Sep 08
Wood awards talk

Wood Awards Talk

Wood: How to Retrofit and Reimagine

Date/TimeFriday 22 September 15:00 – 15:45

Location: The Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, London, SE1 9PH

Register: Please sign up for the Material Matters Fair here.

Amidst a climate crisis, we must take seriously the evidence that the lowest carbon building is often the one that is already there.

Architects, developers, and homeowners are being asked to approach redevelopment – particularly in our dense urban areas – with a new mindset, that prioritises adaptive reuse. The status quo of ‘demolish and rebuild’ is quickly shifting to ‘retrofit and reimagine’: as illustrated by the Greater London Authorities’ decision to deny the demolition of the M&S Building in Oxford Circus.

Our buildings need to live longer and be able to suit a variety of uses across their lifespan. To make this happen, we need to be able to transform and extend our buildings. As a low-carbon, lightweight and easily manufactured material, timber is being increasingly turned to, as homeowners and developers seek to adapt and add to both residential and commercial spaces.

This talk will question how architects, engineers and other built environment professionals can seize upon these opportunities; discuss what good retrofit looks like; and demonstrate why existing building projects are among the most exciting and dynamic in our cities!

Join us and learn why low-carbon timber extensions will be a defining feature of our built environment in years to come.

This talk will take place at the Material Matters Fair (across the courtyard from the Wood Awards 2023 Shortlist Exhibition) during the London Design Festival.


  • Kelly Harrison – director, Whitby Wood
  • Andy Heyne – director, Heyne Tillett Steel
  • Brigitte Clements – founder and managing director, LOKI Architecture and Development

Chair: David Hopkins, CEO of Timber Development UK

A champion of sustainable construction. KELLY HARRISON is among the 2020 Top 50 Women in Engineering: Sustainability. She fosters strong team and client relationships, underpinned by extensive experience of major schemes for the residential, commercial, private, education, heritage and cultural sectors — from large-scale housing, industrial building conversion and engineered timber roof extensions to special structures and retrofitting. A TDUK (formerly TRADA) board member with particular expertise in designing timber and hybrid structures. Notable current timber projects include Anthony Timberlands Center in Arkansas, and The Phoenix, low carbon masterplan in Lewes.

ANDY HEYNE is a director at Heyne Tillett Steel  and a structural engineer with over 25 years of experience delivering award-winning projects. Andy has championed modern methods of construction throughout his career, promoting the use of engineered timber since 2000 and working alongside some of the UK’s leading architects on the delivery of complex and highly sustainable timber buildings. He leads HTS’s Timber Focus Group, which undertakes research and technical investigation into low-carbon timber construction, and contributes to leading industry events.


BRIGITTE CLEMENTS is an architect and developer based in London. After several years working in practice and research institutes in Switzerland, she founded LOKI Architecture and Development with the ambition to work with impact-driven investors to build beautiful buildings with the highest standards of sustainability underpinning the projects. She holds an MSc in Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies from UEL, and an MSc from ETH Zürich. Brigitte’s expertise includes building physics, integrated design and material science. Aside from her professional practice, she is the Strategic Lead of the Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN), and is teaching in the ETS department at the AA this year.

A passionate campaigner for the decarbonisation of construction and the built environment for over 20 years, DAVID HOPKINS speaks on behalf of the £10bn UK Timber industry as head of Timber Development UK. David is a former environment journalist and has worked for the Times, The Guardian, Independent and BBC, as well as editing a number of trade & industry titles focused on utility and environmental markets. His first paid editorial work was writing bad jokes for Roy Hudd’s News Huddlines on Radio 4. Alongside his duties with Timber Development UK, David sits on the Government’s Timber in Construction Working Group, is a director of the Confederation of Timber Industries, and is a former board member of the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA).