Reflecting on a busy year in 2021

Reflecting on a busy year in 2021

ARTICLE · By Timber Trade Federation · 14 December 2021

2021 has proved a hugely busy year for the TTF and our members. Here are some of the things we have done over the last year: 

Policy

It has been a busy year in policy, with the launch of the new All Party-Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries in September. This capped off almost nine months of intense behind-the-scenes building of relationships with politicians, and the launch of a new policy brief, ‘Net Zero Now’, and the pictured ‘How the timber industries can help solve the housing crisis’.

During this time we have also responded to a number of key consultations and issues, including the Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into sustainability of the built environment, new fire safety standards, UKCA marks, due diligence on forest risk commodities, plastic waste, and many more which will affect your business.

While an extremely challenging year, we are confident that we have built a strong base to enter 2022 on top of strong interpersonal and organisational relationships.

 

Statistics

Amidst a rapidly changing market situation, with record levels of demand for timber products, and supply on track to surpass levels unseen in the past 25 years, we have begun a new approach to how we communicate our statistics.

This has included three seasonal market statements which summarised and analysed the supply, demand, and pricing situation in the market, and supported our members to communicate with their customers.

Media coverage of our statsitics extended across major newspapers in the UK, including the Financial Times, Telegraph, and the Scotsman, on the BBC 6pm news, and industry media such as Architects Journal, Construction News, and the Construction Index.

We also created an interactive Timber Supply Statistics Dashboard and Statistics Hub to allow greater access to our statistics for members – available at: www.ttf.co.uk/statistics

 

Sustainability

As Timber Development UK, we are setting out to improve on the strong sustainability record of the industry in recent years by launching a new cross-sector Sustainability Committee.

The Sustainability Committee is identifying key sustainability issues that affect the specification of timber in construction and take actions to overcome them, whether developing information and guidance to cover these issues, or commissioning research.

Already several key themes have been identified as requiring investigation, with sub-committees proposed to be formed under the direction of the main committee, including (1) Embodied Carbon, (2) Circular Economy, and (3) Responsible Sourcing.

Our first technical paper was published on 10 November 2021, seeking to bring clarity to how to account for embodied carbon in timber construction.

 

Education

We began the year with the launch of the Riverside Sunderland University Design Challenge, which involved over 300 students from 39 Universities, split into 27 interdiscplinary teams designed, engineered, planned and costed a three-bed family home along with a masterplan for 100 homes in Sunderland. The competition received national attention and commendation from judges including MHCLG head of architecture, Andy von Bradsky, and the Government’s MMC champion, Mark Farmer.

Over the course of 2021, the momentum we gained from this competition allowed us to develop and strengthen our ties with universities, and we are looking forward to launching a new Timber Development UK University Design Challenge 2022 at the end of November 2021, with the New Model Institute of Technology and Engineering (NMITE), Edinburgh Napier University, and the Passivhaus Trust.

 

WOW Festival

With the eyes of the world on COP26 in the first two weeks of November, we led the global timber industry in collectively hosting the ‘World of Wood Festival’ in London.

Across the Festival, we hosted more than 11 events covering the entire timber supply chain, as well as launching the Time for Timber Manifesto at the RIBA Built Environment Summit, and the Tropical Timber Accord in the Blue Zone in Glasgow.

Included with the WOW Festival was an interactive augmented reality app, showcasing the benefits of building with wood through a virtual Timber Beacon. From this platform, we are seeking to build an annual global event for the forest and timber industries. Learn more: www.worldofwoodfestival.org/

 

Marketing

Marketing your business to its customer-base is a core function of Timber Development UK.

Each year we publish five issues of Good Wood Business magazine for builders’ and timber merchants, and three issues of Joined Up Business for the joinery sector. Each issue is circulated to thousands of relevant businesses, bringing them the latest on new products, services from timber suppliers, and market and supply trends.

For the builders’ merchant sector we also publish monthly Timber Topics covering the top-selling seasonal product ranges, providing marketing advice alongside vital information on Standards. We organise campaigns, such as our promotion of correct timber treatment terminology, and support our members to align their businesses with developments such as the Code for Construction Product Information. We work closely with both building trade bodies, producing supplements, articles and blogs for their members.

 

Technical

While Brexit may have ‘got done’, many issues remain outstanding when it comes to the import and export of wood products.

Full custom controls are set to come into place in January 2022, and while we may have together with our partners secured an extension to the deadline for UKCA marking till the end of next year, we must still contend with declarations on arrival and changes to plant health requirements for products arriving from the EU.

To help prepare our members for these changes we have regularly updated the Brexit and the Timber Industry, Technical, and Trade pages on our website, as well as publishing specific guidance on areas of concern for our members, such as our guide to UKCA marking. We have regularly communicated these changes to our members in our weekly Business Update. With the likes of the Building Safety Bill still finding its way through Parliament we expect next year will likely be just as busy.

 

And more…

This includes more than 200 articles published online, 50 newsletters, 30 online events, and courses and training for our members. We look forward to delivering more for our membership next year.

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