TTF Press Releases

Timber up to take top place twice with Stirling Prize nomination

The shortlist for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize 2021 has been announced, with the timber-framed Cambridge Central Mosque – a major glulam and CLT structure – one of the six entrants.

Designed by Marks Barfield, the mosque was a 2019 Wood Awards winner, showcasing impressive timber ‘trees’ that support the roof and external structure.

The mosque has also been designed to limit embodied and operational emissions through the use of natural insulation, water-efficient technology, and of course, a low-carbon timber superstructure.

This could make it the second time in as many years a timber design can take the top award in UK architecture, with the previous winner, in 2019, Goldsmith Street, a timber-framed social housing development in Norwich.

Both the Cambridge Central Mosque and Goldsmith Street highlight how buildings, regardless of their purpose, can be both sustainable and beautiful in design and function. I encourage members to have a look and read the full shortlist of this year’s entrants here.

On the topic of awards, the Wood Awards shortlist was also announced last week. This year’s building entrants range from university libraries to theatres and showcase a wide variety of timber design excellence. The full shortlist can be viewed on the TTF website here.

In other related news, RIBA has recently published their ‘Built for the environment’ report, which addresses the climate emergency within the built environment.

It is great to see both RIBA and UK Architects Declare seeking to address emissions from the built environment, and acknowledging the role of timber in reducing embodied carbon. Let’s hope they follow the trend in their award

Have a great week all.


Webinar: Responsible Timber Sourcing

Day: 21/09/2021
Time: 13:00-14:00
Register here
Free for TTF members

The full list of the TDUK Sustainability Series webinars can be found here

Webinar: Timber and bio-based materials at UN Climate Change Conferences

Day: 29/09/2021
Time: 13:00-14:00
Register here
Cost: Free for TTF members

Join ASBP and the Timber Accelerator Hub for a lunchtime webinar on the latest research and developments for timber and bio-based materials regarding the UN Climate Change Conferences.

Climate Emergency Conference 2021

Day: 29/09/2021
Time: 09:00-12:20
Register here
Cost: Free

Understand how engineers can and are shaping the future of climate change in the first part of this two-day Climate Emergency Conference. The event is aimed at all engineers of any level looking to understand more about their professional role in combatting climate change.

Designing Timber Structures: an introduction

Day: 06/10/2021
Time: 12:00-13:30
Register here
Cost: Free

This webinar, hosted by Timber Development UK (TDUK), introduces the recently published book Designing timber structures: an introduction by the authors James Norman and Andrew Thomson.

During the webinar we will be discussing how and why the book came about and how it can help you get to grips with timber engineering design in an accessible way.


Grenfell main contractor blames ‘slack and complicit’ testing

Rydon tells inquiry that makers of dangerous cladding materials had been ‘assisted’ in getting their products to market.

A “slack and complicit” testing and certification industry should take more blame for allowing combustible materials to be fitted to Grenfell tower than the project team which worked on the block’s disastrous refurbishment, the inquiry into the fire has heard.

“Dishonest” manufacturers “intent on marketing what they knew to be dangerous material for inappropriate use” have been blamed for the catastrophe.

This article is important given the recent release of the CCPI.


Britain’s leaky homes make the energy crisis worse.

Gas supply shocks have been greatly exacerbated by the UK’s poor housing insulation.

The UK has some of the oldest and leakiest housing stock in Europe – with heat often dissipating through walls, windows, and doors.

Successive government failures to insulate homes will mean high gas prices will be passed on to consumers, threatening to “plunge hundreds of thousands more households into fuel poverty”.


Labour promises to spend £28bn a year on tackling climate crisis

Labour would invest £28bn a year in climate measures to protect Britain from disaster, Rachel Reeves has announced.

In her bid to become the first “green chancellor”, Reeves pledged to quadruple the government’s current capital investment through £224bn on climate measures over eight years.

Targets for spending include improved insulation and increased tree planting across the UK.

Labour shortage due to ‘high demand, not Brexit’

A record number of vacancies is due to a surge in demand for workers rather than a post-Brexit fall in supply, according to a survey by specialist recruiter Randstad.

Randstad UK senior director of operations, Adrian Smith said the ‘Brexodus’ hadn’t played out as feared.

Other industry members have agreed, noting that limited training, an ageing workforce, and poor pay have caused shortages long before Brexit and Covid. 

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