Craig White, founding partner and managing director of Bristol-based architects, White Design, has been named as chairman of Wood for Good – the timber industry’s sustainability awareness campaign.
He becomes only the first chair of the organisation to come from outside of the timber sector and will be tasked with directing the group’s strategy and operations.
White Design, which celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2013, is renowned for its use of timber and for sustainable design, completing over 130 projects and securing over 25 industry awards including accolades from RIBA, the RICS and BREEAM.
Some of the firm’s most high profile work includes the landmark Velux headquarters in Kettering, and Kingsmead Primary School which was both a British Construction Industry and Quality in Construction Award winner.
Craig has established himself as one of UK architecture’s foremost advocates of timber design as a route to achieving more sustainable buildings, leading him to play an active role as chairman of Wood for Gold – the timber industry’s champion of timber buildings for the 2012 Olympics.
He joins the organisation following one of the most impactful years in its existence after the successful launch of its manifesto and resulting ‘Wood First’ campaign.
Commenting on his appointment, Craig said: “This is undoubtedly ‘timber’s time’. The UK’s built environment has to deliver greener and more energy efficient buildings in lower build times, and certified timber is the sustainable super material which can help make this happen.
“Couple these considerations with a broader desire to increase not just the UK’s but the world’s forest cover in order to boost the planet’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide, and the case for driving demand for timber becomes ever more compelling.
“Wood for Good has a vital role to play in educating the industry and its clients about timber’s enormous potential to help UK construction make these transformative changes and contribute to global afforestation.
Craig replaces outgoing chairman John Kissock OBE, a former managing director of one of the UK’s largest independent sawmillers and timber suppliers, James Jones.
John, added: “Wood for Good has evolved significantly from its early beginnings a pure marketing campaign to become an organisation which is making a significant and tangible impact, and helping to frame the debate around sustainability in design and construction.
“This has been especially true in the two years since our re-launch in which revitalising our CPD programme to introduce online learning for the first time, and opening a dialogue with local authorities across the UK about our vision for a Wood First rule in local planning policy guidance, are among its many notable achievements.
“The appointment of the campaign’s first non-industry chairman in Craig, a leading proponent of timber architecture, reflects its evolution and marks an exciting new chapter in its history.”
Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor and a Board Director at Wood for Good, thanked John for his efforts during his tenure as chairman of the organisation, saying: “John has helped to lead the total transformation of Wood for Good, from the look and feel of our brand, to its now expanded role and purpose.
“The organisation, and indeed the UK’s timber sector as a whole, is indebted to him for his tireless efforts to create a campaign which is helping to push wood to the top of the climate change debate agenda.”