Aviva Embraces Engineered Timber for Sustainability

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by KnowESG,

Aviva plc

KnowESG_Aviva Embraces Engineered Timber for Sustainability
Image courtesy of Aviva

Aviva is emphasising its dedication to sustainability by expanding its willingness to underwrite engineered timber in commercial developments.

What is Engineered timber?

Engineered timber, also known as Mass timber, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), and Glulam, represents a category of wood products that undergo a manufacturing process wherein they are fused and combined to create a composite material, panel, or integrated building system.

This move comes after a successful trial period, during which the largest insurer in the UK collaborated with several developers on eco-friendly building projects.

In the UK, the built environment is responsible for a staggering 40% of carbon emissions. Aviva's collaboration with contractors committed to sustainable construction aims to assist the construction and real estate sectors in shrinking their carbon footprint.

While an increasing number of developers are striving to erect sustainable commercial buildings, insurance companies have not been as swift in accommodating these risks. Aviva is setting an example by committing substantial underwriting capacity to such projects, showcasing how risk management can aid the UK in its transition to a climate-resilient state.

Aviva is among the first UK insurance companies to allocate dedicated underwriting resources for the advancement of more sustainable buildings. By partnering with contractors, brokers, and owners right from the design phase, the insurer ensures the durability and repairability of structures. They achieve this through innovative risk management strategies that shield buildings from water damage and fire hazards.

Integrating risk management into the design process can effectively mitigate these potential perils while promoting competitive and sustainable approaches to insurance pricing.

Adam Winslow, CEO of Aviva's UK & Ireland General Insurance, remarked, "A growing number of developers are seeking sustainable practices, be it through the use of materials like engineered timber or adopting modern construction techniques. Aviva aims to embrace both aspects: broadening our underwriting scope to cover commercial buildings utilising engineered timber and leveraging our risk management expertise to minimise associated vulnerabilities.

"However, we must consider a building's carbon footprint over its entire lifespan. If a building is designed to be replaced after a relatively minor incident within its expected life span, it cannot truly be deemed sustainable. Modern construction methods that emphasise resilience and repairability play a crucial role in assisting developers to harmonise their sustainability goals with the safety of building occupants and the surrounding communities."

Taking Action

In its "Building Future Communities" report, Aviva calls for strengthened planning regulations, heightened collaborative research throughout the building process, and incentives to enhance property resilience for effective recovery. By integrating innovative risk management approaches that surpass current building standards, Aviva envisions structures employing more engineered timber that can be deemed acceptable risks.

Aviva has committed to achieving Net Zero status by 2040 and is dedicated to aiding the UK in becoming the most climate-prepared major economy by 2030.

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Source: Aviva

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