Timber in Construction: Durability, visual grading & reuse of existing structural elements and the impact of Grenfell - Online

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Join us for this new training session on timber in construction. Our three expert trainers will look at: timber use in construction post Grenfell; what to consider regarding durability when designing with wood; and how to assess the condition of structural timber in historic buildings.


13.30-14.30: Design For Durability: Peter Moonen, National Sustainability Manager, Canadian Wood Council

Designing with wood adds a different dimension to durability, as wood is used as a structural and architectural medium, and in both interior and exterior applications. As such, designers and builders must have an understanding of the factors likely to impact wood in use and consider treatment and design solutions. This presentation provides specifiers with an overview of the key weathering and wear factors affecting wood, how wood is impacted, and potential design considerations to reduce risk of aesthetic and/or structural failure.

Peter will present some actual projects to evaluate the effectiveness of various constructed projects with the goal of evaluating the level of durability achieved in practice -- bad, good, best – and examine ways in which issues could have been avoided. Participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of the main impact factors affecting wood use
  • Examine good, bad and better practices to avoid both visual and structural diminishment of wood elements
  • Understand how the composition of wood and its orientation in use can enhance or reduce longevity
  • Gain insight into appropriate specification considerations for coatings and wood treatments.

14.30-15.15: Assessing the Condition and Strength of Structural Timber in Historic Buildings, Philip O’Leary, Head of Timber Consultancy, BM TRADA

This talk we will look at how timbers in historic buildings and structures can be inspected and methods of visually strength grading in-situ, which can often achieve a route to assigning a higher strength class for structural appraisals then using modern and current grading rules.

Historic buildings and structures can be challenging and we will discuss inspection criteria and techniques for assessing the condition of timbers and strategies for strength grading timbers. Visually grading rules assess each piece of timber for the presence, size and location of ‘strength reducing characteristics’ and identifying the timber species. Current rules are designed for the timber trade to strength grade timber in either a sawmill or timber yard when the end use of the timber is not known.

In buildings we know the location and structural function of each piece of timber and coupled with the fact that the timber quality was often of a ‘higher’ quality gives us an advantage. Assigning higher strength classes can often result in saving on costly in-situ strengthening works. Phil will look at examples where we have been able to achieve this and some that we have not.

15.15-15.30: Update on timber use in construction in the UK, post Grenfell, Rupert Scott, Membership and Marketing Manager, TRADA

Rupert will bring delegates up to date on the use of timber in construction in the UK, post Grenfell & any new legislation limiting the use of timber

This training session will have several Q&A breaks to allow participants to ask questions of the speakers.

About the Trainers

Peter Moonen, National Sustainability Manager, Canadian Wood Council

Peter studied Marine Biology, Zoology and Forestry the University of British Columbia and has used that science-based foundation as a technical communications specialist to advance a better understanding of wood products and the forest sector. He has more than 30 years experience dealing with regulatory, environmental, sustainability and operational issues. He is National Sustainability Manager for the Canadian Wood Council (CWC), a technical and knowledge transfer organization, which provides free technical support to designers, contractors, building and fire officials, owners and regulators to build a strong wood culture in Canada through education, training and awareness.  
Peter regularly presents on achieving greater sustainability, durability and the appropriate use of wood in Asia, Europe and throughout North America to design professionals, contractors, educators, regulators and building officials. He was an organizer and session facilitator at the UN Timber Committee and reviewer specializing in wood and the green economy for the Forest Products Annual Market Review published by the UNECE, and is a member of the Low Carbon-Assets through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA^2) Initiative of the National Research Council of Canada.

Phil O’Leary, Business Unit Head, TRADA

Phil O’Leary is Business Unit Head in charge of BM TRADA’s Timber Consultancy, the UK’s pre-eminent team of timber experts providing value-adding advisory services to the construction industry, building product manufacturers and insurers. As a qualified visual strength grader and with a BSc in Economics, an HNC in Countryside and Conservation Management and an MSc in Forest Products Technology, Phil brings a broad skill-set and vast experience to the job. He specializes in condition surveys, performance assessments and structural strength advice for timber in many building types, including historic buildings, railway infrastructure, marine assets and cooling towers.

Phil’s particular expertise is in the quality, performance characteristics, deterioration and preservation of different kinds of timber for different uses. He has served as an expert witness in establishing the causes of timber failures in, for example, scaffold boards and tool handles. As well as leading the Timber Consultancy team, Phil is responsible for all of their highly regarded series of standard and bespoke training courses. He personally delivers presentations and training seminars on timber strength grading both in the UK and overseas. Phil sits on the BSI’s Wood Preservation Committee and the Wood Protection Association’s Technical Committee.

Rupert Scott, Membership and Marketing Manager, TRADA

Following a degree in Production and Operations Management at Nottingham University, Rupert has pursued a diverse career for over 25 years in the woodworking and construction industries, spanning quality management, R&D, production management, marketing, and fire and regulation consultancy. Whilst working for a door manufacturer he became the named inventor of a patented fire door design.  He also provided passive fire consultancy advice to the Historic Royal Palace Agency (which manages Hampton Court Palace, Tower of London and Kensington Palace) for over 2 years following the lessons learned from the fire at Windsor Castle.

Rupert was instrumental in the formation, launching and growth of Timber Expo from the outset and has remained committed to working on content and promoting the show ever since. He now draws on much of this experience to help him in his current role as TRADA Membership & Marketing Manager.  He is responsible for the strategic development and management of TRADA’s membership strategy, events and exhibitions programme and marketing activities.

June 1st, 2020 1:30 PM through  3:30 PM
Online Training
United Kingdom
Event Fee(s)
Members £ 25.00
Non-Members £ 35.00

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