In Ireland, the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) has warmly embraced an extensive initiative to promote the use of homegrown timber in the nation’s growing offsite construction sector and the international construction of modern timber structures.
According to the TRA, Alan Armstrong, chairman of the TRA’s Ireland group, is a strong advocate for industry support for the “Wood Properties for Ireland” programme, also known as WoodProps. Officially launched in May 2017 by the Andrew Doyle TD, the Irish Government’s Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, the programme is spearheaded by Dr Annette Harte at NUI Galway.
A joint initiative between the Timber Engineering Research Group at NUI Galway, a constituent university of the National University of Ireland, and the Centre for Wood Science and Technology at Edinburgh Napier University, its goal is to certify and characterise the features and robustness of Irish structural timber for European regulatory authorities, thus growing its potential market value.
Over the three-year course of the programme, research scientists will exchange knowledge related to products and standards, and structural softwood quality within the forestry and processing industries, and will also provide regulatory bodies with expert advice regarding the construction of modern timber buildings. The programme has drawn notable ministerial support, having been given a €477,000 (US$535,000) in grant-aid support from the Irish Government.
“WoodProps very much fits the TRA’s agenda to promote sustainable, engineered wood solutions to the offsite construction market in Ireland and the United Kingdom (U.K.). The universities’ work could also boost the future use of Irish wood in the roofing and flooring products made by TRA members, and helps raise the profile of timber engineering to encourage a new generation of timber engineers and designers,” Armstrong said. “Timber engineering is a key player in offsite construction, which not only speeds up the build process but also improves safety, reduces waste and is a much more environmentally sustainable way to build. We fully support this initiative and what it can do for wood products in the construction industry.”
Source: The Trussed Rafter Association