Campaign to promote 'fit for purpose' treated timber
Is your treated timber 'fit for purpose'?
On-going campaign 2020 - 2021
In collaboration with the Timber Trade Federation and the Timber Decking & Cladding Association.
It’s a mistake to assume that all pressure treated wood is the same. Whilst one piece of treated wood may look very much like any other, the level of preservative protection could be very different.
Background to the campaign
Results from ‘mystery shopper’ research sponsored by the WPA, confirmed that understanding amongst many users of preservative treated wood is very poor indeed.
When asked if there was a specific treatment specification for timber in ground contact, over 90% of people surveyed said they didn’t know.
When asked if they understood what ‘Use Class 4’ means, 72% said they didn’t know.
British Standards for wood preservation – BS 8417 and the new WPA Code of Practice: Industrial Wood Preservation, require that the loading and penetration of preservative impregnated into the wood is tailored to the desired end use.
Applications for treated wood are therefore grouped into Use Classes, the three main being:
2, 3(u) and 4.
Messaging to target markets
The challenge is how best to simplify this message whilst not losing technical accuracy.
For the fencing, garden and landscaping sector, the focus is on promoting the use of the term Use Class 4 for treated wood used in contact with or close to the ground, using the medium of the WPA’s Make Sure it’s 4 logo and communications package.
For the broader timber supply chain, the focus also includes differentiating between interior and exterior applications for treated wood – using a bold, colour coded 'Use Class 2, 3 or 4?' message and simplified product descriptions.
Want to get involved? Please use and share any of the campaign assets below, to help educate specifiers, buyers and users of preservative treated wood.
NEW Making the most of wood WEBINAR 2021
This short educational training webinar explains the principles involved with the correct specification and use of preservative treated wood.
Focus on fencing
To further re-inforce the message that properly treated timber can be relied upon when performance in the field is paramount, a series of ads featuring the tag line 'follow the Ground Rules' encompasses the trinity of requirements.
Find a WPA Benchmark Approved Treater
Guidance Notes on Understanding Use Class 2, 3 and 4 preservative treated wood are available for further guidance on what the most critical Use Classes mean in practice.
These include a simple explanation of what national standards require for each application, what species are most suitable, what preservative penetration to expect in different treated commodities and the necessary quality control criteria.
Preservative Treatment Action Plan
Since 2017 The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) and the WPA have been working together to grow demand for preservative treated timber. They identified three priority areas for action, which have since been adopted as TTF policy:
To address the common failure to specify treated wood correctly;
To address the lack of understanding on how to correctly install and use treated wood;
To ensure independent verification of the treatment process.
At the TTF AGM on 17 November 2020, members unanimously voted to implement this Preservative Treatment Action Plan into the TTF Code of Conduct. As a result, Members must adhere to the guidance provided in BS8417 (2014) and the 2021 WPA Code of Practice: Industrial Wood Preservation for the choice, use, and application of wood preservatives.
Take a look around the
FAQs - Manuals - Guidance Notes - Training
All of our resources are free to view and download. Please contact us if you have questions about any aspect of wood protection specification, quality assurance or application good practice.