Timber is being used to construct some of the most iconic buildings of the 21st century – a fact that is being celebrated by not one, but two awards events this year.

The longstanding Wood Awards garnered around 250 entries and recently announced a shortlist of 20 projects, showcasing some of the UK’s best architectural designs in timber.

The winners will be revealed on November 10 at Carpenter’s Hall at the annual Wood Awards ceremony. Architecture critic and broadcaster Tom Dyckhoff will host the evening.

Meanwhile, the new kid on the awards block – the Structural Timber Awards – announced its winners at a dinner on the first evening of Timber Expo (part of UK Construction Week). Structural Timber Association chief executive Andrew Carpenter, who chaired the judging panel, said interest in the competition had been "phenomenal", with more than 160 entries being whittled down to a hefty 58-strong shortlist.

The pick of the crop

The shortlisting of this year’s Wood Awards was as difficult as ever with a lively debate over which should be included, according to architect and chairman of the judges, Michael Morrison.

"The judging process is part way through at the moment, but we’ve seen enough to know that this is another collection of fascinating projects," he said. "It is a real privilege for the judges to get the opportunity to look at the wide variety of imaginative ways timber is being used. The entries range from the structural use of timber on a massive scale in buildings like the BSkyB headquarters to the delicate finishes in small projects. I have no doubt that we will find some very deserving winners – but expect a lot of equally lively debate with judges championing their favourite."

The BSkyB building is a hot contender in the Commercial & Leisure category. The 3,000m2 educational training facility is a four-storey, open plan commercial structure in the UK, billed as one of the very few multi-storey timber offices in the world.

Designed and constructed in less than a year, the Arup-designed building showcases various timber construction methods, with glulam frame and visible grade CLT panels, providing core stability to the walls and floor, plus use of solid timber and timber cassettes. B&K Structures supplied the frame, interior joinery was by Taylor Made Joinery Interiors Ltd and timber was supplied by Rubner Holzbau GmbH and Binderholz. Austrian spruce, Swedish and Finnish birch and British oak all feature.

Also shortlisted in Commercial & Leisure is the Canary Wharf Crossrail station, which features the Foster & Partners-designed spruce glulam roof produced by Wiehag.

The 300m-long lattice roof represents one of the largest glulam contracts in the UK. Third contender is the Constellations Bar, an outdoor mixed-use venue in Liverpool. Brothers Howard and Hugh Miller – an architect/builder and furniture maker respectively – collaborated on the project using Welsh green oak, TR26 softwood roofing timber and OSB3 boards supplied from Materian Ltd.

In the Education & Public Sector category, contenders are Arcadia Nursery in Edinburgh; the Tom Wheare Music School at Bryanston School in Blandford Forum; Keynsham Civic Centre and One Stop Shop; Maggie’s Oxford; and The Level café in Brighton.

Arcadia Nursery, which was built for the University of Edinburgh, is a CLT structure featuring timber acoustic ceilings, timber cladding and wood fibre insulation. The suppliers were Stora Enso, Lignotrend, Russwood and Natural Building Technologies and timber species include Austrian spruce, Siberian larch and Scottish larch.

The Hopkins-designed Tom Wheare Music School is a brick and wood structure that features timber prominently in its 300-seat auditorium where it is used on most exposed surfaces. American white oak flooring, wall and ceiling panels join with specially designed oak acoustic panels, while spruce glulam beams support the roof.

Joinery was by Input Joinery, while Gariff Construction Ltd supplied the timber.

CLT features at Keynsham Civic Centre and One Stop Shop, blending with steel in an innovative B&K Structures hybrid frame. Oak is also used extensively, including in a Junckers raised oak floor.

Wilkinson Eyre Architects opted for a whole palette of timber species for the Maggie’s Oxford Centre. Norway spruce, white fir, Scots pine, European larch, Douglas fir, Swiss stone pine, European oak, birch plywood and Thermowood all feature in a project inspired by a treehouse.

The structure is entirely engineered timber, including a CLT panel floor supported on glulam beams, which forms the elevated base of the building. A folding three-dimensional lightweight roof is fabricated from Kerto LVL structural ribs wrapped with a Kerto skin. The wood supplier was Merk Timber.

In the Existing Building category, three restoration projects have been singled out. Pod Gallery is a "reversible" lightweight timber structure that sits inside a Grade II listed barn. Oakwrights was responsible for the joinery, Dinesen supplied the timber and wood species included oak, birch plywood, marine plywood and softwood.

Also Grade II listed is the Master’s House at Ledbury, a medieval timber frame building encased in later Georgian and Victorian additions. Repairs to the 15th century frame were carried out using traditional carpentry techniques and semi-seasoned European oak was selected to match the frame. Salvaged oak was used for small patch repairs and, where new oak was used, it was matched for grain, texture and growth.

The work was carried out by Speller Metcalfe, Splitlath Building Conservation and Woodcraft Joinery Ltd (interior joinery) and Oakbeam UK supplied the timber.

Nicknamed "the Tardis" because of its deceptively large interior, The Studio is also shortlisted in the Existing Building category. Lathams supplied Siberian birch plywood and American red oak for this project, which saw the creation of a timber clad mezzanine room overlooking a double height space.

Two projects made it onto the shortlist for Interiors – the Hult International Business School and the Spathroom.

Timber stars in the transformation of the Grade II listed St George’s Brewery in the Hult International Business School as the designers thought no other material offered the same breadth of design options.

Supplied by Brooks Bros (UK) Ltd, it features in a new staircase, in walls that create acoustically sealed lecture rooms and freestanding pods for meetings and study.

The three shortlisters in the Private category are Dundon Passivhaus, Sussex House and The Fishing Hut.

Dundon Passivhaus was designed to harmonise with the rural Somerset setting and constructed with a softwood timber frame and I-joist roof.

Green oak, European oak, birch plywood and pine were used in the project, supplied by Luton Green Sawmill. The joinery company was Allwood, while the staircase was manufactured by Fowler & Co.

Spruce, western red cedar and engineered oak are all used at Sussex House, a South Downs project that features 143 CLT panels, which form the entire superstructure, walls and roof of the first floor. The CLT was from KLH UK Ltd and timber from Vincent Timber.

East Brothers Timber Ltd and EC Forest Products supplied the timber for The Fishing Hut, a boat store-cum-meeting place on a Hampshire lake, with the main contractor and joiner being Inwood Developments Ltd. The building is raised above the water via galvanized steel frames, but the superstructure is glulam. French oak and Douglas fir from southern England also star.

The Small Project shortlist includes a Flower Kiosk in London made from three layer Accoya engineered boards, CNC cut into 328 individual slats supplied by Timbmet. Sydenhams Ltd and Lathams supplied the wood for Helix, or the Healthcare Innovation Exchange. This design studio, which will provide a hub for frontline NHS staff and patients to collaborate, is made from Metsä Wood’s Kerto-S LVL, UPM’s WISA spruce and WISA birch plywood and engineered oak.

Lathams also supplied The Observatory: The Study and Workshop with timber and panel products including Siberian larch, British larch, Canadian western red cedar, British chestnut, European oak, SmartPly OSB, Medite Tricoya Extreme and Accoya. The structure comprises two mobile cabins housing 12 multi-disciplinary artists.

Last, but not least, the other Small Project shortlister was Long Sutton Studio in Hampshire. The timber frame was supplied by Kingston Craftsmen while Honeysuckle Bottom Sawmill provided the timber.