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Dan Clarke, Norbord’s National Sales Manager, on helping the housebuilding market through current challenges and beyond

As the UK’s market leading producer of timber panel products, we’re often asked at Norbord Europe, “Where do you sit in the supply chain to the housing construction sector?”  The answer is simple; right at the top!

Norbord has been producing engineered wood panels for over thirty years and is the only manufacturer to produce a zero-added formaldehyde OSB in the UK, SterlingOSB Zero.  We also manufacture our ever popular CaberFloor particleboard and CaberWood MDF.

Our boards are found across all parts of the UK construction industry, particularly within the new build housing sector. Currently this sector takes many forms from traditional to timber frame, modular to volumetric, on-site to off-site, with many other combinations of MMCs.

Regardless of the construction method, we supply all areas of housebuilding in volume with Norbord products, some through direct partnership agreements but, in the main, by our partners within distribution, merchant, timber engineering and manufacturing. We are well recognised that Norbord consistently adds value to all organisations within this chain and, ultimately, with delivery to the end user developer.

The lockdown brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic has required us to look at different ways to support our customers and partners, and help them plan for additional sales as these businesses get back in the swing of things.  We’ve held digital meetings with the housebuilding, timber frame and modular manufacturing sectors, contributed to CPD events on industry webinars and, of course, we maintained good old-fashioned telephone dialogue!

In addition to consistent communication, we have also opened up new additional distribution channels in the timber engineering and merchant sectors and strengthened our long-standing presence with our key partner organisations supplying the new build and wider construction sector.  This has resulted in increased specification of CaberDek, CaberShieldPlus and our range of SterlingOSB Zero boards.   

While we are under no illusion that our customers are facing enormous challenges, there’s one thing that will remain certain; Norbord will be at the forefront of product development, manufacturing capacities and technical education.  We will continue to supply, support and service the UK construction sector for many generations to come.

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