This update has been prepared by David Hedges, our Head of Housing and the Home-Grown Homes 2 project manager
Timber supply chain case studies
Phase 2 of the Home-Grown Homes Project has now completed 9 of its 24 months. A full complement of staff is in place and has been working on compiling case studies on a number of initiatives across the timber supply chain ‘from seed to structure’ as part of the Project’s support for Welsh Government. These will be available on our website in early 2024 and will be included in the Welsh Government’s consultation on Wales’ first Timber Industrial Strategy in the Spring of 2024.
The development of two carbon tools
We’re developing carbon tools with the Good Homes Alliance (GHA) and Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP). As our partner, the GHA is developing an early-stage carbon reduction tool for housing associations and local authorities to help make decisions which will cut embodied carbon. The ASBP is helping develop a tool for sawmillers and manufacturers to reporting environmental impact. They are both making good progress and tools to test and pilot should be available in the Spring.
Collective buying for small sawmillers
We have worked with a group of small sawmillers to co-ordinate the collective purchase of a significant amount of Douglas fir from the NRW estate – the first time this has taken place. With the help of NRW the material is being distributed amongst the sawmillers to be processed into a range of construction products.
Building Performance Evaluation testing
We’re lining up a number of projects with housing associations and local authorities to carry out Building Performance Evaluation testing during the ‘heating season’ between now and March. We’ll be testing projects during construction to see how they actually perform and compare this to the performance they are designed to achieve, to see if there are any gaps.
Farm forestry research continues
The three researchers with our partner Bangor University have all now started their research into farm forestry, its scale and value and the ecosystem services which Welsh timber creates.