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Feds invest nearly $1.5M in construction of two mass timber schools in BC


March 16, 2021
By Ellen Cools

The federal government has announced a $1,482,000 investment in B.C.’s Vancouver School Board District No. 39 to construct two mass timber schools, as part of seismic upgrades to improve B.C. schools’ safety.

According to a government press release, the schools, Bayview Elementary School and Sir Mathew Begbie Elementary School, are part of a Vancouver School Board pilot project for future mass timber schools. Using mass timber will help the school buildings have a greater resistance against earthquakes.

The original Bayview Elementary School building was demolished, and the new one will consist of two-storeys of classrooms, teaching areas, a gymnasium and a Neighbourhood Learning Centre. Meanwhile, Sire Mathew Bebie Elementary School will be a new, 34,000-square-foot building. Using mass timber as the primary building material will reduce carbon dioxide output by 1,400 tonnes.

“We congratulate the Vancouver School Board for choosing to build these two schools out of innovative and technologically advanced wood building systems. In addition to achieving aesthetically pleasing and healthy learning environments, the use of wood will reduce carbon impacts, accelerate speed of construction and enhance building performance, which will help achieve sustainability goals as part of a positive paradigm shift in the way we build our schools in the future,” said Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director of Wood WORKS! BC, in a statement.

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