Fears of fire after Grenfell tragedy are holding back switch to sustainable building materials like engineered timber

By Thomas Moore
Sky News UK
February 4, 2023
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Fear of fire in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy is holding back a switch to more sustainable building materials, a leading architect has told Sky News. Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects, which is at the forefront of eco-building design, said the construction industry and regulators are too cautious about using engineered timber in tall structures – even though the catastrophe was in a concrete tower. “We are being held back,” he said. “(The UK) were the innovators of this material before Grenfell happened. “Now we have a situation where the rest of the world are changing their building regulations, changing their planning laws and government procurement for housing, hospitals and schools to promote the use of timber. “And we are alone in the UK in not doing anything to promote the use of timber.” Mr Waugh designed the new six-storey Black and White Building, the UK’s tallest office block constructed from engineered timber.

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