If Wales is to transition towards becoming a high-value Forest Nation then it needs a compelling vision of how to achieve this. As part of this vision we have established the Forest Nation Centre. The aim is to provide a focal point to educate, innovate, and communicate how trees can support the people of Wales in transitioning towards a sustainable zero-carbon economy.

We are in the pilot phase which has been kindly supported by foundational economy funding from Welsh government. A key priority for us is to create a comprehensive vision interpreted and communicated in the form of a compelling education prospectus.

This will be supported by wider engagement with organisations across the supply chain, particularly within the forestry, timber, manufacturing and housing sectors. This engagement will enhance the impact of the knowledge being gained and developed within the Forest Nation Centre.

Education Programme

The Forest Nation Centre education programme builds on our net zero framework. Each course has been researched and developed so that attendees can take the learning and use it within their own fields to develop their own responses to the climate emergency.

The programme offers courses in Building Performance Evaluation, Embodied Carbon, Energy Demand, Offsetting and Retrofitting. These have been designed for implementation and are based on research results from the Home-Grown Homes Project.

All courses are delivered by technical experts in their respective fields. Find detailed information and booking options for our current courses below.

Minimise Embodied Carbon

Embodied Carbon reduction—a housing primer: https://vimeo.com/639503270

? Minimising Embodied Carbon
2 x half-day, 24/31 March, 14.00-16.00h

Around 50% of carbon emissions from new build housing is caused by the building materials, the build process, maintenance and end of life – known as the Embodied Carbon emissions.

This course introduces social housing developers, their design teams, contractors and suppliers to Embodied Carbon and its relevance for future housing.

The course includes theoretical input as well as practice elements, such as

  • How to procure and undertake an Embodied Carbon assessment
  • Embodied Carbon benchmarks
  • How to reduce Embodied Carbon
  • Tools for day-to-day use on projects
  • Case studies and examples
  • References for further information

Booking via Eventbrite

Minimise Energy Demand

The 2021 newbuild standards for social housing in Wales: SAP or Passivhaus? https://vimeo.com/649057351

? Innovation in Zero Carbon Design. Part 1: Design for Low Energy
1 x half-day, 8 April, 10.00-12.00

Low energy design solutions relevant for clients who are looking to procure zero-carbon homes, designers looking to design zero-carbon homes and house builders looking to build zero carbon homes.

The course will cover the following:

  • The design of typical social housing types including the impact of form factor, orientation and space heating demand.
  • Design based upon principles of a low-carbon fabric first approach.
  • The power of integrating energy modelling into design.
  • Design considerations (house types, form factor, layout, orientation, arrangements, and fabric) and the impact in terms of energy requirements.
  • The relationship between design and offsetting to achieve net-zero homes.
  • Implications for clients, designer and house builders.

Book via Eventbrite.

. . .

? Innovation in Zero Carbon Design. Part 2: Designing with Low Carbon Materials
1 x half-day, 15 April, 10.00-12.00

Approaches to reducing whole-life embodied carbon relevant for clients who are looking to procure zero-carbon homes, designers looking to design zero-carbon homes and house builders looking to build zero carbon homes.

The course will cover the following:

  • An overview of calculating embodied carbon.
  • Environmental Product Declarations for low carbon materials (and how to read them).
  • The relationship between up-front and whole-life embodied carbon emissions.
  • Embodied carbon emissions and the development of a fabric first approach.
  • The performance of low carbon fabrics.

Book via Eventbrite.

. . .

Retrofitting Traditional Buildings Series 

This course took place in collaboration with The Green Register on 23 February, 2 March and 9 March.

Only Use Renewable Energy

? Renewable Energy & Low Carbon Housing
14 April 2021, 10AM

We are excited to announce that John Palmer, Research and Policy Director at the Passivhaus Trust is presenting a training course on the relationship between adopting renewable energy solutions and development of low carbon housing.

In this course John will address the following challenges:

  • The big picture – the relationship between buildings and carbon.
  • Getting to net zero – what is net zero and what are the challenges?
  • Key principles of creating low-energy buildings.
  • Passivhaus and a comparison to other standards.
  • Implications from the recent Welsh Part L review.
  • The importance of retrofit.
  • Renewable energy through technology:
  • Heat Pumps
  • MVHR
  • Solar PV
  • Solar thermal
  • Batteries

There will be plenty of opportunities to ask John questions on the day.

Booking via EventBrite.

Minimise the Performance Gap

Building Performance Evaluation—a housing primer:  https://vimeo.com/643921442

? Minimising the Performance Gap
2 x half-day, 18 & 25 March, 14.00-16.00h

New homes often fail to meet low-energy targets, and to satisfy residents with fundamental issues such as ease of use, summer comfort and energy costs. There is little Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) happening routinely on projects to close the performance gap.

This course introduces a “core” BPE scope for social housing clients and project teams wanting to understand and improve the performance of their homes.

The course includes theoretical input as well as practice elements, such as

  • Overview of the benefits of BPE, what the main BPE techniques can do, how to procure it, and the main activities to plan throughout a project from design to occupancy
  • Guidance on the main BPE techniques available
  • Tools for day-to-day use on projects
  • Case studies and examples
  • References for further information

This course was delivered across two half-days by the authors of the Building Performance Guide, Julie Godefroy (Julie Godefroy Sustainability) and Susie Diamond (Inkling LLP). The course is delivered as part of the Forest Nation Centre training programme.

Offset to Below Zero

Investing in future generations—The practicalities of creating new woodlands: https://vimeo.com/654698018

? Investing in Woodland Creation and Carbon Storage
16 April 2021, 10.30AM

Creating new woodland is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions and mitigating our nation’s carbon footprint. When correctly managed, planting new woodlands also stands up as a sound financial investment.

Woodlands provide multiple benefits that make a positive difference to our lives and to those of future generations. The environments they create offer opportunities for people and businesses whilst also supporting biodiversity. Timber harvested from woodlands provides a renewable construction material that helps to lock up carbon in our built environment. Yet Wales is one of the least wooded countries in Europe, with trees covering just 15 percent of our land against a European average of 37%.

This online workshop builds on our Capturing Carbon guidance and is ideal for those interested in creating new woodlands with a focus on eco-system services and financial benefits of this green investment.

Booking via Eventbrite.

Procurememt Options

A Value-based procurement approach to delivering zero-carbon housing: https://vimeo.com/647472677