British Columbia launches Mass Timber Action Plan, allocates C$1.2M for four housing, infrastructure projects; positioning province as a global leader in mass-timber research, engineering innovation, production is a key action in StrongerBC Economic Plan

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VICTORIA, British Columbia , April 8, 2022 (press release) –

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation

The Province is launching the Mass Timber Action Plan and announcing funding for four new mass-timber housing and infrastructure projects as a key step in the StrongerBC Economic Plan.

Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, along with several cabinet ministers, announced the action plan and $1.2 million in funding on Thursday, April 7, 2022, at the University of Victoria, where a 783-bed mass-timber student housing and dining project is set to open in September.

“Mass timber is a triple-word score. It allows us to reduce our carbon footprint from construction, it adds value to our forestry sector, and it provides new opportunities for jobs, growth and innovation in every corner of the province,” said Kahlon. “Positioning B.C. to be a global leader in mass-timber research, engineering innovation and production is a key action in the StrongerBC Economic Plan.”

The Mass Timber Action Plan shows that B.C. could have as many as 10 new mass-timber manufacturers by 2035. In addition, boosting the sector’s skills training through trades programs at post-secondary institutions will help fill an anticipated 4,400 additional job openings in manufacturing, construction and design.

Larger-diameter trees are not needed to make mass timber. Mass timber buildings can be engineered for strength by fastening together layers of smaller-dimension wood with glue, dowels or nails. This process can deliver as much as seven times the economic value when compared to milling logs for lumber. Mass timber can match or exceed the structural performance of concrete and steel while reducing carbon emissions by as much as 45%.

“Building a strong foundation for sustainable forestry will help us accelerate demand for mass-timber product, talent and technology,” said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade. “As chair of the Mass Timber Advisory Council, I am excited for this opportunity to establish B.C. as a leading innovator and supplier of low-carbon goods and services.”

Mass timber is a central part of the StrongerBC Economic Plan that aligns with the Province’s climate goals by supporting clean growth and using renewable resources. For instance, it only took B.C. forests approximately 43 minutes to regenerate the amount of wood to make the mass timber to build Brock Commons Tallwood House at the University of British Columbia – the tallest mass timber building in the world at the time of its construction.

“Growing B.C.’s mass timber sector is key part of our government’s vision for the future of forestry – a future where we get more value from every tree harvested,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “The Mass Timber Action Plan will help us transform the forestry industry and ensure workers and communities continue to benefit from secure, innovative jobs for generations to come.”

The Mass Timber Demonstration Program will include four new projects ranging from multi-family homes to mixed-use commercial and industrial buildings. A full list of projects and funding is available in the attached backgrounder.

The University of Victoria has three mass timber construction projects in development: a new student housing and dining facility; an engineering and computer science expansion; and the National Centre for Indigenous Laws.

“We have invested $575 million into seven different projects that involve mass timber at post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. The diversity of projects showcases the versatility of mass timber and its contribution to learning spaces and new student housing,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “It’s inspiring to see students learning and living in these spaces that truly are setting the example of how to build better for all British Columbians.” 

The StrongerBC Economic Plan moves British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for everyone. This long-term plan builds off B.C.’s strong economic recovery and works to address the long-standing challenges of inequality and climate change by closing the skills gap, building resilient communities and helping businesses and people transition to clean-energy solutions. The plan sets the goals of inclusive growth and clean growth, and puts forward six missions to help keep B.C. on track.

Quotes:

Josh Zakala, fifth-year engineering student, University of Victoria (UVic) –

“I’m excited that the provincial government is introducing this new Mass Timber Action Plan, as it aligns with a lot of the core values that the UVic civil engineering department has taught me. I’m thrilled to start my career as a civil engineer and see projects like this come to life and support sustainability and mitigate climate change. Without question, using mass timber is a positive step forward in engineering and building construction.”

Kevin Hall, president, University of Victoria –

“We are educating the students who bring their passion for a sustainable, low-carbon future to their studies and future careers that will drive innovation in industry. Through the study of new timber structure in the classroom and our use of mass timber in our building projects, UVic is leading by doing – advancing green building design and construction, fostering innovation and technologies to create new jobs and prosperity for the province, and deepening our commitment to climate action and sustainability.”

