The recent high profile industry report by MTW Research forecasts that by 2016 timber frame sales in the UK will grow by 60% in volume and 80% in value, outstripping the expected pace of growth in other areas of the construction market all encouraging news as Timber Expo 2012 begins a major development phase in the run up to the September Show.
Low-carbon regulations such as the Code for Sustainable Homes are cited by the report as key drivers where the timber frame industry is responding well and meeting changing market demand patterns and influences, with timber recognised as the least carbon intensive building material.
While the report shows that the recession has hit the timber frame market, it also shows that the sector (based on an 80% data set) is in good financial health, with 60% of manufacturers having "good" or "excellent" credit ratings, and just 4% of suppliers currently regarded as being at immediate risk of failure.
It showed high levels of optimism amongst the UK timber frame suppliers, with more positive signs of investment from commodity retail, leisure and other commercial applications. All of these sectors will be firmly engaged in the Timber Buyers Forum at Timber Expo - your chance to meet one-to-one with those often hard to access business targets. The report states that sales of timber frame, SIPS, and volumetric timber buildings increased by some £30 million in 2011 with much of the demand coming from share growth in housebuilding and minimal additional demand from organic growth or non-residential sectors. However, demand patterns are likely to shift from mid-2012 onwards as commercial construction regains ground.
According to MTW, there are also a number of market-led initiatives that should boost value growth in the near term. Increasingly, manufacturers are seeking to establish closer relationships between client and supplier, with turn-key solutions offering healthy opportunities for value growth. Many key issues raised by MTW were covered during the recent Timber Expo-sponsored Fabric First event at BRE Watford, where a full and busy day heard about the concerted efforts by the industry to ensure a focus on the efficiency of the building fabric before any other sustainable products or micro-renewables are introduced. These are paying dividends in terms of differentiation and enhancing the core product offered by timber frame suppliers, prompting further optimism for the future.
Timber Expo exhibitors alongside the comprehensive programme of seminar sessions will throw further light on how the timber industry can bring a real stepchange to the green building debate and sustainable construction in the UK.
For more information visit: www.timber-expo.co.uk