An initiative whose time has come: Europe’s first Mass Timber Academy is launched in Scotland!
Climate change, increasing urgency in the need to reduce our carbon impact on the planet and, in response, the emergence of the circular economy have seen an exponential increase in the use of mass timber – the collective term for a range of solid laminate timber systems – in construction. The importance of this is hard to underestimate: whether residential, commercial or public, buildings of all types are increasingly being conceived and constructed using mass timber systems such as cross laminated timber CLT, glulam and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) as well as non-glued systems such as dowel- and nail-laminated timber.
This revolution in construction is now global, with taller and taller buildings being constructed with these engineered timber systems – projects that, prior to the evolution of new and advanced wood technologies, were not previously possible using the products of the planet’s forests. Not only are these systems made from a renewable material, but they also lock up massive amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide (aCO2) for the life time of the building and potentially beyond if the materials are re-used.
The use of these systems has grown enormously over the past two decades – not only in Europe where their manufacture is now well established, but also in north America and the southern hemisphere. Their use in the UK too has expanded since they were first introduced some 20 years ago, but to date there has been no structured education for architects, engineers and other construction professionals in their use: hence the need for a new approach to post-qualification education for the built environment design community.
To remedy this deficiency, the Mass Timber Academy has been created – an independent programme of objective, state-of- the-art information and knowledge about all forms of mass timber design and construction. Backed by companies throughout the industry and a cross-industry expert panel, the Academy aims to deliver a year-long programme of continuing professional education – the foundations of a life-long learning structure designed to keep professionals apace with rapidly evolving engineered timber technologies.
The Mass Timber Academy programme embraces all aspects of mass timber design, engineering, manufacture and construction: structured education delivered via conferences, seminars, masterclasses, case studies, building and manufacturer visits, webinars and online courses.
The programme is designed not only to benefit individual professionals, but also their employers: the architectural practice and engineering consultancies charged with delivering a future built environment that is healthier and more environmentally responsible. The need to introduce construction methods more suited to 21st century circumstances is paramount and only through education and innovation will real change take place. The Mass Timber Academy has been created to deliver the specialist skills required, with the recipients becoming ‘Timber Intrapreneurs’ at the end of the programme: professionals not only able to innovate with these new timber technologies but also supported to communicate their knowledge to their colleagues.
The Academy’s inaugural conference – ‘Inspiration Day’ – takes place at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh (RCPE) on Thursday 27 February 2020. Subsequent events take place on the last Thursday of each month (excluding the July /August vacation period) through November 2020.
Full information is available at https://www.masstimberacademy.com
Peter Wilson, Director
Timber Design Initiatives Ltd
90a Constitution Street
Edinburgh EH6 6RP
+44 (0)131 554 8643 office
+44 (0) 7960 281 955 mobile