Hackney lead the way on timber building

Hackney lead the way on timber building

Hackney Council, the first local authority in England to actively promote timber construction in its planning policy has recently been showcasing its achievements in the field and are also offering guided tours of the latest in a long line of successful timber builds in the borough.


In 2012 the Council hosted its Wood First conference for architects, developers and planning officials from other local authorities to encourage the consideration of timber as a first choice building material. Wood for Good, a campaign to promote the suitability and sustainability of using wood in construction, sponsored the event which examined the benefits and limitations of building with timber as well as explaining its place within local and national planning policy.


Hackney Council planners and representatives from Wood for Good spoke at that inaugural event alongside developers and architects, including Andrew Waugh from Waugh Thistleton Architects whose firm designed Stadthaus, the tallest timber residential building in Europe, which resides in the borough.


The council is still as keen as ever to promote the benefits of building with wood but are also quick to emphasize that it is not operating a policy that seeks to exclude locally sourced building materials or prevent the use of other sustainable building materials in future developments. However, it will continue to take into account the carbon footprint of a new development to ensure it is in line with its sustainability policy and the use of structural timber would help to contribute to this.


Councillor Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said at the time: “Timber construction is changing the face of sustainable development, with the industry increasingly recognising the aesthetic and environmental benefits of using wood in new developments. We are not looking to adopt a rigid policy which disregards the use of other traditional building materials, rather we will be seeking to inform industry leaders of the benefits of building with wood and how it can complement the national sustainability agenda.”


Hackney Councillor Vincent Stops and Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects have kindly offered to host a site visit to Pitfield Street in Hackney, London on the 27th September 2017. The development combines the restoration of a derelict cinema with new commercial units and residential dwellings.


The development is one of a number of buildings in the Hackney area that has pioneered the use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in its construction and the walking tour will take in a number of award-winning buildings including Murray Grove, Dalston Lane and half a dozen more.



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