HNC construction students from Gloucestershire College joined Nicks Timber customers and industry representatives for the latest TTF TimberWorks visit on October 4.

Starting at the National Trust Coleshill & Buscott estate in Oxfordshire, contractors Snape Construction explained the needs and workings of an historic barn restoration project. Nicks Timber’s managing director Phil McCormick illustrated the detailed knowledge, sourcing and production co-ordination services they provided, facilitating the reproduction of elm trusses in the roof, and kiln dried elm for the internal walls and floors. Simon Hull, Nicks’ trade centre manager, gave an overview of the project from tree to finished product.

The group then moved on to Nicks’ timber mill at Canada Wharf in Gloucester, introducing the students to the different types of timber appropriate to various end uses. Neighbouring firm Griggs Timber, specialists in timber frame engineering, then showed visitors the essentials of timber truss manufacture and engineered floor joists, to round off the learning opportunity.

“Enthusing the next generation with a passion for timber and wood products is vital to the continuity of our industry,” said Mr McCormick. “Bringing students face to face with the realities and opportunities of building with wood, and its central place in sustainable construction, can only be of benefit to the industry and to the planet.”

“TimberWorks visits such as these establish a valuable physical and mental connection to timber, from touching and feeling the products to understanding their quality and their positive impact on climate change,” added David Hopkins, TTF managing director.

Further TTF TimberWorks visits are planned.

Architectural case studies, including from members such as Nicks Timber, are available for further inspiration on the Federation’s website at: 

Science Success

Newly-qualified wood scientist Gareth Nicholls, timber support manager at Saint Gobain Building Distribution (SGBD), was the winner in the Career Development Award – over 25 category, at the recent TTJ Awards.

Mr Nicholls gained his Level 4 Qualification in Wood Science and Timber Technology earlier this year, after studying with training provider TFT Woodexperts, and credited this achievement as being instrumental in his obtaining his promotion to his new job from his previous position as a branch manager.

Having been nominated by his employer, the Award was given in recognition of his studies and his commitment to his new role, which involves mentoring timber staff in the Jewson branch network in his area, and using his wood science qualification in training and advising both staff and customers in the uses of timber and wood-based panel products.

Woodexperts has also announced that 11 students sat the rigorous exams earlier this summer, and between them achieved an unprecedented 100% pass rate. Students not directly involved in timber merchanting or distribution were involved for the first time, including Paul Philbin, quality and environmental manager at offsite solutions specialists B&K Structures; Joanne Floyd of importer and distributor Hanson Plywood; Stefan Tyrie of Vastern Timber; and Ben Garfitt, group sales office manager of Verdon Timber.