A major initiative to promote home-grown timber into Ireland’s burgeoning offsite construction industry and the international construction of modern timber buildings has received a warm welcome from the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA).
Alan Armstrong, chairman of the TRA’s Ireland group, is encouraging industry support for the ‘Wood Properties for Ireland’ programme, otherwise known as WoodProps.
WoodProps is a joint initiative between the Timber Engineering Research Group at NUI Galway, a constituent university of the National University of Ireland, and the Centre for Wood Science and Technology at Edinburgh Napier University. It aims to characterise and certify the strength and properties of Irish structural timber for European regulatory authorities, expanding its potential market value.
The three-year programme has recently received significant Ministerial support with €477K grant-aid support from the Irish Government.
Alan Armstrong said, “WoodProps very much fits the TRA’s agenda to promote sustainable, engineered wood solutions to the offsite construction market in Ireland and the UK. The universities’ work could also boost the future use of Irish wood in the roofing and flooring products made by TRA members, and helps raise the profile of timber engineering to encourage a new generation of timber engineers and designers. Timber engineering is a key player in offsite construction, which not only speeds up the build process but also improves safety, reduces waste and is a much more environmentally sustainable way to build. We fully support this initiative and what it can do for wood products in the construction industry.”
The WoodProps programme was officially launched in May 2017 by the Irish Government’s Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle TD. The programme is being led by Dr Annette Harte at NUI Galway.
Over the course of the project, researchers will undertake exchange of knowledge related to structural softwood quality, products and standards within the forestry and processing industries, and will provide expert advice to regulatory bodies on the construction of modern timber buildings.
The TRA’s Ireland group provides the Irish construction and roofing industries with technical and educational support and is focused on raising standards.