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Thirteen BC communities sign on as early adopters of tall wood buildings

September 25, 2019  By  Ellen Cools

Thirteen communities in B.C., along with the University of British Columbia, have signed on to become early adopters of mass timber technology for buildings up to 12 storeys.

According to a government press release, the communities, which, in 2018, represented 35 per cent of all housing starts in the province, are:

  • City of North Vancouver
  • Township of Langley
  • Colwood
  • Surrey
  • Abbotsford
  • Campbell River
  • Langford
  • Richmond
  • Kelowna
  • Mission
  • Victoria
  • Saanich

These communities have met the requirements to be  early adopters: they have support from their city council and the planning, building and fire departments, have Level 3-certified building officials, and have land-use bylaws for buildings higher than six storeys.

The provincial government says there will be more opportunities in the future for other communities to become early adopters. These communities will provide feedback on changes before the next major change to the B.C. Building Code.


The provincial government also says that, as part of its Wood First Program, this initiative will help forest-dependent communities by diversifying markets for B.C. forest products.

“The shift to higher-value wood products, such as the solid or engineered wood used in mass timber buildings, is a positive part of how B.C.’s forestry sector is transitioning. I’m attending the WoodRise Conference in Quebec this month where I’ll be promoting the use of British Columbia’s many value-added wood products in building construction,” said B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Doug Donaldson, in the press release.

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