Architects

THE ULTIMATE BUILDING MATERIAL

To help you make better use of timber check out some of the below award winning case studies, our technical guidance, as well as information on wood and sustainability.

Why build with timber

Timber is the only truly sustainable, natural, and beautiful construction material. When you choose to build with timber, over more energy-intensive materials such as steel and concrete.

 

Wood absorbs and stores carbon from the atmosphere, and it is estimated that one tonne of carbon dioxide is absorbed for every cubic meter of timber used in construction.

 

As architects become increasingly conscious of the significant impact of construction on global warming, many are pledging to use more sustainable materials including timber to help turn the tide on climate change.

 

This has led to a wave of innovation in the UK, as wood continues to inspire architects as thought leaders aspire to create a built environment more closely aligned with nature, including building tall with timber.

Understanding the properties of timber

Timber is naturally a strong, durable and versatile material.

 

However, the overall performance of timber is dependent on the properties of the wood species, where it was grown, whether it was treated or modified, and where it is installed.

 

Getting the best performance out of timber requires having a knowledge of all of these factors. Learning about the properties of timber will allow you to specify a timber which not only looks great, but which will last a long time.

 

Some of the most important properties to understand when specifying are; the wood type, moisture movement, durability, treatability, and colour. Find below our guide to these different properties.

Building sustainably with timber

Timber is the sustainable choice for construction. The Climate Change Commission estimates that if timber were used to build 270,000 new houses, we could increase the amount of carbon stored in UK homes to 3 Mt.

 

Research by Heriot Watt University for the Wood Window Alliance in 2013 estimated that using a timber framed window instead of a PVC-U one saves approximately one and a half tonnes of carbon dioxide per home.

 

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reports that a single five-storey cross-laminated timber (CLT) building can cut carbon emissions by levels equivalent to removing up to 600 cars from the road for a year.

 

However, it is important to ensure that this timber comes from sustainable sources. By choosing to buy from TTF members, who are subject to our Responsible Purchasing Policy, you are helping preserve our forests.

Help with procurement

The TTF RPP (Responsible Purchasing Policy) is a mandatory risk management framework developed by TTF for our members in line with the requirements of the EU/UK Timber Regulation.

 

The RPP framework has also been adapted for higher risk products and countries to allow for an auditing process to confirm compliance with other regulatory requirements such as the Construction Products Regulation (CPR).

 

By holding our members to the very highest standards we can help assure the market that, wherever their products are from and whatever the application, if they buy from a TTF Member they are buying Timber You Can Trust.

 

We regularly review and update the tools and keep close contact with NGOs, law enforcement and regulatory bodies to ensure that the RPP benchmark and processes are in line with the EU/UK regulations and best practice.

 

As part of the RPP process our members are subject to an independent third-party audit. We are constantly seeking to improve this process, and use the latest scientific methods and best practice to ensure responsible sourcing.

TIMBERWORKS CASE STUDIES

Click on the images below to check out some of the fascinating work of our members and architects which showcase the many versatile and beautiful uses of wood throughout the UK, from tall buildings with timber through to sustainable solutions which integrate with the natural environment.

Arboreal Architecture Bucharest

Arboreal Architecture Bucharest

As part of a three-storey retrofit in south west London, Arboreal Architecture created an innovative solution to adding volume on the uppermost floor. A curved glulam timber roof structure adds both height and character to the space, curving with the rising of the roof to create a generous space. 

Cullinan Studios Baldwin Terrace Residential

Cullinan Studios Baldwin Terrace Residential

Making the most of this sunny canal-side location, architects Cullinan Studios converted an original 19th century warehouse office building into a low-energy workspace for their practice, combined with 12 two-bedroom apartments in the other half of the building, which is situated on a south-facing stretch of London’s Regent’s Canal. 

Studio RHE Wood Farm

Studio RHE Wood Farm

Sustainable materials, in keeping with the rural Suffolk setting, were chosen by Studio RHE Architects for the creation of Wood Farm, an uncompromisingly modern design with high sustainability standards, sympathetically rendered to blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape of barns and farmland. 

Tonkin Liu Architects SUN RAIN ROOMS

Tonkin Liu Architects SUN RAIN ROOMS

Created as an extension to a Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse in London, the Sun Rain Rooms, designed by Tonkin Liu Architects in collaboration with local craftspeople, serve as a studio for the practice as well a part of the partners’ home. 

Resources and online learning

Online CPD for architects with Wood Campus

Together with Wood Campus and our industry partners we have developed a range of free CPD learning programmes that are accredited by RIBA or BIID. CPD certificates are awarded on the successful completion of self-assessment modules.

Introduction to timber

This is a general introduction to timber, the most sustainable of mainstream building materials. It is not intended to cover all timber topics, as these are available in individual modules.

Time: Approx. 15 minutes | Link to course.

Wood in Interiors

This CPD module focuses on using wood in interiors has been developed in collaboration with the Timber Trade Federation, the British Woodworking Federation and Swedish Wood, working with the British Institute of Interior Design.

Time: Approx. 15 minutes | Link to course.

Building with Wood (RIBA CPD)

This CPD feature has been produced by Wood Campus in co-operation with the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) and the Structural Timber Association (STA), and accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). It covers the important issues you need to be familiar with if you are designing and building with timber, including sustainability, timber frame, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), other engineered materials, sheet materials, roofing, joists and flooring.

Once you have completed all sections of the module and successfully assessed your knowledge, you will be able to print your CPD certificate.

Modules: 7 | Link to course.

Fire safety and FR rated timber (RIBA CPD)

Fire in buildings has always been a safety critical issue. The way buildings are designed and used and the materials specified and built into the structure can save lives or put them at serious risk.

However, following the Grenfell tragedy, compliance with fire safety requirements has come under the microscope more than ever before. The Hackitt Review has identified shortcomings in the product knowledge and understanding of the technical issues surrounding fire safety and material specification throughout the supply chain. This includes poor specification and a lack of effective enforcement of those specifications.

Working in partnership with LABC, and in co-operation with Wood Campus, the Wood Protection Association has developed this e-learning course, along with other resources, to help Building Control Officers to improve their understanding of how wood behaves in a fire and how to enhance that performance to comply with Building Regulations and other regulatory requirements and so ultimately to build safer buildings. This course is equally applicable to all involved in the specification, use and regulation of flame retardant treated wood products.

Work through each chapter before completing the end of course Assessment.

Modules: 8 | Link to course.

Focus on Cladding

This CPD feature focuses on timber cladding, with both case studies and industry experts providing advice.

Time: Approx. 15 minutes | Link to course.

Procuring sustainable timber

This CPD feature has been produced by Wood Campus in co-operation with the Timber Trade Federation and accredited by the RIBA. It covers all the important issues you need to be familiar with if you are to procure this most sustainable of materials responsibly.

Modules: 5 | Link to course

Introduction to Windows

This module made together with Wood Window Alliance focuses on how to specify timber windows, as well as some of the advantages of timber as a material.

Modules: 5 | Link to course.

Deck design and installation

This module focuses on timber decking, which is the ideal way to blur the boundary between the interior and exterior of a property – domestic, industrial or commercial. A deck can transform any outdoor space and is the ideal structure for sloping sites, difficult terrain, boggy ground and water.

Modules: 4 | Link to course.

Guides, publications and other resources

Browse through the essential resources for architects who want to learn about timber, including TTF guidance, information about species, performance as a building material, and on the environment.

Resources

Resources

The best publications, guides and more for timber architecture.