The Mass Timber Insurance Playbook (MTIP) is essential reading for anyone involved in timber construction. It is available to download for free from the ASBP (Alliance for Sustainable Building Products) website.
The Playbook’s goal is to provide guidance for all parties on how to secure an equitable insurance policy – for both the construction and operation of mass timber buildings. It is endorsed by Timber Development UK, and members of TDUK’s Technical Advisory Group consulted and advised on its content.
Learning the language of insurers
“It’s not just a great resource for timber designers,” enthuses Oliver Hartley-Booth, Partner at Gardiner & Theobald LLP and a TDUK Advisory Group member. “It teaches you how to speak the language of insurers.”
There are many different stakeholders in a timber project. The MTIP tries to provide common ground for all of them. After all, the client, designer, architect, insurer, broker, lender, fire service, fire engineer and building control officers all have different perspectives and priorities.
The Playbook provides succinct background and context to the insurance market, showing what is relevant for underwriters as well as the responsibility of both the developers and contracting parties towards risk identification and mitigation when executing a project.
It uses well adopted resilience reasoning to address the current imbalance between sustainability targets and a building’s resilience. This is not just about fire: it covers other insured perils including escape of water and flood.
What to consider at each RIBA stage
The Playbook’s guidance follows the RIBA Stages – which are the industry standard for the construction of a building. This means it can be used as a reference point for all parties. At any stage of the process, they’ll be able to easily identify what is relevant and required by insurers. The RIBA themselves have acted as peer reviewers.
“The Mass Timber Insurance Playbook is a direct response to the challenges faced by developers in securing construction and property insurance,” states Simon Corbey, Director of the ASBP. “It’s a practical resource to help overcome these challenges, with early-stage engagement of all parties being a key element of success in the design and planning processes.”