New courses promote timber technology

timber technology

A new series of Timber Technology Engineering Design courses are being launched, following a successful pilot, to encourage built environment professionals to embrace designing with timber and build net zero structures.  

 The Timber TED courses have been developed by the New Model Institute for Technology & Engineering (NMITE), in partnership with Timber Development UK (TDUK) and Edinburgh Napier University. They are designed to upskill and reskill the built environment professionals of the future to address the climate emergency and have a better understanding of timber’s role in the path to net zero.

During their studies, built environment professionals learn a lot about concrete and steel, and the design principles involved in using those materials, but they are often taught very little about timber, and how timber can also be used to build striking, sustainable structures when the correct design principles are applied. Instead, timber is often mistaken for a more interiors-based, second-fix material, and that’s often reflected in commercial building designs.

The aim of the Timber TED courses is to change this, giving anyone who works in the built environment industry a chance to learn more about timber design and the opportunities that the material offers for low-carbon construction.

Split into several modules, Timber TED course 1 covers design, materials and sustainability, while Timber TED 2, which is launching in May 2023, will focus on design, construction, technology and manufacture. The next Timber TED 1 starts on 16 January, 2023, for 12 weeks.

The courses are available to anyone who is already working in the built environment industry, anywhere in the country. They are designed to bring people together from right across the industry, giving engineers, designers, manufacturers, merchants and construction professionals the chance to network and learn from each other in a collaborative, interactive way.

They use a blended learning approach of online and in-person teaching at NMITE’s Skylon campus in Hereford. Students will demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired using ongoing projects and design challenges throughout the course, all of which will aid in producing a personal portfolio that showcases their learning.

By the end of the course, students will be able to design and execute a sustainable built-environment structure using timber, as well as developing a comprehensive understanding of timber construction and digitally driven design practices.

TDUK has been a key partner in the development of these courses, and is continuing to support the courses as they grow and develop, including providing funding for a limited number of places.

Tabitha Binding, TDUK’s head of education and engagement, says: “We have a huge skills crisis in the construction sector, especially when you consider the need to achieve net zero by 2050. These courses will help provide fundamental skills around building and designing with timber for those looking to expand their knowledge and understanding and to futureproof their skill set.”

Learn more about the Timber TED courses at