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December 14, 2023

Green Building Revolution: UK Government Champions Timber in Construction

Green Building Revolution: UK Government Champions Timber in Construction


The UK Government has unveiled a comprehensive roadmap to encourage the use of timber in construction. The initiative, outlined by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), aims to not only reduce emissions from buildings but also promote domestic timber production by decreasing reliance on imports, which currently account for 80% of the timber used in the UK.

The Timber in Construction Roadmap

The recently published Timber in Construction roadmap addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with incorporating timber into construction projects in England. The government's proactive stance recognises that market forces alone may not drive the increased adoption of timber. While acknowledging the eco-friendly nature of timber, the roadmap emphasises the necessity of government intervention to overcome barriers and accelerate the industry's shift towards sustainable practices.

Key Focus Areas

The roadmap focuses on seven priority themes to facilitate the widespread use of timber in construction:

  1. Improving Data and Whole Life Carbon: Enhancing data accuracy and transparency to better understand timber's environmental impact.
  2. Promoting Safe and Sustainable Use: Advocating for the safe and sustainable incorporation of timber as a construction material.
  3. Increasing Skills and Competency: Building capacity and competence across the supply chain to encourage the use of timber.
  4. Sustainable Supply Chain: Expanding the sustainable supply of timber to meet the growing demand.
  5. Addressing Fire Safety and Durability: Tackling concerns related to fire safety and durability, particularly in the context of engineered mass timber.
  6. Collaboration with Insurers and Lenders: Encouraging collaboration with insurers, lenders, and warranty providers to garner support for timber construction.
  7. Promoting Innovation: Encouraging innovation in high-performing timber construction systems.

Government's Sustainability Focus

While the government's emphasis on timber is rooted in its sustainability credentials, it is essential to note that the promotion is not solely based on engineering considerations. The roadmap acknowledges the need for a holistic approach, considering environmental impact, safety, and innovation as integral aspects of the timber construction narrative.


The UK Government's commitment to promoting timber in construction signifies a paradigm shift towards more sustainable and eco-conscious building practices. By addressing challenges and facilitating collaboration across the industry, the Timber in Construction roadmap lays the foundation for a greener future. As the construction sector navigates this transformative journey, the government's intervention is poised to reshape the industry, fostering a new era of environmentally responsible and innovation-driven construction practices.

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