Rise of timber driven by carbon reduction and improving building performance 


High performance timber windows and doors manufacturer, NorDan UK Ltd, has announced a record 34 percent increase in turnover for a single year for 2022.

NorDan’s turnover has increased year-on-year since 2016 and has grown more than 85 percent in the last five years.

Sustained growth across private and public customers is further evidence of changing priorities in the construction industry, with an increasing focus now on the whole life carbon reduction of buildings and the lengthening the lifespan of products and materials.

Originally conceived to withstand the harsh rigours of a Nordic maritime winter, NorDan’s timber and aluminum-clad timber windows and doors have been known as a niche product, offering some of the industry’s highest standards in thermal performance and durability.

But with architects and specifiers now seeking materials that meet the changing demands of developers and housebuilders, NorDan’s products are now becoming a mainstream in UK building.

This is being heavily influenced by the Future Homes Standard (set to come into force in 2025), with numerous big social landlords and local authorities already specifying and building to that standard – including the likes of NorDan customers Reading Council and Clarion Housing Group.

The sale of timber products has also been driven by an increasing need to reduce whole life carbon of buildings, including the embodied carbon emissions generated from the manufacture, transport, installation, and eventual disposal of building materials.

NorDan is one of the few construction suppliers that has Environmental Product Declarations (or EPDs) on virtually its entire product range, proving third-party validated audits of all the carbon in its products.



Alex Brown, NorDan UK Managing Director said: “Last year’s record growth is obviously very pleasing, but 100% consistent with the wider direction of travel in construction and the built environment.

“People have long known that NorDan’s timber products are carbon negative and offer a 60-year lifespan but have maybe in the past needed a reason to specify what were perceived premium windows or doors.

“What we now see is low carbon, durability, and high-thermal performance becoming the new mainstream, and this is taking NorDan’s and other quality timber products with it.

“Architects and developers are now seeking incremental gains across buildings to meet raising industry standards, as well as the expectations of the public, and NorDan can give them the low-carbon, high-performance guarantees sought.

Alex concludes: “Looking ahead, NorDan UK’s priority is to continue developing its people and infrastructure to maintain anticipated accelerated growth over the coming years.”


Mat Clarke, Contracts Manager at contractor Henry Boot Construction comments:


“Sustainability, and reducing the whole life carbon impact of building, has become an increasing priority for Henry Boot Construction in recent years, and we now routinely seek out sustainable suppliers and partners.

“As a result, we are increasing the amount of timber we use in our construction projects, and this has made NorDan a natural choice, as it places sustainability at the heart of its operations and products.

Mat continues: “A recent example of this can be found at our marquee development at The Cocoa Works in York, where NorDan’s products have the specification to achieve a high environmental and energy performance.”


Ayo Allu, Director of Design, Technical & Innovation at NorDan customer Clarion Housing Group comments:


“Material costs and the impact of embodied carbon calculations on business performance is increasingly driving the way Clarion is constructing its buildings, as is our familiarity with the timber products on the market, and the vast increase in testing data compared to previous years.

“Embodied carbon is already a development consideration within major cities, and the GLA how has an embodied carbon tool which has to be completed for each new development – with other cities set to follow suit.”

Ayo concludes: “As a development business, we’re now benchmarking our embodied carbon for development and construction activities for the second year running, so we can set reduction targets for ourselves and our supply chain.”







Both Henry Boot Construction and Clarion Housing Group are working with NorDan on the iconic Cocoa Works refurbishment project in York.



NorDan UK is the British arm of the Norwegian founded NorDan Group, a multinational business that operates in seven European countries, employing 2,200 people across 12 factories and 35 sales offices. 


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For more information on the Cocoa Works, York, PLEASE CLICK HERE














By Derek P. Clark, co-owner and founder of LOSCYO GmbH, Bielefeld, Germany

An innovative solution for offsite construction puts the building units onto rail-based platforms. The system requires minimal power. The rails are installed flush with the floor and create no barriers on the shopfloor. This enables efficient factory-line production with determined cycle times.

