in September.
Stephen Corbett of Green Oak Carpentry and design critic Corinne Julius are the new Buildings and Furniture & Product judging panel chairpersons.
Stephen comments, “Every year the call for entries for the Wood Awards cast its net ever wider and deeper, as the new wave of enthusiasm for working with wood gathers pace. Years ago, timber buildings and furniture were the pre-eminent choice - now it is clear that their time has come around again, presenting enormous opportunities for our foremost architects and designers".
Corinne adds “Wood is such a beautiful, versatile material. It reveals the history of its use, with a richness of patina. There are so many ways to work with it both for commercial production and to make one-offs. In the last few years there has been a re-appraisal of its qualities with an increasing number of designers responding to its potential, matched by an increased appreciation by consumers.”
With permission from the owner, anyone associated with a building or product completed in the last two years, can enter. Buildings must be located within the UK whilst furniture and other products must have been either designed or manufactured in the UK. Fitted furniture must be in the UK.
The competition is free to enter and entrants may submit more than one project. There are no restrictions on the size or budget of a project. The 2018 categories will be confirmed at the shortlisting. Building categories are likely to be Commercial & Leisure, Education & Public Sector, Interiors, Private and Small Project.
The Furniture & Product competition will be split into Bespoke, Production Made and Student Designer which is open to anyone currently in education or who has left education in the past 12 months. Within the Student category there are two cash prizes (£1,000 for the Winner and £500 for the People’s Choice).
Other awards, such as Structural and Existing Building awards, can be given at the judges’ discretion. Mears Group will be sponsoring this years’ Gold Award. The Mears Group Gold Award is given to the winner of winners, chosen from the winners of all the categories.
As a not-for-profit competition, the Wood Awards can only happen with collaborative industry sponsorship. Mears Group is now sponsoring the Mears Group Gold Award which is the project that the judges deem to be the best of all the winners.
Major Sponsors of the Wood Awards 2018 are American Hardwood Export Council, the Carpenters' Company and TRADA. Other sponsors include American Softwoods, Arnold Laver, Forestry Commission, Timber Trade Federation, Wood for Good and the Furniture Makers’ Company.
UK timber operator fined under EUTR for failing to exercise due diligence
On 2nd March 2018, UK timber operator Hardwood Dimensions Holdings Limited pleaded guilty to an offence under reg4(b) of the Timber Products (Placing on the Market ) Regulations 2013.
The offence related to deficiencies within the Due Diligence system used by the company on its purchases of West African Timber, in this case FSC Certified Ayous in January 2017.
Subsequent to the enforcement visit it was acknowledged by BEIS that none of the material imported was from an illegal source. The prosecution was solely focused on the company’s due diligence systems. Hardwood Dimensions Holdings Limited co-operated fully at every stage of the investigation.
As a consequence of the investigations, and as advised by the investigators, Hardwood Dimensions Holdings Limited have adopted the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) RPP Due Diligence Tool kit and along with the TTF’s and the BEIS’s support have now implemented it across all of the products they place on the EU Market.
Simon Marsden Joint Managing Director of Hardwood Dimensions Holdings Ltd said: “This case shows how easy it is to fall foul of the EUTR. As a company, we felt we had adequate procedures in place, particularly in this case as we were purchasing FSC Certified material. However, this is clearly not the case and we admitted that for this one particular supply line our Due Diligence systems were deficient.
We are now utilising the RPP Due Diligence toolkit provided by the TTF and it has already shown to be far more robust and comprehensive than our previous system."
Following the prosecution, David Hopkins, Managing Director of the TTF said: “This case highlights the need for all importers to conduct thorough Due Diligence assessments on all of their products, even those which carry FSC certification. FSC alone is no guarantee of having complied with legal process. It is the sole responsibility of importers to ensure compliance with the EUTR and that all relevant procedures are in place.
It was clear that the timber itself was not illegally harvested, but the company has been punished for not following due process.
The TTF provides all of the tools needed to conduct exemplary due diligence via our Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP). We will continue to work with our members to ensure the highest levels of due diligence, and would recommend all of our members attend our free EUTR and RPP workshops around the country.”
"The TTF's RPP framework was reviewed and overhauled during 2016, to provide a more robust and transparent system to members. This went live in 2017, with all members moving to the new system in phases during that year."
All ‘operators’ (importers) in TTF Membership are independently third-party audited by the Soil Association, a Monitoring Organisation of the EUTR.
Hardwood Dimensions Holdings Ltd has moved to incorporate the TTF’s new RPP toolkit as its Due Diligence system, in line with advice from the Competent Authority. They have subsequently improved their due diligence and completed a third party auditing process.
"The TTF will continue to work with all members to ensure we provide high levels of training in EUTR compliance," David Hopkins concluded.
For more information, contact the Timber Trade Federation at email@example.com
BVRio and Ghana Forestry Commission host Responsible Timber Trade Fair in Accra
As part of its mission to promote legal and certified timber from tropical countries, the Brazilian NGO BVRio, in collaboration with the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Ghana Forestry Commission, launched the Responsible Timber Trade Fair (www.bvriotradefairs.org) at the 22nd Ghana International Trade Fair which opened in Accra yesterday.
The event - to close tomorrow 2 March 2018 - features exhibit stands for timber companies to promote their products and a two-day Conference on the Legal and Certified Timber Trade, with an impressive selection of Ghanaian and International speakers.
Conference topics include: the status, challenges and next steps of the FLEGT-VPA process in Ghana, Liberia, Cameroon and Côte d’lvoire; an overview of timber sector in each of these countries; and the requirements of buyers from China and the EU.
The second day of the Conference will host the launch of the Ghana Wood Tracking System (GWTS) Public Portal, developed by Civic Response in conjunction with the Forestry Commission. The purpose of the portal is to enhance due diligence processes and demonstrate the transparency and credibility of the Ghana Legality Assurance Scheme.
The illegal trade of tropical timber is one of the main drivers of environmental degradation, human rights abuses and corruption. To tackle illegality in the sector and support the trade of legal timber, international legislation such as the EU Timber Regulation (EU TR), the US Lacey Act, and the Australia Illegal Logging Prohibition Act have been developed.
Thus, the objective of the fair is to promote and expose timber companies that embrace legality and the FLEGT-VPA process, and certification, to timber traders from the EU and China. BVRio expects that the Responsible Timber Trade Fair will raise awareness about timber legality and help to generate an increase in the international demand for legally and sustainably sourced timber products from West and Central Africa.