New policy report outlines how the UK Government can decarbonise construction

The APPG for the Timber Industries launched its latest report – Timber Construction: Barriers and Solutions.

The latest report investigates where barriers exist to expanding timber use, and what policy solutions are available to Government to address them.

The report is structured around key policy themes identified by the timber industry. These are:

  • Demand – How make wood the number one material for housebuilders?
  • Supply – How do we ensure timber supply is capable of meeting long-term demand?
  • Building Safety – How do we tackle misconceptions about timber and fire safety?
  • Labour and Skills – How do we upskill future generations towards low-carbon construction and tackle labour shortages in the economy?

The report primarily focuses on timber frame housebuilding in the UK, which offers the quickest avenue for large-scale timber expansion in the UK.

This latest APPG report comes following an exciting period of collaboration between the timber industry and the government in the Timber in Construction Working Group, which looks to outline a roadmap to increase timber use in construction by the end of this year. This working group is a joint Government initiative run by DBT, DESNZ, DEFRA, DLUHC and the Forestry Commission.

This working group was created following increasing recognition of the benefits of timber construction by government advisory bodies such as the Climate Change Committee and Environmental Audit Committee. The group was also created to assist the UK’s bid to achieve net zero by 2050, with timber construction offering a safe and effective means to decarbonising the UK’s built environment.

Baroness Hayman of Ullock, Chair of the APPG, said:

“Built environment emissions are a major cause for concern, directly accounting for around 25% of the UK’s total carbon output. Tackling these emissions is essential if we are to hit net zero targets.

“By using wood instead of other materials in construction, we can reduce these emissions through the carbon captured and stored in the wood product and the avoidance of using alternative CO2-intensive materials.

“In our latest APPG report, we look to assist policymakers in their bid to decarbonise construction by outlining what policies can be used to expand timber in the UK.

“This report goes beyond the arguments for timber construction. We feel these have been well made and to good effect.

“Instead, we want to turn these arguments into a policy reality, inspiring the government, and other political parties, in their bid to formulate green-built environment policies for the election next year.

Alex Goodfellow, Chair of the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI), said:

“Offsite timber construction is not a magic bullet to the UK’s many issues, however, with the right policy and support, it can become invaluable in our bid to fight climate change, build homes and level up.

“In the last few years, we have seen some positive developments for our industry, with timber increasingly recognised as pivotal to our net zero ambitions by both the government and its advisory bodies.

“We hope this latest APPG report provides some clarity on the stumbling blocks for timber expansion, as well as a set of useful policy recommendations to aid the government in its bid to decarbonise construction in the UK.

“I want to thank members of the APPG for their hard work championing timber in parliament as well as my colleagues at the CTI who have worked tirelessly to create this latest report.

“I look forward to seeing the roadmap provided by the Timber in Construction Working Group later this year.

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timber construction Barriers and Solutions

This article was originally published on the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) website.