COST research action on innovative timber and composite elements in construction

April 16, 2002

Brussels, 15 April 2002

Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of a European Concerted Research Action designated as COST Action E29 "Innovative Timber and Composite Elements/Components for Buildings. European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research - COST Secretariat. Brussels, 12 April 2002 (document COST 232/02). Full text

Delegations will find attached hereto the text of the abovementioned Memorandum, signed in Brussels on 5 April 2002 by Romania, on 8 April 2002 by Italy and on 10 April 2002 by Denmark, Finland and the United Kindom.

The Signatories to this Memorandum of Understanding, declaring their common intention to participate in the concerted Action referred to above and described in the Technical Annex to the Memorandum, have reached the following understanding:

1. The Action will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of document COST 400/01 "Rules and Procedures for Implementing COST Actions", the contents of which are fully known to the signatories.

2. The main objective of this Action is to improve manufacturing, design, construction and maintenance of innovative timber as well as composite elements and components for use in the construction of buildings.

3. The economic dimension of the activities carried out under the Action has been estimated, on the basis of information available during the planning of the Action, at Euro 70 million at 2001 prices.

4. The Memorandum of Understanding will take effect on being signed by at least five signatories.

5. The Memorandum of Understanding will remain in force for a period of four years, calculated from the date of the first meeting of the Management Committee, unless the duration of the Action is modified according to the provisions of Chapter 6 of the document referred to in Point 1 above.

TECHNICAL ANNEX: Innovative Timber and Composite Elements/Components for Buildings.


There is increasing commercial interest in requirements for eco-friendly products both in manufacture and construction of elements and components used in buildings. The "green audit" of buildings in particular is the subject of increased scrutiny and has led to recent advances in construction technology and building services. The use of timber and composite elements for components in construction of buildings greatly improves their performance and ensures increasing sustainability in the construction sector. Most commercial buildings currently incorporate very little timber in their construction, due to lack of adequate knowledge, research and development, which are obstacles for improvement in performance and sustainability.

Partly in recognition of their 'green credentials', there is an increasing use of timber and composite elements/components in residential and commercial buildings. These elements and components and their design concepts are being widely accepted as innovative construction techniques by the construction industry.

Although structural timber has a much greater strength to weight ration than both steel and concrete, design philosophies for long-span beams, floors and roofs have not progressed much beyond the traditional beam and slab element designs. There is a definite need for co-ordination of existing information and new research and the performance of these type of composite structural systems is already the topic of much interest throughout Europe. Commercial advantages have been identified particularly for renovation, change of use and new build housing and commercial markets. This Action is to harness and co-ordinate on the potential of timber and composite elements and components. This Action encompasses all the key aspects of innovative timber and composite elements and components with special emphasis on their manufacture....

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