The minister of state for housing and planning, Margaret Beckett was among the first Ecobuild visitors to have a taste of Pi, BSW Timber’s new patented intelligent timber build system, when she visited the company’s stand on the second day of the show.

The launch of the construction system follows an exclusive deal, making BSW the sole manufacturer of Pi in the UK and Ireland. It will be manufactured at BSW’s mills throughout the UK and at BSW Timber Systems in Ramsgate.

The system, which uses FSC certified British-grown C16 timber, offers site-specific solutions and can be built offsite in panellised walls or onsite in modular form. It comprises an insulated laminated ply ring beam system with insulated “slider” panels – the slider element ensures a perfect fit.

The ring beam and roof trusses are constructed at ground level, using the sole plate as a template. This is then lifted out of the way and completed wall panels, including the slider panels are craned in in their place. The first floor and roof are then craned back in and placed on top of the ground storey level.

“Using the ring beam system ensures the wall dimensions fit the foundation dimensions exactly,” said Pi’s Graham Nield. “And we can build at a rate of 20 minutes per floor.”

It wasn’t only the minister who was impressed: “We’ve seen lots of architects with live projects who want follow-up meetings,” said Mr Nield, speaking to TTJ on day one. “And we’re only four hours into the product launch.”