Co-creating a resilient timber value chain

The climate crisis continues to intensify. Our natural and built environments need to adapt to change rapidly. More and more societies see forests and timber construction as a bigger part of the solution to decarbonising our built environment. At the same time forests are becoming more under pressure from global warming. What does this mean for future building projects? WoodBUILD offers an opportunity to meet with experts from across the forest industries and timber construction sectors to learn, collaborate and be inspired.

Since the first WoodBUILD event in 2016, this conference and expo has become the premium timber industry and low carbon housing event in Wales. This year’s WoodBUILD will be bigger and better than ever. For 2024 we are organising two-days packed with enticing speakers, exhibitors and a series of presentations, panel discussions, immersive woodland walks, interactive plenary sessions, co-creation workshops and hands-on demonstrations. Join more than 250 industry experts on 2-3 July in Swansea.

Here follows our proposed draft programme.

WoodBUILD 2024 will engage timber and construction industry stakeholders in a collaborative effort to build new, multi-disciplinary business opportunities and regenerative solutions.

Quick conference programme

Designed to bring together stakeholders from across the timber value chain, provide a safe space to air perspectives, share knowledge, get hands on with new industry tools, and deliver updates on Home-Grown Homes 2.

08:30Arrivals, refreshments, exhibition and networking
09:15Plenary 1 – Welcome to WoodBUILD with Ministerial address
Ministerial address by Huw Irranca-Davies,
Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs.
Welcome to Swansea, setting the scene, and elevator pitches from sponsors.
11:00Refreshments, exhibition and networking
11:30Breakout sessions
1. Sustainable forest management for built environment professionals
2. From circular towards regenerative construction
3. Future generations in the forest industries (Trees, Timber and Housing)
4. Performance of Natural Fibre Insulation in New Build and Retrofit
13:00Lunch, exhibition, networking
14:00Breakout sessions
1. Timber 101 – Making wood work in the built environment
2. Navigating the jungle of competing building standards
3. Delivering affordable homes – wood works
15:30Refreshments, exhibition and networking
16:00Plenary 2 – Pushing boundaries – communities of action
Dive deeper into emerging themes that cut across disciplines
17:45Wrap up
18:00Woodknowledge Wales AGM for members (closed session)
19:00Networking and dinner

Focusing on bringing communities together and developing collaboration for action. First within traditional streams, then deliberately seeking to cross boundaries and develop the ‘next best step’ towards cross-boundary community projects.

09:00Arrivals, refreshments, exhibition and networking
10:00Plenary 3 – Rising to tomorrow’s challenges
Keynote from Paul King, CEO, Built by Nature and industry panel debate
11:00Refreshments, exhibition and networking
11:30Breakout sessions
1. Managing forests in a changing climate
2. Circular economy and the Sustainable Schools’ Challenge
3. Gwynfaen: a case study for timber frame social housing
13:00Lunch, exhibition and networking
14:00Breakout session
1. Timber Industrial Strategy: Making wood work for Wales
2. Inspiring future generations
3. Development of embodied carbon and footprint assessment tools
15:30Plenary 4 – Mission possible. Where do we go from here?
Reflection, critical review, and future actions
16:00Conference close

Detailed conference programme

DAY 1: Breaking down boundaries

08:30 Arrivals, refreshments, exhibition and networking

09:15Welcome to WoodBUILD
09:30Ministerial address by Huw Irranca-Davies,
Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs
Welcome to Swansea from our hosts
The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD)
10:15Setting the scene with Gary Newman,
CEO, Woodknowledge Wales
10:30Elevator pitches from our sponsors and exhibitors

