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April 2021 Newsletter

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to our April 2021 newsletter. 

Lots of things have recently ended - the financial year, the current Senedd term, lockdown (nearly), the test phase of the Forest Nation Centre project and the thing that’s occupied most of my time over the past 33 months, the research phase of the Home-Grown Homes project.

New beginnings await.

The next chapter of the Home-Grown Homes project has already begun - the implementation phase. We've run a first series of training courses on building performance evaluation, embodied carbon, zero carbon design solutions and retrofit to help transfer research insights into practice. We're shortly issuing guidance and training on procurement routes to net zero as well as briefing papers to help with woodland investment decisions.

We're continuing existing collaborations and developing new partnerships across the supply chain. We’ve recently held a first workshop with development professionals in local authorities and housing associations to discuss priorities for action in delivering net zero carbon in new homes (see article). If you missed the workshop and would be interested in working with us, please get in touch.

On 6th May we're running a workshop focusing on retrofit, refurbishment and major repairs and zero carbon priorities for asset managers in social housing. Please contact us to book your space.

The 6th of May is also voting day. Housing, timber and trees are well represented in the manifestos and I’m confident that whatever happens, it’ll be an exciting time for Woodknowledge Wales and our members. We can certainly expect to be the focus of much policy attention. Please see below for my speedy take on what the different political parties are saying.

The test phase of the Forest Nation Centre initiative involved creating course content building on the themes of our net-zero whole life carbon framework. We ran a series of courses during February and March which were enthusiastically received. We've also started to explore how augmented and virtual reality can support our mission to make Wales a high-value forest nation. We're going to take some time to evaluate the outcomes and then start to plan the next phase of this exciting project.

We continue to strengthen our capacity to deliver our mission and better serve our rapidly expanding membership. We’re very fortunate to welcome Diana Waldron to our team, joining us from Cardiff Met University. Diana is an architect and building performance specialist and has led the building performance element of the Home-Grown Homes project. She is pro-active and knowledgeable and has a passion for timber. Diana will work closely with David Hedges to lead on our collaborations with the social housing sector.

We're expanding our working groups or ‘Communities of Practice’ as they now seem to be called. We already have a thriving timber frame manufacturers group and a joinery group. We are starting up a designers group and a social housing developers group – and maybe an asset managers group too. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to get involved in any of these forums.

Finally, I’d like to welcome our new members Hiraeth Architecture, Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), Rhondda Housing Association (RHA), Pontrilas Sawmills, Ty Pren and TRJ ltd.

Gary Newman
Chief Executive, Woodknowledge Wales Ltd


Whoever you vote for, wood wins – almost…

Gary Newman has trawled through the manifestos and tried to make sense of what might happen during the next term of the Welsh Government. All the political parties have key policies around low carbon housing but how far do they go? Read more.

Creating net zero carbon homes and communities in Wales

Welsh Government’s standards for new homes and existing homes will include a focus on carbon reduction. To support local authorities and housing associations in delivering zero carbon solutions, we are offering a number of options for collaboration. Read more.

How to achieve zero carbon timber housing in Wales?

The Zero Carbon Homes: Zero Carbon Timber Solutions guidance proposes a range of timber-based build solutions for further investigation. It compares a number of house type designs in terms of their performance across five principles and includes information on whole carbon emission and offsetting calculations demonstrating the routes to Zero Carbon. Find some key results here.

Events & Training

TRADA Structrual Engineering Series

The next Learn with TRADA series, which starts in May, will focus on structural timber engineering and delve into topics including structural timber products, designing for durability, timber connections, and hybrid construction. Book here.

BBC Rethink the Future Series

Making 90% of our new buildings from wood, rather than concrete and steel, could cut global CO2 emissions by 4% - more than the climate footprint of flying. Tom Heap explains how it all works – and explores the benefits of living in a more wooden world. Watch the video.

New Members

Welcome to our new members 

Construction Wales Innovation Centre CWIC, Tŷ Pren, TRJ, Rhondda Housing Asspociation RHA, Pontrilas Sawmills and Hiraeth Architects.

Get Involved

Woodknowledge Wales is an independent for-public-good membership organisation committed to the development of wood-based industries to benefit the economy, the environment and the people of Wales. Our work would not be possible without the support and collaboration of our our members.

To get involved and to find out about member benefits please contact us today at
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