Timber as a material offers a fantastic opportunity to the wider construction industry. It is low carbon, environmentally friendly, and – if sourced from a sustainably managed forest with FSC or PEFC certification – a renewable resource. As a result, designers and construction professionals prioritising sustainability are increasingly turning towards timber in place of other, more carbon intensive building materials in order to mitigate climate change.

The Fundamentals of Timber webinar series is intended as a detailed introduction for professionals within the built environment who are new to the material as well as timber industry staff who cross- and up-sell timber products and services. Attendees will develop a robust understanding of basic timber concepts across four two-hour webinars delivered in November and December.

3 November 2022 · 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM GMT

From trees to timber with Ben Sharples, Commercial Lead – Timber Services, and Phil O’Leary, Technical Manager, BM TRADA.

  • The versatility of wood and its limitations
  • Challenges and issues to be considered when using timber in a wide range of applications and environments
  • Choice of species through to correctly detailing for the end use
  • What a tree is and how its growth strategies affect its properties
  • Basic cell structure
  • Nomenclature and classification
  • What is in a name? E.g. Softwood, hardwood, evergreen, trade name, commercial name, local name
  • Timber species – common commercial and not so common

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17 November 2022 · 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM GMT

Quality and properties of timber with Lewis Taylor, Senior Timber Frame Consultant, and Phil O’Leary, Technical Manager, BM TRADA.

  • Variability of timber
  • Appearance – grain, texture, figure
  • Density, reaction wood, juvenile wood, heartwood, sapwood, and how they all affect timber properties
  • Timber and wood characteristics
  • Toxicity, chemical reaction and corrosive properties in conjunction with other materials
  • Timber as a structural product
  • What is meant by 'Quality of timber'
  • Difference between appearance grade, visual and strength grading
  • Features assessed for grading purposes and how to measure them
  • General principle of grading rules
  • Explanation of commercial grading rules
  • Strength grading and strength classes

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1 December 2022 · 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM GMT

Moisture in timber with Phil O’Leary, Technical Manager, and Lewis Taylor, Senior Timber Frame Consultant, BM TRADA.

  • The most important timber issue to understand
  • Green timber and seasoned timber
  • Understanding the amount of water in timber
  • Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) and Fibre Saturation Point (FSP)
  • The meaning of 12% moisture content 
  • Why and how the moisture content of timber changes
  • Drying of timber and good methods of storing timber
  • Shrinkage and movement: are they the same?
  • How much timber shrinks and how this occurs
  • Shrinkage and swelling in the different planes of timber
  • Movement classifications and how this aids determining the amount of shrinkage
  • How we can accommodate shrinkage and swelling
  • Introduction to Use Classes and in-service moisture contents

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15 December 2022 · 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM GMT

Protecting timber with Lewis Taylor, Senior Timber Frame Consultant, and Phil O’Leary, Technical Manager, BM TRADA.

  • Natural durability to fungi, insects and marine borers
  • Types of insect and marine borers
  • Natural durability classes and service life
  • Wood preservation – when to specific and how
  • How the length of desired service life is achieved
  • The need for coatings
  • Weathering of timber
  • Types of coatings, including paints, varnishes, stains, floor and deck finishes
  • Common faults and how to avoid them

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Please email jane.lomas@bmtrada.com if you have any questions.