How Scotland can tackle the energy and housing crisis

Confor has had another prominent article in the national media after appearing in the Another Voice slot in Scotland on Sunday.

The opinion piece by Chief Executive Stuart Goodall examined the enormous potential to harness wood to help tackle the urgent demand for new homes across the UK, looking in particular at its flexibility for use in off-site construction of new housing.

It followed a Wood for Good conference in Edinburgh last week - The Innovative Timber House: The New Architecture of Wood which saw architects and designers discuss the wide range of creative options to harness wood for housebuilding.

In the article, Stuart Goodall wrote: "Scotland needs to build 20,000 new homes every year during the lifetime of the freshly elected Holyrood Parliament. Across the UK, annual demand is estimated at an eye-watering 316,000 new homes.

"Put simply, we can’t do it – because the current housebuilding model isn’t working. We need to build more homes very quickly and current construction models just can’t deliver the numbers needed to address continuing and increasing demand. 

"So what’s the answer? Well, let’s start with wood – or Green Gold, as it has been described by one construction expert."

Mr Goodall went on to look at how the spin-offs of using more wood include helping to address fuel poverty and limiting the impacts of climate change. 

He also noted that just one per cent of wood waste ends up in landfill, whereas 50 per cent of all Scotland’s landfill waste is from construction sites - and said that new woodland creation underpinned all the benefits which can be delivered.

Reflecting on the article, Mr Goodall said: "It is really important for us to constantly tell the positive story of forestry and timber to a wider audience. We need to do this by linking our work back to people's lives - the homes they live in, the wood products they use in their everyday lives, the way they spend their leisure time. Confor has worked hard to do this in many different ways - including our video and animation - and this latest article is one of an increasing number telling our positive story, with lots more to come."

Other recent media coverage for Confor has included its work on the EU referendum, with a number of articles in the local media in England and in the farming press.

Read the full Scotland on Sunday article here