11:00 Refreshments, exhibition and networking

1.Sustainable forest management for built environment professionals
A presentation and discussion workshop hosted by Anna Dauksta, Forestry and Timber Project Manager, Woodknowledge Wales.
Chair: Elaine Harrison, National Manager Wales, Confor.
Speakers to be announced soon.
What is sustainable forest management? How is it regulated and certified in Wales? An introductory session for timber users and built environment professionals.
2.From circular towards regenerative construction
An interactive workshop from our event sponsors, Morgan Sindall Construction. Facilitated by Christiane Lellig, Specialist Advisor Regenerative Systems Change, Woodknowledge Wales.
Morgan Sindall’s Regenerative Twin project set out to drive change across the construction supply chain from a major contractor’s position. By bringing together a team from a broad range of disciplines within the supply chain the project explored the use and complexities of regenerative materials and their impact on carbon, biodiversity, social justice and capex. This workshop elevates learnings from the project and looks at how we can work towards regenerative construction through our own projects and collaborations.
Future generations in the forest industries
(Trees, Timber and Housing)
An interactive workshop hosted by James Moxey, Business Development & Delivery, Woodknowledge Wales and Ceri Loxton, Research Scientist, BioComposites Centre, Bangor University.
The UK is facing a significant challenge in attracting young people into both the forestry, timber manufacturing and construction sectors. This workshop aims to bring together a trans-disciplinary group to work together to develop a better understanding as to how we can inspire young people in the value of the forest industries as providing a meaningful career that represents clear and unambiguous climate action.
4.Performance of Natural Fibre Insulation in New Build and Retrofit
Join the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products and members of the ASBP Natural Fibre Insulation Group for a workshop exploring how natural fibre insulation (NFI) can help deliver high performance new build and retrofit buildings.
Natural fibre insulation is now the fastest growing insulation segment in the UK. The workshop will highlight the multiple roles of natural insulation materials, which include thermal performance, moisture control and indoor air quality benefits. The barriers to their widespread adoption will be discussed, with a debate on how challenges can be overcome to roll out natural fibre insulation at scale.
11:00Fully immersive, virtual woodlands walk
11:30Inspiring young people with Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR)
12:00Building performance demos in the CWIC workshop
12:30Fully immersive, virtual woodlands walk

13:00 Lunch, exhibition and networking

1.Timber 101 – Making wood work in the built environment
A presentation and discussion workshop hosted by Anna Dauksta, Forestry and Timber Project Manager, Woodknowledge Wales.
Speakers to be announced soon.
A unique opportunity to discuss home-grown timber, it’s properties, opportunities, and limitations. Best practice tips and tricks for maximising its potential to decarbonise the built environment.
2.Navigating the jungle of competing building standards
An interactive session hosted by Dr Diana Waldron, Head of Built Environment, Woodknowledge Wales and facilitated by Christiane Lellig, Specialist Advisor Regenerative Systems Change, Woodknowledge Wales.
– Tim Martel, AECB 
– Sally Godber, Warm
– Jon Bootland, Passivhaus Trust and SD Foundation
– Dr Simon Lannon, Welsh School of Architecture
– Nigel Banks, Octopus Energy
Discuss the roles of four different building standards and approaches
– AECB Carbonlite, Passivhaus, EPC SAP assessment and ‘ASHP-first’ or ‘systems-first’ approach – with a special focus on delivering new buildings, but also touching on elements of retrofit. This session aims to help clients and designers navigate the challenging space between ‘fabric-first’ and ‘technology-first’ to deliver more efficient, comfortable, affordable, and sustainable buildings.
3.Delivering affordable homes – wood works
Your chance to help drive change in the social housing sector in Wales
A hybrid event hosted by Steve Cranston, Climate Change and Rural Affairs Group, Welsh Government. Chaired by David Emery, Sector Manager – Digital & Wales, Supply Chain Sustainability School.
Aimed at clients, main contractors, timber frame manufacturers, architects and designers, forestry estate managers. Understand how the DNZ project will create business opportunities; an opportunity to help overcome obstacles in delivering Net Zero homes; to build relationships with clients and suppliers; opportunities to contribute to the DNZ Pattern Book and help shape the content.
14:00Fully immersive, virtual woodlands walk
14:30Inspiring young people with Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR)
15:00Building performance demos in the CWIC workshop
15:00Fully immersive, virtual woodlands experience
15:30Fully immersive, virtual woodlands walk

15:30 Refreshments, exhibition and networking

A curated, open space, interactive plenary session facilitated by Christiane Lellig, Specialist Advisor Regenerative Systems Change, Woodknowledge Wales.
Special rapporteurs will present to the room key impressions gathered from across the breakout sessions throughout the day. Delegates and speakers will be asked to dive deeper into emerging themes that cut across disciplines and levels of the wood value and construction supply chains. We will aim to turn thoughts into action. Prepare for impact!

