November 2016 saw the first in a series of events on timber cladding. It was a great success and attended by over 50 delegates, representing housing associations, county councils, saw mills and timber suppliers, architects and designers as well as contractors. We have been busy reflecting on issues and ideas raised in the lively Q and A session to inform our next event scheduled for 8th February in Bangor.

Links to all the presentations from the event can be found here on our web site.

Niall Maxwell (Rural Office for Architecture) gave an inspiring presentation showing the diversity and flexibility in design that can be achieved using timber cladding for facades.

Janet Sycamore (Timber Decking and Cladding Association) summarised the benefits of timber cladding and the role the TDCA plays in helping to regulate and improve the sector.  Janet highlighted the three key steps to achieving durability; good material selection, correct design and installation followed by maintenance.  Follow the links on their website to do an online CPD in timber cladding developed in association with Wood Campus.

Dainis Dauksta (Woodscience Ltd) shared with us his unique blend of wood science and politics.  Dainis pointed out that Wales can produce timber of equal or greater quality to imported material and to remember that the negative image that some people have of Welsh timber is partly due to the fact that only the best quality that is imported into the UK with lower quality being rejected at the sawmills.  Better selection at our own saw mills will help improve quality perceptions here.

Callum Hill (JCH Industrial Ecology) shared with us his insights into different chemical modification methods.  These methods can be used to improve dimensional stability and durability to increase weathering resistance and increase life expectancy of timber cladding.

Questions and comments made during the discussion section have been collated and will be used, along with feedback from the next two events to put together information on our website covering all the issues raised.  Initial feedback from the event was that delegates would like more information on specification and detailing.  We have reacted to this comment and are pleased to announce that Ivor Davies (author of numerous articles and the new BS standard 8605 on timber cladding) will be speaking at the next event to take place in February in Bangor.

This event was made possible by our fantastic speakers and our sponsors enabled us to keep the event free for delegates. Our sponsors were Bron Afon Community Housing, The Timber Decking and Cladding Association (TDCA), Accsys PLC and Wood for Good.