The construction methods and materials used since the industrial revolution are a huge strain on the environment, and one of the leading causes of the planet’s current environmental crisis.
The Transforming Timber initiative aims to revolutionise the UK construction industry by using the renewable natural resources of our Scottish forests to create engineered products which can compete with concrete, masonry and steel. These homegrown materials are robust, locally manufactured and respond to vital economic and environmental needs.
A consortium of partners – Construction Scotland Innovation Centre; Edinburgh Napier University; Centre for Offsite Construction and Innovative Structures; Scottish Forestry; Confederation of Forest Industries and SNRG – has secured funding from Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund to prove the business case for using Scottish timber to create the structural elements of buildings.
A successful outcome could lead to a major boost for Scotland’s economy and the industry’s environmental impact.
The initiative will manufacture the first Scottish-sourced cross laminated timber (CLT) and nail laminated timber (NLT) housing unit using the UK’s only vacuum press.
Its modular design means multiple units can combine to form superstructures. The prototype has been showcased at the COP26 United Nations conference on climate change.
We conceived a name that is suitably direct. This is supported by the tagline, ‘From forest floor to built environment’ which describes the lifecycle of each Transforming Timber product: harvesting timber from fast growing Scottish forests, cross laminating it and creating a construction material with strength and ultra low carbon credentials.
The brand identity system is equally direct – a simple ’T’ icon that transforms from one state, representing the forest floor, to another, representing the built environment. This icon anchors the identity and forms the basis for more expressive patterns and image treatments.
UK construction contributes approximately 40% of the UK’s emissions.
Transforming Timber could lead to the mainstream use of home-grown timber in Scotland and the rest of the UK construction, as well as the development of the country’s first engineered timber manufacturing plant.
This is a critical step in reaching the Scottish Government’s target of net-zero emissions by 2045.