17:45 Wrap up

18:00 Woodknowledge Wales AGM for members (closed session)

Enjoy a slap up menu from our foodtrucks to accompany wine and soft drinks.

  • Wild and rare meat dishes (GF option)
  • Veggie/Vegan tacos (GF options)
  • Dessert and soft drinks
  • Alcoholic drinks

All served on site at the IQ Building.

Join us for drinks in the main foyer to celebrate the launch of:

  • ‘Timber! How wood can help save the word from climate breakdown’ , the new book by Paul Brennan, Director of Public Affairs for the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry and the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries. He also works for Timber Development UK.
  • Sitka the Amazing Timber Tree’, an audiobook and illustrated storybook written in Welsh and English by Jenny Bailey, sponsored by Morgan Sindall Construction.

DAY 2: Breaking down boundaries

09:00 Arrivals, refreshments, exhibition and networking

09:30Welcome to day two of WoodBUILD
09:45Keynote speech from Paul King, CEO, Built by Nature
10:00Panel debate: How to create more resilient wood value chains
Chaired by Christiane Lellig, Woodknowledge Wales
Panelist: Paul King, CEO, Built by Nature
Panelist: Charlotte Hale, CEO, SO Modular
Panelist: Jonathan Poynton, MD, Pontrilas Sawmills
Panelist: Tim Clement, Morgan Sindall Construction

11:00 Refreshments, exhibition and networking

1.Managing forests in a changing climate
A presentation and discussion workshop hosted by Anna Dauksta, Forestry and Timber Project Manager, Woodknowledge Wales.
Chair and speakers to be announced soon.
How will our forests survive and deliver what society and the built environment need in the context of a rapidly changing climate? A structured debate to discuss the future of UK forest management.
2.Circular economy and the Sustainable Schools’ Challenge
A case study workshop hosted by Dr Diana Waldron, Head of Built Environment, Woodknowledge Wales and chaired by Seb Laan-Lomas, Associate and Passivhaus Designer, Architype.
– Katherine Adams, Reusefully and ASBP
– Richard Farmer, Gwynedd Council
– Sionned Hughes, Gwynedd Council
– Duncan Baker-Brown, Baker-Brown Studio.
Practical examples and discussion around the circular economy in action within schools. The Sustainable Schools’ Challenge case study discussed in this session is Ysgol Bontnewydd, with speakers from Gwynedd Council and advisors.   
3.Gwynfaen: a case study for timber frame social housing
A member-led workshop chaired by David Hedges, Head of Housing, Woodknowledge Wales.
Speakers to be announced soon.
Gwynfaen, in Penyrheol, is an exemplar social housing development case study for use of timber and timber products to drive down whole life carbon. This session will provide an update on progress as the project reaches its halfway point on site.
11:00Fully immersive, virtual woodlands experience
11:30Fully immersive, virtual woodlands experience
12:00Building performance demos in the CWIC workshop
12:00Fully immersive, virtual woodlands experience
12:30Fully immersive, virtual woodlands experience

