UKTFA enters new phase2 February 2009
New chairman of the UK Timber Frame Association Geoff Arnold says the organisation is entering a new phase of promoting the benefits of the build method, despite the current downturn affecting the construction industry.
Mr Arnold, the managing director of Pinewood Structures, admitted the current environment was challenging but insisted that tightening Building Regulations and an expected market in 2010 created a positive future for the industry.
“The emphasis over the last couple of years has been a little bit focused on dealing with some of the perceived issues of timber frame, including differential movement and fire,” he said.
“Now is the time to drive forward, taking our message into the market.”
That message is threefold – sustainability, energy efficiency (including a healthy living environment) and speed of build.
Mr Arnold said the tightening of Building Regulations relating to energy efficiency and the requirement for all new homes to meet Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes would help create substantial opportunities for timber frame.
One of the biggest challenges for the industry was retaining skills, especially those of designers, as these were not easily replaced. But he believes production capacity lost during the downturn could be fairly easily added again when conditions improve.