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The WPA Wood Selection Guide
A guide to selecting suitable wood and wood-based construction products
Exploring fire retardant treated wood, naturally durable wood, preservative treated wood, modified wood, wood-based sheet materials and engineered wood products.
Flame Retardant Treatments for Wood
WPA Flame Retardant Specification Manual
Industrial flame retardant treatment of wood and wood-based panel products
Providing architects, developers, project engineers and building control officers with essential guidance about the flame retardant treatment of wood and wood based panel products.
FR FAQs and Guidance Notes
Q. What's the difference between 'reaction to fire' and 'fire resistance'?
WPA FR 1: Understanding Fire Protection Terms - Reaction to Fire and Fire Resistance
The WPA gets asked many questions about the fire protection of wood used in construction, this being one of the most frequent. These terms do have very different definitions and it's fundamental to know the difference when specifying flame retardants.
Q. What's does 'combustibility' actually mean in terms of building materials?
WPA FR 2: Understanding Fire Protection Terms - Combustibility
Detailing what is meant by the combustibility of wood and the test standards that define the reaction to fire properties of FR treated wood/wood based panels and building materials in general.
Q. How do I specify the Flame Retardant treated wood for its Service Environment ?
WPA FR 3: Understanding Fire Protection Terms - the Service Environment
Before specifying enhancement using a flame retardant, two specification fundamentals must be established: what reaction to fire performance is required and what is the service environment?
Q. How does the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) affect FR treated wood?
WPA FR 4: FR Rated Timber Products and the CPR
Those who manufacture construction products for which a harmonised standard exists have an obligation to draw up a Declaration of Performance (DoP) and apply a CE mark when the product is first placed on the market.
Q. What do current building regs say about timber cladding and fire treatment?
WPA FR 5: External Timber Cladding: Guidance to amended Building Regulations (09.2019)
The outcome of the UK government’s assessment of the use of different cladding materials in the wake of Grenfell confirmed that timber, where necessary enhanced with flame retardant (depending on aspect), remains fit for purpose and compliant with revised Building Regulations.
Q. What do I need to know when specifying flame retardants for timber?
WPA FR 6: FR Specification Checklist
This check-list provides a step by step guide to ensuring that fire retardant treatments for wood-based materials are fit for purpose. Further guidance on the fire protection of wood is available in the WPA FR Specification Manual.
Q. What is a Fire Test Classification Report?
WPA FR 7: Understanding a Fire Test Classification Report to EN13501-1
Evidence of the efficacy of an FR enhancement of timber, following appropriate testing, will be found in a Classification Report. This guidance note explains the elements found in a report and details what a specifier should be looking for.
Q. Who's responsible for the DoP and CE marking of Flame Retardant (FR) treated timbers?
WPA FR 8: Understanding the Flame Retardant Treated Wood Supply Chain
This note examines the different routes to Construction Product Regulation (CPR) compliance and sets out in simple terms the responsibilities of FR teated wood manufacturers, suppliers and distributors.
Q. What are my responsibilities as a distributor of FR treated wood products?
WPA FR 9: Effective Traceability throughout the Flame Retardant Treated Wood Supply Chain
This Guidance Note addresses the more complex situation where distributors/owners of non-FR stock send material to a third-party service company for FR treatment before selling it on to the open market.
Q. How can I be assured of quality flame retardant treatments and products?
WPA FR 10: Assuring Quality through the Flame Retardant Treated Wood Supply Chain
From treatment, through manufacture and distribution - see how WPA's Benchmark quality approval schemes can help.
FR Online Training
Free CPD: Fire Safety and FR-Rated Timber
Working with Wood Campus and London Authority Building Control (LABC), the WPA have produced several on-line training resources. This one in particular can be taken with CPD accreditation - free of charge - ideal for architects, specifiers and Building Control Officers.
Webinar: Enhancing the performance of wood-based products in fire
WPA CEO - Gordon Ewbank presented at the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) on 24 July 2019. View the recorded webinar on YouTube.
Modified Wood FAQs and Guidance Notes
Q. What is Modified Wood?
WPA MW 1: Understanding Modified Wood
Wood modification technologies provide designers, builders and users of wood and wood-based products with another option where enhanced performance, including durability and dimensional stability, is required.
Q. How do I choose a modified wood to meet all the performance requirements for my project?
WPA MW 2: Establishing the Performance of Modified Wood
Although a range of wood properties may be affected by the modification process, the suitability of modified wood for a given end use is based on three main criteria: durability, strength and dimensional stability.
