CEI-Bois General Assembly hosted in London by Timber Development UK

More than 30 leaders of European timber associations gathered in London on 14 and 15 June 2023 to discuss trends shaping the future of the industry.

The annual general assembly of CEI-Bois – the European Woodworking Industry Confederation – is one of the most influential meetings in the global timber industry and comes during a time when timber is quickly accelerating as a first choice for construction in the UK.

Timber Development UK (TDUK), the association for the entire timber supply chain (from supplier to specifier, and all points in between), hosted the meeting, demonstrating the strength of the UK’s partnership with European forest industries as a key importing country.

By hosting the meeting in London, TDUK were able to take delegates on a tour of some of the incredible infrastructure projects and timber buildings now shaping the capital; including a trip on the Elizabeth Line to visit the ABBA Arena – the worlds largest demountable concert venue.

While demountable venues are traditionally formed from steel or aluminum systems, this land mark project from Stufish Architects and Stage One makes use of engineered timber components right through from the front of house and larch cladding (courtesy of Xylotech), through to the stage.

The assembly on the following day of members covered a diverse range of topics across carbon storage, international trade, and the use of wood in construction.

TDUK chief executive David Hopkins said;

“Being able to host our counterparts from across the Channel is always an honour, and our door will always be open to them. These trade relationships, both in terms of timber as well as knowledge and expertise, are crucial if we are to decarbonise construction.

“TDUK has really strong relationships right around the world, but our bond with our European neighbours – who are the UKs largest trading partners – will always be crucial to the future of UK timber supply.”

Secretary general of CEI-Bois, Silvia Melegari, said:

“It has been a great pleasure for the CEI-Bois members and for my self in primis to acknowledge about the expansion of wood as important construction material in the development of London city.

“When dealing with a great demand for housing, the construction sector must be responsible with the preservation of the environment. In this sense, the manufacture of houses with low carbon footprint materials becomes essential and wood is a reliable solution.

“Wood construction has multiple benefits in environmental terms, among them: it stores carbon, it is the renewable and fully recyclable. Indeed, circularity needs to be designed into construction projects to ensure the most efficient way of using our resources, and wooden material well respond also to this objective.”