News

Source: GIS Forestry Blog. 6 January 2017. Author: Greenis

We are constructing a brand new warehouse in Jaru. Five months into the project and the main building is constructed and closed in with the builders completing the internal walls and floor screed.

The warehouse is going to be our new office, showroom and store for timber ready for export. The pictures show the construction to date and how our final project is going to look.

Original Web Post: Can be found here.

Pictures of the construction process: Can be found here.

Source: International Timber. 11 October 2016.

Traditional building materials such as steel and concrete are having a huge impact on greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a huge problem for which the construction industry and building professionals are now seeking out viable solutions for the structures of the future.

Wood, on the other hand, naturally absorbs carbon dioxide. It is uncontested when it comes to selecting an environmentally responsible building material.

Enter timber

Timber can dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of a new build. Of all the main building materials, timber is the most environmentally friendly, as it has the lowest energy consumption and the lowest carbon dioxide emissions.

Timber is not toxic, does not release chemical vapour into the building. It’s safe to handle and touch, ages naturally, and does not break down into environmentally damaging materials.

Timber continues to be grown all over the world. As long as it is replanted it will continue to be available. It does not take very much energy to transfer wood to timber for use in buildings, therefore the embodied energy is very low. For these reasons it’s an environmentally responsible option for building as opposed to more polluting alternatives.

Timber is made from carbon which would otherwise be in the atmosphere. This carbon would otherwise be adding to the greenhouse effect.

Creating energy

When used as a building material, timber prevents energy from escaping in buildings which can also reduce emissions and energy expenditure. It is easy to work with during the construction phase which means less energy is needed.

Using timber encourages the expansion of forestry, which reduces the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

An entire lifecycle considered

Timber is biodegradable which means it can be broken down naturally by microorganisms when it comes to the end of its lifespan. This feature ensures the lifecycle of timber is green from its creation to its use in the building to the end of its journey.

So how is timber used in construction?

Timber is versatile, strong and an enduring favourite for building, not just because of the practical quality of the material but also due to its natural aesthetic.

There are many examples of beautiful timber structures across the world, and it’s not hard to see why it has stood the test of time.

Architects are replacing other popular building materials with timber in order to maximise usage and reduce environmental impact. Timber can be used throughout the building in a variety of applications from the frame to the beams to the floor work to the formwork to timber panels. It’s no surprise that designers are incorporating more and more timber into their design.

As well as being versatile and environmentally friendly, timber provides acoustic, thermal and strength performance. Advances in technology are such that larger and larger buildings can be built using timber.

So are wooden skyscrapers a viable alternative to skyscrapers made from traditional materials?

Wood is lighter meaning less lorries are needed to transport it from A to B. Foundations are not required to be so deep and they can be built faster and at a lower cost than if more traditional materials were used.

It’s very much a developing area of architecture but something which will eventually have huge consequences for our planet in reducing emissions and promoting green building techniques.

Original Web Post: Can be found here.

Source: FG Insight. 22 June 2016

The Government has been called on to deliver a fresh approach to woodland planting in the UK after figures revealed the Forestry Commission missed its planting goal by 86 per cent in 2015.

Statistics showed only 700 hectares (1,700 acres) of woodland was planted in England last year, far below the Government and Forestry Commission aim of 5,000ha (12,300 acres).

In comparison, 2,400ha (5,900 acres) was planted in 2014-2015, but planting in England has been consistently low, at under 5,000ha (12,300 acres) a year since 2006.

The Woodland Trust said it was ‘appalled’ by the continued drastic decline in new woodland planting.

The trust’s director of conservation and external affairs Austin Brady said: “These figures are all the more shocking against the backdrop of the growing evidence of the importance of trees and woods in tackling air pollution, improving water quality and offering scope to deliver natural flood management, not to mention what they offer for wildlife and their productive potential for the rural economy.

“Something is drastically wrong with the way woodland planting is being supported across the various Government departments which share responsibility for trees and woods.”

The CLA called on the Government to address the barriers which prevent farmers and landowners from creating more woodland.

CLA president Ross Murray added: “Although most of the new planting took place on private land, many land managers are discouraged from creating woodland due to over regulation of the forestry sector, concerns over Environmental Impact Assessments and the effect on land values.