13:00 Lunch, exhibition and networking

1.TIMBER INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY – Making wood work for Wales
A presentation and discussion workshop hosted by Anna Dauksta, Forestry and Timber Project Manager, Woodknowledge Wales.
Chair: Gary Newman, CEO, Woodknowledge Wales
Speaker: Gail Merriman, Welsh Government
Speaker: Ann Burgoyne, Welsh Government
You heard it here first! Find out about the future of Wales’ Timber Industrial Strategy and have your say pre-consultation.
2.Inspiring future generations
An interactive workshop hosted by James Moxey, Business Development & Delivery, Woodknowledge Wales and Ceri Loxton, Research Scientist, BioComposites Centre, Bangor University.
One route to inspiring young people to pursue a career within the forest industries is to ensure they can access inspiring content, courses and qualifications. This interactive workshop aims to explore and define challenges in these areas and then to develop creative actions for collaboration between people in both the forest industry and the education sectors.
3.Development of embodied carbon and footprint assessment tools
A demonstration and discussion workshop hosted by the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) in collaboration with Clara Koehler, Architect and Embodied Carbon Lead, Woodknowledge Wales. This session will be chaired by Simon Corbey, CEO, ASBP.
Speakers to be announced soon.
A demonstration of the ‘Early-Stage Embodied Carbon Tool’ for architects, designers, and housing developers, followed by demonstration of the ‘Carbon Footprint Assessment Tool for Timber Framers and Sawmills’. These timber industry tools are outcomes from the Home-Grown Homes 2 Project. Delegates will be asked to provide user feedback on these prototype tools.
14:00Fully immersive, virtual woodlands experience
14:30Fully immersive, virtual woodlands experience
15:00Building performance demos in the CWIC workshop
15:30Fully immersive, virtual woodlands experience

After two days of inspiring presentations, panel discussions, hands-on practice and co-creative workshops, it’s time to reflect on where we go from here. This plenary session will critically review conference key points and aim to inspire ongoing action among delegates.

16:00 Conference close

Minsterial address and keynote speaker

Huw Irranca-Davies
Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs
Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros Newid Hinsawdd

Huw Irranca-Davies worked in public and private sector management and as a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education before entering politics. In February 2002 he was elected as the Labour MP for Ogmore in a parliamentary by-election, a seat which he held until 2016 when he was duly elected as the Assembly Member for Ogmore at the National Assembly for Wales.

During the Sixth Senedd he has held a number of positions, including Chair of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Chair of the Strategic Forum for Regional Investment in Wales and also Chaired the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform.  He was also a member of a number of Cross Party Groups, holding Chair and Vice Chair roles for several.

In March 2024 Huw was appointed to the Welsh Government as Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs.

Paul King
CEO, Built by Nature

Paul King joined Built by Nature as CEO after serving as Managing Director, Sustainability and Social Impact, Lendlease Europe, since February 2015.

Previously he was the founding CEO of the UK Green Building Council, May 2007 – January 2015. Before that he worked for WWF-UK as Director of Campaigns, Campaign Director for WWF’s One Million Sustainable Homes campaign and co-founder of One Planet Living.

Paul is a Director of BeOnsite, a not-for-profit organisation that supports people furthest from work into sustained employment, and a Design Council Expert Specialist in the areas of sustainability and net zero carbon. Between February 2017 and February 2023, he was a trustee and Vice Chair of the Board of Centre for London, the city’s only dedicated think tank.

Paul was Chairman of the public/private sector Zero Carbon Hub 2008 – 2016 and a member of the Zero Carbon Homes 2016 Task Force, established by the UK Government to translate the zero carbon homes policy ambition into reality. He was a member of the UK Government’s Green Construction Board and Chair of its Buildings Working Group. He was also a member of the Low Carbon Construction IGT, Sustainable Buildings Task Group, Code for Sustainable Homes Steering Group and the Egan Review of Skills for Sustainable Communities, all commissioned by the UK Government. On an international level, he was a member of the Board of the World Green Building Council and Chair of the WorldGBC Europe Network 2007 – 2014.

Industry debate panelists

Tim Clement
Morgan Sindall Construction
Tim’s role is to make a positive difference on climate change and the wider ecological crisis by changing the way projects are designed and built, empowering teams to realise customers’ sustainability aspirations. In addition, he leads the social value activities across the business to support our customers to achieve long-term social value in their communities. With a background in design management, he studied Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment at the University of Cambridge, with a focus on the empirical and sociological aspects of the whole life carbon footprint of buildings. Tim also sits on the carbon and energy action panel for Morgan Sindall Group, and has been instrumental in creating CarboniCa, Morgan Sindall’s whole life carbon assessment tool for construction projects.

