With just a few months left of the Home-Grown Homes Project we are now focused on pulling together all findings from the research into usable design guides and tools to leave a lasting legacy from the project.

Project Governance update

The project’s steering group met in September. It reviewed project progress and in particular discussed a draft second interim report and a proposal for a second phase when the current project ends. Cardiff Metropolitan University Research Associate Diana Waldron gave a presentation on progress with the building performance element of the project. The steering group confirmed a three-month extension of the project (until the end of March 2021) for this work package to be completed.

The importance of timber supply chains in Wales

Since the project’s inception, four important developments have served to emphasise the relevance and importance of the timber supply chain in meeting current Welsh Government policy objectives:

• the influence of foundational economic thinking
• the declaration of a climate emergency
• the decision to leave the EU and
• the coronavirus pandemic

A draft of the second interim project report has been prepared to reflect these developments and to draw together the findings from the Home-Grown Homes project, identifying a series of interventions along with a suite of unique behaviour change tools in the form of guidance and case studies. The draft is currently being reviewed by the project steering group, when complete it will be shared with stake stakeholders and the collective feedback will help to shape the final report in December.

Extract from the draft interim Home-Grown Homes project report. Read more about this infographic on delivering net zero housing here.

Project promoted during Ministerial meeting

Woodknowledge Wales Chief Executive Gary Newman met with Julie James MS Minister for Housing and Local Government at the end of September. The meeting provided an opportunity for the Minister to learn more about the work of WKW, achievements made in projects like the Home-Grown Homes Project and plans for future activity and where this might support Welsh Government priorities and action.

Building Performance

Further revisions have been made to a series of reports on the use of the Overheating in New Homes Tool developed by the Good Homes Alliance. A thermography report on Pentland Close in Cardiff is being reviewed ahead of publication. Refinements have been made to the detail and preparation is being made for the soft launch of the two industry guidance tools on Building Performance Evaluation and Embodied Carbon in October. For more information contact Diana Waldron (dcwaldron@cardiffmet.ac.uk).

Timber Frame solutions

BM TRADA colleagues are finalising a number of guidance documents and project outputs (detailed in previous updates) after some of them were furloughed. Guidance on Design, Production and Erection will identify the common issues which timber frame homes present during design and construction and how these can best be avoided.

WoodBUILD autumn series – webinars underway!

Our webinar series has started with the first two on the themes of forestry and housing being held on-line attracting lots of interest and engagement. The first focussed on Productive Forests and Climate Smart Woodlands and looked at woodland management, what we should we plant and what tools can help in making choices. Tim Pagella of Bangor University, Duncan Ray of Forest Research and Chris Jones of NRW shared their thoughts and responded to some challenging questions in a facilitated discussion.

The second webinar explored building performance in social housing. Diana Waldron of Cardiff Met University, Julie Godefroy of Julie Godefroy Sustainability and Susie Diamond of Inkling and Grant Prosser of Wales & West Housing explored the growing interest in this area of research and practice and included a soft launch of forthcoming guidance and an update on the progress being made in the Home-Grown Homes Project in this area.

There are further forestry, housing and manufacturing webinars – full details of all the remaining webinars are here.

Autumn Conversation Podcasting

A series of four podcasts are being finalised which link to the project themes and will be published on-line by mid October. Lasting about an hour they each feature a conversation between two individuals with a background and interest in the subject matter and focus on the future and how it might be shaped. The four themes and conversationalists are:

  • Bangor University’s John Healey and forestry consultant Jo O’Hara talk future forests;
  • PYCs Jasper Meade and MAKARs Neil Sutherland talk about manufacturing homes;
  • Coastal’s Debbie Green and United Welsh’s Steve Cranston explore foundational economic responses;
  • Sheffield University’s Fionn Stevenson talks about our future homes with Stride Treglown’s Rob Wheaton.

Contact us

If you would like to find out more about the project please visit our website page or contact the project manager David.Hedges@woodknowledgewales.co.uk.