Builders' Merchants News
STA factory tours see record attendee numbers
Published:  11 December, 2014

More than 300 people from across the construction sector attended the Structural Timber Association’s (STA) recent series of factory tours – the highest number since the tours were first introduced last year.

Taking place in September and October, the tours saw 338 people attend one of six dates across the country. The aim is to allow STA members to engage directly with the wider construction industry, including housebuilders, contractors, engineers, suppliers and architects. After a tour of the respective facilities, those attending also had the opportunity to talk to technical experts about how to develop a structural timber-based project.

Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of the STA, said: “With timber accounting for only 18% of new homes in England and Wales, there is a real opportunity to increase the number built using the material, and these factory tours are the ideal way to educate the wider construction sector on the benefits of building in timber.

“From sustainability and readiness of supply, to speed of build and an increasingly diverse product range, timber is a truly modern method of construction that can meet all of the challenges currently facing our sector. Because of this, we have seen a significant increase in housebuilders turning to timber over the past few months, and these tours are an excellent way of educating the uninitiated in how to build using timber.

“I would like to take the chance to thanks all those STA members who hosted a tour, including Kingspan Potton, Frame Wise, Stewart Milne Timber Systems, Scotframe, Oregon Timber Frame and Pinewood Structures.”

Craig Walding, project design manager at One Creative Environments, praised the tour he attended at Frame Wise’s factory. He said: “It was a very well organised event that provided a useful insight into the advantages of offsite timber frame construction, along with its manufacturing techniques.

“I would recommend going on a factory tour, as I am sure that with the way the industry is moving, more people will take an interest in how to build in timber.”

The recent dates mark the third round of factory tours, with more expected next spring, with dates and location announced in due course on the Association’s website at