Preservative Treatments for Wood Buyer's Guide
Q. What kind of treated timber should I buy and what's the difference?
The Buyers Guide to Preservative Treated Wood
Preservative treatment provides wood with added durability. However, 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
Preservative Treatments for Wood FAQs and Guidance Notes
Q. How do UK preservative treatment requirements (of BS 8417) relate to the Nordic NTR Scheme?
WPA TW 1: Guidance for Wood Treaters in the NTR Region
Timber treaters in the NTR region do not normally treat spruce for external, uncoated applications. However, this is permitted by BS 8417, the relevant UK standard. This fact sheet provides guidance to NTR treaters on how the treatment of spruce to meet a BS 8417 Use Class 3 specification aligns with current NTR classes and specifications.
Q. How can wood treaters assure effective quality timber treatments?
WPA TW 2: Guidance on Achieving Quality Treated Wood
In 2017 TTF & WPA collaborated on a survey to identify the strategic priorities needed in order to grow demand for preservative treated timber. Analysis of the responses identified three priority areas for action. This note concentrates on the last point: To ensure independent verification of the treatment process.
Q. If and when we leave the EU will this affect the treatment or supply of treated timber?
WPA TW 3: Brexit and the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR)
Every industry sector has its’ own particular concerns about the implications of Brexit and in particular, a ‘no deal’ outcome. The preservative treated wood supply chain is no exception
Q. What impact does treated timber have on our indoor air quality?
WPA TW 4: Preservative Pre-treated wood and Indoor Air Quality
The indoor air environment is a complex subject that needs to consider the nature and source of any chemical, its ability to pass into the indoor air, its effect on humans when in the air, and the ability to remove it from the air by ventilation.
Q. How do you prevent mould growth on treated wood products?
WPA TW 5: Preventing Mould Growth on Treated Wood Products
Mould fungi can grow in the water layer on wet and damp timber surfaces. The growth is often fluffy and may be white, green, black or coloured, depending on the species and presence of spores.
Q. I'm a timber service treater, how do I get WPA Benchmark Approved Treater accreditation?
WPA TW 7: Benchmark Scheme for Preservative Treated Wood - Executive Summary
The WPA offer two compliance routes to Benchmark accreditation. This note summarises assessment criteria and itemises costs - including discounts for Timber Trade Federation (TTF) members.
Q. What do I do with unwanted treated wood / How do I dispose of treated wood waste safely?
Guidance Note 02/09: Dealing with Treated Wood Related Waste Streams
For those involved in the business of industrial wood preservation, this publication is intended to provide information about current waste minimisation options and regulatory responsibilities as a basis for decision-making.
Trackwork who are WPA Members, run a dedicated treated wood disposal service. Energy from their waste plant is audited, monitored and licensed by the Environment Agency and burns hazardous waste wood to generate electricity. This goes on to power their Doncaster site and exports surplus energy to the National Grid.
Quality Guidance Note 2 (QGN2): For use with BS EN ISO 9001:2015
Relating to the controlled preservation of wood and wood-based materials to improve their durability.
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This document can be used as part of a Quality Management System audited by a Certification Body and as part of a quality plan audited under the WPA Benchmark scheme. QGN2 forms the basis of the National Highways Sector Scheme 4 for the preservative treatment of fencing and is referred to directly in Highways England quality scheme documents. QGN2 is an operating document of the WPA. It is a ‘controlled document’ in Sector Scheme 4 and is an essential part of the verification audits required by the scheme and carried out by UKAS accredited Certification Bodies.
Preservative Treatments for Wood Codes of Practice
WPA Code of Practice: Timber Treatment Plants
Safe Design, Installation and Operation
This publication was produced in collaboration with UK Regulatory bodies and is designed to guide those responsible for the design, installation or operation of timber treatment plants.
Free On-Line Courses from Wood Campus
Dip into these free CPD courses for information about a specific topic, or complete the full course. You don’t need to pre-register for access. On successful completion of a course and assessment, you will be asked for your email so Wood Campus can send you a CPD certificate.
Need to get in touch?
If you cannot find the answer to your question within any of the listed publications, please get in touch.
We have knowledgable people based in the UK office as well as numerous technical consultant members we can call upon to assist you.
Go to CONTACT US page or give us a call.