Learn More:

To read the Mass Timber Action Plan, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/business/construction-industry/bc_masstimber_action_plan_2022.pdf

To learn more about the University of Victoria’s student housing and dining project, visit: https://www.naturallywood.com/project/university-of-victoria-student-housing-and-dining-project/

For more information about B.C.’s mass timber sector, visit: gov.bc.ca/masstimber

For more information about the Mass Timber Demonstration Program, visit: https://www.masstimberbc.ca/

StrongerBC Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan

Two backgrounders follow.

 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 883-2237
     
 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 1
For Immediate Release
2022JERI0015-000519
April 7, 2022    Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Mass Timber Demonstration Program background and 2022 recipients
Established in spring 2021 with an initial investment of $4.2 million, the Mass Timber Demonstration Program is run by Forestry Innovation Investment with the goals of expanding the use of mass timber in B.C., overcoming barriers to the development of mass timber expertise and construction, and solidifying B.C.’s global leadership in advancing mass-timber products, technologies and services.

Successful program applicants in 2022 were:

P. Rock Ltd.: Monad Granville

Funding: $500,000
Location: 1250 Granville St., Vancouver
Height: Nine storeys
Use: Multi-family residential
Project dates: Jan. 2022 to Aug. 2023
Description: First of its kind prefabricated mass-timber highrise, mixed-use housing. Scalable industrialized solution to address climate change and housing affordability.
https://www.naturallywood.com/project/monad-granville-building/  

Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce: The Confluence

Funding: $250,000
Location: 1995 6th Ave., Castlegar
Height: One storey plus expressive roof
Use: Institutional
Project dates: Oct. 2021 to April 2023
Description: Combined tourist information centre, technology incubator, chamber of commerce office and meeting facilities. Will be the only Passive-House-certified institutional building in the B.C. Interior.
https://www.naturallywood.com/project/the-confluence-building/

Forefront Communities Ltd.: MAN 6

Funding: $246,000
Location: 101 West 6th Ave., Vancouver
Height: Three storeys
Use: Mixed-use commercial/industrial
Project dates: Oct. 2021 to Dec. 2022
Description: Hybrid mass-timber/concrete structure featuring cross-laminated timber and glulam with concrete core.
https://www.naturallywood.com/project/man-6-building/ ;

L’Alliance Française de Vancouver: L’Alliance Française

Funding: $195,000
Location: 6161 Cambie St., Vancouver
Height: Four storeys
Use: Institutional
Project dates: June 2021 to Feb. 2023
Description: First of its kind for a four-storey assembly occupancy building. Will feature exposed mass timber equivalent to non-combustible steel or concrete construction.
https://www.naturallywood.com/project/lalliance-francaise-de-vancouver-building/

 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 883-2237
     
 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 2
For Immediate Release
2022JERI0015-000519
April 7, 2022    Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Facts about mass timber in B.C.
B.C. allows for mass timber buildings up to 12 storeys. Twenty-two B.C. communities have adopted this standard.
B.C. leads the country in mass-timber construction, with 285 mass-timber buildings completed or underway as of December 2020.
In 2021, government provided funding for 12 mass-timber demonstration and research projects and established an advisory council to help accelerate the adoption of mass-timber building systems.
In 2020, the Province established the Office of Mass Timber Implementation (OMTI) to build and steward the Mass Timber Action Plan.
OMTI is the first government office in the world dedicated solely to growing the mass-timber sector through a unified policy framework bridging the forestry, manufacturing, construction and trades sectors.
As of mid-2021, B.C. manufacturers had the production capacity to build about one-quarter of the leading types of mass timber in North America.
Since 2020, provincial initiatives such as the Mass Timber Demonstration Program and the CleanBC Building Innovation Fund have provided more than $10 million to support the advancement of 28 mass-timber buildings and related projects.
 
Contact:
 
Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 883-2237
     
 
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect

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