Edinburgh Napier University

New standards in timber construction

Research in wood science and UK timber construction, reducing the carbon footprint.

In 2002 Edinburgh Napier University established the first UK Centre for Timber Engineering to support the Scottish forestry sector, which in 2015 was estimated to be worth £1bn per annum to the UK economy and represented some 71% of the UK softwood resource.

The Centre combines world-leading expertise and support for the forestry and timber supply chain, all of which nurtures the health and growth of the UK rural economy. Four further centres were developed to focus on research in advanced cellulose, wood science, architectural timber design and offsite construction.

At the time of recognition by the Prizes scheme outputs from the Centre were extensive. Over 100 new timber industry construction products and systems had been produced, sixteen patentable products had been developed, and the Centre had shaped CEN and ISO standards as well as new timber strength grading processes. Further product and design applications included the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Athletes Village, multiple low carbon buildings and over 120 innovative timber bridges and groundwork foundations, producing an 80% reduction in carbon footprint and cost. In 2016 the estimated value to the UK timber industry of the University’s research and resulting new products exceeded £65m per annum.