It’s been a record year for the Wood Awards, from the number of entries to the number of timber traders who attended the ceremony, held for the first time at Timber Expo. Also for the first time, the companies and organisations that sponsor and support the Awards have retaken ownership, giving the Wood Awards the opportunity to be a flagship for the trade.

From the Wood Awards 2011 supplement included with this issue of TTJ, you can see that they showcase some of the UK’s best buildings which use timber. They inspire architects and designers to use wood either for the first time, or in ways which they would not have previously thought achievable.

Our industry is disparate; we enjoy a vast range of species and added-value products and have a huge variety of manufacturers, suppliers and contractors. The Wood Awards give the entire industry a shared voice, a way of informing architects, specifiers, designers and contractors, and that voice is getting louder.

The Wood Awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design and craftsmanship. In his TTJ guest column in June, architect and judges’ chairman Michael Morrison said that a successful competition in a specific material inspires and leads by example. “Wood… [is] a beautiful and truly natural building material which has huge environmental advantages, and the timber industry needs to maximise on this.” You can see from the Awards supplement and the coverage in TTJ exactly what he means.

The supplement has been sent to the readership of Building Design, the leading weekly publication for architects, and to 5,000 readers of Building. The digital edition is being distributed to at least 65,000 contacts with these magazines and through the sponsors of the Wood Awards.

The Wood Awards are one of the few opportunities to present the timber industry as united, and more companies can and should get involved, from encouraging entries to commercial support. The more successful the Wood Awards, the wider the timber industry can reach.

They are an economical way of buying a good slice of publicity, but what do you think? What do you want the Wood Awards to do for you? To give your comments, ideas, or to get involved in 2012 contact Lucy Kamall at

TTJ Industry Updates are a forum for trade bodies to address key issues.