East Brothers take architects & specifiers down to the woods with TimberWorks
First TTF TimberWorks visit held in Wiltshire
A party of 16 architects, structural engineers, specifiers, and timber industry organisations were welcomed by TTF member East Brothers to the first of a series of TTF TimberWorks events, which took place in Wiltshire on Friday 22nd March.
TimberWorks is a new campaign promoting understanding and knowledge-sharing between architects, builders &-specifiers, and TTF member timber suppliers. The event included a visit to a local forest to see timber selection and harvesting, and a visit to East Brothers’ extensive sawmill and hardwood stock operations at West Dean.
Starting in a nearby forest, the group were able to watch the harvesting of Douglas Fir. East Brothers directors Richard Baker and Mark Gilbert then described the log conversion process and discussed the uses and structural grading of different species of locally-grown British timbers. The group then moved on to East Brothers’ sawmill. They were shown the entire process from de-barking to kilning and planning, including East Brothers’ re-use of timber residues, for example in the company’s biomass boilers which provide heat to the kilns.
“The ability to interface directly with architects and specifiers on design matters including structural grading was valuable to both parties,” says Gabby Wichary, Director at East Bros. “Enabling them to understand the complete process from log to finished building and joinery timber, and the no-waste system we operate, gives a new context to their future designs and aspirations. We’ve already had tremendously positive feedback and plans are underway for further visits by groups linked to our visitors.”
David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation, comments: “Face-to-face visits to facilitate direct and business-relevant discussion of pivotal points in designing with wood. Yet events are just one part of our TimberWorks campaign. The TTF website already features around 40 case studies. We also plan a series of podcasts, and our TimberWorks Twitter feed will be launched shortly.
“Our aim is to promote direct connections between those who specify wood and those who produce it,” David Hopkins continues. “This event is the first of what we hope will be many more to come.”