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Preservation of structural timbers On 19 May, we summarised the background to the correspondence that has appeared in Verulam on this topic. Dr A. F. Bravery, who is Head of Timber Division at BRE, enlarges on the numerous factors affecting the issues covered by our correspondents: In focusing on the specific issue of achieving adequate penetration of liquid wood preservatives into the heartwood of timber species that are inherently variable or inconsistent in their resistance to fluid penetration, and on whether specification and monitoring should be on a results or process basis, your correspondents appear to cast doubts on the confidence in timber in general and preservative-treated timber in particular for structural purposes. This is particularly regrettable at a time when the supreme environmental advantages of wood as a natural, renewable material, which absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, have never been more important. Verulam