The BC government has launched its Mass Timber Action Plan, dedicated to promoting the adoption of mass timber and engineered wood products in residential, commercial and industrial construction.
Additionally, the province announced funding for four new mass timber housing and infrastructure projects, ranging from multi-family homes to mixed use commercial and industrial buildings. Funding is being provided through the Mass Timber Demonstration Program, delivered by Forestry Innovation Investment, which offers support for incremental or one-time costs associated with the design and construction of buildings that demonstrate new mass timber or mass timber hybrid building systems and construction processes.
Mass timber is made by compressing together multiple layers of lumber with glue, dowels or nails, and does not require the use of large-diametre trees in the manufacturing process. According to the BC government, mass timber can match or exceed the performance of concrete and steel materials while reducing carbon emissions by as much as 45 per cent. It is projected that by 2035, B.C.’s mass timber sector will be worth $403 million, with up to 10 mass-timber manufacturers operating in the province and supporting 4,400 new jobs in manufacturing, construction and design.
Recently, BC adopted provisions under the National Building Code 2020 that allows for the construction of mass timber buildings up to 12 storeys. So far, 22 communities have jumped on board as early adopters of this new standard. BC currently leads North America with the most mass timber buildings per capita. As of December 2020, 285 projects are completed or underway.
The complete Mass Timber Action Plan is available here and you can learn more about the Mass Timber Demonstration Program at masstimberbc.ca.