Round-Up Of Structural Timber Association At UKREiiF 2024


The UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKEiiF) recently hosted its annual three-day forum – one of the most significant events in the real estate calendar. Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer of the Structural Timber Association (STA), shares his thoughts on the key conference themes.

Why is UKREiiF important?

For those working within the built environment, this event is a unique chance to connect with key figures in business and government. The attendee list features decision-makers from prominent government departments and every UK city, region and local authority, while the largest UK and international investors, funders, developers and housebuilders are also in attendance – making the conference a major opportunity to network with the people that are shaping the future of development.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the hot topic of conversation throughout the forum was the Timber in Construction Roadmap and the implications this will have on the built environment.


Leadership was one of the overarching themes of the conference and it is clearly needed across all areas, from private business, to local authorities and the Government. Strong leadership is fundamental in setting priorities, establishing culture, and pushing forward change.

Good leaders challenge entrenched beliefs and habits, striving to improve on minimum standards and relentlessly pursuing better practices. The adoption of the Timber in Construction Roadmap is one area where leadership, throughout the supply chain, will be vital.


Another major takeaway was the importance of confidence from local authorities, as they have the power to invigorate pockets of development, or to depress them. When they show the former, this confidence permeates through planning, investment and, ultimately, the building process. It’s a mindset that, once established, can transform entire communities.

When local authorities believe in their projects and capabilities, it encourages investors and developers to share that optimism. This cascading confidence is a boon, not just for developers, but for the people under that authority who will reap the rewards of ambitious developments that enrich places and provide good quality homes.


Finally, a key message was that the only way to get where we need to be is to work together, share knowledge and move away from the historically adversarial nature of the industry.

Whether it’s between developers, local authorities, or community groups – collaboration drives progress. These partnerships rely on trust, shared goals, and a commitment to working together for the long haul. It’s about moving beyond siloed efforts to a more integrated approach, where everyone’s expertise and resources are leveraged for the greater good.

The industry is on a journey of rapid change. That change is being pushed by a perfect storm of crises like carbon, the homes shortfall and the skills gaps. With that in mind, occasions like UKREiiF are becoming increasingly vital for the entire supply chain to come together as an industry and approach the problems facing us as a united front.

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