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Wooden show home

Modular home aims to prove case for Scottish timber

Homegrown timber features in the modular home

A wooden ‘modular’ house will be showcased at the COP26 summit in Glasgow to show how Scottish timber can be used to build eco-friendly homes.

The next phase of the Transforming Timber initiative has been awarded £1.45 million from Innovate UK’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) to create a fully functional prototype.

The commercialisation of homegrown timber could prove a major boost for the Scottish economy, while also making a significant impact on the environmental footprint of construction.

A recent study estimated that over the next 30 years, substituting concrete floor slabs with timber in steel building frames could avoid up to 50 megatons of upfront greenhouse gasses or carbon dioxide equivalent.

Industry analysis suggests that while 85% of Scottish homes are built with timber frame, the UK is the second largest importer of forestry products such as timber – behind only China.

The success of the demonstrator project and prototype unit – which is being built with a mix of cross laminated timber, glue laminated timber and nail laminated timber components – could lead to the development of the UK’s first mass-manufacturing facility for homegrown natural resources.

The initiative is led by Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) with support from Edinburgh Napier University, ECOSystems Technologies, the University of Edinburgh, and SNRG.

Sam Hart, innovation manager at CSIC, said: “There is a huge opportunity for the greater use of renewable Scottish timber in UK construction and research has proven that with the right treatment and processing, it can be used for a wide range of structural elements.”

The two-storey, two-bedroom timber demonstrator home will feature as part of the After the Pandemic showcase which is set to take shape on the banks of the River Clyde – close to the main COP26 venues – and will be displayed throughout November.

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