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.