Charlotte Hale
Company Director, SO Modular

Charlotte is the multi award winning entrepreneur and Director of SO Modular, a company that specialises in off-site timber construction and Lean manufacturing processes.

Paul King
CEO, Built by Nature

Paul is our keynote speaker.
Please see his full biography above.

Jonathan Poynton
MD, Pontrilas Sawmills

Chair: Christiane Lellig
Specialist Advisor Regenerative Systems Change
Woodknowledge Wales

Christiane Lellig specialises in systems change and sustainability communications, Christiane has been working as a strategic marketing consultant in Switzerland, Germany and the UK since 1999. She has led national research and behaviour change programmes in various domains ranging from environmental concerns to labour and social justice issues, and has been responsible for the UK timber industry’s marketing campaign Wood for Good since 2016. Her particular interests lie in questions around society in transition, planning and land-use, biodiversity, low carbon housing and sustainable transport.


Katherine Adams
Technical Director, Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) and Director, Reusefully
Katherine has over 20 years’ experience in sustainability and materials, mostly in the construction sector. She has recently completed a PhD at Loughborough University, looking at how a circular economy can be embedded in the building sector. Working with the ASBP, she provides her expertise to the development and implementation of projects, working groups and to members. She is the owner of Reusefully Ltd, which works across the value chain to implement circular economy solutions with a focus on enabling high value reuse and recycling. She regular works with Government providing policy and strategy advice.  

Duncan Baker-Brown
Founder, BakerBrown
Duncan is a practicing architect, academic and environmental activist. Author of ‘The Re-Use Atlas: a designer’s guide towards a circular economy’ published by RIBA, (second edition due July 2024) he has practised, researched, and taught around issues of sustainable development and closed-looped systems for more than 25 years. He recently founded BakerBrown, a research-led architectural practice and consultancy created to address the huge demands presented by the climate and ecological emergency as well as the challenges of designing in a post-COVID world. 

Nigel Banks
Technical Director (Zero Bills & Low Carbon Homes),
Octopus Energy
Nigel is renowned among peers for his controversial ‘Fabric Fifth’ recommendations that reorder priorities for designers and developers. He is passionate about improving our homes to benefit our health, our wallets and our planet. Having worked in housing design, construction and manufacturing, Nigel now leads Octopus Energy’s work in making Zero Bills the new standard for housing in the UK and around the world. Octopus Energy uses technology to bring lower and more transparent pricing, better service and more sustainable energy to customers globally.

Richard Broad
Director, The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products
Richard has been in the sustainability industry for over a decade, working for a number of progressive sustainability organisations and programmes under the Sustainable Development Foundation umbrella including the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP), Building Performance Network, Good Homes Alliance (GHA), Passivhaus Trust and Shine Healthcare Network.

Steve Cranston
Co-lead, Delivering Net Zero
Steve co leads Delivering Net Zero project – a  collaboration of 22 Welsh social landlords who are working to use their aggregated pipeline demand to bring forward the next generation of off site manufactured homes that will achieve a step change in carbon performance.

He is a proud grandad and enjoys being outdoors – walking, gardening and sailing.

Simon Corbey
CEO, The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products
Simon is a Chartered Surveyor, with a Masters in Architecture; Advanced Energy and Environmental Systems from UEL/CAT with a thesis on the BedZED lessons. He worked at Construction Resources (London’s first green building store); BioRegional, based at BedZed, where his duties included a LCA of B&Qs product range and setting up One Planet Products. Simon has worked under the umbrella organisation of the Sustainable Development Foundation, initially working for the Good Homes Alliance and now working for the ASBP to enable real change in the industry and help deliver low carbon healthy buildings. His work with the ASBP concentrates on seminars and learning events but also includes liaising with members and involvement with policy.

