TTF Members Sponsor TRADA University Challenge 2020

TTF Members Sponsor TRADA University Challenge 2020

ARTICLE  · 02 Mar 2020

To design and construct well with timber and timber-based products you need to understand your material, which is why three of our members, Arnold Laver, Steico and Stora Enso along with our regional member WTTA, sponsored and supported the TRADA University Challenge 2020.

The recently published Confederation of Timber Industries report “How the timber industry can help tackle the housing crisis” sets out the need for more timber based housing and more skilled construction workers. These skilled workers cannot answer the housing crisis – the need to build 300,000 new energy efficient, low-carbon, affordable, desirable homes – on their own. Which is why the TTF and its Timber Members are keen to support this challenge and engage with young designers, enabling them to gain valuable knowledge about timber so that they can design better low-carbon housing.

On 17–19 February 2020, 60 UK students descended on Cardiff School of Engineering, courtesy of Professor Aled Davies, for a charrette–style challenge to design timber-based community housing that is low-carbon, energy and water efficient, climate resilient, healthy and desirable. The brief was set by Wales & West Housing Association on a challenging live site in West Wales.

Run by our Regional and University Engagement Manager Tabitha Binding, the competition, brings together final year undergraduate students of architecture, architectural technology, engineering, quantity surveying and landscape architecture courses, creating opportunities for students to learn first-hand from our knowledgeable timber industry members and prominent design professionals, gaining valuable practical experience, contacts and skills.

Patrick Guest, Managing Director of Arnold Laver, says:

‘Having sponsored the TRADA University Challenge previously, we are proud to be associated with the event again in 2020. We recognise that this is a great initiative and one which allows us the opportunity to promote the use of timber in the construction process. We realise that as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of timber and timber-based products, part of our role is to help educate the designers, architects and engineers of tomorrow. Timber engineering and material innovation is really pushing things forward when it comes to the use of wood in modern buildings. If we can get our customers of the future to be as engaged and enthusiastic about timber as we are, then more people will have a ‘wood-first’ approach when thinking about construction products.’

Adrian Judd, Operations Director at Steico UK, says:

‘Once again, Steico is proud to be a key sponsor of TRADA’s University Challenge as we want to inspire, educate and support students as to how we can future-proof the way we build.

 ‘Today’s students will shape the future of our built environment. As an industry, it’s crucial we’re conveying the versatility and superiority of timber-based materials. Students have a real opportunity to challenge the way we currently design and construct our buildings and TRADA’s University Challenge is the perfect way to get them thinking about how. As in previous years, we believe the students will inspire us with their imaginative and forward-thinking approach to incorporating timber-based materials into their healthy designs.’

Gareth Mason, Sales Director of Western Europe (Building Solutions) at Stora Enso, says:

‘University students are the future of our industry. The world is at a tipping point and if we do not act now to reduce our carbon consumption, we will see a very different future for our planet. The TRADA University Challenge is the perfect way to engage with students and to develop them towards a brighter future for us all.

 ‘Stora Enso is a long-standing sponsor of University Challenge, and every year I’m astounded by the new, exciting ideas coming from the students and their abilities to technically apply their ideas. Students who have not yet been shaped by the commercial world tend to think outside of the box and are able to develop interesting concepts. This brings value that can be applied to new products and a new way of thinking which designers, bound by cost or time objectives, don’t consider. We’re really looking forward to the kind of solutions that this year’s challenge brings.’

Tabitha Binding, Regional & University Engagement Manager at TTF, says:

‘I’d like to thank our 2020 sponsors who are working collaboratively to raise awareness among our future professionals of how timber products can be used to construct a better built environment. This year’s student cohort will benefit directly from the wealth of knowledge that Adrian, Patrick and Gareth have gained from their years in the industry. They will also be able to see and handle the products that each company can provide – I-joists, CLT, LVL, solid timber, panel products, insulation – enabling these students to gauge which product is most suitable for the challenges we and our client, Wales and West Housing Association, set them.’

Find out more about why WTTA supported the University Challenge 2020

The TRADA University Challenge 2020 has attracted sponsorship from top timber industry members who understand the need to engage, encourage and educate our future professionals. The 2020 competition could not take place without the kind support of major sponsors STEICO and Arnold Laver, sponsor Stora Enso, and supporters PEFC UKPassivhaus TrustWTTA and Wood for Good.