Timber Industries Join in Offsite Push

30th November, 2019

The use of offsite construction and the timber industries will be key in helping the Government meet its housebuilding targets, according to a report launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries (APPG). The report also highlighted the positive environmental impact timber and offsite would have in delivering these homes.

The report 'How the Timber Industries Can Help Solve the Housing crisis' calls for the Government to unlock finance for manufacturers to better meet the increasing demand, and also for procurement contracts to be awarded to manufacturers based on their contribution to the public good. Offsite methods have long featured in the timber industry. Timber frames are built using offsite construction methods, and are quicker, cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than traditional construction methods. In order to meet the skills requirement needed to build more homes this way, the report recommends that Government should place an increased emphasis on construction apprentices and invest in developing construction courses, bringing together skills development with technological solutions. The report argues that using timber in construction is key to meeting emission targets and urges the Government to implement the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee by increasing the use of timber in construction.

Martin Whitfield MP, Chair, APPG, said: "This report addresses an important dilemma government has: increase housebuilding whilst reducing carbon

emissions. The timber industry will provide skilled jobs, it can deliver sustainable and affordable homes and it should be at the forefront of addressing the climate emergency we face. Housebuilding should be part of an environmental revolution that is firmly integrated into our net-zero emissions targets. Using timber will lock carbon within homes for generations."

Roy Wakeman OBE, Chair of the Confederation of Timber Industries, added: "We know there is capacity in the industry which can be unlocked with the right policies, regulatory framework, and partnership between the public and private sectors. By bringing together experts from across the timber supply chain - all the way from the forest to the finished house - we will be able to make an even greater contribution."

The report follows a UK-wide inquiry the APPG launched to explore how the timber industry can contribute towards solving the housing crisis. The APPG secretariat is provided by the Confederation of Timber Industries, the umbrella organisation bringing together every aspect of the timber supply chain. It represents producers, manufacturers and distributors of timber and wood-based products across the UK. To aid the APPG officers in their research, they took evidence from representatives of the English, Scottish and Welsh timber industries during three oral evidence sessions over the course of summer 2019. In addition, timber trade associations from around the world were invited to share examples of good practice.

Source: www.cti-timber.org

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