01 June 2020

Webinar: Timber in construction

Location: Online
Time: 13.30–15.30
Organiser: Green Register

Timber in construction: durability, visual grading & reuse of existing structural elements and the impact of Grenfell


13.30–14.30: Design for durability, with Peter Moonen, National Sustainability Manager, Canadian Wood Council


Designing with wood adds a different dimension to durability, as wood is used as a structural and architectural medium, and in both interior and exterior applications.  As such, designers and builders must have an understanding of the factors likely to impact wood in use and consider treatment and design solutions.  This presentation provides specifiers with an overview of the key weathering and wear factors affecting wood, how wood is impacted, and potential design considerations to reduce risk of aesthetic and/or structural failure.


Peter will present some actual projects to evaluate the effectiveness of various constructed projects with the goal of evaluating the level of durability achieved in practice – bad, good, best – and examine ways in which issues could have been avoided. 


Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the main impact factors affecting wood use
  • Examine good, bad and better practices to avoid both visual and structural diminishment of wood elements
  • Understand how the composition of wood and its orientation in use can enhance or reduce longevity
  • Gain insight into appropriate specification considerations for coatings and wood treatments.


14.30–15.15: Assessing the condition and strength of structural timber in historic buildings, with Philip O’Leary, Head of Timber Consultancy, BM TRADA


This talk we will look at how timbers in historic buildings and structures can be inspected and methods of visually strength grading in-situ, which can often achieve a route to assigning a higher strength class for structural appraisals then using modern and current grading rules.


Historic buildings and structures can be challenging and we will discuss inspection criteria and techniques for assessing the condition of timbers and strategies for strength grading timbers.Visually grading rules assess each piece of timber for the presence, size and location of ‘strength reducing characteristics’ and identifying the timber species. Current rules are designed for the timber trade to strength grade timber in either a sawmill or timber yard when the end use of the timber is not known.


In buildings we know the location and structural function of each piece of timber and coupled with the fact that the timber quality was often of a ‘higher’ quality gives us an advantage. Assigning higher strength classes can often result in saving on costly in-situ strengthening works. Phil will look at examples where we have been able to achieve this and some that we have not.


15.15–15.30: Update on timber use in construction in the UK post-Grenfell, with Rupert Scott, Membership and Marketing Manager, TRADA


Rupert will bring delegates up to date on the use of timber in construction in the UK, post Grenfell & any new legislation limiting the use of timber

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