Timber Can Help Solve the Housing Crisis

A REPORT published this month on how the timber frame industry can play a major role in helping solve the housing crisis has been welcomed.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries said the government must commit to a long-term investment into the industry to give individual timber frame companies and timber producers the confidence to ramp up production.

The report, How the Timber Industries Can Help Solve the Housing Crisis, highlights how the build speed plays a vital role in enabling the government to meet its housing targets, and the ecological imperative of using timber, rather than man made materials, to protect the environment and the economic and employment benefits of increasing production.

Sales director at an insulation specialist Actis, Mark Cooper, said: “We work with a good many timber framers in the UK. Offsite production is much quicker than brick and block, making it an ideal way to build the homes we so desperately need here. It also presents a solution to the fact that we simply do not have enough skilled tradespeople to build traditional houses. And of course, they can be very energy efficient.”

The report states that the current government target of 300,000 new homes per year is simply not achievable without a change to the mechanism by which homes are delivered.

Backing in Parliament

Chair of the group, Martin Whitfield MP, said: “I passionately believe that if we can continue to provide home-grown timber and maintain sensible customs relationships on imported wood, this material is best placed to build the millions of new homes we will require over the next 25 years.

“We are in the midst of a climate emergency and this requires fundamental changes to our built environment and our future infrastructure. Housebuilding should be part of an environmental revolution that is firmly integrated into our net-zero emissions targets.

“Using timber will sequester carbon within homes for generations and is markedly more environmentally friendly than other core building materials such as concrete.

“Throughout the UK we seem to have all the jigsaw pieces on the table, a thriving wood and forestry sector, world leading technical expertise, architects at the forefront of design and an enthusiastic potential workforce. It is up to the UK government to help complete the jigsaw for the sake of future generations.”

The Structural Timber Association adds that there is enough immediate capacity to create an additional 100,000 homes a year in the UK.

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