RIBA Specifying Timber: a closer look at wood properties & performance | Manchester

Date: - 16:00
Organiser: RIBA
Location: DWF, 1 Scott Place, Manchester, M3 3AA

Timber is arguably man’s oldest and most versatile building material. Due to its availability, easy workability, favorable material properties, and inherent beauty, it is widely used for structural, enveloping, and ornamental purposes. It is available in a wide variety of colours, textures and lustres, which combined with its natural growth features, makes it highly desirable for interior spaces. Each timber species has a unique set of properties, and there are a large number of commercial timbers available. This makes selection of the most appropriate timber a challenging process. The workshop will help delegates better appreciate wood properties, their variation and their importance when designing, specifying and constructing with timber.

The forms and dimensions of solid timbers available are limited by the sizes and forms of trees from which they are processed. In addition, naturally occurring features may reduce some timbers’ strength and may limit their use. This session will show how these limitations have been overcome through the development of engineered wood products that provide larger and stronger/stiffer components, which in some cases have forms not present in tree stems. This, combined with wood modification and treatment, has extended the type and scale of structures that can be built from timber, and improved performance of products manufactured from it.

This seminar will update delegates on the types of timbers and timber products available in the UK, and based on case studies, will suggest what might be constructed with them. Best practice in timber/timber product selection, design, and site practice will be highlighted using real life examples, and the consequences of bad practice will also be demonstrated. Finally, the importance of sustainable forestry, including carbon sequestration in trees and forest products will be covered to reinforce the carbon benefits of constructing with wood.

The speaker will include a series of samples showing types of decay agent and timber products, and will show the performance of timbers in different buildings, using the results to reveal good, and poor, practice.

Speaker: Andy Pitman, BM TRADA

Andy is a wood scientist with a Master’s degree in Forest Industries Technology and a PhD on Timber Conservation. He taught wood science at Buckinghamshire College for 15 years before joining BM TRADA eight years ago. He has been involved with the development and testing of timbers and timber products for many years. Andy regularly reviews timber specifications for architects; provides guidance on timber selection for different end uses; and inspects the condition and performance of timber products in service. He has published over 50 journal and conference papers and reviewed publications relating to deterioration and protection of wood.

Core Curriculum topics: 1. Designing and building it 2. Climate

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This event is also running in Liverpool. Click here for more information.