Modular or 3D volumetric construction has triggered a surge in innovation in the construction industry. Improving on conventional prefabrication, which is mostly limited to standardised wall and floor panels, modular construction raises the ratio of works that can be completed in factories to 70% to 90%, depending on the design and the degree of sophistication and individualisation. This makes it an efficient alternative to conventional construction methods, and particularly expedient in light of coinciding deficits in affordable housing, building materials and skilled workers. According to official numbers, 300,000 additional housing units per year will be needed by the mid-2020s. Modular construction provides a reliable way to reduce planning and building time, effort and costs. In addition to individual homes, it is also an attractive solution for housing associations, cooperatives, and municipal developers, allowing them to provide new, high-quality housing in larger quantities within a reasonable timeframe. There are already several big players that specialise exclusively in modular building, covering various sizes from single detached homes to entire blocks of flats, as well as larger buildings for the commercial or public sector such as schools, kindergartens and office blocks.

One-piece flow production of modular homes

As most works are shifted from construction sites to a factory, logistics become of uttermost importance to productivity and efficiency. Following the example of automotive production lines, the spatial separation of individual crafts and construction steps along a production line is most efficient. Thereby, the manufacturing cycle can be clearly structured to run smoothly without collisions and with reliable, transparent material logistics ensuring that the tools and resources for each craft are always on hand when needed. The high proportion of standardised, pre-produced components reduces the need for skilled workers. While the construction of a conventional prefabricated house with onsite assembly of wall and floor panels takes several months, modular homes are completed in a matter of days in such production lines, with transport to the destination and erection also taking only a few days. Moving entire building modules through a factory requires suitable means of transport. The LOXrail system from German manufacturer LOSYCO, originally developed for the manufacturing industries, provides a robust and highly efficient intra-logistics solution for offsite construction. LOXrail tracks and networks can be adapted to individual plant layouts and ergonomically integrated with existing handling solutions such as overhead cranes, lifting platforms, conveyors, automated manipulators or robots.

Platforms for manual transport or featuring auxiliary drives are designed to individual requirements


Low-power ergonomic transport solution

The intra-logistics specialists at LOSYCO have already realised rail-based production lines for modular construction companies in Europe, the UK, the US and Dubai. The low-height transport platforms provide full access from all sides. Workers can step onto them and complete all necessary jobs as they would on the shopfloor. The tracks are laid flush with the floor and thus pose no obstacle for workers, carts or pallet jacks. The hardened steel wheels and round rails are shaped for minimal rolling friction. Bulky and heavy loads can be transported with minimal power, or even pushed by hand. The transport platforms are designed to the particular requirements of the customer. LOSYCO has implemented LOXrail transport solutions for modular housing units measuring up to 40 m² and weighing more than 20 tons. The rails are available in CF53 precision steel or stainless steel with 25 mm or 40 mm diameters for payloads up to 60 tons. The manufacturer offers various customisation options: single tracks or networks including cross-connections between production lines and different ways to power the transport platforms.

Streamlined production

The LOXrail system is an economic, low-maintenance and resilient transport solution that enables modular construction companies to fully utilise the potential of factory-line production. Offsite construction of 3D volumetric units means that almost all construction stages can be completed much more quickly, under repeatable, weather-independent conditions, reducing costs and saving resources and with continuous quality monitoring. Fully equipped modular homes manufactured in one-piece flow production eliminate the need for lengthy planning and elaborate design and coordination work at the construction site, while ensuring consistently high quality standards throughout all production phases. All jobs are seamlessly integrated in an efficient project schedule as almost the entire construction is carried out on the assembly line. Noise and pollution at the building site are also minimised – improving acceptance in the neighbourhoods. Compared to conventional construction methods, offsite construction is much more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Modular construction of a typical semi-detached house, for example, can save around 20% more energy and 10% more CO2 per m² than required by the Building Regulations Guidance, Part L1A 2016. In addition, the use of modern construction and insulation materials has a positive effect on the building’s lifetime energy balance: heating costs can be reduced to as little as a third compared to existing solid buildings.