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B.C. announces $4.2M for 12 mass timber demonstration and research projects


April 8, 2021
By Ellen Cools

The B.C. government will be investing $4.2 million in 12 mass timber demonstration and research projects.

“As we work to put the pandemic behind us, we will continue making strategic investments that position B.C. to come back stronger on the other side,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan in a press release. “Mass timber is good for forestry-dependent communities, workers and the environment – because it adds value rather than just volume. That’s why growing the sector is key to building a strong and sustainable economic recovery that reaches everyone.”

The funding will help cover the incremental or first-time costs of design development, research, permitting and construction activities.

The demonstration projects will include a variety of building types and approaches to using mass timber, including a firehall, an Indigenous health and culture centre, and low-cost housing. The research projects will focus on mass timber’s fire performance, costs in comparison to steel and concrete, and carbon benefits.

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Meanwhile, the province has also established a new advisory council to further support the adoption of mass timber building systems in B.C. The council consists of experts from urban planning and development, First Nations, the forest products industry, environmental non-profits, academia and local governments.

According to a government press release, it will provide advice to help establish B.C. as a leader in the production and use of mass timber, and create a mass timber action plan.

“B.C. is well-positioned to be the world leader in sustainable design and construction innovations that can transform our economy and positively support our environment and climate footprint,” said Michael Green, architect and mass timber advisory council member. “I believe that mass timber will reshape our skylines with beautiful buildings that respond to the needs of our communities and planet. We are proud of the initiatives of the province and peers as we move new ideas forward together.”