Timber has been used for thousands of years as a building material and it is increasingly important as the challenges of low carbon building develop further. In Britain, we have a long tradition of timber use from the beautiful timber frame buildings to the magnificent beams of our ancient churches along with agricultural use, ship building and furniture production.

Houses alone count for nearly a third of the UK’s carbon emission. So the construction sector is right at the heart of government strategy, sustainability is the single most important future trend in construction.

The 2008 climate change act is an important tool. It creates a new approach to managing and responding to climate change in the UK, by setting legally binding targets to reduce green house gas (GHG) emission (compared with 1990 levels) by 34% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050.

The local carbon transmission plan was rolled out in 2009 as a route map to achieve the 2030 target. The wide ranging plans have significant implication to timber frame construction.

Timber frame has unique properties compared with other materials through photosynthesis, trees trap large amount of carbon dioxide and store it as wood and releases oxygen. Every cubic metre of sustainability – produces timber used instead of typical building material reduce CO2 emission. Timber can therefore contribute highly to the reduction of GHG emission, both from construction phase of a building and during its service life.

As timber is reluctant to transmit heat it is an efficient thermal barrier, so timber frame and studwork ensure that a building remains well insulated. In addition wood fibres make efficient insulation products in their own right.