Safeguarding the Future of UK Timber Industry

The Wood Technology Society
,
31 May 2019

Edinburgh Napier University has announced an important new project aimed at widening the UK’s perspective and reduce reliance on new wood from a relatively small number of commercial species – all of which are potentially at risk from climate change, pests and diseases. It will change our perspective from thinking of wood as a limitless resource, to one that should be responsibly managed – not just in the forest, but throughout its useful life.

The objectives of the project are:

  • To develop a method for ensuring future possibility of circulation of timber products with true consideration of whole life-cycle, and practical industry issues at design, construction and deconstruction phases.

  • To plan primary design to facilitate deconstruction rather than demolition, and to pay attention to the use of chemical treatments, adhesives and other synthetic materials – including to decide whether their use technically is necessary and avoid over-specification.

  • To optimize the primary design to enhance resource efficiency as well as reduce environmental impacts along the life cycle (build and deconstruction).

  • To allow grading for quality of recovered wood, and similarly variable new wood from more diverse sources, in a way that is compatible and equivalent to grading of new timber from the main commercial species (including the basis in European standardization).

  • To identify potential new construction products using recovered timber.

  • To examine the business, economic, and environmental factors over the life-cycle to inform what is to be optimized, encouraged and avoided in design (to be described by a “rebuilding factor”).

  • To inform current engineers, architects and wood-based construction product manufacturers through professional development, industry bodies, codes and standards.

The project looks to the future, asking: “How should we build today to be able to circulate tomorrow?”  Also, it questions “How easy is it to reuse the wood from current buildings especially as a structural material?” and “How can the past experience help the future?"

For more information follow this link.  https://blogs.napier.ac.uk/cwst/