Advocacy for using timber as a mainstream modern construction material is increasing in Europe and other regions. Faced with the need to satisfy growing global housing need, while simultaneously reducing the construction industry’s environmental footprint, wood is becoming the building material of choice for a growing number of architects, engineers, designers and contractors.
Adding impetus to this trend are the development and increasing application of more technically advanced structural timber products. These are allowing the construction sector to build bigger and ever more ambitiously in wood and enabling it to compete head-on with energy intensive rival materials, steel and concrete.
At the same time, there are early signs that architects and others are looking to broaden their timber building product palette, exploring the structural capabilities of hardwood as well as softwood and, while it is yet to hit the headlines, considering the possibilities of using tropical as well as temperate species.
This could not only help provide much needed, affordable, low carbon housing, but also act as an added incentive to sustainably manage forests for timber production.