Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia/Thetford: Construction project coud herald new era for home-grown UK timber

16:00 26 August 2014

The Enterprise Centre at the UEA, The timber frame has been constructed using Corsican Pine sourced from Thetford Forest

The Enterprise Centre at the UEA, The timber frame has been constructed using Corsican Pine sourced from Thetford Forest

butterflyeffect /

A pioneering East Anglian project to build the UK’s greenest building could herald a sea-change in the use of locally sourced timber after successfully sourcing non-traditional materials from Thetford Forest.

Constractors working on the Enterprise Centre at the UEA, The timber frame has been constructed using Corsican Pine sourced from Thetford ForestConstractors working on the Enterprise Centre at the UEA, The timber frame has been constructed using Corsican Pine sourced from Thetford Forest

Wood more usually used for fence posts and pallets has been incorporated into the timber frame of the £15.9m Enterprise Centre project at the University of East Anglia.

Gavin Napper, area director for lead contractor Morgan Sindall, believes that insights gained from the project could now have a positive impact on the wider industry’s uptake of local timber.

“People have generally shied away from using local timber in construction, doubting its suitability as a construction material,” he said.

“We wanted to challenge that perception and tap into the great resources which are available locally.

“We’ve shown that lumber which is normally used for much simpler purposes like fence posts and pallets can play a much more significant role in the structural life of a construction project.

“As the project completes, we’re keen to highlight where there are inefficiencies in the processing of local timber into structural elements.

“With the help of our customers we want to ensure that these inefficiencies are challenged and overcome so that future construction projects can make better use of local timber.

“The more we demand the use of local timber in our projects, the more efficient suppliers will become, making the use of local timber more realistic, affordable and desirable.”

The centre has been created to achieve a 100-year design life and aspects of the development will be constructed using traditional methods and locally sourced materials.

Thetford timber, Norfolk straw and heather will be used, while various elements of the building will be thatched. Construction work started last year and the Morgan Sindall project team collaborated with Irish firm Cygnum, the Forestry Commission and Thomson Saw Mills on the latest phase of the project.

John French, CEO of the Adapt Low Carbon Group, said: “Sustainability means using local resources and building high value supply chains from natural resources like forestry.

“This reduces carbon and creates high value jobs just as countries in Scandinavia have done.

“I am confident that the Enterprise Centre will stand up as a beacon of innovation that the enterprising businesses can now follow.”

Anne Mason, chairman of the Friends of Thetford Forest, which has been encouraging the use of locally-grown Corsican Pine on construction projects, said she was delighted that forest timber is being used.

“This UEA project showcases timber as an innovative building material and it also highlights the importance of our forests and woods as a sustainable timber resource for the nation,” she said.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

A file picture of the Sanofi factory in Haverhill.

More than 50 jobs are to be axed at the Haverhill site of pharmaceutical group Sanofi.

Georgi Rollings, left, and Emma Lawrence of Starfish Accounting.

An Ipswich based provider of online company secretarial software has reached the landmark milestone of having 10,000 users.

Robert Hughes, managing director of Hughes Electrical, and Andy Yallop, store manager, at the company's new branch in Bury St Edmunds.

Hughes Electrical has opened the doors of its new store in Bury St Edmunds following a £200,000 investment which has also created six new jobs, doubling the size of its workforce in the town.

Barclays has been fined £72m by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Banking giant Barclays has been fined £72million by the City watchdog for failing to handle potential financial crime risks relating to a £1.88billion transaction for ultra high-net-worth clients.

Members of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce team outside the chamber's offices at Felaw Maltings in Ipswich.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is among the nominees in two categories of the British Chambers of Commerce Awards, which are due to be announced at a ceremony in central London tonight.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivering his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs in the House of Commons
Photo: PA Wire

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Comprehensive Spending Review today divided opinion between unions employers.

Natalie Moloney, of Woodbridge events firm Pink Lemonade Productions.

An entrepreneur is up for a fifth business award since her event planning company launched last year.

Tony Willson, managing director of Helmsman Services.

Colchester-based training specialist Helmsman Services has secured the largest contract in its 17 year history, for its construction-specific e-learning health and safety courses.

Thomas Cook has reported its first annual profit for five years.

The boss of holiday firm Thomas Cook said yesterday that disruption experience since the deadly terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Egypt and Paris was “unprecedented” in his 30-year career.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24