Join the Positive Promotion of Timber Treatments
Join the Positive Promotion of Timber Treatments
BLOG · BY NICK BOULTON, HEAD OF TECHNICAL AND TRADE · 8 March
If we are to strengthen the standards and enhance trust in the market on preservative treatment throughout the supply chain, we must all pull together. When the treatment campaign launches in April, please spread it across social media, your website, and your branches.
TTF members voted unanimously at the TTF AGM in November 2020 to provide more accurate descriptions of treated timber to customers from 1st April this year, listing on sales and delivery notes, orders, and invoices exactly the Use Class application to which the timber has been treated.
With the introduction of the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI), due to be rolled out from June, TTF members, through their commitment to accurate product description, will already be ahead of the curve, playing their part in the essential post-Grenfell movement to clearly define products as fit for purpose.
This is not simply a matter of box-ticking and removal of out-dated and non-specific language such as ‘green treated’. It is an opportunity for TTF members to market their treated timber products effectively, and to benefit the reputation of their business – and of the whole trade – by doing so.
As a reminder, the Preservative Treatment Action Plan sets out three key actions that members must adhere to under the revised TTF Code of Conduct:
- Point A: Members must ensure the preservative treated timber is being accurately and unambiguously specified/purchased, for use or resale, and is clearly identified at all points of the chain (on orders, internal stock movement records, and sales records) as fit for the intended purpose. This must be implemented by all TTF members before the end of March 2021.
As a minimum this will require identification of the product as suitable for either:
- Interior Use only – Use Class 2
- Exterior use above ground – Use Class 3U
- Ground Contact – Use Class 4
- Point B: Customers purchasing treated products from TTF members are provided with adequate information and, where appropriate, the training materials developed by TTF / WPA to be able to use and install those products safely and effectively. This is set to be implemented by all TTF members before the end of March 2021.
- Point C: Preservative treated timber is being produced by or purchased, directly or indirectly, from a treatment provider whose operation has been assessed and approved under an independent and reputable accreditation scheme (e.g. WPA Benchmark in the UK, the Nordic NTR scheme or other similar). This must be implemented by all TTF members before the end of June 2022.
To help you, our members, in achieving points A and B, the TTF and WPA are co-operating in a major push across the supply chain, starting in April, which will help everyone dealing with, selling or trading in treated timber to understand and acknowledge exactly what is being bought and sold, and also the uses for which the treated timber is suitable.
In a survey on behalf of the WPA and the TTF, we found 97% of merchants did not know that a specific class of timber treatment exists for timbers used in ground contact.
Over 90% of timber users surveyed were also unaware, and 72% did not know what ‘Use Class 4’ meant. These startling results, combined with the roll-out of the Code for Construction Product Information – a voluntary but morally obligatory initiative – indicate that TTF and WPA’s awareness campaign is starkly necessary.
From 1st April, TTF and WPA will be targeting the builders’ merchant sector with information detailing the Use Classes and treatments for specific timber applications. Some 13,000 copies of an open-out leaflet giving precise details will be circulated via the largest merchant trade publication and also through our partners, the NMBS. This leaflet is available to you to overprint your company details so that your sales team can be a force for good in promoting accurate product description.
Digital advertising will take place in April and May; editorial articles are due to be published to support the campaign, and a training presentation and webinar will be available shortly for your sales teams to use with customers, to explain why you are selling them fit for purpose treated products, and why it matters. This campaign will continue through to the building trade from spring into summer, and beyond.
Make the most of this positive marketing opportunity to enhance your reputation. We already have a bank of information on our website on preservative treatment enabling you to start upskilling any staff who need knowledge or a refresher.
If we are to strengthen the standards and enhance trust in the market on preservative treatment throughout the supply chain, we must all pull together. When the campaign launches, please spread it across social media, your website, and in your branches.