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Pilot project for UK’s first engineered timber plant

A new initiative in Scotland is looking at the feasibility of constructing the UK’s first engineered wood plant.

Engineered flooring in Cheshire homes and businesses is a great choice of floor covering as it looks appealing and is hard-wearing. Engineered wood flooring is generally less expensive than solid wood, but it is currently manufactured outside of the UK.

However, a joint initiative between Edinburgh Napier University, the Forestry Commission, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and others has secured funds from Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund to research a business model for how more Scottish timber can be used in building construction.

The initiative hopes to manufacture cross-laminated timber at the UK’s first vacuum press located in Hamilton. This timber will be used to make walls, roofs and floors. It is hoped that this pilot project will lead to Britain’s first engineered timber plant.

The Innovation Manager of CSIC, Sam Hart, said:

“The project is an important milestone in the move towards more mainstream use of home-grown timber in the UK’s construction sector, the majority of which is grown in Scotland.”

Using more UK manufactured engineered wood flooring could lower the cost by an estimated 10% and reduce carbon emissions caused by transportation.

In 2018, the government reported that the UK was second only to China in being the largest timber net importer. Scotland has large forests that are mainly used for pallets and fencing, and the Scottish Government encourages the use of more homegrown timber in buildings.

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