The facility will focus on working with industry to accelerate the development of a range of timber technologies such as energy efficient walls, whole roofs constructed off-site and wood science.

“The new R&D facility also strongly aligns with the City of Edinburgh and south east Scotland’s future growth plans for low energy housing delivering low carbon solutions. This will significantly support future housing designs and reduce domestic energy bills,” Professor Sean Smith, director of sustainable construction at Edinburgh Napier, said.

Some 75% of new housing in Scotland is timber-based. The sector is expected to grow to over 85% in the coming years.

“Timber construction across the rest of the UK is also forecast to increase significantly, and the new research facility will support the ambitions of government, local authorities, housing associations and industry to develop new housing innovations,” Professor Smith added.

Scotland’s £1bn forestry sector employs more than 16,000 people. Its growing role in construction is considered the “green gold” of the Scottish economy.

Professor Andrea Nolan, principal and vice-chancellor of Edinburgh Napier added: “This new research facility demonstrates our commitment to the forestry and construction sectors and will build on our excellent industry linkages and international research partnerships.”