A new book has been published celebrating the many ways in which different timber technologies have been used in residential design and construction over the last 10 years and the technical innovations that are now shaping the future of UK housing.
‘The Modern Timber House In The UK’ was commissioned by Wood for Good, in collaboration with the Forestry Commission Scotland and written by architect and timber building expert Peter Wilson.
The book looks at housing in the years 2007 to 2017, starting just before the major economic crash and ending with a look at how the Farmer Review, ‘Modernise or Die’ published earlier this year, will impact on the future of housebuilding.
Key issues around affordability, finance, planning and sustainability are addressed across 14 chapters, with examples of how timber products are used to deliver new forms of housing to very high standards of construction, energy efficiency and environmental responsiveness.
The Modern Timber House In The UK
Craig White, Chair of Wood for Good
We live in extraordinary times of change and challenge. Environmental catastrophes in different parts of the world bear witness to a climate warmed by increasing carbon dioxide emissions: peoples’ homes and lives are impacted by natural phenomena made more severe by our emissions. In the UK the housing crisis has put the cost of buying a home out of reach for more and more people. These twin challenges, while significant, can be responded to creatively, individually as well as collectively and the way we build our homes can play a unique role in doing so. Our homes are the places where we feel safe, they provide us with shelter, they are where we bring up our children, host our friends and, for those lucky enough to be able to build their own home, they are the places where our creativity can be expressed and celebrated.
This book showcases the beauty, strength and versatility of timber and how it can play an ever-increasing role in addressing the combined challenges of climate change and housing need. It demonstrates, too, just how innovative designers and engineers can be in developing new systems and solutions using a material that predates our existence on the planet. Timber enables us to build the most energy-efficient of homes to help us minimise the use of fossil fuels and, consequently, our emissions. A naturally renewable material, it not only has one of the lowest carbon footprints of any construction material, it is also made of the carbon that trees absorb from the atmosphere as they grow: we can literally build with carbon, capturing and storing it in the fabric of our homes.
Wood for Good is the UK’s promotion campaign to encourage more use of timber design and construction. We provide education and training resources for architects, engineers, designers, specifiers, contractors, developers, housing associations, local authorities and policy makers and run seminars and debates across the UK on innovation, sustainability and emerging market trends in the use of wood. Our current campaign responds not only to the housing crisis but also introduces people to the idea of Custom Build, the UK Government’s programme that, underpinned by Community Right to Build legislation, enables any of us to consider building our own homes. With the generous support of Forestry Commission Scotland, Wood for Good commissioned The Modern Timber House in The UK to highlight the many ways we can do this with timber. The book is not only timely, therefore: it is also a beautiful collation of homes made from wood. It intelligently sets out why the modern timber house has its roots in a rich architectural heritage and reveals to professionals and lay people alike that the future for our homes will have timber at its heart. I hope you will enjoy it and am certain you will find it a source of inspiration
With its publication, my role as chair of Wood for Good has come to an end I am delighted to be handing the baton over to David Birkbeck, CEO of Design for Homes. I am certain the Wood for Good campaign will go from strength to strength under his guidance.
Craig White, Chair of Wood for Good