Waugh Thistleton Architects

Timber Policy 1
Timber Policy 2

Timber Policy is a comparative study of legislation across six countries that can act as a powerful tool to support policy makers on their journey to decarbonise construction in the UK, and beyond. Across the world, countries are making significant progress in the promotion and incentivisation of timber and biobased, replenishable materials within construction. Timber is a low-carbon, natural, renewable material, at the heart of transitioning to a sustainable, circular economy for the UK, and many nations around the world. This publication looks to promote the use of mass-timber as a building material by providing guidance on the new global policy influencing this shift.

This new report follows as a useful appendix to the recent publishing of the UK Government’s Timber in Construction (TiC) Roadmap, which aims to safely increase the use of timber in construction. In January 2024, the EU launched the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, a provisional agreement to reduce the emissions and energy use of buildings across the union, including embodied carbon emissions. This study examines how six countries - Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Finland, and USA – have recently implemented policies intended to increase the use of timber in construction.

Throughout this book, case study policies are categorised according to different areas of development; carbon policy, publicly funded timber building, financial incentives, advocacy, regulation change, and the mandated use of timber in construction.

We provide an overview of some of the policy and regulatory mechanisms that are being used to motivate the use of mass-timber as a building material. This publication is by no means an exhaustive study of global policy but is intended to capture a 'moment in time' by giving a glimpse into this ever-shifting topic to encourage further reading, investigation, and ultimately greater policy change.

This is the second in a trio of essential books. The first one, Timber Typologies, provides clarity on different timber systems. The final book in the series, Timber LCA, will demystify lifetime carbon analysis for timber buildings. Collectively, these books are intended to act as a stimulus for action. Transforming our built environment requires global co-operation, along with the sharing of ideas and talent. We hope it inspires all those who read it.

Read PDF online here.