Making a mark at COP 26

Marketing Executive

In the run up to the COP 26 Climate Change conference in Glasgow, RIAS (The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) have been working on a number of initiatives to raise awareness about the impact of the Climate Emergency on the built environment. One such initiative is the installation of tidal markers, located in coastal areas around Scotland, to indicate potential future sea levels. IAA Highlands and Islands are driving this initiative and contacted Russwood about a collaboration. With sustainability being one of Russwood’s core values we were only too pleased to get involved and play a small part in promoting the effects of climate change.

Tidal Marker Initiative

Karen Anderson, President of the IAA (Inverness Architectural Association) said:

“When the Highlands and Islands Chapter of RIAS first conceived of the Timber COP Markers project we immediately decided to approach Russwood as our key support partner. We knew that they would understand our mission to make the public more aware of the part that construction and buildings play in the climate and resources challenges. Globally we need to build and re-purpose existing buildings more sustainably and timber plays a key part in that mission. Russwood are on the same page and have always supported architects in Scotland. Their products contribute to us delivering high quality architecture and construction. A big thank you to John Russell and his team for making and supplying our COP Markers at short notice and with enthusiasm!”  

John Russell and Les Hutt, Secretary of IAA, with two of the markers
Quality inspection

Choosing the right timbers

We selected our most popular cladding species to create the ‘exclamation’ shaped timber markers, with each having different characteristics that we felt would suit the project. The markers comprised; Scotlarch®, a naturally durable and low-cost timber which is sourced within 100 miles of our Highland sawmill, Thermopine® a very stable and durable, heat-treated Scandinavian Scots Pine, factory coated in our most demanded colour, black, and finally, SILA Select® Siberian Larch, our highest-grade timber which is dense and naturally durable with few knots, ideal for highly exposed areas. All Russwood timber is FSC® or PEFC certified, meaning that it is sourced from well-managed forests.

Keeping it local

To fabricate the markers, Russwood engaged the services of Mackintosh Manufacturing. A QR code on the ‘exclamation’ shaped markers will take visitors to a new website which highlights the potential effects of continued global warming and provides more information on the markers and other initiatives. In order to gain the most reach out of the initiative, each Chapter of RIAS will be responsible for transporting a marker between a variety of events within their designated area. With a view to doing this in the most carbon-neutral way possible, even the Isle of Gigha milkman has been pulled in to piggyback a marker on his morning route!

Fraser Mackintosh constructing the markers
John with the markers

Choose timber to help tackle the Climate Emergency

Timber has an increasingly important part to play in the built environment as the construction industry strives to find sustainable and renewable solutions while still meeting performance needs. The inherently renewable nature of sustainably sourced timber, along with important carbon sequestration properties and low embodied energy make timber a key material in the fight to tackle climate change.

Thanks to IAA for asking us to collaborate on an important initiative. The COP 26 Climate Change Conference is running in Glasgow from 31 October – 12 November 2021.

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