Ireland needs an efficient licensing process to meet the demands of increased forestry activity and fulfill the forecast level of log supply, Ibec's Mark McAuley, director of Forest Industries Ireland, has said.

Ireland’s forests will produce enough timber for 1.4m homes by 2040, according to data in the new National Forest Inventory.

A typical timber frame home contains around seven cubic metres of wood and an average timber frame home built saves about 12t of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the data.

"There is a growing demand for timber in Irish construction as the environmental credentials of wood for building are increasingly recognised.


"Using timber frame as the preferred construction method will save millions of tonnes of carbon emissions," McAuley said.

However, forestry regulation still requires a lot of improvement if it is to meet the demands of increased forestry activity, McAuley argued.

"If we look at the demand for 33,000 homes per annum in the Government’s ‘Housing for All’; 10 years of building those as timber frame would save millions of tonnes of CO² compared to masonry construction.

"We need to update the building regulations and build more apartments as well as houses from timber frame," he said.