31 July 2019

TTJ Timber Innovation Award 2019 shortlist

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Colourful, shimmering sequins made from wood-derived cellulose and a modular self-build system which allows you to build your own home from pre-cut plywood modules are just two of the outstanding entries shortlisted for this year’s TTJ Timber Innovation Award shortlist.


Jointly sponsored by TRADA and Timber at UK Construction Week, the Award is a celebration of pioneers within the timber industry at large, and is split into two worthy categories: Innovative Product Development and Innovative University Timber Research. It highlights both individuals and companies undertaking exceptional product design, and shines a spotlight on the university research performed at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in the UK – which is all too often overlooked.


Shortlisting for this year’s Award took place in June and saw those selected handpicked from a list of online applicants and invited to present their research or product before a panel of experienced industry leaders in July. The Innovative University Research shortlist presented at the Latham’s showroom in London on 8 July, while the Innovative Product Development shortlist attended the TRADA offices in High Wycombe on 23 July. Judges included TRADA’s Rupert Scott, Tabitha Binding and Hugh Mansfield-Williams, TTJ’s Stephen Powney and UKCW Event Director Nathan Garnett.


The winners will be announced at the prestigious TTJ Awards ceremony on 13 September, which will take place at Hilton London Bankside.


Rupert Scott says: ‘We were delighted by both the response to our call for entries, and the quality of the entrants. This year’s shortlist is the cream of an outstanding crop, and represent remarkable solutions to problems across the entire industry – including fire protection products and skill loss – and some solutions to industries beyond ours. We’re going to see some truly deserving winners at this year’s ceremony.’

The TTJ Timber Innovation Award 2019 Shortlist

Innovative Product Development category: Celebrating the whole or part of a pioneering product design, which demonstrates a measurable impact on the timber sector


  • Studio Bark – U-Build: A modular construction system developed to be easy to build, enjoyable to inhabit and simple to deconstruct at the end of its useful life.


  • Sonae Arauco – 3DF FIBERBOARD: A novel composite board formaldehyde-free which can be shaped in infinite form due to its thermoplastic behaviour under the action of pressure and temperature, unlike standard MDF boards.


  • Tenmat Ltd – Tenmat range of ceiling penetration products: A range of fire protection products for light-weight joist ceilings, including downlight covers, ceiling ventilation valves and ceiling fan collars.


  • JointKit Ltd – JointKit: A flat pack jointing system that can be assembled without glue or screws to form corner joints and extension joints.


  • PIVETEAUBOIS – HEXAPLI CLT UC2 Water Repellent Treatment: A combined Use Class 2 (UC2) and water repellent surface treatment to protect CLT panels from water ingress during erection time onsite and protection against wood boring insects, termites, and decay from temporary exposure to humidity.


Innovative University Timber Research category: Acknowledging work that university students carry out at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, breaking boundaries and demonstrating a measurable impact upon the timber sector


  • Colin Rose, University College London – Cross-Laminated Secondary Timber: This research explored the novel concept of reusing secondary timber as feedstock for cross-laminated timber.


  • Madeleine Rocco, University of Sheffield – The Relationship between Form and Force: A Comparative Study between Form-found and Free-form Timber Gridshell Structures: This research demonstrates that the form of a structure has great influence over the deflections, forces and moments that act upon them.


  • Joseph Marshall and Alex Sage, Northumbria University – Robust Detailing: This thesis develops and tests a comprehensive matrix for structurally robust detailing using existing literature as a foundation to extrapolate defining factors.


  • Rowan Beaton, Bristol University – Waterproofing: Reducing the long-term deformation of Timber-Concrete Composite: This paper investigates the effect of waterproofing the timber element of a TCC as a method for limiting deflection through reducing moisture absorption, thus preventing the shrink/swell of the timber.


  • Grace Kelly, Bristol University – Challenges of modifying natural timber into a high-performing structural material: This research project investigates the methods proposed by an earlier paper in terms of (a) ease of production and (b) potential for scale-up within the construction industry.


  • Elissa Brunato, Central Saint Martens, University of the Arts London, and Tiffany Abitbol, RISE Material Scientist – Bio Iridescent Sequin: This project harnessed bio technologies to recreate sequins from naturally abundant wood-derived cellulose.


Of the Innovative University Research category, Tabitha Binding shares: ‘It’s heartening to see the breadth of university timber-based research taking place and the marked increase in entries for the University category. Some submissions highlighted that students and lecturers require a wider understanding of timber, the industry and access to resources – but TRADA and our members are always keen to help. I would encourage those looking to undertake timber-based research projects in 2019/2020 to get in touch’.


Contact TRADA’s University Engagement Manager Tabitha Binding on tbinding@trada.co.uk for more information.