Realising on retrofit


ARTICLE · By TTF Team · 08 September 2020 

David Hopkins, CEO of the Timber Trade Federation, sees good wood business ahead as retrofit gets a boost from the Chancellor

The Chancellor’s £2 billion Green Homes is an opportunity not to be missed, especially by merchants who pride themselves on selling wood products. Looking at this announcement on insulation in a wider context, it’s part of the movement to retrofit homes, improving their energy efficiency. 

Making your staff familiar now with wood products for retrofit projects will enable you to combine your most profitable category – timber and wood products – with a market likely to grow as the country moves towards the target of Net Zero emission from buildings by 2050. 

Builders are already on board, leading the charge on retrofitting existing homes; their architect clients are working to an even tighter deadline of 2030, set by their professional body RIBA.    

Which wood products offer best retrofit business options? Wood fibre insulation is certainly one. Yet there’s a wider basket of wood products that can become part of any green retrofit project. 

Today’s timber windows can offer exceptional energy-saving potential compared to windows of old.  Some are also produced to Passiv Haus standards.  Timber doors and flooring, too, can play a part.

If insulation is being fitted in a loft space, softwood or hardwood battens with OSB or particleboard on top can be used to raise the floor level to cope with extra layers of insulation. 

Softwood studding combined with wood fibre insulation can create an internal lining to walls to increase heat retention, yet in a breathable manner.  There are also specialist panel products for airtightness now available. 

The TTF will be featuring retrofit in the materials we produce for the NMBS and its members, and will also be producing a special leaflet for our builders merchant members to give to interested builders and householders. 

Together we’ll build a green recovery that’s good for business and good for the climate.  


First published in Builders Merchants News July/August 2020