November 26 2018 @ 18:20 by Chloe Holmes
The North East will celebrate everything built with wood as the first WoodFest comes to Newcastle in December, with an exciting line-up of events organised by the UK timber industry’s campaign, Wood for Good.
WoodFest Newcastle will bring together architects, engineers, placemakers, planners, developers, contractors, politicians and local businesses specialising in timber to promote the innovative and striking ways that wood can be used in the built environment in the North East.
Christiane Lellig, Wood for Good campaign director, said: “The first in a series of regional WoodFests, this as a fantastic opportunity to bring all those involved with the built environment to explore what industry and politics can achieve together.
“Each event is a chance to learn and share about the use of timber in architecture, particularly around health and wellbeing and offsite construction. It provides a platform to discover what’s happening in the region and to be inspired by timber design.”
The week begins with a behind-the-scenes tour of wood-based materials manufacturer, Egger’s site in Hexham on 10 December. In the evening, Dr Oliver G.F. Jones, architecture professor and expert in human-environment interaction at Northumbria University, will give the keynote speech at a seminar on wellbeing, residential design and healthy homes. Taking place at Ryder Architecture’s home in Cooper’s Studios, Westgate Road, Newcastle, Dr Jones will be joined by a panel of experts including local housing providers and design professionals to explore biophilic design, light, space and air quality among other issues.
Offsite construction steals the show on 12 December with an evening seminar debating whether modern methods of construction are the future for homes in the North East. Hosted by Ryder at Cooper’s Studios, an expert panel will explore Home England’s strategic plan incorporating offsite construction and will ask if it’s the silver bullet to deliver much-needed homes.
A site visit to the unique self-build home, Shawm House, takes place on 11 December. Designed by Newcastle-based MawsonKerr Architects, the timber home won four regional RIBA awards, a national RIBA award and was shortlisted for Grand Designs ‘House of the Year’ in 2017.
Taking place throughout the week is an exhibition at Cooper’s Studios, exploring healthy buildings and driving the design and construction quality agenda through the use of modern methods of construction.
The finale for WoodFest Newcastle is the Superwood Conference on Friday 14 December at Northumbria University, hosted by Confor. Looking at how forestry and timber can drive a low carbon economy, the conversation will explore the opportunities for increasing forestry in the North East and the lessons that can be learned from Scotland.
Speakers include Paul Brennan, MEP for the North East, Adam James from Ryder Architecture, Councillor Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council, Dr Dan Ridley-Ellis from Edinburgh Napier University, Beccy Speight from the Woodland Trust, Neil Sutherland from Makar, Stuart Goodall from Confor, Simon Hart from Egger Forestry and Christiane Lellig from Wood for Good.
WoodFest Newcastle is organised in collaboration with regional partners Constructing Excellence, Egger, Mawson Kerr, RIBA North East, and Ryder Architecture. Events booking via www.woodforgood.com/index/woodfest-newcastle/.