The issue of architects and building control officers over-specifying C24 grade structural timber will be raised by Timber Trade Federation (TTF) president Kevin Hayes at the next meeting of The Federation’s National Softwood Division.

Mr Hayes offered to take up the matter after traders highlighted the problem at a meeting of the London and South-east Timber Trade Association in Tunbridge Wells last Friday.

“It’s absolutely ludicrous that an architect or building control officer puts C24 on a drawing for certain jobs,” said one trader. “Either they do not understand or they’re trying to cover their backs, but it makes things difficult for suppliers to source C24 in volume.

“It’s ridiculous,” he added. “We have this all the time – a customer will walk into the yard and ask for C24. He can’t do anything about it because it’s specified on the drawings. But C16 will probably do the job well in certain applications.”

Another trader said this was similar to a situation a few years ago when people were always requesting marine plywood, when the application didn’t demand it.

A merchant told the meeting that, incredibly, he had been asked for C16 grade timber for tile battens. “It’s purely lack of knowledge by the architects and building control,” he added.

“The architects will not be aware that C24 is less available than C16,” said an agent.