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  • Timber design and construction is set to dominate the Midlands this autumn.

Timber design and construction is set to dominate the Midlands this autumn.

WoodFest Midlands features conferences, exhibitions, site visits, seminars, CPDs, design challenges and debates to celebrate the use of timber in construction.

Organised by the UK timber industry’s campaign, Wood for Good, WoodFest is a series of events designed to bring together architects and engineers, placemakers and planners, developers and contractors, industry and politics to explore what forestry and timber can do in the region.

Christiane Lellig, campaign director for Wood for Good said: “With a focus on offsite construction, housing and sustainability, WoodFest Midlands promises to offer a fantastic opportunity to bring all those involved with the built environment to explore what can be achieved when we work together.

“Each event is a chance to learn and share about the use of timber in architecture and provides a platform to discover what’s happening in the region and to be inspired by timber design.”

Open to the public later in the year, visitors are invited to explore De Montford University’s ‘micro-living project’ – a 15m2 sustainable living pod built with wood. The self-build pod will be demountable, extendible, accessible and built from sustainable materials. It has been designed by a group of 3rd year architecture students with support from industry experts Hanson, Jeld-Wen, timber industry body TRADA, engineering consultant Dominic Pask, RG+P Architects and Leicester City Council. Live Build projects and events will also take place at Nottingham University.

RIBA East Midlands is hosting a series of CPD seminars including designing inclusive environments for the future and sustainable design solutions. The RIBA Great British Buildings series will visit the timber-panelled Nevill Holt Opera in Leicester and the award-winning timber-built Teaching and Learning Building at the University of Nottingham.

Hosted by the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, the RIBA Research Matters conference takes place on 17-18 October at the Nottingham Jubilee Campus. The programme includes case studies and research featuring a selection of award-winning wooden buildings.

Three free exhibitions take place during autumn in Coventry and Birmingham showcasing offsite construction and timber products. Offsite Expo runs from 24-25 September at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry and includes the latest in offsite construction technologies including CLT, timber frame and timber panel construction.

UK Construction Week runs from 8-10 October and TRADA’s Timber Focus Theatre will showcase the very best projects using wood in the built environment. Architectural timber structures and award-winning designs will be on display, including a number of full-scale buildings.

Visitors can brush up on their knowledge with a range of CPDs covering subjects from offsite timber solutions and the circular economy together with a range of timber-focussed case studies. Visitors will also have the chance to unleash their creativity and try their hand at steam bending with architect Charlie Whinney.

Also taking place at the NEC on 22 October, Modular Matters will show how modular construction can be used for a variety of applications from education, leisure through to housing.

Constructing Excellence Midlands is set to host its 2nd Mental Health and Wellbeing Leadership Forum at the National Forest Headquarters in Swadlincote on 24 October. It will also host its Annual Construction Summit on 8 October at the NEC with a focus on zero carbon, quality and compliance, health and wellbeing, digitalisation and offsite.

WoodFest Midlands partners include: Constructing Excellence Midlands, James Latham, The National Forest, RIBA and TRADA. WoodFest Midlands follows three successful WoodFests in Newcastle, Sheffield and Reading.

Book your place at any of the WoodFest Midlands events here.

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