My German guide around an all-timber house at the Ligna show in Hannover described it as a “fest” of wood.

He then translated this as feast, while I, in gibbering schoolboy German, suggested he might mean festival. Finally, in a gesture of Anglo-German goodwill over a pils we decided the house was both. And, as well as timber, it was feast and festival of engineered wood too.

The house was like one of those cut-away technical drawings, with some wall panels and cladding removed and sections of others and floor structures sliced through to show all the inner workings and materials. There were I-joists, LVL pillars and glulam and heavyweight finger-jointed beams, plus integrated timber and sheet material wall and flooring ‘cassettes’. The floors were covered in solid and engineered boards and the outside featured laminated windows and timber and wood-composite cladding, with a handsome wood deck leading to the front door. Even the insulation was all cellulose based.

The home, which was crawling with fascinated visitors, highlighted just how dramatically engineered wood, often used in conjunction with good old solid timber, is taking this industry into dramatic new directions and making it even more competitive against alternative materials. And our engineered wood feature brings this out just as clearly. A look at finger-jointing highlights how the latest technology is not only resulting in better quality end product, but also opening up this means of making the most of the timber resource to all sizes of business.

Among other aspects of this fast developing market, we also focus on the potential of marrying two forms of engineered timber, Thermowood and glulam, on a project to educate engineered wood users and the ambitions in the UK of one of Canada’s biggest I-joist producers.

Recently we’ve also had further evidence of architects’ growing affinity with timber, with the Wood Awards attracting over 200 entries and a strong turnout for the Architecture Today and wood. for good-backed architects’ timber building masterclass last week. Put this together with the new design and construction possibilities offered by engineered wood and the future looks exciting. Let the fest continue, as they say in Germany.