Make sure it’s Use Class 4 Campaign

Enhancing trust in the market

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF), the Wood Protection Association (WPA) and Timber Decking and Cladding Association (TDCA), have launched a new campaign to promote the accurate description of treated wood to increase the public’s and merchants knowledge on the important differences and purposes between each Use Class.

 

It’s a mistake to assume that all pressure treated wood is the same. Whilst one piece of treated wood may look very much like any other, the level of preservative protection could be very different. Only timbers treated to Use Class 4 should be used for ground or fresh water contact, as they will best perform in these environments.

Background to the campaign

 

This campaign comes at the back of a survey conducted on behalf of the Wood Protection Association and the TTF as we found 97% of merchants surveyed did not know that a specific class of timber treatment exists for timbers used in ground contact and only 3% recognised that a Use Class 4 timber treatment is needed for this application

 

In addition, a ‘mystery shopper’ research sponsored by the WPA, confirms that understanding amongst many users of preservative treated wood is very poor.

 

  • When asked if there was a specific treatment specification for timber in ground contact, over 90% of people surveyed said they didn’t know.

  • When asked if they understood what ‘Use Class 4’ means, 72% said they didn’t know.

It’s a mistake to assume that all pressure treated wood is the same. Whilst one piece of treated wood may look very much like any other, the level of preservative protection could be very different.

 

That’s because the British Standard for wood preservation, BS 8417, requires that the loading and penetration of preservative impregnated into the wood is tailored to the desired end use. Applications for treated wood are therefore grouped into Use Classes, the three main being 2, 3(u) and 4.

Get involved in our campaign

The challenge is how best to simplify this message whilst not losing technical accuracy. For the fencing, garden and landscaping sector, the focus is on promoting the use of the term Use Class 4 for treated wood used in contact with or close to the ground, using the medium of the WPA’s Make Sure it’s 4 logo and communications package.

For the broader timber supply chain, the focus also includes differentiating between interior and exterior applications for treated wood – using a bold, colour coded ‘Use Class 2, 3 or 4?’ message and simplified product descriptions.

 

We have produced a series of images and posters that can be shared and used across social media and your website, simply press the download button to start your participation.

Buyer’s Guide & Guidance Notes

To support the campaign three new Guidance Notes on Understanding Use Class 2,3 & 4 preservative treated wood are available for further guidance on what the most critical Use Classes mean in practice. To learn more about preservative treated wood, click here.