Vital tool to support timber use in construction


Aiming to position timber as a first-choice ‘primary and preferred construction material’, Wood First Plus will provide evidence of the credentials of timber from cradle to grave.

Work has begun to create a free online information hub containing all of the environmental and design data necessary for project managers, designers and architects to specify timber as a first choice material.

The hub will be called Wood First Plus, and has been organized by Wood for Good, the UK timber industry promotion and sustainability group, supported by Scottish Enterprise, the Timber Trade Federation, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Timber Research and Development Association.

Building on the arguments of the Wood First campaign, which aims to position timber as a first-choice ‘primary and preferred construction material’, Wood First Plus will provide evidence of the credentials of timber from cradle to grave.

The project is a result of on-going consultation with timber industry organizations and external stakeholders, including contractors groups, architects, professional institutions and many others.

All stakeholders will be able to access whole-life information on timber products free of charge through a dedicated website, managed by Wood for Good.

Individual timber companies will be able to use this data as a basis to develop specific environmental product declarations (EPD) for their products to guarantee their sustainability and traceability.

David Hopkins, Wood for Good’s head of external communications, said: “With the built environment sector now firmly focused on delivering low-carbon, sustainable buildings, being able to quantify the environmental impact of construction materials is becoming increasingly important.

“The aim for Wood First Plus is to provide empirical evidence on the performance of specific wood products, making it easier for construction professionals wishing to build with timber to do so, and helping them to adhere to industry regulations. We look forward to announcing the first set of results later this year.”

The use of wood in construction brings numerous benefits for the environment, the economy, and the community. Trees absorb CO2 and store it, and when used in construction form an important store of atmospheric carbon, helping to limit global warming.

With sustainably managed forests and increased use of timber in construction it is an endlessly renewable process.

Additionally, wood has good thermal performance properties, increasing the energy efficiency and operational performance of a building. Timber framed buildings are often quicker to erect saving on construction cost.

The organization is also calling for a ‘Wood First’ stipulation in planning guidance that would require wood to be considered, where feasible, as the primary construction material in all publicly-funded new build and refurbishment projects, from housing to bridges to schools.

PE International has been engaged to oversee the collection, analysis and review of all life cycle assessment (LCA) data for a wide range of timber and timber products that will be used in the online tool.

The company has extensive experience in the construction materials sector and in working with the timber industry, having previously completed a major LCA project on US hardwood lumber for the American Hardwood Export Council.

(Excerpt of article from Link2. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)


As more and more organizations return to the basics and look for sustainable options in their projects, the demand for renewable resources such as wood will grow exponentially. Often overlooked by mainstream architecture, is an ancient building material that can meet these demands, bamboo. As a rapidly renewable, high performance, material bamboo can be integrated with other bio based (or renewable) materials to provide truly sustainable buildings and products. Bamboo has a wealth of environmental and performance attributes that make it ideal for the construction and retail markets.

Other articles of interest:

Wood’s New Wave
Evolving Building Codes: Wood Revolution
The Virtues of Bamboo
Bamboo Architecture and Construction
What Can Bamboo Do About CO2?
Bamboo As A Carbon Offset: INBAR Does The Math
Can bamboo tackle environmental and poverty concerns?
In Africa’s Vanishing Forests, the Benefits of Bamboo
Nigeria Can Generate 24 Million Jobs From Bamboo Production


Spanning The Globe: Bamboo Bridges Are On The Rise

In a country where steel and cement dominant the bridges and building, Australian company Bambuco showed the English a new way of thinking when they installed a temporary bamboo footbridge over the river Tyne in 2007.  The bridge itself was a temporary outdoor sculpture designed and built for the SummerTyne festival to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Tyne Bridge. Spanning 390 feet across the Tyne River, the impressive sight was at a slight angle across the river to really stand out and was built entirely from 20 tons of bamboo split into 80 pieces. The bridge stood for three days and there was even a spectacular light display to mark the occasion.

While the bridge itself was not open to foot or vehicular traffic, perhaps the Brits could take a lesson from China where bamboo is a common and popular building material.  Because of its high tensile strength and ready availability, bamboo is used for construction ranging from houses to scaffolding to bridges.

Most recently a bamboo bridge was built in the Hunan Province as part of a series of projects from Yan Xiao who has been developing designs for foot-bridges and vehicle bridges made from bamboo. Xiao is a native of China who is now a professor at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering and holds an appointment at the College of Civil Engineering of the Hunan University in China. The bridge, built in the remote Leiyang Village, is sturdy enough to hold a fully loaded truck.  The span was built within a week by a team of 8 workers without the need for any cumbersome heavy equipment.  While it is limited to a 8-ton design, tests on the campus of Hunan University have shown its capacity to hold much higher weights.

An earlier project of Xiaos’ was a high capacity bamboo footbridge that was a featured attraction at a conference organized by Xiao in Changsha, China. Xiao expects his modern bamboo bridge technology to be widely used in pedestrian crossing, large number of bridges in rural areas in China, as a environmental friendly and sustainable construction material.

(Excerpt of article by Stacey Irwin of Green Earth News. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO)

Bamboo has long been touted for its remarkable strength and durability. It has been used in certain parts of the world for centuries. Bamboo often gets a unfair label of being the “poor man’s timber” however, this could not be farther from the truth. With performance attributes far exceeding any other bio-based material, added with its rapid regrowth cycle, bamboo will become the building material of the future.

Many sources, including this article, have been reporting that there is extensive research being carried out to utilize bamboo in structural applications. Some of these sources claim that vulnerabilities, such as deterioration from environmental and pest damage, are holding back its spread in the building industry. This, too, is an incorrect assertion. The fact of the matter is that although in raw form, bamboo has a few weaknesses; in its engineered form, these shortcomings can be completely removed and actually become some of the most impressive features of the material.

This material, of course, is Laminated Veneer Bamboo (LVB) or Lamboo as it is commonly known. Many news organizations report that the development of bamboo is in its early stages, and that much of the technology does not exist to create a viable exterior grade bamboo product. This, as well, is a incorrect assumption as it is currently being produced by our organization and used throughout the world for a number of applications.

For information regarding Lamboo (research) and (certifications) please follow the provided links.

For questions regarding Lamboo or our products please visit our website
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Blog by: Dustin Dennison