Timber construction gains further political momentum in Germany

16 May 2019

Germany’s sawmill and timber industries have hailed a “groundbreaking decision” encouraging the greater promotion of wood as a building material in Germany.

A recommendation made on May 10 by the Conference of Ministers of the Environment (UMK), comprising ministers and senators of the German state and federal government, recommended the promotion of wood as a building material for residential construction.

"The German sawmill and timber industry expressly welcomes the resolution of the Conference of Ministers of the Environment (UMK) to strengthen timber construction," said Lars Schmidt, general manager of the German Sawmilling and Timber Industry Association.

The resolution in Hamburg, the state currently chairing the biannual UMK, recommends to the Federal Government a targeted promotion of timber construction in the residential sector.

DeSH said the decision, although not legally binding, as “groundbreaking” and an important signal. Mr Schmidt said climate protection and housing were central tasks for the future of Germany and building with wood could be key to both.

High levels of prefabrication in timber construction were also vital to quickly provide much-need housing, he added.

The UMK resolution follows similar moves by the states of Baden-Württemberg and Berlin spearheading the promotion of timber construction.

“In the opinion of the DeSH a nationwide political anchoring of wood as a building material is urgently needed, not least because the synergy effects that can arise,” said DeSH.