London Met lecturer's Mixed-Deciduous Beam project highlights the untapped potential of hardwood for the UK construction sector.
Date: 6 September 2023
A research project created by London Met associate teaching professor George Fereday, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Wood Award.
George’s project, Mixed-Deciduous Beam, was developed in collaboration with the V&A museum and the Sylva Foundation’s Field Notes Summer School and aims to transform the UK construction industry by maximising the use of locally grown hardwoods.
The annual Wood Awards recognises excellence in architecture and product design using wood. From over two hundred projects entered, the shortlist celebrates the diversity and creativity of buildings and furniture made using the world’s foremost sustainable and renewable material – wood.
Harnessing a missed opportunity
Despite broadleaf trees making up half of all trees in the UK, a staggering 85% of harvested hardwood is currently used as firewood or biomass. This not only releases decades of sequestered carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere but also highlights a missed opportunity in the construction sector.
By harnessing the natural form and strength of hardwood, the Mixed-Deciduous Beam addresses a significant gap in the UK construction sector, which has historically overlooked the potential of locally sourced hardwoods.
Reacting to his nomination, George commented, "I'm honoured to be shortlisted for a Wood Award. This beam is more than just a structural element; it's a call to action for the industry. We have a rich resource in our hardwoods, and it's high time we utilise them in a way that benefits both our environment and our local economy."
The Wood Awards shortlist will be on display from 20 to 23 September at Gallery@Oxo in partnership with the Material Matters Exhibition during the London Design Festival. The winners of the Wood Awards will be announced on 22 November during an Evening Ceremony at Carpenter’s Hall.