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Institute responds to new timber in construction roadmap

A new document outlining the opportunities and barriers to the use of timber in construction in England was published by the Department for Environment Food & Rual Affairs on 11 December, centred around seven priority themes.

The Institute fully supports the ambitious timber in construction roadmap which highlights a collaborative forestry and affiliate sector vision to boost the sustainable use of UK timber in construction and its use within the domestic supply chain. Not only does this roadmap provide an insight into our productive needs starting with the nursery sector, but it also emphasises the importance and requirement for professional skills and competencies across the supply chain to deliver much needed innovation within the sector.

Louise Simpson, Executive Director commented:

“We are pleased to support this collaborative cross-sector vision for meeting Net Zero targets, by reducing our reliance on offshoring. We are delighted that the skills gap has been recognised as a barrier to meeting our production targets, and we would like to offer our support for professionals with developing the skills and competencies needed to deliver our new statutory woodland cover targets and beyond.”

The seven priority themes identified in the document are:

  • Improving data on timber and whole life carbon
  • Promoting the safe, sustainable use of timber as a construction material
  • Increasing skills, capacity, and competency across the supply chain
  • Increasing the sustainable supply of timber
  • Addressing fire safety and durability concerns to safely expand the use of engineered mass timber
  • Increasing collaboration with insurers, lenders, and warranty providers
  • Promoting innovation and high performing timber construction systems

Rebecca Pow, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Nature) and Forestry Minister, commented:

“Alongside increasing tree planting rates, we need to make good use of the timber arising from the trees we grow, both hardwood and softwood. We have identified that increased use of timber in the construction industry would make a significant difference to stimulate demand for domestic planting stock in England.

The built environment is responsible for approximately 25% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing these emissions is a priority for government, in order to deliver our carbon budgets and net zero target.

This document has been co-created with significant input from industry partners and academia and sets out the actions needed to ensure we can safely utilise timber in construction as part of this decarbonisation journey.”

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