The UKTFA is calling for the report by lobbying body RISCAuthority to be withdrawn

The UK Timber Frame Association has criticised a report calling for a review of UK fire regulations around timber-frame construction, branding it “biased” and “misleading”.

The UK Timber Frame Association (UKTFA) is demanding the report, which was published by insurance industry research and lobbying body RISCAuthority, is withdrawn. RISCAuthority is standing by the report and denies it is biased or misleading.

The controversy follows a number of fires on building sites and insurers’ concerns about the size and number of fire-related claims in timber-framed buildings, compared with other forms of construction.

The research compares the UK - where 1.9% of homes are built using timber-frame - with the US, where the figure is 90%.

It shows timber-frame homes without sprinklers were the third largest cause of fire-related loss in the US and calls for a review of Part B of the Building Regulations which cover fire.

Geoff Arnold, past chairman of the UKTFA, said: “It’s incredible this weightless report can reach the market. The content is misleading and the most biased piece of material I have ever seen on the issue.” He added that in his view RISCAuthority should “hang their heads in shame.”

The UKTFA said the figures for timber-frame market share were based on assumptions and it wasn’t possible to compare markets with extreme differences in timber-frame usage. It also said the report selectively quoted figures and included contents, vehicles and machinery in the figures for US fire losses.

Jim Glockling, technical director of the Fire Protection Association, which administers the RISCAuthority, said it was working with the UKTFA towards a “common goal of ensuring that timber-frame structures may be insured on an equitable basis to conventional building methods”.

He said: “New construction methods may alter the business and property loss potential and need to be fully understood.”