UK Timber Frame Market Expected to Boom

on Jun 4, 2012

On May 18 2012, the forestry e-newsletter Friday Offcuts reported that according to a new report by MTW Research, in the next few years, the timber frame market in the United Kingdom was expected to grow significantly both in terms of volume and value.

The MTW Research report, “Timber Frame Construction Market Research & Analysis UK 2012”, provides a review of the UK timber frame housebuilding and non-residential construction market in 2012, together with projections to 2016. MTW Research notes that the report methodology is based on the input of manufacturers and financial data from the last four years from more than 50 timber frame suppliers, which according to MTW Research represent more than 80 percent of the UK market in 2012.

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As reported by Friday Offcuts, the 2016 projection for the UK timber frame market is that timber frame sales in the country will grow by 60 percent in volume and 80 percent in value. This anticipated pace of growth will outstrip the growth in other areas of the construction market. Although the report notes the recession in the timber frame market, according to MTW Research, the sector was nevertheless in good financial health, with 60 percent of the manufacturers having either “good” or “excellent” credit rating and only 4 percent of suppliers reported as being at immediate risk of failure.

According to Friday Offcuts, the MTW Research report also states that in 2011, sales of timber frame, structural insulated panels (SIPS), and volumetric timber buildings increased by £30 million. The main reason for the 2011 growth was the demand coming from share growth in housebuilding. Yet, the report predicts that patterns are likely to shift later in 2012, with commercial construction regaining ground. MTW Research forecasts that in 2012, the timber frame building market is likely to grow by 9 percent, exceeding £400 million.!m[](/uploads/story/50/thumbs/timber_frames_2_inline.png)

Among the reasons for the anticipated UK timber market boom cited in the report are various low-carbon regulations, with the Code for Sustainable Homes being one of the most important. The Code was introduced by the UK Department for Communities and Local Government to facilitate a step change in sustainable building practices for new homes. It is intended as a national standard to guide industry in the design and construction of sustainable homes. MTW Research points out that timber is recognised as the least carbon intensive building material, meaning that such low-carbon regulations will be among the key drivers for timber demand.

Apart from the government regulations, MTW Research also notes that there are various market-led initiatives which will further boost growth in value in the near term. The industry is also trying to ensure a focus on the efficiency of the building fabric, before any other sustainable products are introduced, which is also expected to have a positive impact in terms of enhancing the core product offered by timber frame suppliers.

MTW Research points out that the report predicts future growth in all sectors of the timber frame construction market, in the near to medium term, also reflecting the observed level of industry optimism.


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