The United Kingdom’s government yesterday (10-20-21) released its 368-page Net Zero Strategy Report. In the report, the government acknowledges that “felled trees store carbon within them and timber has the lowest carbon of any mainstream building material.” The report goes on to say the UK government would “promote the safe use of timber construction” through several measures and will work with industry bodies to create a “policy roadmap on the use of timber.”
“Key opportunities for the safe growth of timber use will be in low-rise buildings using traditional and certain modern methods of construction, and in a wide range of commercial and non-residential settings,” it said. According to the report, the government will provide financial support for the development of “innovative timber products” through the Forestry Innovation Fund, and drive “an increase in the use of certain modern methods of construction” — some of which will involve timber.
Finally, the government said it would “encourage” research into the barriers that architects and builders face with using timber, “including looking at timber strength grades and the fire resistance of engineered timber structures.” Oddly enough, the announcement comes after the government banned all combustible materials — including timber — in external walls of buildings over 18m (59’). It also consulted on plans to extend this ban to buildings over 11m (36’) though it has yet to publish its conclusions.
Timber specialists welcomed the government’s latest pledge to promote timber construction but expressed concern it only relates to low-rise buildings.
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Government’s promotion of low-rise timber ‘long overdue’, say architects