Anna Dauksta
Forestry and Timber Project Manager, Woodknowledge Wales
Anna is passionate about creating a future where individuals, communities and businesses across Wales and the UK have a deeper understanding of the vital part forestry and timber can play in improving the sustainability of our built and natural environments.
Anna has had a varied career working in a range of environmental and educational roles including Aberystwyth University, Tir Coed and A Greener Future. She is committed to helping people and the environment during a time of ecological and economical crisis.

Dainis Dauksta
Specialist Advisor Wood Science, Woodknowledge Wales
Dainis is MD of Wood Science Ltd, consultant and researcher for WKW and a visiting wood science lecturer for City and Guilds London School of Art. Dainis has worked in the field of forestry and design of timber structures for more than 25 years. With Woodknowledge Wales, LCRI and BRE Dainis has completed over 10,000 hours of research and published six major reports which demonstrate the potential for and desirability of using homegrown softwoods in construction. Dainis has co-authored the book “New Perspectives on People and Forests” with Eva Ritter.

Richard Farmer
Gwynedd Council
Richard Farmer is a Project and Programme Manager with a career that has spanned the Educational, Environmental and Local Government sectors, focussing increasingly on grant funded capital programmes in the Construction sector. With Gwynedd he has been project manager to the Property Development Unit, which was established to run the county’s 21st Century Schools programme and has won awards with CEW, CLAW and RTPI, including CEW Client of the Year in 2021.

Sally Godber
Director, Warm
Sally is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, Passivhaus Certifier and a member of the UK Technical Panel reporting to the Passivhaus Institut, Germany. She set up WARM with her dad in 2009 to deal with the performance gap she saw in her own projects and continues to be fascinated by understanding faults and how to improve upon them. She will talk to anyone who will listen about this, which led to setting up Coaction CIC training alongside other leading professionals.

David Hedges

David Hedges
Head of Housing, Woodknowledge Wales
David is Head of Housing. He joined the team in 2018 with 30 years’ experience of the social housing and environmental sectors in Wales. He ran his own freelance consultancy for ten years, working mostly with housing associations. He previously worked with Community Housing Cymru, Wales & West Housing and the Prince of Wales’ Committee. He lives in Carmarthenshire in a timber frame and timber clad home he built with his partner.

Chris Jones
Independent Specialist Advisor Forestry, Woodknowledge Wales
Chris is an independent specialist forestry advisor for WKW. He has over 35 years’ experience of woodland management in Wales previously working for Forestry Commission Wales, Forest Research and Natural Resources Wales. Chris has specialised in understanding and using silviculture to enable the development and management of resilient and sustainable woodlands. Critically he is able to provide the knowledge that links the trees Wales grows, the environment they grow in and the products from the woodlands.

Seb Laan Lomas
Seb’s passion for timber in construction has driven him to tackling the challenges and opportunities that the industry faces, from fire and water to circular design considerations. He sits on various timber industry groups including the England Government’s Inter-departmental Timber in Construction working group and the Timber Development UK’s sustainability committee and carbon sub-committee.  He has peer-reviewed publications including the LETI Climate Emergency Design Guide and a TDUK paper on assessing the carbon-related impacts and benefits of timber in construction products and buildings.

Dr Simon Lannon
Welsh School of Architecture
Simon has developed techniques to investigate the retrofit of homes to improve the energy efficiency and internal conditions. This research has considered energy use at the different scales of the built environment, from individual buildings, neighbourhoods and to regions. These techniques have been used to map fuel poverty and model decarbonisation pathways for the Welsh housing stock, and to provide evidence for Welsh Government housing policy.

Tim Martel
AECB Standards & Certification Scheme Programme Manager
Tim is the Standards & Certification Scheme Programme Manager and an expert in CO2 calculations for buildings. He qualified as a Passivhaus Designer in 2012 and worked on new build, retrofit, domestic and commercial PHPP models. For several years he contributed data for the AECB Retrofit course. Later he also qualified as a Retrofit Coordinator and coordinated 90 retrofits in London. As well as looking after the CarbonLite Certifiers, he also maintains and updates the AECB’s PHribbon software, combining his experience in PHPP with earlier work in research and as a programmer.

