Breaking Ground: Research to Uncover the Power of Mass Engineered Timber in Construction

"Department of Housing Calls for Tenders for Study on Mass Engineered Timber as Sustainable Construction Alternative"

The Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage is currently seeking tenders for a study on mass engineered timber (MET), a term used to describe engineered wood products of substantial size that offer the construction industry a sustainable alternative to traditional materials like steel and concrete. This initiative comes amidst a growing interest in MET due to its technical capabilities, cost-effectiveness, and environmental benefits. With ambitious national carbon emissions reduction targets in place, MET is seen as a key player in the decarbonisation of the construction sector.

The Timber in Construction Steering Group, established by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM) Pippa Hackett in September 2023, is dedicated to promoting the use of timber in construction while prioritizing building safety and property protection. The group’s mandate includes addressing regulatory and standards challenges and promoting the utilization of locally sourced timber in construction projects. As part of their efforts to ensure compliance with standards, tenders are now being accepted for a 9-month study to identify and address specific regulatory and market obstacles facing MET within the Irish context.

The study, with a budget of up to €160,000 excluding VAT, will examine standards, research, and codes related to the design and application of MET in Ireland and internationally. It will concentrate on new low to medium-rise residential and commercial buildings where MET constitutes a significant portion of the primary structure. The study’s findings will inform recommendations for a national technical specification for the use of MET, encompassing various building types such as apartments, offices, student accommodations, hotels, and nursing homes.

Key areas of focus for the study include fire safety, structural design, moisture management, durability, energy efficiency, acoustic performance, and quality control. The Department has set the deadline for tender submissions as June 28, 2024, emphasizing the importance of addressing these priority topics in the context of MET usage in construction.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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