The 13th of June 2018 was the date of another British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Members Day. This is a day of informative and fascinating workshops and speeches, with a programme based on the key themes of the BWF helpline. This means it covers some of the hot issues that members need addressing, with advice from inspirational speakers and experts. The BWF Members Day allows the community to come together and celebrate their work while learning about new innovations that may come into their lives in the future.
This year’s BWF Members Day was based around the theme ‘Build it Better with Wood’. The topics that came up included:
• construction without defects
• the problems of dust
• health and safety practices
• material management to prevent disputes
• woodworking productivity
• skills shortages
• the effects of GDPR
• the prominence of custom builds
• fire safety in the changing market
• the contribution of wood to sustainability
The 21st Century is showing itself to be the Wood Age, as the construction industry is opening its eyes to the benefits of building with wood. The BWF Members Day 2018 focused on driving this advantage home, as well as pushing for productivity, safety and sustainability in the businesses of its members. There were over 150 members in attendance, keen to learn and engage in debate around the central issues.
Keynote speaker Gabriel Hemery, who is the founder of the Sylvia Foundation and a guest lecturer at Oxford University, highlighted the need to reconnect people with wood. He outlined how a UK culture built around wood could be nurtured to create a sustainable future.
Laura Page, of Pinsent Mason, covered the recommendations of the Hackitt Review for fire safety. Members learned that the government is due to consult on the findings and that the general landscape of legislative changes would take on a clearer form once these talks are finished in the Autumn. She predicted that there would be “dramatic things” to come from this, particularly in terms of testing and certification, and that the increased costs associated with this could have an impact on smaller businesses.
In the shadow of the Grenfell tragedy, David Birkbeck, CEO of Designer for Homes, predicted that future tower blocks would mostly be built with masonry faces. He also suggested there would be more back-to-back housing schemes and stacked flats. His top prediction for future growth went to cross laminated timber (CLT) construction.
You can visit the BWF website for more details on the 2018 BWF Members Day.