A NEW research hub will use the “green gold” of Scotland’s forests to support the construction of sustainable housing in the UK.
Edinburgh Napier University will invest more than £3
million over the next decade in the facility, which will open in
Researchers will work with industry to accelerate the development
of a range of timber technologies, including highly energy
efficient walls, whole roofs constructed off-site and new coating
techniques aimed at extending the life of timber.
Professor Sean Smith, Director of
Sustainable Construction at Edinburgh Napier, said the £1bn
forestry sector employing more than 16,000 people, and its growing
role in construction, was the "green gold" of the Scottish
He said: "Seventy-five per cent of new housing in Scotland is
timber based and that is expected to grow to more than eighty-five
per cent in the coming years.
"Timber construction across the rest of the UK is also forecast to
increase significantly, and the new research facility will support
the ambitions of Government, local authorities, housing
associations and industry to develop new housing innovations."
The investment builds on the award earlier this year of the
Queen's Anniversary Prizefor the University's internationally
acclaimed work in sustainable construction, timber engineering and
The presentation at Buckingham Palace recognised the global impact
of the University's research into construction innovations and
reducing the carbon footprint, and its influence on industry and
News of the research hub also follows Chancellor Philip Hammond's
commitment to the multi-million pound future City Deal
programme which will see thousands of new homes built in south
east Scotland through publicly-funded construction projects. The
capital's population is forecast to grow by more than 28 per cent
in the next two decades, making it the fifth fastest growing city
in the UK.
Professor Smith said: "The new R & D facility also strongly
aligns with the City of Edinburgh and south east Scotland's future
growth plans for low energy housing delivering low carbon
solutions. This will significantly support future housing designs
and reduce domestic energy bills."
The new research facility, to be based at 7Hills Business Park in
the capital's Sighthill, will also link with the Construction Scotland
Innovation Centre based at the Hamilton International Park in
Professor Smith added: "Our facility will complement, rather than
duplicate, the facilities at Hamilton, thus providing an integrated
R&D platform for industry and researchers.
"We have a strong record of our students being involved with new
industry innovations and the facility will also enhance their
Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh
Napier, said: "This new research facility demonstrates our
commitment to the forestry and construction sectors and will build
on our excellent industry linkages and international research
News Source: http://www.napier.ac.uk/about-us/news/sevenhillshub