STA CEO: offsite timber construction only way to hit 2020 goals

‘The timber industry is “geared up and ready to go”

Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA), has said that offsite timber construction is “the only way” to reach the government’s specified target of creating one million new homes by 2020. Mr. Carpenter, writing for UK Construction Week, cited the current popularity of offsite timber builds in Scotland as evidence for the STA’s opinion, writing:

“With four out of five new homes in Scotland being built from structural timber – we know that offsite timber solutions address many government concerns associated with public procurement of housing including speed of build, environmental impact, lifetime energy efficiency and cost performance.”

His comments follow the release of the Housing White Paper, in which Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, outlined what was billed as a “bold radical vision for the housing market.” While Mr. Carpenter notes that many construction commentators have concluded that the paper includes “no new exciting ideas or big surprises,” a “change of direction” is nonetheless apparent.

He notes that “in theory there is a lot of positive content in the White Paper,” including the pledge of governmental support for small and medium size developers, and initiatives for self and custom builders.

Mr. Carpenter believes that “shortages in other traditional construction materials will continue to encourage larger builders and specifiers to look to alternatives,” and says that innovations in the timber world will broaden its appeal:

“The industry is no longer defined simply by the supply of timber frame kits and panelised solutions. It is driven by intelligent and integrated construction solutions, such as closed panel timber frame, structural insulated panel systems and volumetric modular options.”

The timber industry is “geared up and ready to go” – as construction professionals embrace the innovative, sustainable, solutions that timber offers, 2018 could be a great year to explore more of what the industry has to offer.