TTF Press Releases

Growing wood knowledge will grow the market

The problems of the 21st century are deeply interconnected, particularly when it comes to building for climate change. Key to achieving net zero in our built environment will be people. The challenge of educating and developing this workforce is deeply intertwined with the future of the timber industry as a sustainable commodity.

If we want to see more timber projects in the UK, we need to have a labour market able to comfortably build in timber and able to work together to create quality, safe and low-carbon buildings using wood. Yet, as it stands, university education often segregates and divides professions. The result is siloed thinking which holds us back and perpetuates business as usual. This cannot be acceptable if we are to overcome the climate challenge.

Our University Engagement Programme (UEP) is working hard to bring timber to the forefront of university education, and to get our future professionals to collaborate. This work takes our UEP manager Tabitha Binding up and down the country. While in the COVID-era much more of this work has been done via Zoom, she has been forging ahead to build greater connections between universities, HECs, lecturers and businesses to produce the next generation of talent for timber and construction.

great piece of work she writes on today looks to a project with Herriot Watt University, who have been designing and building innovative prefabricated homes using CLT panels made with Scottish timber. With a focus on sustainability and innovation, these students are now looking to present their learnings as part of an international competition.

With the Riverside Sunderland University Design Challenge (RSUDC21) we showed the possibilities of working with timber to dozens of universities and hundreds of students as they formed multi-disciplinary teams of architects, engineers, cost consultants and landscape architects – and designed 100 homes on the Riverside Sunderland site and one 3-bed home in detail. The results speak for themselves

There is a strong desire within the construction industry to understand timber, carbon emissions, health, wellbeing, and energy efficiency. We saw this in tghe RSUDC21 webinar series. While RSUDC21 was one of the most visible outreach efforts of UEP, this is only one of a host of initiatives which we are excited to expand as we grow to fully encompass the timber supply chain as Timber Development UK.

I hope you enjoy reading about the work of the students from Herriot Watt University. As an added bonus, today I am also highlighting some of the fantastic free – and paid – learning resources available to the sector, both for your clients, for your employees, and for yourself. Please do make the most of them, and have a fantastic week.

(1) Level 3 Award in Timber Merchanting

Do you have a new staff member or someone wishing to expand their knowledge and career prospects?

This online learning course developed by Wood Campus provides staff with all the tools and guidance they’ll require.  This online programme consists of 19 modules, providing a Level 3 Award in Timber Merchanting, as well as significant Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) towards Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Merchant Supplies.

The programme is divided into four comprehensive sections: An introduction to Timber; Timber as a Material; Timber Products & Selling Timber.

Each module is fully interactive with quiz questions and is complemented by guided reading and project work. The whole programme has a total qualification time of 39 hours (including required reading), representing a minimum two days’ classroom learning.

(2) Training (Members Only)

Due to the overwhelming response additional training dates were added, however only a few places remain. If you would like to book for any of the dates below, please contact me as soon as possible. First come, first served. The cost per person is £125 + VAT per day.

(3) Courses (In-Development)

Have you checked out some of the online Courses developed with WoodCampus? We are adding more resources every day to this section of our website, so keep an eye out for updates.


(4) Free Resources

Expand your knowledge on the scientific, technical, practical and general knowledge of timber and wood-based materials

News round up for your week

Make mine a plant-based building please – AJ, Joe Gidding
A solid rule-of-thumb for building low-carbon is to specify materials derived from plants, argues Joe Giddings in this article with Architects Journal. Joe, who leads the Timber Accelerator Hub and is a core contributor to the Architects Climate Action Network, makes a compelling argument for why professionals should seek to build natural. Building public understanding of the benefits of building with wood, using easy to understand messaging such as Joe has used here, are essential if we are to change construction.

Students ship Scottish timber to Dubai in ‘Solar Decathlon’
A team of students from Herriot Watt University are building innovative prefabricated home constructed from CLT panels made with Scottish timber, as they seek to compete on the world stage in September. UEP manager Tabitha Binding talks through the students entry, and what they are seeking to achieve as they seek to take some of the best of UK ingenuity onto the world stage in Dubai this September. ‘Team Esteem’ have high hopes and a good chance of winning the worldwide university challenge to design, build and operate a solar powered house.

Event | Offsite Expo on 21-22 September
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. The Timber Trade Federation is supporting this event, with MMC one of the core offerings from using timber for house builders, in addition to the low carbon footprint. We encourage interested members to engage with the event, with plenty more information on speakers, exhibits, news and update available on their website.

Construction will need 216,800 new workers by 2025 to meet demand
Construction has bounced back quicker than expected from the Covid-19 pandemic and the industry will reach 2019 levels of output in 2022. By 2025, the industry will need to recruit an additional 217,000 new workers just to meet demand. In terms of annual average recruitment requirement (ARR), the most in demand trades are forecast to be in wood trades & interior fit-out (5,500 per year), other construction professionals and technical staff (5,150), construction managers (3,600) and electrical installation trades and (3,400). There will also be a demand for non-construction, office-based professional, technical and IT support staff (7,850).

CPA Construction and Economic Update – 130821
The most recent updates from CPA can be found on our Statistics Update, which we update every week. This issue covers the first estimate from the ONS, UK GDP rose for a fifth consecutive month in June 2021, by 1.0% but remained 2.2% below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level. Construction output in June 2021 was 1.3% lower than in May, 0.3% lower than in February 2020, preCovid-19 and 2.9% lower than the average of construction output during 2019. This update is locked for TTF members.

RICS expects material prices to rise 10% over next 12 months
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Construction and Infrastructure Survey found that construction is “broadly recovering well” from the covid-19 pandemic but that constraints on the market’s return to normality are beginning to appear. +38% (net balance) of respondents reported a rise in construction workloads, with growth in the private residential sector continuing to lead the market, (+50% of respondents reporting an increase in activity). Read the summary article on Construction Manager Magazine, or visit RICS for further information.

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