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Building tall in timber is exceeding expectations and driving the timber industry rapidly forward across the globe. Those interested in the new thinking, innovative products and cutting-edge technology behind these new heights can discover it all at this year’s Timber Expo.

Timber Expo, supported by TRADA, features the largest collection of timber brands under one roof, alongside products, seminars, CPD workshops and unmissable networking opportunities. Forming part of UK Construction Week (UKCW), architects, main contractors, manufacturers and engineers definitely won’t want to miss out at Birmingham’s NEC between 9 – 11 October.

Future of construction

Timber is scaling heights never seen before, spelling an exciting future for the industry that is explored through this year’s theme, the ‘Future of Construction’.

The Future of Construction Hub provides an immersive opportunity to discover digital construction, 3D printing, robotics, AI and AR and modern methods of construction. Birmingham City University academics are presenting their latest research work, while Coventry University is bringing along its state-of-the-art construction simulator for all to experience life as a site manager. And Canon is offering visitors an immersive experience within their own work. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own design files on a USB stick to see it brought to life in a new dimension.

An Innovation Trail uncovers innovating and pioneering ideas, projects and products from exhibitors such as Gripsure, which is launching two new products at the show: Gripsure Ecodek and Gripsure made with Accoya. Timber Structures is showcasing its TS3 timber bonding technology range, and Trade Fabrication Systems is explaining all about its coated and laminated wood-based panel products.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said:

“Timber Expo consists of three days brimming with the latest products, innovations and developments across the timber sector both within the UK and internationally.

“The show covers a wide range of timber applications, from structural uses of timber frame, glulam, SIPs and CLT through to the joinery industry’s best products across timber cladding, stairs, doors and windows, mouldings, skirtings and flooring. There’s not a more comprehensive representation of the timber industry in the UK.”

Inspiring exhibitors

There is a wealth of exhibitors ready and waiting to discuss their latest products at Timber Expo. STEICO’s I-joist wall studs offer a healthy solution to a developing environment; Hanson Plywood’s specialist panels suit dry, humid and exterior use; and Rothoblaas provides the systems, fixings and equipment necessary for making timber a success in any project.

Capital Holz100 will be discussing its healthy living spaces entirely made from wood with no glue or harmful chemicals used in production. Cellecta will be showcasing its environmentally friendly acoustic and thermal insulation including ScreedBoard®. And, for a different take on wood, Eco Flooring is using reclaimed wood to make stylish wooden floors.

Other unmissable exhibitors include Ambrovit S.P.A, Glennon Brothers, SIGA 1966 UK,SCM Group, American Softwood and Ergodomus Timber Engineering, who is presenting its innovative constructive system enabling CLT constructions of up to 20 storeys high even in seismic areas.

Invaluable advice

Visitors can access the best independent advice, connections and information at the TRADA stand, before heading over to the TRADA supported Timber Focus Theatre. Unmissable sessions include:

Speakers include Kevin Flanagan, partner at PLP Architecture; Daniel Kreissig, project manager, ZÜBLIN Timber; Robin Lancashire, senior timber frame consultant, TRADA; and Anthony Thistleton, co-founder and partner, Waugh Thistleton Architects.

New this year is the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) Time for Timber CPD workshop programme delivered by the Structural Timber Association, Timber Trade Federation, Trussed Rafter Association, British Woodworking Federation and supported by the timber industry’s campaign, Wood for Good. Attendees can network with the entire timber supply chain and understand the latest regulations, products and services on offer.

Free CPD sessions across UKCW cover topics such as fire doors with the British Woodworking Federation; sound insulation with H&H Acoustic Technologies; and Building Regulations – update post-Grenfell with the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.

CPD spaces are limited, making advanced booking essential.

Inspiring innovations

New wooden builds don’t need to be on a large scale, they can also be small and intimate. The Tiny House project by Carwyn Lloyd Jones created a lot of interest. So much so, that Timber Expo has challenged the talented carpenter to build a Tiny House with a timber frame for this year's event.

Another build happening at the show is by 2NDState and the Royal College of Art. The structure is being designed and built at Grymsdyke Farm (a research facility, fabrication workshop and living-working space for architects, artists, designers and those interested in materials and processes of making) and then dismantled and rebuilt at the Timber Expo. This will be an interesting build to see and understand how the structure comes together.

Time to celebrate

Future leaders will be championed as the winner of the UKCW Role Models initiative is announced on 10 October.

The launch of the new Passivhaus Student Competition will arm the next generation of architects and designers with the design skills needed to deliver sustainable buildings.

Other highlights for aspiring construction professionals include:

  • Design your home of the future, with George Clarke’s MOBIE; and
  • The Finishes and Interiors Sector’s #iBuiltThis2018 photography competition.

Finally, Celebrations will be in order on 10 October at the Structural Timber Awards, hosted by TV presenter Mark Durden-Smith.

Time to relax

Once the networking and learning is complete, it is time to relax and soak up the mellow sounds of beautiful rosewood marimba at various short intervals during the day. TRADA has invited Andrew Woolcock, The BBC Young Musician percussion winner of 2016, to astound visitors with his musicianship and dexterity on the marimba.

Those hoping to network in a more relaxed environment can visit the Central Bar in Hall 11, sponsored by Elliott Group; the Hall 9 Bar, sponsored by Germany Trade & Invest; and the Beer Festival, sponsored by Velux, with street food, rockaoke, a gin and fizz bar, and FIX Radio.

Tickets are available at Visitors can benefit from the other UKCW shows: Surface and Materials, Build Show, Energy 2018, Building Tech Live, HVAC 2018, Civils Expo, Plant and Machinery Live and Grand Designs Live on 10-11 October.

Updates and show news are available on and Twitter at @TimberExpo or tweet using #TimberExpo2018.

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