We’re recruiting! Project and Campaigns Director for the Timber Accelerator Hub

About the job

An exciting secondment or job opportunity for an experienced Project and Campaigns Director to take strategic responsibility for phase I of the development of the new Timber Accelerator Hub: a collaborative pan-industry project to unlock the potential for mass timber construction in line with the UK’s Paris Agreement targets.

The Project: Developing the Timber Accelerator Hub

We are in a climate crisis, with ten years to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. According to the Committee on Climate Change, one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions is to use timber in place of high carbon materials such as concrete and steel. The UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in November 2021 presents a unique opportunity to advocate for and promote the timber industry on the global stage.

The Timber Accelerator Hub (TAH) is a new cross-sector venture, enabling the timber industry to respond collectively to the barriers against timber buildings, such as a perception of increased fire risk following Grenfell. In principle, the TAH aims to prevent the lowering of the ban on combustible products to 11m and ideally allow mass timber buildings over 18m.

The Project and Campaigns Director for phase I of the TAH will take a leading advocacy role, including managing the project stakeholder group, gathering evidence from pan-industry experts, preparing reports, meeting with senior government officials, disseminating findings and developing a road map for phase II based on lessons learned from the UK and around the world.­­­

The main project partners are the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP: project hosts), the Mass Timber Know How group (MTKH), Structural Timber Association (STA), British Woodworking Federation (BWF), Cambridge Centre for Natural Material Innovation, Wood Knowledge Wales, the Timber and Research Development Association (TRADA), The Timber Trade Federation, Swedish Wood, Wood for Good and the Laudes Foundation (funders). Experts from each partner will support the project, with over 2,000 member organisations and 10,000 contacts.

The Project and Campaigns Director will be supported throughout the project by the ASBP Director (3 days a month), the ASBP Board, the ASBP Communications Team (3 days a month) and the TAH steering group.

Key Aims for Phase I of the TAH

  • Quantify – To highlight the size of the opportunity and the huge growth potential of timber construction.
  • Evidence and educate – The insurance industry has little UK data on mass timber structures and fire, meaning they defer to experience from fires in light timber structures, which behave very differently.
  • Differentiate – A requirement to differentiate good and bad practice and highlight best practice for both design and construction.

Job Description

  • To convene and manage a collaborative pan-industry project stakeholder group.
  • To take a leading advocacy role and make links with MPs, Lords, senior government officials and other key stakeholders, including briefing them on the industry response to Grenfell and the Building Safety Bill.
  • To gather evidence, through a series of interviews with key stakeholders, about the challenges and barriers currently constraining the further uptake of mass timber in buildings, especially those relating to fire/water risks and to highlight areas of best practice in the UK and around the world.
  • To scope out a road map of actions to enable the insurance industry to offer cost effective insurance for timber buildings, with regard to fire and water ingress, through liaison with the MTKH and its specialist sub-groups.
  • To prepare reports about fire and water-based risks associated with mass timber buildings, guidance about good practice management of those risks, and a draft business plan for a competency scheme for risk management in mass timber buildings.
  • To support the MTKH group by organising monthly meetings, providing ad-hoc support and taking minutes.
  • To review and restate what is best practice for light timber frame and what lessons mass timber can learn.
  • To map out key stakeholders, disseminate best practice, engage in awareness raising and other education activities.
  • To develop materials to promote the timber industry at COP26 and network and engage with senior stakeholders at the summit.

Person Description

  • A highly experienced project manager, used to managing multiple stakeholders and complex projects.
  • A high degree of autonomy and decision-making capacity, identifying challenges and opportunities, dealing swiftly with any problems and offering solutions to stakeholders.
  • A proven track record of effective advocacy with experience of working with MPs, senior government officials and senior industry people.
  • The ability to quickly grasp complex technical information and communicate in a clear and accessible way to a variety of different audiences.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills including delivering presentations, writing reports, chairing meetings, networking and more informal 1:1 online conversations.
  • Negotiating and influencing skills and confidence in managing stakeholder relationships, including in coalition.
  • The ability to develop a clear strategy and action plan aligned to the key objectives of the project stakeholder group and MTKH.
  • Adaptable and enthusiastic self-starter with the ability to work remotely and in a self-directed way as part of a larger team.
  • Passionate about sustainability, ideally including timber and its many advantages.

As the initial project is only for seven months, ideally you will already have a working knowledge of and/or experience in one or more of the following:

  • mass timber buildings
  • the insurance industry
  • the construction industry
  • fire safety and buildings

Contract details

  • Fixed-term seven-month contract for Phase I of the project, with possible extension if phase II funding is awarded.
  • Flexible working considered: including job-share and 0.8FTE.
  • £30-45k for the duration of the contract (equivalent annual salary of £50-77k), depending on experience. This includes expenses and is payable monthly in arrears.

Please send your CV with a covering letter to Simon Corbey at simon@asbp.org.uk. Your letter should indicate your passion and excitement for the role and include your availability for interview, possible start date and expected salary.

Applications close on 22nd February 2021.

Interviews will be conducted online w/c 1st March 2021.

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