Around 10% of the timber to be used in the new Scottish Parliament building has already been ordered and includes approximately 50m³ of Scottish oak from 15 different sources.

However, with tender processes covering the remaining 90% of timber due to take place over the next year, it has been suggested that domes-tically grown timber will be unlikely to meet all the wood demands of the Edinburgh building.

Linda Fabiani, Scottish National Party member of the Scottish Parliament project group, confirmed late last week that Scottish timber would be used in general for places on public view. ‘We will try to use the best materials front of house’, she said.

Her comments have reawakened concerns that the building will feature a high proportion of imported timber. Noting that the forthcoming tender process would be open to all, a spokesman for the Scottish Parliament said: ‘We will ensure that suppliers in Scotland are aware of the process and hope they will be able to rise to the challenge. The toughest requirement is timescale because the building has to be completed by the end of 2002.’

Responding to suggestions that too much of the timber focus was falling on Scottish oak, he said: ‘The design team was very clear on the types of material they wanted to use and oak was certainly the preference.’