The Structural Timber Association (STA) has hosted a roundtable discussion at The Houses of Parliament on the future of housebuilding and the potential of structural timber and offsite construction building methods.
The event was attended by industry leaders and representatives from The Housing Forum, Zero Carbon Hub and Wood for Good, along with the host, MP David Warburton.
Based around three key areas of discussion – the recent changes in Government regulations and its impact on provision of affordable housing, implications of the postponement of the Zero Carbon Homes target, and the opportunity and benefits of offsite construction, each conversation led to placing the consumer at the forefront of the timber housebuilding industry.
Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association said: “Following the recent changes announced by the Government surrounding providing affordable housing, the opportunity to build more, better homes is clear and well-known within the timber frame industry. However, the benefits of using timber frame needs to be communicated not only to developers and contractors but also consumers.”
He added: “Offsite construction has taken off within the self-build market as a quick and cost-effective way of building a home. However to enable the method to gain a significant market share, other sectors including mainstream residential developments should be considered.”
“A large area for development is retrofit, where significant energy efficiency increases can be made, bringing older buildings up to date with modern day standards. This was recently demonstrated in a pilot project in Thamesmead, where high performance prefabricated timber façade panels were used to over-clad the existing concrete building. This resulted in significantly improving the building’s insulation and each building only taking a week to complete.”
Concluding, Andrew said: “Both timber frame and offsite construction present the housebuilding sector with the speed of build, energy efficiency and ease of erection needed to meet the Government housebuilding targets.”