Preservative Treated Timber: New Information Campaign

Research in 2017 by the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) and the Wood Protection Association to grow the market for preservative-treated timber revealed supply chain product knowledge as a central factor in selling treated Timber you can Trust. A subsequent survey of Builders Merchants Federation members revealed similar needs for greater information, to ensure the correct type of treated timber is being sold for the builder’s proposed end use. The TTF has now produced an Action Plan, with information dissemination at its heart, to tackle the identified issues.

The Federation has set out a timetable, culminating in its AGM in June 2019, for members to adopt three key proposals:

• That treated wood is unambiguously labelled as fit for the intended purpose;

• That customers throughout the supply chain are provided with adequate information to use treated products safely and effectively;

• That preservative treated wood is being procured or purchased from operators who have been independently-assessed by a reputable accreditation scheme.

Use Classes and Timber Products

The TTF is consulting on the following plain English definitions.

Use Class Product uses

  • 2 = Internal use only
  • 3 = External use above ground only
  • 4 = Timber in contact with the ground

Verification data would be reported through the existing Responsible Purchasing Policy, to which all TTF members must adhere, as part of the annual reporting cycle.

Timber Trade Federation members and wider industry are being consulted in the coming months as to how best to achieve identification, labelling and understanding of timber treatment types and the technical Use Classes which define how such timber can be used. The TTF is developing guidance on compliance
options for its members, with a view to adopting the policy formally in June 2019.

“There is a general misconception that ‘treated timber’ or ‘green treated’ are the only terms which merchants need to know when selling to builders,” says David Hopkins, managing director of the Timber Trade Federation. “In reality the level of timber treatment needs to be specific to the product’s end use. So for example ‘treated carcassing’ may be suitable for Use Class 2, for internal use only. It would not be appropriate or safe to sell material treated to Use Class 2 for uses like decking joists. Any timber that comes into temporary or permanent contact with the ground must be treated to Use Class 4,” TTF’s David Hopkins confirms.

The TTF is encouraging discussion on plain English descriptions of the Use Classes so there can be no doubt at merchant counter level which product is suitable for which use. “Members are already looking at embedding the Use Classes in their product codes,” explains David Hopkins. “If word-based descriptions can be added to documentation there will be less difficulty for anyone across the supply chain in identifying the correct product for their customers.”

Original Article appeared in the TTF Publication Trusted Timber – October edition. To read more like this or to review the many other articles or Trusted Timber editions from the Timber Trade Federation VISIT HERE.