If there’s one event that certainly packs a punch in terms of size it’s UK Construction Week (UKCW) at Birmingham NEC on October 10-12.

This leading event includes Timber Expo, billed as the country’s only specialist event dedicated to timber, which this year has its third outing as part of UKCW.

Leading associations will be represented at the show, including the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), ConFor, Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI), Timber Decking & Cladding Association (TDCA), TRADA and the Structural Timber Association (STA).

One of Timber Expo’s main remits is to explore the latest developments throughout the industry, plus products and innovations from around the world. The entire breadth of timber applications will feature, from timber frame through to plywood, glulam and timber cladding, SIPs, CLT, fixings and fastenings, doors and windows, mouldings, skirtings and flooring.

Decking products will be displayed on the stands of Hoppings and Lithuania-based Kriolis, while AluWood will attempt to switch joinery manufacturers onto using an aluminium clad timber window system.

AluWood will tell fabricators that its flush casement system is easy to manufacture and can be top or side hung, as well as fully reversible. With the durability of aluminium on the outside and the insulating benefits of timber on the inside, alu-clad windows have proved popular in the UK for self-builders and commercial projects such as hotels or offices.

“The aluminium-clad timber window market is at £77m, providing a fantastic opportunity,” said Callum Grant, commercial director AluWood Windows Ltd. The company says production costs can be low as UK materials are used.

Engineered wood products manufacturer STEICO will showcase its European Technical Approval (ETA) awarded product SteicoFloc, an air-injected cellulose insulation manufactured from recycled paper. Latvian sawmiller Gaujas Koks Ltd, which operates two major sawmills with a total output of 300,000m3 of finished products, will showcase its cross-laminated timber. The company launched CLT production last year with a 50,000m3 facility. Next year the company is due to open a second CLT facility in Vangazi with an annual capacity of 200,000m3.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Belarus is using Timber Expo as a launchpad for closer working with the UK timber trade.

“Timber: Doing Business in Belarus”, cohosted by the Timber Trade Federation and the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus, will be held at the Timber Restaurant with the aim of bringing TTF Members and Belarusian companies together to further understand the market and facilitate trade.

Belarus is looking to promote its timber resources and find new export markets. Seminar attendees will be introduced to the Belarusian timber industry decision makers, including members of the government, CEOs of Belarusian manufacturers, distributors and market experts.

Schmid Scrauben Hainfeld will present its range of RAPID and StarDrive GPR fixings, while Intumescent Systems will showcase its Envirograf fire containment technology.

Czech distributor Orlimex will showcase its full range of plywood and packing, including plywood from Garnica. There will also be the opportunity to view timber frame firm White Haus’s hybrid timber frame building materials and learn about the newest form of sawmilling technology from Latvian sawmill Vudlande Sawmill.

Timber Expo offers the chance to see ÖÖDHOUSE – an Estonian-made pod home/ hotel cabin – for the first time in the UK. It is designed as a standardised solution with a quick and flexible construction process. Designed with privacy glass, ÖÖDHOUSE effectively reflects its surroundings to the exterior.

Students from the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme at the Architectural Association are also developing an innovative timber installation, co-ordinated by TRADA and sponsored by Hanson Plywood. The design derives from extensive research on plywood composite material systems, focused on the integration of doubly-curved plywood forms and tensile cables. The design is a development from an initial understanding of ‘tensegrity’ (or floating compression) systems and departs from a pure tensegrity through a three dimensional structure, where doubly-curved plywood members coexist in equilibrium. TRADA, the leading authority dedicated to informing best-practice design, specification and use of wood and timber in the built environment, has collaborated on the Timber Focus Theatre. Here speakers including Zaha Hadid Architects, dRMM, Arup, Pier Architects and Design for Homes will reveal how the boundaries of what is done with wood are being stretched.

Timber Expo will also offer a series of free CPD seminars, bringing together leading authorities to deliver advice and guidance on key issues. These include safety and fire prevention in buildings, guidance on sprinklers, fire doors and dampening, cladding and other flammable building materials, and health and safety.

Offsite Construction

Offsite construction will be a major theme at this year’s Timber Expo.

The industry has embraced the latest technologies that have enabled us to build faster, more efficiently and at a quality not achievable before. Show organisers say Timber Expo will feature hundreds of offsite innovations, with more exhibitors in this arena than any other event, as well as a dedicated Offsite Theatre supported by the Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA) and the STA, two organisations heavily involved in promoting the benefits and advantages of offsite and volumetric modular construction. Exhibitors involved include Portakabin, Wernick Group, and ProCrit.

Visitors can also attend an exciting array of debates, seminars and specialist building safety workshops hosted at six hubs and the UKCW main stage.

The workshops, all of which are free and CPD-certified, run on all three exhibition days, but are anticipated to book up fast, so visitors are advised to register as soon as possible.

This year there are extra zones and theatres, including Health and Safety, Windows & Doors, Roofing & Insulation, and Tools, plus the Builders Merchants Federation Pavilion, Offsite Theatre and the BIM Prospects Theatre delivered by BRE. George Clarke will be launching MOBI – the Ministry of Building and Innovation.It includes the first further and higher education courses in home construction and a regional roll-out of innovative and creative construction hubs.

He will chair debates on innovation and collaboration – expected to appeal to people thinking differently at a time when industry challenges require a disruption to the status quo.

In addition to showcasing the latest products and innovations across the timber sector, Timber Expo will deliver the latest information on safety and quality in buildings for all in the built environment, from architects, contractors, local housing authorities, and developers,” said Nathan Garnett, event director at show organiser Media 10.

“This is crucial in the current climate and only by coming together, through shared knowledge and learning, will we be able to tackle the issues surrounding building safety head on.”

Timber Expo will encourage exhibitors and visitors to have some downtime at the beer and ale festival, open each day and the evenings of October 10 and 11, plus a dodgeball tournament, and casino nights with Genting International Casino on October 10 and 11