Specifier Review
Tropical forests are vital for the future of our planets health and climate change mitigation – The TTF are trying to tackle misconceptions of tropical timbers.

Conversations about Climate Change Design Competition – Join the Conversation

The UK Timber Trade Federation launch their Conversations about Climate Change Design Competition.

Conversations about Climate Change is a specially commissioned design competition, exhibition, and events series providing a platform for urgent climate debates.

Formulated to influence a wave of innovation across architects, designers and specifiers, this design competition sets craftspeople with the challenge of creating ‘conversation pieces’ from sustainably sourced tropical timber.

The Building Centre in London, in association with the Timber Trade Federation, will showcase tropical timbers from responsible sources to demonstrate the importance of this natural resource throughout November.

2020 had been designated a super year for climate conversations with COP26 scheduled to take place in November. Now postponed due to the global COVID 19 pandemic, the battle against climate change remains an urgent threat to humanity.

Timber is the only truly sustainable, natural, and beautiful construction material. Wood absorbs and stores carbon from the atmosphere, and it is estimated that one tonne of carbon dioxide is absorbed for every cubic metre of timber used in construction.

Sustainable forest management is an essential solution to the emission reduction needed for mitigating the worst impacts of climate change. Timber is a low carbon material, with forests acting as the ‘lungs of the earth’ extracting CO2, regulating the earth’s temperature, and providing biodiverse ecosystems. However, tropical forests have often been undervalued and cleared for agricultural development, rather than sustainable timber production.

Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) is the EU’s Action Plan to combat illegal logging, subsequent trade, and deforestation, and instead introduce forest monitoring, auditing, multi-stakeholder dialogue and engagement with local communities. This landmark shift in governance and procurement means FLEGT licensed timber is a safe, legal, and responsible form of timber which will help keep forests standing.

Conversations about Climate Change encourages designers, architects, and craftspeople to consider their role as a specifier, stimulating conversation about material provenance and its place in the climate debate, while revealing the aesthetic qualities of tropical hardwoods species.

Engaging designers and creating high value markets is one way to inspire more countries to engage with these Governance reforms and start producing FLEGT licensed timber. Tropical hardwood species used in Conversations about Climate Change designs, will be imported through the Timber Trade Federation members, from the fifteen tropical countries implementing the FLEGT Action Plan.

Full details on how to apply and available resources can be found at: www.buildingcentre.co.uk/climateconversations