UK Market for Timber Panel Buildings Is Growing

The UK has seen an estimated growth of 26% in the market for timber-frame construction systems, also known as modular panelised building systems, from 2014 to 2017.

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Competing with concrete, steel and other forms of engineered wood panels such as CLT and SIPS, it is estimated that the market in timber-frame construction systems will grow by 4% from 2018 until 2020.

Why the Demand?

This increase in demand is due to a number of factors. The growth up to 2016 had been driven by a slight recovery in the construction industry across the UK, particularly in the residential sector. Improved performances across other sectors such as leisure, offices, entertainment and education also pushed the market forward. More recently, however, the construction market hasn’t been publishing such positive news.

Other factors moving the market forward include a desire for more sustainable construction materials. There are also increased carbon reduction and energy-efficiency targets that have to met which favour construction done off-site. Modular buildings that are made of wood tend to create less waste and have better thermal insulation properties.

Timber-frame construction systems make up the largest division of the panelised market with approximately 70% of the total share. This is mainly due to its extensive use in Scotland’s construction and house building industry, where the timber frame construction company is among many building modular panelised homes.

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The industry is also benefiting greatly from the fast development of engineered timber, which has seen a huge number of high-performance timber products released into the market in recent years. These include timber products that feature glue lamination and timber cross-laminated panels.

Main Uses

The main use for modular building made from timber panels comes in residential housing, schools, apartment blocks, healthcare, hotels and student accommodation. Residential use counts for around 70% of the total market share.

According to AMA Research director Keith Taylor, the market will continue to grow up to 2022 due to a number of factors. The first is the growing utilisation of Building Information Modelling, and the second is a rise in the number of public sector procurement frameworks.

He added that off-site construction techniques were becoming increasingly popular because of the chronic shortage of housing in the UK and a lack of traditional construction skills within the industry.

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