Timber in Construction Roadmap

Measuring Progress

Work to progress the themes set out in the Government’s Timber in Construction Roadmap is already underway with a Working Group set up to monitor and evaluate progress and track delivery of the actions. 

Across 7 priority themes, there are actions and responsibilities for both Government and for industry over the coming years. As a member of the Working Group, the Structural Timber Association has a goal to support and take action to further benefit the industry and the move towards low carbon.  The following provides an update on what is happening to date.

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Improving data on timber and whole life carbon

What’s happening
  • Government has set out its aims to reduce construction waste and increase the reuse of construction materials in the 2023 Waste Prevention Programme for England: Maximising Resources, Minimising Waste.
  • There are already industry standards for whole life carbon assessment methodology (BS EN 15978) and for producing Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) (BS EN 15804).
  • The Future Homes Hub’s Embodied and Whole Life Carbon 2023 to 2025 plan for housebuilding is underway to reduce carbon emissions
  • The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Professional Statement for assessing whole life carbon in the built environment is being updated
  • The development of the Built Environment Carbon Database is underway
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Promoting the safe, sustainable use of timber as a construction material

What’s happening
  • The Government committed to increase demand for sustainably sourced timber through procurement policies through the England Trees Action Plan, increasing the planting and supply of the right species for construction use.
  • The Department for Education’s Gen Zero project has created a prototype ultra-low carbon classroom from UK sourced and manufactured timber products.
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Increasing skills, capacity, and competency across the supply chain

What’s happening

  • New Model Institute for Engineering and Technology (NMITE) will launch a new BSc (Hons) in the Sustainable Built Environment in 2024.
  • The Structural Timber Association is providing a series of industry specific training, including its’ newly launched Installer Training Scheme (ITS).
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) launched its 2030 Climate Challenge
  • The British Standards Institution (BSI) has developed a suite of Built Environment competence standards to raise competence levels across built environment jobs
  • Timber Development UK (TDUK) and NMITE have also published a Timber in Construction Skills Action Plan with a competency framework outlining essential skills and knowledge for practitioners
  • Continued training across joinery and timber frame erection and installation taking place through the industry.
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Increasing the sustainable supply of timber

What’s happening

  • The Government has set out its commitment to maintain and grow a sustainable long- term supply of domestic timber in the 2023 Environmental Improvement Plan
  • A statutory tree and woodland cover target for England has been introduced to stimulate greater planting of both hard and soft woods in England.
  • The forthcoming deer and squirrel strategies will play an important role in reducing damage to hardwood trees and so improve quality.
  • Industry developed engineered timber products such as thermally modified wood and mass timber are creating new opportunities for British hardwoods, which could increase their market potential.
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Fire safety and durability to safely expand the use of engineered mass timber

What’s happening

Newly launched Fire Safety Hub, an industry led web platform that will keep pace with changes in regulations and collate all test data for use by building professionals. Sharing data and best practice guidance on timber construction and fire safety that aligns with building regulations will help consistency and future guidance.

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Increasing collaboration with insurers, lenders, and warranty providers

What’s happening

Mass Timber Insurance Playbook has been launched, setting out guidance for profiling and mitigating risk in mass timber buildings in order to facilitate and streamline the process of obtaining insurance for both construction and ongoing occupations of mass timber buildings.

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Promoting innovation and high performing timber construction systems

What’s happening

Work is already under way to demonstrate the benefits of timber in construction.