The lack of strong timber supply chain partners has been blamed by architects for the scarcity of timber frame housing in Wales.

Architects and construction industry delegates at a recent seminar in Cardiff, which was sponsored by the Welsh Timber Forum and wood. for good, said they were keen to use more wood in construction.

Wales currently lags behind in the use of timber frame in construction, which accounts for 15.2% of all new build houses in the UK. In Scotland more than 60% of homes are timber frame, in England the figure is around 10%, but in Wales it is just 7%.

Delegates said one reason they would choose timber frame over other forms of construction was the positive environmental impact of timber over other construction materials.

John Fletcher, project manager at wood. for good, said buildings were major contributors to CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, both in the energy used to manufacture the materials to construct them and in the energy they consume.

Substituting timber for steel, aluminium, cement, concrete and plastics can dramatically reduce these emissions and make a positive contribution to reducing climate change, he said.

Peter Chlapowski, founder of PCKO Architects in London, underlined the design benefits of wood and gave examples of some of the award-winning timber frame buildings designed by his practice, some of which have been recently built in Wales.