UK rules on building with timber are a "policy car crash" says Andrew Waugh - architecture and design

UK rules on building with timber are a "policy car crash" says Andrew Waugh



Rules restricting the use of wood in UK buildings are hampering the switch to low-carbon building methods, according to timber architecture expert Andrew Waugh.
Waugh attacked recent government legislation and new funding rules for affordable housing in London, both of which make it harder for architects to specify timber.
Timber architecture expert Andrew Waugh
"It's a car crash," said Waugh, describing the restrictions as "pseudo common sense not based on any expert opinion."
Last month, London mayor Sadiq Khan unveiled rules governing the allocation of funds worth Ł3.46bn to build 29,456 homes in the capital.
The rules include a "ban on combustible materials being used in external walls for all residential development, regardless of height." The rule goes further than recently introduced UK-wide regulations, which outlaw the use of combustible materials on the external walls of any building over 18 metres tall.
Rules introduced after Grenfell fire
Both rules have been introduced in the wake of the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster, in which 72 people died after the plastic-and-aluminium cladding on the London housing block caught fire.
Waugh described the rules as a "politicised knee-jerk reaction" that confuse combustibility with fire performance and contradict efforts to tackle carbon emissions from construction.
"Carbon taxes on building materials are an inevitability," Waugh said, referring to the fact that construction ac...
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