“A lack of long-term incentives to compete with agriculture also adds to the many barriers which already make an unattractive choice in land use change even more so.”

Mr Murray said the CLA had made its concerns known to Ministers and was keen to continue working with Defra to find a solution which ensured the scheme could actively help farmers and landowners contribute to meet the Government’s tree planting target of 11 million by 2020.

Original Web Post: Can be found here.

Source: Bioenergy Insight. 20 June 2016

The global bioenergy sector is growing at a steady pace, reveals the 3rd Global Bioenergy Statistics report by the World Bioenergy Association (WBA).

In the year 2013, global biomass supply increased to 57.7 exajoules (EJ), accounting for 10% of the global energy supply.

In terms of final energy consumption, the bioenergy use increased by 1.23 EJ – a modest increase of 0.05% over the past year – and the share of bioenergy in final energy was 13.9%.

The share of renewables was steady at 18.3%, with renewables contribution in electricity at 22%, and the slow pace of growth is unsettling, WBA says in the report.

The highest renewable share was in direct heat at 28% while in derived heat the share was only 7%. In the transportation sector, renewables contributed only 2.5% in 2013.

Bioenergy is the third largest renewable electricity generating source, while in the sectors of direct heat, derived heat, and transport sector, bioenergy was the largest renewable energy source.

Global agriculture area has decreased by 0.53% since 2000, and WBA says increasing yields is crucial for both food and fuel production.

Increasing global yields for maize, rice, and wheat has reduced land demand by 570 million ha, and if average yields of these crops in Africa were the same as the global average, the demand for land could be reduced by half.

Agriculture residues have a potential of generating 17 EJ to 128 EJ.

The forestry sector is the largest supplier of biomass, but forestry areas have globally diminished by 1.23% since 2000. The 28 EU countries, on the other hand, have increased their forestry area by 3.62%.

Fuelwood and charcoal contributed 68% and 10% to the total biomass supply, and forest residues have a potential of generating 4.6 EJ to 7.6 EJ.

Waste generated 1.3 EJ of energy in year 2013 predominantly in Europe, but according to WBA there is a significant lack of updated data on global waste generation.

Alternate sectors

In addition to the biomass sectors, in 2013 59 billion m3 of biogas was produced, 45% of the total coming from EU countries.

Pellet production increased to 26.4 million tonnes in 2014, while charcoal is listed as an often underestimated sector with 52 million tonnes of global production in 2014 – twice as much as pellets.

8.1 million jobs were generated by the renewable energy industry, with the bioenergy sector employing 3.7 million or 45.7% of the total.

Bioenergy ‘major contributor’

The bioenergy sector is growing at a steady pace, with particularly rapid growth in the pellet and biofuel industries sector.

Charcoal production is marked as “highly underestimated” and WBA calls for it be produced more sustainably in the supply chain.

According to the report, sustainable forestry practices in countries like Sweden and Finland should be considered for replication in other parts of the world, as there is great potential in using agricultural and forestry residues for energy generation.

There is still a significant lack of updated and reliable data for bioenergy, but the sector is projected to continue to be a major contributor to the global energy mix and part of the solution for a future sustainable society.

Original Web Post: Can be found here.

Source: I&PE Real Estate. January/February 2016 (Magazine). Author: Christopher O'Dea

Institutional investors are heading for the trees as they desperately seek alternative sources of income. The forestry and timberland markets are ripe for picking, writes Christopher O’Dea reports

If money really does not grow on trees, someone forgot to tell the global pension fund community. Around the world, institutional investors’ appetite for timberland is rising, consultants are advising pension funds on how to add more timberland to their portfolios – and how to identify suitable strategies and managers – and the timber industry is adapting to the ESG and stewarding requirements of institutional capital.

The growth in the market reflects underlying demand for wood and forest products around the world, in particular from China, where consumption of a wide range of timber and products continued to increase despite the country’s economic slowdown. Industry participants say there was perhaps $1bn (€0.9bn) of institutional capital allocated to timber about a decade ago. While the next few years are likely to see smaller investment managers offering a wider range of timber and forest-product strategies, timber remains a fairly concentrated market where scale matters.

