ODA is hungry for solutions, says Bonfield17 December 2007
Timber companies that can offer solutions for 2012 Olympics developments may have an advantage, Dr Peter Bonfield, the Olympic Development Authority’s (ODA) leader for construction products, told the London Hardwood Club last week.
“If you are a supplier waiting for a route in it may or may not come,” he said. “But if you are a supplier thinking about solutions, we are hungry for solutions.”
Sustainability was key to the Olympics project, he said, and the ODA’s aim was to “maximise sustainable sources”.
All materials would be measured against four criteria: responsible sourcing, both ethically and environmentally; embodied impact measured against 12 categories, not just CO2; waste minimisation; and health and safety – not just health and safety policy but looking for special ways the workforce and community can be protected.
While the ODA was not predisposed to any material, “not wood because it’s the only natural material or concrete because it’s the most durable”, Dr Bonfield said timber could capitalise on its head start with certification and chain of custody.
“If you benchmark against other industries, you have had 15 years’ head start,” he said.
He added that, as a customer, the timber industry was difficult to deal with because of the myriad players but he praised the work of Timber Trade Federation chief executive John White and Wood for Gold in providing an interface with companies.
“As a customer you just want wood, and you want a route through without having to speak to lots of stakeholders,” he said.
After some initial concerns, the ODA was now confident that the timber industry could deliver the volumes of certified timber required.
Purchasing construction materials was likely to be through a preferred supplier list, or panel, and companies would be required to meet the four criteria.
“It you think you have what is required for prequalification that’s great,” said Dr Bonfield. “If you don’t think you will get on the panel then you may be able to supply a company that is.”