"We want to do our bit to help the forestry sector to grow, so that it could become viable for farmers to grow more trees and create rural jobs."
The progressive social housing provider has specified Welsh timber for its scheme of 24 apartments now under construction in Buckley town centre.
And residents will also benefit from a significant reduction in energy costs, thanks to a further Grŵp Cynefin specification to optimise energy-efficiency.
The Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn AM, visited the site.
Built on the site of the former Buckley Medical Centre, the £2.2m two-storey timber-framed building will comprise 14 two- and ten one-bedroom apartments. Being developed in partnership with Flintshire County Council, one section of its roof will comprise photo-voltaic (PV) panels, helping minimise running costs for the all-electric properties.
The timber is from Sitka spruce tree sourced from forests around a sawmill in Newbridge, near Llandrindod Wells, mid-Wales. The frames are manufactured in Bala and delivered in small batches for assembly on site.
With a current stock of 4,800 properties across North Wales and North Powys, Grŵp Cynefin also now has a total of £25m of new properties in the pipeline – its biggest ever forward-order book.
The Minister for Environment said: “Timber products are important to our economy and our carbon footprint, so I am always pleased to see Welsh timber being used in developments.
“I will shortly be launching our refreshed Woodland Strategy, our 50-year vision for the active and sustainable management of our woodlands in Wales.”
Grŵp Cynefin director of regeneration services, Dylan Roberts, said: "Wales has acres and acres of timber. We want to do our bit to help the forestry sector to grow, so that it could become viable for farmers to grow more trees – and create rural jobs.
“Furthermore, Grŵp Cynefin has always been a supporter of using the local supply chain wherever it develops a new site. Williams Homes Bala won the tender to be the contractor, and we’re pleased that Wrexham Paving is among local sub-contractors.
“Another benefit of timber frame construction using modules manufactured off-site is that, unlike with bricks and mortar, construction does not have to stop when it freezes or when there’s a lot of rain or snow. So it also minimises delays.”
Williams Homes managing director, Owain Williams, said his firm was employing an average of 30 workers on site at any given time. He added: “We’re a family firm that is passionate about low-carbon construction. We like working with Grŵp Cynefin because it is a forward-thinking registered social landlord.”
Grŵp Cynefin is a founding member of Woodknowledge Wales, (WKW), which seeks to increase demand for indigenous timber, thereby boosting rural employment and encouraging forest expansion on marginal farmland.
WKW chief executive Gary Newman said: “A total of 82 per cent of new houses in Scotland are based upon timber frame. In Wales, that figure is 30 per cent.
“We can massively increase construction using Welsh timber, creating rural jobs and also leading to higher energy-performance homes, which in turn supports Wales’ ambition to become a carbon-neutral economy.
“I absolutely love that Grŵp Cynefin is taking this lead in specifying Welsh timber.”
The development, which is close to Buckley town centre shopping precinct and a supermarket, is due for completion in Spring 2019.