The top 30 timber investment management organisations (TIMOs) have approximately $57bn of assets under management between them, not including real estate investment trusts (REITs), according to RISI, a forestland research and consulting firm based in Boston. The five largest companies account for more than 54% of that total, and the 10 largest TIMOs account for roughly 76% of total assets.

Most timberland investment is focused on a handful of developed markets, with between 80% and 90% of capital targeting the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to the 2015-2019 Timberland Investment Outlook from New Forest, a Sydney-based forest investment firm. But investors are increasingly looking at emerging and semi-mature forestland in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe, says New Forest.

In the UK, for example, timber investing had a banner year, with a record £151m (€199m) of productive forests trading last year as the sector “becomes an increasingly mainstream investment”, according to the annual UK Forest Market Report from woodland manager Tilhill Forestry and forest surveyor John Clegg & Co. Timber production in the UK also set a record, as forest operators took advantage of the highest prices for standing timber since 1998. High timber prices have contributed to the continued increase in average timberland property prices as well, the report says, which has helped the average annual return from UK forestry reach 18.8% over the past decade, according to the IPD UK Annual Forestry index.

The NCREIF Timberland Fund & Separate Account index posted a 0.4% gross return in the quarter ended 30 September 2015, for a gross return of 9.29% in the prior year and 9.76% over the prior three years. The index, which tracks 102 accounts totalling $17.5bn in assets run by 10 managers, currently illustrates the performance of the US market – NCREIF requires funds and accounts to have at least 95% of assets invested in US timber, timberland, timber leases, deeds and cutting rights. NCREIF plans new indices for other regions.

Those returns highlight the attraction of commercial forests for investors with long-term commitments, such as pension funds. With interest rates at or near historic lows, the asset class offers a total return made up of land ownership and potential value gains, and real income growth from crop harvests that feed timber processing industries’ demands for raw material in the form of raw timber and intermediate forest products such as wood chips.

Follow the link to the original web post below to read more.

Original Web Post: Can be found here.

Source: Horticulture Week. 7 January 2016. Author: Gavin McEwan

Out-of-print Forestry Commission technical publications are being made available again in a new, freely accessible on-line archive.

Since its establishment almost 100 years ago, the Forestry Commission has produced a large number of publications on a wide range of forestry-related subjects, creating a substantial library over the decades.

Although many of the key texts have been revised over the years, with contemporary editions available in print and/or on line, most of the older titles are now out of print.

The commission's head of corporate and forestry support Roger Coppock said: "Much of this older material is still valuable and in demand by students, researchers and professionals across the forestry and related sectors both home and abroad, but apart from a few hard copies in libraries, it is inaccessible.

"So to meet this demand for access to our out-of-print publications in a cost-effective way, we have converted all our technical publications to digital formats, and filed them in an on-line archive available to all."

About 400 titles have been digitised, and will be uploaded in batches over the coming year. The first 11 titles uploaded are Handbooks from the 1980s and 1990s, and these will be followed by Technical Papers, Journals of the Forestry Commission, Bulletins, Booklets, Field Books and Annual Reports.

The archived publications can be accessed free of charge at www.forestry.gov.uk/publications, by selecting "Archive" from the Category menu.

Original Web Post: Can be found here.

Source: I&PE Real Estate. 24 November 2015

Investment in UK forestry is at a record high, according to a joint report by Tilhill Forestry and John Clegg & Co.

The UK Forest Market Report found that £151.15m ($160.8m) worth of productive forests were traded in 2014.

A total of 98 properties – or 18,435 hectares – were sold last year.

This year, UK timber production is up to 11.4m tonnes, driven by standing timber prices, now at their highest since 1998.

George McRobbie, managing director at Tilhill Forestry, said UK forestry had “some of the highest environmental standards in the world”, with the country being the third-largest timber-product importer worldwide, presenting a “tremendous opportunity” for home-grown timber.

“The strong market in the UK is encouraging woodland creation, especially on marginal farmland,” he said.

Recorded prices are higher in England, ranging from £10,800 to £12,800 per hectare, compared with an average of £8,497 in Scotland.

In Wales, prices have increased by 23% to an average of £9,162 this year, compared with £7,077 in 2014.

The UK timber-processing industry employs 40,000 people, according to the Office of National Statistics.

However, the UK is still one of the world’s largest timber importers, importing almost 80% of its total timber needs.

Original Web Post: Can be found here.