The Wood Campus website offers architects free online RIBA-accredited CPD courses that build a better understanding of timber construction for the post Covid-19 world
Last year, in its report ‘UK Housing: Fit for the Future?’, the Committee on Climate Change stated 'Using wood in construction to displace high-carbon materials such as cement and steel is one of the most effective ways to use limited biomass resources to mitigate climate change. New policies will be needed to support this.'
As we look forward to a post Covid-19 world, we can decide whether to carry on as usual or build a better future as part of the government’s plans for a wider green economy. Apart from the carbon capture and storage of building with wood (from sustainably managed forests), there are many other reasons for using wood: its exceptional Life Cycle Assessment profile, its extraordinary strength-to-weight ratio, its suitability for Modern Methods of Construction, its hygroscopic and health-promoting qualities and its availability.
There is a tradition of building with wood in Scotland, where 70 per cent of new housing is timber frame, but wood is less well understood in England and wood construction occupies a relatively small place in architecture schools’ syllabuses. If building with wood is a natural way for architects to respond to the challenge of sustainable development in the face of global heating, a wider understanding of wood construction is required. That is why Wood Campus was created.
The Wood Campus website is a Swedish Wood initiative that was created in co-operation with the UK timber industry and associations to provide online learning, information and inspiration. The site’s CPD courses are RIBA-accredited and free to access when and where you want. No pre-registration is needed whether you want to complete the full course or just dip into it for information on a specific topic. On successful completion of the course and assessment, you will be asked for your email so your CPD certificate can be sent to you.
The core construction course, Building with Wood, includes specification, fire safety, case studies, regulations and standards for building with timber frame, building with cross-laminated timber, other engineered timber products, roofing, joists and flooring. This will be kept up to date as building regulations evolve.
The core construction course is complemented by three courses on the specific product areas of cladding, windows and decking, as well as a course on coatings and preservatives. Two further courses cover areas of particular interest: procuring sustainable timber and, the most recent course, fire safety and FR-rated timber.
The fire safety course was developed in partnership with Local Authority Building Control and the Wood Protection Association to help improve understanding of how wood behaves in fire and how to enhance that performance to comply with building regulations.
There is also a core interiors course, Wood in Interiors, which is accredited by the British Institute of Interior Design and includes panelling, flooring, doors (with a focus on fire doors), stairs and mouldings.
The Wood Campus website also offers architects and specifiers additional resources. The Inspiration section includes the free quarterly Swedish Wood Trä! magazine, which features the latest wood architecture and design projects in Sweden and elsewhere, with case studies on the Swedish Wood 2020 Award shortlist, profiles of the best of 50 years of the Swedish Wood Awards, plus Swedish Wood Instagram and Pinterest feeds.
For more information and to access the online CDP courses, visit woodcampus.co.uk
If you think anything is missing or could be improved on the Wood Campus website, Tony Traynor would welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org