Highlighting the potential for mass timber construction
This week I spoke at an event organised by ULI Ireland, about timber construction in Ireland.
I highlighted the potential for mass timber construction and that I favour central government and local authorities exploring the concept of a wood-first policy.
I have engaged directly with Minister Darragh O’Brien on this, and I believe that there is momentum building within Government to finally unlock the potential for mass timber construction in Ireland.
In recent months, in a Seanad motion, my Green Party colleagues called for an interdepartmental working group to look at the barriers to increasing timber use in construction, and to make recommendations for how those will be overcome.
I was delighted to be in the Chamber to endorse that motion on behalf of Government.
I am pleased to report that an interdepartmental group has been meeting in recent weeks, with officials from my own Department in Agriculture, the Department of Housing and the Department of Enterprise, as well as representatives from Coillte and the University of Galway.
This group will meet again with industry representatives, and I will be engaging with Minister O’Brien over the coming weeks with a view to formalising this working group.
Increased collaboration between Departments, agencies and stakeholders to shape our policies and increase the amount of timber used in construction will be crucial, and as I have said, I will continue to pursue this with my Government colleagues.