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The Structural Timber Association (STA) has welcomed the Government’s Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener, which places a firm emphasis on reducing the embodied carbon of buildings by adopting more sustainable materials, such as timber.

Andrew Orriss, Chief Operating Office of the STA, commented: “This is an excellent step forward in policy, which we support wholeheartedly. It’s encouraging to see that the Government has listened to the many industry voices that have been calling for regulatory guidance on embodied carbon and that the strategy intends to improve carbon reporting and explore maximum limits on future new builds. With the construction industry contributing 39% of global carbon emissions – and with embodied carbon accounting for 11% of that total – its clear that reducing the carbon footprint of the materials we use will have a significant impact.

“Recognising the enormous potential for carbon sequestration that timber offers, it’s heartening to see that the Net Zero Strategy also includes a commitment to developing a policy roadmap for increasing the use of timber in construction. We welcome the proposed cross-government and industry working group, which will be tasked with increasing public demand for sustainably sourced timber and encouraging research into overcoming the barriers to timber uptake.

“Naturally, as the STA we believe that timber is an excellent building material when used in an appropriate context and our objective is – of course – to promote its many benefits. However, we firmly believe that this should be achieved by providing fact-based, unbiased information that supports informed specification choices. There is no one-size-fits all solution and we recognise that there is space within the market for all construction materials – indeed, we would welcome engagement on increasing the delivery of hybrid constructions. We believe this is the most pragmatic way of achieving the overall goal of significant carbon reduction.

“To that end, we’re working closely with industry stakeholders to forge stronger links and provide stability for those working in timber construction and have produced a series of guides and a white paper, to provide a better understanding of the use of timber in construction from a risk management perspective. Our online library contains a wealth of documents, with information on all aspects of timber construction, from Building Regulations to best practice principles. It is a valuable resource which can assist those specifying structural timber for projects or provide technical support during installation on site.”

To find out more please visit: www.structuraltimber.co.uk

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