Toby Maclean
Specialist Advisor Construction, Woodknowledge Wales
Toby is a structural engineer with a diverse career engineering everything from oil platforms and concert halls to handbags.  He established the successful TALL Engineers in 2005 that went on to build a reputation for providing practical yet technically sophisticated and holistic solutions to diverse projects in the built environment and concentrating on design from first principles, with the firm increasingly concentrating on timber as a structural material.  Having sold this firm, in 2020 Toby established Allt Environmental to atone for past carbon sins and to address the urgent need to decarbonise the built environment especially in relation to embodied carbon.

James Moxey
Business Development & Delivery, Woodknowledge Wales
James Moxey has a background in academia working at the University of Manchester and the University of Wales. He was Director of the Creative Industries Research and Innovation Centre based in Swansea. He has been the Director of a number of Welsh Government sponsored knowledge transfer centre projects, managed feasibility studies and overseen R&D collaborative projects with Welsh companies. His main focus is enterprise and innovation which means securing funding and providing leadership for innovation projects with a focus on SME growth.

Gary Newman
Chief Executive, Woodknowledge Wales
Gary is the Chief Executive of Woodknowledge Wales and co-founder and board member of the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products. Gary is a construction engineer by training and early career. After completing a wood technology masters, Gary spent some formative years at the at the BioComposites Centre in Bangor as a researcher where he became inspired by the technical possibilities of bio-materials. In 1995, Gary established a fully integrated hemp and flax processing plant in North Wales and contracted the growing of industrial fibre crops on farms in England and Wales. Over the following 20 years Gary was responsible for developing and manufacturing a range of bio-products including horticultural and automotive nonwovens, hemp particleboard and hemp fibre insulation supplied through B&Q.

Phil O’Leary 
Director, Filros Timber Consultancy
Phil provides specialist independent consultancy across the timber sector. Previously, he was head of Timber Consultancy at BM TRADA, the technical authority behind TRADA. With over 30 years of post-qualifying experience, Phil has published in local and international journals about wood science. Phil is also chairman of BSI’s Wood Preservation Committee and a member of the Wood Protection Association’s Technical Committee. As one of the UK’s leading authorities for Visual Strength Grading, Phil specialises in condition surveys of historic buildings, performance assessments and determining the structural strength, quality, performance characteristics, deterioration and preservation of timber. He also serves as an expert witness and develops and presents bespoke timber training.

Dr Dan Ridley-Ellis
Head of the Centre for Wood Science and Technology, Edinburgh Napier University
Dan is one of the UK’s technical experts on guessing the strength of wood and can talk for hours on the topic – which he frequently does if nobody stops him. His main area of research is understanding the properties of wood, and how they are influenced by tree growth, forest management, and climate. He represents the UK at European Standards Committees for grading of construction timber, and the majority of structural sawn timber produced in the UK is now graded with settings he developed. He was named “woodland hero” for 2016 by Grown in Britain, and is also active in online learning, public engagement and science communication. He was the lead organiser of Bright Club Edinburgh from 2011 to 2023.

Dr Morwenna Spear
Research Scientist, The BioComposites Centre
Mo has worked at the BioComposites Centre at Bangor University for over 15 years, conducting research into timber and a wide range of bio-based materials. She has worked with companies to scale up new technologies and processes, increase efficiency, reduce waste and to assess materials performance. She is a fellow of the IOM3, and vice chair of the Wood Technology Society. Morwenna is active in research into novel timber treatments; the physical, thermal and chemical properties of wood. She is also working on energy efficient buildings and researching the environmental effects of materials and objects such as disposable and reusable facemasks.

