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.


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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Life Cycle Database

Sustainability is increasingly at the forefront of many architects mind in the face of our current climate crisis.


It is now well known the built environment has a significant impact on sustainability. According to the UK Green Building Council, construction accounts for around 10% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions, while heating accounts for another 10%.


This focus on sustainability means that, alongside cost and performance, an environmental impact assessment has become an important aspect of the planning process, which includes the impact of products on emissions – all the way from their creation to their end of life.


To help architects and other specifiers address these emissions from construction, known as embodied carbon, the timber industry provides a free to use Life Cycle Assessment database.


This database contains generic information to help architects, planners and specifiers to estimate the environmental impact of timber as compared to working with other materials. Click below to get started with our partners on Wood for Good.


Read more here →

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