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Timber - a New Policy for Europe


4th GATE Inter-Regional Seminar

Tallinn, Estonia

13th, 14th June 2007

The group at Stora Enso Imavere Sawmill
The group at Stora Enso Imavere Sawmill

The theme for this event was 'Policy' and consisted of a day of field visits followed by a one day conference.

Day 1 - Field Trip - Timber, Industry & Architecture

Participants were taken on a guided tour of the Stora Enso Imavere Sawmill. This is the largest sawmill in Estonia with an annual production of up to 400,000m3

Click here to link to their website at: http://www.storaenso.com

The largest sawmill in Estonia
The largest sawmill in Estonia

The tour continued to the Stora Enso Laminated Beam Factory, a facility which produces 80,000m3 of glue laminated beams for the Japanese market.

Gluelam beam production at Stora Enso
Gluelam beam production at Stora Enso

The group then visited the Triigi Foresters Administration Building. This particular building was created according to the winning solution of an architectural competition that the State Forestries Management Board hosted. This is a high-tech, low environmental impact, modern design which was quick and economical to build - and has given them light, airy energy efficient, office accommodation. The architect was Aivo Schults.

The Triigi Foresters Administration building
The Triigi Foresters Administration building

For more information about Estonia State Forestry click here to link to their website: http://www.rmk.ee/index_eng.php3

The group were then taken to Pedaspea, located on the Northern coast of Estonia, to view an experimental structure designed by first year architectural students for a project initiated by the Estonian Forestry Industries Association and jointly financed by GATE. This innovative design comprised of a rocking see-saw and Forestry Commission Wales staff could see definite possibilities for Visitor Centre playgrounds in Wales.


Click here to link to see more information about this project: Pedaspea Student Workshop

The structure at Pedaspea
The structure at Pedaspea

The rocking see-saw at Pedaspea
The rocking see-saw at Pedaspea

The visit continued to the Estonian Golf and Country Club. This large innovative stucture incorporates many aspects of timber construction including a very large wooden roof crafted from highly weather resistant larch. It has given architects the chance to produce a landmark building using local sustainable materials and is the winner of the Best Facing Award for the 2005 Estonian Timber Architecture Competition.

The Estonian Golf and Country Club
The Estonian Golf and Country Club

After lunch at the golf club the group visited Lepiku Tee, a house by the architectural firm Kosmoses and runner up in the 2005 Timber Architect Competition. This was followed by a housing complex at Esko where the group saw a series of row houses designed by the renowned architect Emil Urbel.

The group then saw the Naba (Belly Button) Preschool. The architects were Vahur Sova and Lauri Saar and was the winner of the 2005 Timber Architecture Competition.

The Naba Preschool
The Naba Preschool

The courtyard at the Naba Preschool
The courtyard at the Naba Preschool


Day 2 - Conference

Morning Presentations

The Conference was held in the Tallinn Opetajate Maja (The Teachers House) in the Town Hall Square in Tallinn Old Town. The Conference was priviliged to welcome Siim-Valmar Kiisler, the Estonian Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs and Communications and Marek Strandberg, Member of the Estonian Parliament, Green Party faction, Economic Affairs Committee in Riigikogu.

Erik Konze and Mike Over welcome the special guests
Erik Konze and Mike Over welcome the special guests

Delegates were welcomed to Estonia by Siim-Valmar Kiisler

<span class='usersmall'>Siim-Valmar Kiisler, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications</span>
Siim-Valmar Kiisler, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications

Mike Over, GATE Project Co-ordinator then gave a presentation explaining the objectives of the project, introductions to each of the partner regions and events that have taken place so far. The winner of the Welsh Student Design Competition, Arwel Owen, was introduced to the delegates.

Further details of Arwel's winning design can be found here:Winner of Welsh Student Design Competition

Click here to view or download Mike Over's presentation
603KB

The Conference in Tallinn
The Conference in Tallinn

Marek Stranberg from Estonia gave an excellent and thought provoking presentation about awareness in Estonia of sustainable issues relating to timber and how they are affected by policy.

Marek Strandberg, Member of Estonia Parliament
Marek Strandberg, Member of Estonia Parliament

Jakob Siewko from Poland gave a presentation on how regional policies in Pomorskie are used to encourage developers to make more use of timber in both new builds and renovations to stimulate affordable housing solutions, particularly for the young people.

Jerg Hilt, from Thuringia in Germany, gave a presentation on how clusters had been set up in their region to facilitate changes in regional policies.

Jerg Hilt from Thuringia
Jerg Hilt from Thuringia

Click here to view or download Jerg Hilt's presentation
551KB

Milan Sernek, from Slovenia, gave a presentation on European Union building regulations and how they are applied within Slovenia.

Click here to view or download Milan Sernek's presentation
484KB

Professor Michael Benfield, from Wales, gave a presentation looking at policy from the builder's perspective. Looking back over the last few years to see how changes to policies have impacted on the sector and then looking forward to see what still needs to be done.

Professor Michael Benfield from Wales
Professor Michael Benfield from Wales

Click here to view or download Professor Michael Benfield's presentation
1,101KB


Afternoon Workshops

After lunch, Dr Vahik Enjily from the Building Research Establishment in the UK, set the scene for the afternoon workshops by giving a presentation on environmental opportunities for builders in the UK.

Conference delegates then broke out to two workshop sessions. This ensured that all delegates were involved and gave everyone the opportunity to have their say.

The theme for these workshops was how incentives, financial and otherwise, could be used to encourage the sector to make more use of sustainable timber in construction. Thus converting incentives into environmental benefits.

The first workshop was taken by Erik Konze from Estonia and looked at whether incentives were more effective if they came from the bottom up, such as grassroots movements, or from the top down, such as actual legislation from federal governments and EU directives.

Erik Konze taking the first workshop
Erik Konze taking the first workshop

Click here to view or download Workshop 1 outputs
24KB

The second workshop was taken by Dr Vahik Enjily and looked at who was best placed to be able to deliver incentives and implement policy, the public sector or the private sector.

Dr Vahik Enjily taking the second workshop
Dr Vahik Enjily taking the second workshop

Click here to view or download Workshop 2 outputs
88KB


Many thanks and congratulations go to our Estonian GATE partners for organising such a successful event.