I have often wondered where all the ‘stuff’ (concrete, steel, timber, etc.) comes from that I have specified over the years. In today’s market-driven economy one just assumes that it will be there and that supply is plentiful. I am on the trail of the steel and concrete (it will take a while but watch these pages for the results) but for timber a history of de-forestation has meant that the industry has a robust chain of custody … Should this be applied to other materials and products?

Have we got enough materials? Well, again the timber industry is leading the way here with reporting. According to the State of the World’s Forest 2011 the EU27 forests are expanding year on year. In fact the UK could quadruple it’s use of timber in construction and make only a small dent in this surplus.