Softwood sizes

Date Published

15 August 2022

Document Type




Timber is an internationally traded material and the UK has traditionally imported timber from a wide range of countries, as well as producing its own. A large range of sizes are available throughout Europe, with individual countries having different traditions as to the sizes in common use.

This Wood Information Sheet was reviewed in July 2022 and minor amendments were made.

Key Information

The terminology of softwood size, defined in BS EN 844, is extensive and it is important to be clear about the meanings and permitted deviations.

Moisture content at the time of measurement can have a significant effect on the size of sawn timber.

Due to national variations across the European Union and within the UK, it is important that specifiers investigate the availability of particular timber sizes.

Case studies

On a Thames-side site which regularly floods, March House by Knox Bhavan architects has been designed for longevity by embracing the agency of the river.

The Believe in Better Building, a new building for Sky on its Osterley campus, lives up to its name. It is the tallest commercial timber building in the UK and one of very few multi-storey timber offices in the world.