The company’s raison d’être is to deliver Europe-wide approaches to education, innovation and demonstration of best practice in the use of wood in architecture, design and construction through applied research collaborations with academia and industry. TDI seeks to identify new and innovative ideas that, through market appraisal, research, development and rigorous testing, have clear potential to be mainstreamed commercially.
Through the provision of structured Continuing Professional Education (CPE) programmes to architects, engineers and other construction professionals on all aspects of timber design and construction, embracing the latest engineered and modified timber technologies as well as more traditional building methods. Timber Design Initiatives Ltd delivers objective and wholly independent knowledge, guidance and publications in on- and offline formats.
Through the development of new engineered timber products and construction systems. Timber Design Initiatives Ltd identifies innovative approaches to the use of timber in sustainable design, production and manufacture and seeks to mainstream these through applied R&D collaborations with timber research centres/specialist university departments and private sector manufacturers throughout Europe.
Through the construction of demonstration projects that utilise the timber products and systems developed within its innovation programme. Timber Design Initiatives Ltd seeks to publicly demonstrate advances in timber design and engineering by enabling the fabrication and testing of full-scale, prototypical structures that can also be shown to add value to the built environment.
Pan-European Continuing Professional Education
The creation of a pan-European Continuing Professional Education programme for architects and engineers is the next major element in Timber Design Initiatives Ltd’s business plan. Now at an advanced stage of development, the extension of its experience in this area to a wider, European-based audience will deliver a genuinely life-long-learning framework in which participants can, at their own pace, expand and update their knowledge of timber design and construction throughout their careers. The objectives are threefold:
to improve individual career advancement possibilities for participants by providing them with demonstrable knowledge and skills in the use of timber in design and construction ;
to upgrade the knowledge base within professional offices, thus providing employers with additional, specialist skills and services to market to clients;
to increase job mobility opportunities throughout the EU.
The Vertical Timber City
Current projections indicate that 80% of the world's population of eight billion will live in urban situations by 2050. This, together with international concerns over rapidly accelerating climate change and the destructive scale and nature of conventional extraction and conversion processes used to transform raw materials into building components demands a paradigm shift in the way we conceive and construct buildings and cities. In responding to these environmental challenges, developments in timber engineering and in engineered timber products have, over the past decade, helped to foster a new generation of tall, solid wood residential structures. It is now possible to explore how the knowledge gained from these individual projects might be extended into the design of clusters of vertical timber buildings that, together, can successfully deliver large-scale, high-density, urban communities. In communication with architects and engineers around the globe, The Vertical Timber City project is the company’s research and development vehicle addressing these issues.
The Physical Infrastructure of Tourism
Tourism is now one of the world’s largest industries, with a rate of growth fast outpacing the abilities of countries and regions to provide the updates to infrastructure necessary to support the vast numbers of arriving visitors looking for new and different travel experiences. Following its successful involvement in ‘The Scottish Scenic Routes’ initiative that has employed young architects and landscape architects to design new facilities along the major road routes throughout the country, Timber Design Initiatives Ltd is now focused on how these pilot projects can be extended to provide new facilities along walking, cycling, sailing and rail routes in remoter parts of the country, with the interconnected aims of improving the country’s physical infrastructure for tourism; delivering sustainable rural employment; providing architecture and construction experience to the country’s wealth of young design talent; and using the projects to demonstrate and test the new timber-based construction products and systems evolved under Timber Design Initiatives Ltd’s innovation programme. The company has, as part of its commitment to international Knowledge Transfer, shared its considerable experience in this area via several European collaborations.