The government has officially confirmed the extension of the deadline to end recognition of CE marked products by one year. This means CE marked goods – including timber construction products – can continue to be placed on the UK market in 2022.
We have known for some time now that such an extension was inevitable due to delays to the Building Safety Bill, an essential part of the new product safety regime which the UKCA mark will work in tandem with – an issue we wrote about in July. So while this extension is welcome, many businesses will share our frustration about the approach taken by government on this issue.
The main reason the government gave for the extension was the impact of the pandemic on businesses. Of course this is true, but, it was true months ago. It is difficult to see the justification for the delay in communicating this extension to businesses. Our head of technical and trade policy, Nick Boulton, first saw some form of acknowledgement from some corners of Government back in July in presentations.
There still remain some concerns across the construction products industry, amongst others, that even a year long delay will not be enough to fully prepare businesses for this change. As a Construction Products Association spokesperson said to Building Magazine, there is much riding on the new system, not only for businesses but for building safety and performance across the whole built environment.
We should also acknowledge that regardless of the date, the fundamental position of government remains the same. Recognition of CE marking is ending, and businesses who wish to continue supplying construction products to the UK still need to implement the use of UKCA marking as soon as possible. This is the message that TTF has been giving to members and their suppliers from the start.
While the additional time will be helpful in making this transition, it remains important you take steps now to get your businesses and supply chain on this journey. Earlier this year we published a guide to making the change to the UKCA mark, and our advice remains unchanged. I hope you do find the guidance useful.
Have a great week all.
This report will be important for engaged in the new build market, as it represents a direction of travel for house builders. The HBF, with others, is establishing a Future Homes Hub (deliberately similar in name to the previous Zero Carbon Hub) to support the implementation of this plan.
The Plan’s goals are:
- High-quality homes that are zero carbon ready, sustainable, while being healthy, safe and comfortable from 2025
- Places and developments that are consistently low carbon, nature-rich, resilient, healthy well designed and beautiful by 2025
- Production and construction methods that are net zero and sustainable by 2050 with substantial progress by 2025 and 2030
- Businesses operations in line with the Race to Zero: net zero by 2050 with a 50% reduction by 2030.
Multiple industry bodies remain concerned about the implementation of the UKCA mark. Building Magazine spoke to the Construction Products Association, Builders Merchant Federation, and Construction Leadership Council who all expressed similar reservations.
TTF has been working in partnership with all three industry bodies, as well as the Confederation of Business Industries, in seeking to clearly express to government the mammoth task of developing and putting in place the UKCA mark. For months we have been collectively telling the government the UK lacks the capacity and people with technical know-how to carry out the tests required across the construction product testing regimes. It is good to finally see some response from the government.
While the extension can be welcomed, it is unlikely to be the end of our work in this area. We will continue to advise as more information becomes available.
WEF launched a project at the beginning of of last year called One Trillion Trees dedicated to promoting forestry, timber, and tree planting around the world.
One recent article explores some of the products which can be made from wood beyond construction, including a super car, while others look to tree planting in Africa, forest regeneration, or global carbon projects.
The latest Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Product Availability Statement reports that although the overall supply situation has not changed substantially, there has been a temporary easing this month, most probably due to a combination of the holiday period and some domestic customers delaying or cancelling projects due to higher costs or cost uncertainty.
However, haulage, and the lack of availability of drivers, are now the major concerns affecting distribution with some suppliers asking builders merchants to collect their orders as they cannot get enough drivers to complete deliveries.
OFFSITE EXPO brings together those who are driving change in the construction sector – the event will play host to the leading UK and international offsite manufacturers and component suppliers over two days showcasing a broad spectrum of panelised, volumetric modular solutions, pod and prefabricated MEP solutions, as well as the latest in Digital and BIM technology.
Mick Bottomley, FLS head of marketing and sales, added: “Scottish-based timber manufacturers could potentially triple production to meet current and anticipated future demand and produce a greater share of the remaining 67% of the market which is currently imported, predominantly from Scandinavia, Latvia and Germany.
For more information, visit ttf.co.uk