Future opportunities for British timber

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Timber has been used in Britain for thousands of years as a building material and it is increasingly important as the challenges of low carbon building develop further.

Harvested timber is feedstock for a number of industries, with the majority going into sawmills. The remainder is used in panel board, pulp/paper, fencing, biomass and other products.

This research summary - a collaborative effort funded by the Forestry Commission and carried out by a number of different partners including TRADA Technology Ltd - was split into three sections which aim to:

  • Analyse and make recommendations of the most effective ways to add value to home grown timber used in construction.
  • Conduct a study into the main timber species grown in the UK and identify further research required to fully understand the properties of our main timber species.
  • Develop a consistent methodology for calculating the life cycle analysis of wood and timber products that is both cost effective and can be universally applied with minimal training.


  • Rationale
  • Research summary
  • FC1 and FC3 (Adding value and UK timber species) Overview
  • Existing market and trends in construction products
  • Options for adding value and best utilisation for timber species
  • Product propositions
  • Carbon storage and embodied carbon in construction products
  • Profit assessments
  • End of life scenarios
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Conclusions and recommendations
  • Opportunities for best utilisation of species were found to be:
  • FC1 recommendations:
  • FC3 recommendations:
  • FC2 - Development of methodology for carbon footprinting for British timber
  • Challenges faced by previous approaches to GHG emissions assessment
  • Expected future developments

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