A new timber frame manufacturing group, an extension request for project partner Cardiff Met and trying out an overheating risk assessment tool. Home-Grown Homes project manager David Hedges, brings us the latest up dates from the project.

Project Governance update

The project’s Steering Group has met twice in June and July to review progress, consider the financial position, discuss ideas on a further phase of the project and what this might look like. The project team is aiming to produce an interim final report in September for circulation amongst stakeholders in the autumn. A three-month extension for Cardiff Metropolitan University to complete further building performance analysis has been requested from WEFO. There is also going to be a third and final independent review of the project later in the year.

Assessing overheating risk & mitigation measures

In addition to the final reports on the building performance testing carried out by Build Test Solutions (reported in the last update) Diana Waldron has drafted the first of a series of reports on the use of the Overheating in New Homes tool. Evidence suggests homes are at greater risk of overheating and climate change will make this worse. Developed in 2019 by the Good Homes Alliance, the tool is designed to be used in the early design stage of schemes to identify factors affecting overheating risk and potential mitigation measures. Diana’s first report focuses on the Powys County Council Affordable Housing Scheme at Clyro, near Hay-on-Wye, and includes an analysis of the tool’s ease of use. For more information contact Diana Waldron.

Strengthening the manufacturing sector through collaboration

HGHP research into the role of timber manufacturing concluded that collaboration between manufacturers could help strengthen the sector in Wales. The MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) agenda, the drive to develop the Foundational Economy, the need to respond to the climate emergency and the challenge of a post Covid-19 economy all point to the value in identifying new ways of working. In July, Woodknowledge Wales invited timber frame manufacturers to discuss opportunities for collaboration. Six of the main manufacturers across Wales and the borders (Lowfield, Williams Homes, SO Modular, Castleoak, PYC and Fforest) have agreed to form a working group to collaborate on solving common challenges. For more information on the working group contact Gary Newman.

Company logo for Lowfield Timber Frame Logo for company Sevenoaks modular. Logo for Castleoak. Text and oak leaf in blue and green above text
Members of the timber frame manufacturing working group

Timber frame guidance nearing completion

BM TRADA colleagues are making progress on timber frame and procurement related guidance documents and reports (detailed in the last update) after some of them were furloughed. Work package lead Robin Lancashire has made a return to work on the project after a period of compassionate leave. The BM TRADA team will be aiming to have their Guidance on Design, Production and Erection published in draft in September. For more information contact David Hedges.

Zero-carbon housing options

Discussions with timber frame manufacturers on the solution being developed have demonstrated the importance of working with the industry and exploiting their knowledge and experience. Their views have persuaded the team to avoid a single solution and to work up all five of the solutions being considered. The Steering Group accepted a recommendation to support the development of a detailed specification describing thermal, structural and carbon performance requirements of five, timber-based, MMC, low carbon solutions. For more information contact James Moxey.

WoodBUILD autumn series

The series consists of 90 minute webinars hosted by Woodknowledge Wales and partnering organisations from September to November 2020. The webinars cover topical issues across the timber supply chain from forest management to low carbon, high performing timber frame homes. Grouped under the themes of forestry, manufacturing and housing each webinar will include presentations by industry experts followed by a discussion. You can find an overview of all webinars on our website.

In addition, we will issue a series of podcasts featuring David Hedges in conversation with experts across forestry, manufacturing and housing. These are currently being recorded and edited, ready for dissemination in September.

For further information contact Christiane Lellig.