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The national Wood Awards - the UK’s premier award scheme with over 40 years of supporting excellence in architecture and furniture in the world’s only naturally sustainable material - is now open for entries. The Wood Awards recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood in projects throughout the UK and Northern Ireland, and with permission from the owner, anyone associated with an eligible building or furniture project not entered before and completed in the last two years, can enter.

The main categories for the Wood Awards 2014 are Commercial & Public Access, Private, Small Project, Structural, Repair & Adaptive Reuse, Bespoke Furniture and Production Made Furniture. The Wood Awards top accolade, the Arnold Laver Gold Award, goes to the overall winner of winners. Previous Gold Award winners include the Savill Building by Glenn Howell Architects, David Morley’s Hurlingham Club Outdoor Pool, the Rothschild Foundation by Stephen Marshall Architects, and last year, the Bishop Edward King Chapel by Niall McLaughlin Architects.

As the original and leading competition focused on the material in use, the elite judging panel of independent professional experts and specialists not only judge the entries but also visit the shortlisted projects in person, making the Wood Awards as meaningful and rigorous a competition as possible. More details including criteria, details on each of the categories and the online entry form are available on www.woodawards.com.

David Venables, European director of the American Hardwood Export Council and founding major sponsor said, “The Wood Awards’ role - to inform and inspire - is even more vital now than when the event was first created. Timber is increasing its share within the construction industry and is a major part of the materials pallet for furniture designers, and these are trends which will continue. Our aim is to inspire as many people as we can to consider and use wood in their designs, and we encourage those who already do, to enter!”

The Wood Awards showcase excellence in wood design, architecture and construction, and has ever-growing credibility within the design community. David Hopkins, campaign director for Wood for Good and a Wood Awards major sponsor said, “There is an increasing focus on timber in design and construction as the real environmental benefits of using wood become more apparent; particularly as meaningful comparison with other materials develop through environmental product declarations (EPD) and life cycle assessments (LCA).”

In order to recognise the high calibre of British building and furniture projects which use local and international wood species and products, the Wood Awards will feature all entries received on its social media, including Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. This online exhibition of all entries gives entrants the opportunity to inspire others and receive exposure before the shortlist is even considered.

The Wood Awards is made possible by the major sponsorship of the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the Carpenters’ Company, TRADA and Wood for Good. Other sponsors include American Softwoods, BRE and the Forestry Commission. New from 2014 is the combined sponsorship of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) and the return of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) as a supporter.

Build your reputation in wood and enter the Wood Awards. It is free to enter and the closing deadline is 16th May. www.woodawards.com.