The Nordic Timber Council, representing the sawmillers of Norway, Sweden and Finland, has launched a web site at www.nordictimber.org. Set up more to sell the idea of using wood than as a direct marketing venture, it includes a range of architectural case studies of interesting recent timber- using buildings such as Rogers' Bordeaux Law Courts. Penoyre & Prasad Architects' Millennium Ecological Centre in Dagenham also makes an appearance, though overall the case studies are well spread across western Europe. The illustrations are from the McDonalds Finnish hq by Heikkinen-Komonen Architects.
Keen to promote the Nordic countries as a source of sustainably managed timber - North American marketing has been much stronger here - the council points out that Nordic felling is currently equivalent to 70 per cent of annual growth and that the stock of timber has been increasing since the 1920s. The environment section includes pages on durability, waste use and environmental impacts as well as some detailed data, presenting a life-cycle analysis covering various emissions, and the resources used in timber processing.
The product information includes brief basics on grading, and on thermal, moisture and acoustic properties of timber.
There is also a diy section with, so far, five downloadable leaflets, on subjects such as building pergolas and decking directly onto the ground.
As a website, the speed of image-display is impressive. The quality of images we could see and download for a pc was good, much better than for a Mac (both using Internet Explorer).
This is a site with potential. And as a free trade site, unusually committed to showing good examples of architecture.