Rob Thomas
Director, Architect and Certified Passivhaus Designer,
Hiraeth Architecture

Dr Diana Waldron
Head of Built Environment, Woodknowledge Wales
Diana is an Architectural Engineer with a BEng (Hons), a Master’s Degree in Environmental Design of Buildings and a Doctorate Degree from the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. She led the building performance evaluation workpackage of the Home-Grown Homes project (Phase 1) and she continues to lead this area of research for the second phase. 

Rob Wheaton
Associate Director Architect, Stride Treglown
Rob is fascinated by designing buildings that are responsive to their context and strive for the highest level in sustainable design. He is an architect leading residential and mixed-use projects run from our Cardiff studio. With vast experience of designing and delivering innovative housing, he is adept at steering projects through complex planning processes and advising clients on design with a view to creating something truly transformative. Rob is also a qualified Passivhaus designer.

Sponsors and supporters

We currently remain open to sponsor and exhibitor enquiries.

Please find our sponsor and exhibitor pack here.


The BioComposites Centre at Bangor University offers services at every point in the research, development and commercial application of biomaterials technology.

Buckland Timber is a manufacturer offering a wide range of sustainable timber species, including locally grown. Their glulam is designed and manufactured in Devon.

Celtic Offsite is a manufacturer offering high quality, sustainable timber frame structures complete with factory fitted insulation and windows.

CWIC is an innovation centre with a mission to help the construction sector become a Net Zero industry, champion new technologies and help future-proof skills.

Down to Earth is a social enterprise who use award-winning well-being/education programmes to create remarkable buildings with natural materials.

Frame Four is a construction consultant group able to deliver multi-disciplinary projects and contracts in partnership a client.

Hemp Block is a manufacturer of hemp blocks for use in building construction and offering numerous benefits that go beyond traditional construction materials.

Kronospan is a manufacturer of wood-based panels offering products from furniture and interior design to timber-framed houses, building facades and flooring. 

Landscan UK is a licensed, qualified UAV operator, specialising in remote sensing data collection, photogrammetry and GIS augmentation. 

Lowfield Timber Frames is a timber frame manufacturer suppling a wide range of customers from self-builders, local small builders to large regional and national developers.

MDF Recovery provides technology for manufacturers, processors and retailers seeking to implement a sustainable and circular solution to end-of-life MDF. 

Morgan Sindall Construction is a construction & regeneration group with a vision is to be the most sought-after and sustainable business in the industry.

PYC Construction is a timber frame manufacturer that develop, manufacture, and erect high quality systems to produce sustainable, low energy home.

SO Modular is a timber frame manufacturer that design, supply and erect timber frame homes, apartment blocks, retail outlets or education establishments.


Full priceEarly Bird*
Two-day ticket£200£100
One-day ticket£150£75
WKW members (two-day pass with AGM)£100£70
Conference barbecue 2 July£30n/a

*Early bird ticket offer ends 30 April 2024.
** Limited availability. Please note: For student tickets only bookings made from an academic email address are accepted.
All tickets give access to both conference and exhibition.

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Planning to arrive via public transport or car? Find out how to get there here.

Swansea campus is made up of multiple locations across the city.  A dynamic and thriving hub of education and innovation, nestled within the vibrant city known for its breathtaking coastal beauty and rich cultural heritage.

To ensure your smooth arrival and easy navigation around our campuses, please use the University’s “How to Find Us” page to provide you with all the information you need.  Whether you’re travelling from near or far, our goal is to ensure that your arrival is as stress-free as possible.


On site parking is free at the campus but you must register your vehicle prior to the event. You can pre-register your vehicle using the QR code below. The QR code will only be effective for the 2nd and 3rd July. If you park outside of these dates, then you will receive a parking ticket. Those who wish to set up their exhibitor stands on the evening of the 1st you will need to register your vehicle on campus in reception on arrival. Someone from WKW will be there to assist you.

Please note that parking on campus is ample but we encourage where possible for attendees to use public transport, cycle or arrive on foot.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD),

IQ Campus University of Wales, Swansea Waterfront, Trinity Waterfront, Swansea SA1 8EW