Ian Dacre is a Partner at Rider Levett Bucknall and author of the 2019 RLB Structural Timber Estimating Guide. To accompany the Guide, Ian published an article outlining why he believes the use of structural timber will become increasingly essential in the construction industry.
This Guide focuses on “timber frame” and will be followed this year by two guides for structural insulated panels (SIPS) and cross-laminated timber (CLT). The initial drive behind the Guide was that up until the first edition was produced in 2016, there was no industry document providing estimated rates for the use of structural timber. So, we wanted to not only fill that technical knowledge gap but also to analyse the benefits as well.
I believe that the use of structural timber will become increasingly essential, particularly in these challenging times in the light of Brexit and the uncertainty around sourcing construction materials. I have listed below just five of the many reasons why I think the importance of structural timber will continue to rise. For a fuller overview, please download the report.
- Structural timber is already a favoured solution in many sectors such as medium rise hotels, student accommodation, education, self-builders, residential and others; all indications suggest that its use will continue to rise further in the future once the benefits are seen to all.
- With the Government’s announcement regarding its presumption in favour for off-site manufacture from 2019, the demand for structural timber systems has increased year on year.
- The beauty of structural timber systems is they can be combined to great effect. Indeed, in recent years there has been a trend toward using a hybrid solution using Timber Frame, CLT, SIPS and Glulam in combination to deliver against architectural vision and engineering requirements.
- With the ever increasing demands on sustainable construction, the timber industry is the only structural solution that can provide a truly balanced approach to commercial and environmental considerations.
- With the uncertainty of sourcing materials post Brexit, a structural timber solution has a major advantage as it consists of one structural solution, rather than multiple, parts.
The latest Guide provides information for estimating and budget preparation at the earliest possible time in the construction life cycle. It also furnishes cost managers and estimators with a range of values and data that can be used to promote and demonstrate value for money.
We hope the Guide will support the continued use of structural timber for the construction industry and would like to thank those members of the Structural Timber Association and others for their support in its production.