Over 300 people from across the construction sector attended the Structural Timber Association’s (STA) recent series of factory tours – the highest number since the tours were first introduced last year.
The tours, which took place in September and October, saw 338 people attend one of six dates across the country.
The aim of the tours is to allow STA members to engage directly with the wider construction industry, including house builders, contractors, engineers, suppliers and architects. After a tour of the respective facilities, those attending also had the opportunity to talk to technical experts about how to develop a structural timber based project.
Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of the STA, said: “With timber accounting for only 18% of new homes in England and Wales, there is a real opportunity to increase the number built using the material and these factory tours are the ideal way to educate the wider construction sector on the benefits of building in timber.
“From sustainability and readiness of supply, to speed of build and an increasingly diverse product range, timber is a truly modern method of construction which can meet all of the challenges currently facing our sector. Because of this we have seen a significant increase in house builders turning to timber over the past few months, and these tours are an excellent way of educating the uninitiated in how to build using timber.
“I would like to take the chance to thanks all those STA members who hosted a tour, including Kingspan Potton, Frame Wise, Stewart Milne Timber Systems, Scotframe, Oregon Timber Frame and Pinewood Structures.”
Craig Walding, project design manager at One Creative Environments Ltd, praised the tour he attended at Frame Wise’s factory. He said: “It was a very well organised event that provided a useful insight into the advantages of offsite timber frame construction, along with its manufacturing techniques.
“I would recommend going on a factory tour, as I am sure that with the way the industry is moving, more people will take an interest in how to build in timber.”
The recent dates mark the third round of factory tours, with more expected next spring, with dates and location announced in due course on the Association’s website.