Treatments and adhesives

Date Published

16 August 2022

Document Type



Wood preservation and wood adhesives have been integral in the use of timber in wood construction for many years. Changes in regulations and legislation over the last 20 years have significantly restricted the use of hazardous chemicals, and a wider interest in less toxic, or entirely non chemical, methods has emerged. As engineered wood products grow in popularity and use, so the need for appropriate preservative formulations and adhesives grows too.

Key Information

Timber requires less energy than any other building material to convert it to a finished component.

Chemical preservation is now applied in controlled factory conditions to protect the environment and water supplies.

Priority should always be given to good design and detailing over the need for preservative treatment. The move from solvent-based to water-based wood finishes eliminates greenhouse gas emissions during both production and service life.

Preservative and adhesive use are increasingly subject to tight environmental legislation, as well as health and safety and building regulations.

Case studies

The buildings, which have been developed at CAT over the last 40 years, illustrate a miniature history of green building, demonstrating changing priorities and possibilities.

In 2010 the writer Alain de Botton, author of The Architecture of Happiness, introduced Living Architecture, a not-for-profit holiday rental company.