Phantom and Morton Stud

Newmarket, Suffolk


Pinewood Structures has a long-standing relationship with Persimmon Homes and in the Anglia region has been supplying the house builder for around two years. Pinewood Structures has supplied the timber frames for 32 homes in Saddlers Way, North Walsham, a site constructed for Pedders Way Housing Association and is currently working on the first three phases of a development providing over 300 homes at Phantom and Morton Stud in Newmarket, Suffolk. The project ranges from one bed-room apartments to bungalows and four bedroom homes for social housing provider Kings’ Forest Housing, part of Flagship Housing Group. It was on this particular project that Persimmon queried Pinewood Structures’ credentials and put them to the test.

Geoff Arnold Pinewood’s chief executive said: "I’m sure all our customers are mindful of their environmental responsibilities within their supply chains, but only recently has a customer actually questioned our Chain of Custody certification and it was their probing which has helped us find out more about what it means to be the supplier of responsibly sourced materials. Persimmon has embraced the procedures fully which require us to supply certification to support the sourcing of our raw materials. Chain of Custody is not widely held in the timber frame industry, and we are the first timber frame manufacturer to achieve a Green Guide rating which further enhances the opportunities available to developers and housing associations to comply with the Code for Sustainable Homes (formerly the EcoHomes system). The Code is the national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes and is a key driver towards the zero carbon house.

“We work closely with our suppliers who ensure that any timber goods supplied conform to the requirements of the standard. Achieving Chain of Custody accreditation requires detailed analysis of the supply process and the ability to satisfy the certification body, in this case the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) that we have the correct procedures in place to ensure that Chain of Custody is managed and controlled within the strict framework dictated by the Association."

Geoff Arnold continues: "We’ve learned through the standard about the importance of environmental issues in relation to the timber frame industry, and we have ensured that all our company’s activities are carried out with the environment in mind."

Pinewood Structures gained its Chain of Custody Certification in May 2006 through TRADA’s certification scheme TRADA Trak which is a recognized Chain of Custody environmental standard within the timber industry. This means the materials Pinewood Structures uses can be tracked through all stages of manufacturing, transportation and distribution. Materials carry the Chain of Custody label as proof that they are sourced from well managed forests and are not mixed with products from uncertified sources at any point in the supply chain.

Bob Shade, Persimmon Anglia’s technical manager is responsible for satisfying his clients’ requirements to build homes that reach Good or Very Good rating under the Ecohomes Assessment process. He said: "We have to be sure that we can prove we’ve used the most sustainable materials possible. The use of timber frame construction is relatively new to us in Anglia region and environmental awareness has now come to the point where if you want to be a supplier you have to be able to provide the paperwork to prove what you claim is true. Each time we receive a delivery on site from Pinewood Structures and any associated paperwork, we can see that everything is clearly labelled to prove its source. This system is very effective and works well. As a contractor, our biggest problem now is getting our other suppliers to give the same reassurance."

The £7 million shared ownership scheme is due to be completed in March 2009 and has received funding from the Housing Corporation and Forest Heath District Council.

Having a Chain of Custody accreditation is fast becoming a prerequisite for supplying products to housing association projects, particularly those involving Government organizations such as English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation.