Have a wood Day: developing a Technical Manual and an Educational Guide for Building with Timber. Translating www.lesserknowntimberspecies.com to Spanish.

In Spain the lack of competence in timber use among architects is an important barrier for increase the use of timber in building projects and is well known in the market, of course the economic crash of the 2008 lowered down the use of tropical timber in building projects and often forest management certification is unknown or lack the competence to apply it when is required.

After brainstorming with architects and a few companies leading the supply of timber, tropical timber and complex timber products, and analysis of the main targets and potential prescribers for building or refurbishment projects, it is a common thinking that two main actions are a top priority to drive trading to the timber suppliers:

  1. Market survey among top ten constructors in Spain to evaluate current needs and volumes for timber products (origin, species, and solutions met) for building purposes (façades, structure, windows, ceilings, walls, or decorative uses).
  2. Technical Manual for prescribers (architects and public officers involved in evaluation of tenders or in controlling the building in site) and Educational guide for final customers and other actors. This manual/guide has a communication plan.

The content for the prescribers is not just informative but meets their technical expectations and guidance to read further documents when necessary. A glossary with a directory of collaborators and companies would be added.  The guide is also necessary for other audiences such as promoters/developers/personal shoppers and funders/insurance companies.

There are 9 chapters included:

  1. Use of the timber as a sustainability strategy for building (challenges for building, climate change, carbon emissions and timber carbon footprint, life cycle analysis when timber is used, two different stages for timber: manufacturing and use, impact bench analysis between building with or without timber, and using certified timber in the scope of sustainable certified projects such as LEED or BREEAM).
  2. Use of sustainable timber: getting rid of black legend about deforestation (FM and COC following FSC standards, types of certificates, FSC’s top ten why reasons, CW control wood, searching timber from sustainable sources, verification of sustainable timber, EU TR legislation, and the case of tropical timber and lesser known tropical species *).
  3. Main properties of the timber (summary and guidance to find out further information).
  4. Destroying barriers for using timber (building high with timber, timber maintenance, fire resistance, water resistance, testing prices for timber when is chosen for certain solutions).
  5. Available timber products for building projects
  6. Building timber solutions
  7. Calculation with timber
  8. Summary
  9. Directory

* Regarding Lesser Known Timber Species, FSC Spain will translate into Spanish www.lesserknowntimberspecies.com, the Platform developed by FSC Denmark, and also to include architectural cases found in Spain of use of tropical timber.

The tropical timber will also be covered in other chapters: Chapter 1, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5 and Chapter 6.

A Coms Plan is a must once we deliver the final Manual, so the plans would be organizing 7 workshops in different cities of the country (2 in Madrid, Santiago or La Coruña in Galicia, Bilbao or Vitoria in The Basque Country, Barcelona in Cataluña, Sevilla in Andalucia, and Valencia or Valladolid), and develop a coms plan, which contains publishing news in the main websites, publications, blogs, and press media releases all around the country.


  • Increase marketshare for timber and tropical timber in building/refurbishment projects, increase number of projects with the use of timber and increase number of COC.
  • Increase public tenders including timber from sustainable sources
  • Training public officers who are checking building projects in site or counseling the writing of public tenders.
  • Increase awareness about FM and COC certification
  • Increase awareness about tropical forest and tropical timber use including Lesser Known tropical timber species.

Target group

Constructors, Promoters, developers, funders, insurance companies, public officers and architects.

Update per December 2017:

A survey among architects was the first step to develop a technical manual to promote the use of timber for building purposes. The questions made were focused on three subjects: use for structural matters, tropical timbers and timber from sustainable sources. After the survey we organized a focus group with a representative sample of architects: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJh0I_e-38E&list=PLGv1SPD3DI53eISwgTCcdOvi7nj7epHxM

The focus group helped us to develop the contents of the manual for prescribers. We organized a meeting among all the members of the program to invite them to give us their feedback after showing them the first draft of the manual. We are finishing the layout for the first edition of the Manual which will be finished before the year ends. We are dealing the participation and support from our Ministry for the second edition of the manual by 2018.

Part of the contents about tropical timbers (Chapter 2) has got a link to the LKTS platform developed by FSC Denmark. We are dealing the update and translation into Spanish of that platform: www.lesserknowntimberspecies.com/

The guide for non-technical prescribers was started with a focus group performed by a consumer organization. They chose a representative sample of final users to talk about the use of the timber for building and refurbishing houses. As a result of that, we are choosing the contents and the format for the guide. The layout and first edition of this guide will be accomplished before the year ends.

Communications Plan:

We have been invited by the GBC to be part of a roundtable in the COAM: HQ of the architects in Madrid. We will talk about the program, and the materials.


Gonzalo Anguita
Executive Director

FSC (España)
C/ Alcalá nº 20, 2ª planta. Oficina 202
28014 Madrid – España
Phone: (+34) 91 446 48 81
Fax: (+34) 91 447 55 58
E-Mail: g.anguita@es.fsc.org

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