Artist’s rendering of The Exchange, a mass timber commercial-industrial-office project in Kelowna to be completed in late 2023. (Faction Projects Inc.)

Artist’s rendering of The Exchange, a mass timber commercial-industrial-office project in Kelowna to be completed in late 2023. (Faction Projects Inc.)

B.C. funds 12 mass-timber research and development projects

Saanich fire station, Kelowna commercial building included

The B.C. government is putting $4.2 million into a dozen mass timber research and demonstration projects to advance the technology and its use with steel and concrete for hybrid buildings.

Projects include a new fire station in Saanich, which gets $500,000 to help create a “post-disaster” building to function after an earthquake or other emergency, and $137,000 toward a four-storey mixed-use commercial and industrial building in Kelowna to demonstrate the feasibility of using local trades for advanced wood construction technology.

Other projects funded include a 21-storey rental building in Vancouver using mass timber along with steel and concrete, a six-storey headquarters for the First Nations Health Authority in North Vancouver, and a 10-storey office building in Vancouver’s False Creek Flats with a honeycomb exterior to demonstrate its perimeter-braced seismic system.

“Mass timber is good for forestry-dependent communities, workers and the environment because it adds value rather than just volume,” Premier John Horgan said when the project was announced April 7. “That’s why growing the sector is key to building a strong and sustainable economic recovery that reaches everyone.”

The federal and provincial governments have been promoting mass timber construction in Asia for many years, promoting its earthquake resistance, low carbon footprint compared to concrete and the ability to pre-fabricate components and assemble them rapidly on site. A key focus is fire resistance, and one of the research projects is mass timber demonstration fire tests. B.C. is contributing $300,000 to the project with Natural Resources Canada and other provincial governments, through the Canada Wood Council.

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon said using the technology for an emergency building is a step forward for a construction technique that in its early days was not supported by firefighters. Other research is to show cost advantages and deal with building codes.

“If you look at the four research projects that we’re funding, obviously the fire safety piece is one where we want to continue to educate the public that this is actually safe,” Kahlon said.

The demonstration projects are selected to advance the glue-laminated and cross-laminated technology that was first developed by Structurlam in the Okanagan, and has spread around the world. The 21-storey tower in Vancouver, being developed by international high-rise developer Westbank, “puts us right back as a leader in the world again” for tall wood construction, Kahlon said.

The mass timber demonstration program is run by Forest Innovation Investment, an industry-government partnership to develop forest industry technology. It is based at the University of B.C., where the 18-storey Brock Commons student residence was one of the pioneers of tall wood construction.

RELATED: B.C. trade ‘micro-credentials’ include mass timber training

RELATED: Structurlam, Okanagan resort win awards for wood design


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

The City of Penticton is beginning work to install gates at the 200 Block breezeway on Main Street. (Dustin Godfrey/Western News file)
Penticton breezeway closed while city installs ‘decorative’ gates

The gates, estimated to cost $20k, are being installed to prevent ‘unwanted activity’

Louise with another load of bottles for ALERT. This super volunteer helps ALERT in so many ways. (Submitted)
Meet Penticton super volunteer Louise Hivon

Louise spearheads ALERT’s recycling fundraising, collecting bottles from anyone, everywhere

Oliver
A couple more South Okanagan schools with COVID-19 exposures

Penticton Christian School adds more exposure days, Oliver Elementary new on the list

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused, Horgan says

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
‘Do not occupy’ order lifted, residents of West Kelowna apartment allowed to return home

The building was evacuated early Sunday morning due to a strange smell

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

Vernon Search and Rescue’s helicopter team was asked to be on standby to rescue a missing hiker in Naramata. (Air Rescue One/VSAR photo)
Lost hiker rescued in Okanagan Mountain Park

COSAR, PENSAR, and VSAR worked together to rescue a hiker in Okanagan Mountain Park

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Increased COVID-19 activity brings vaccine clinic to Enderby

Registration opens Tuesday, April 20 for May clinic for anyone over the age of 18

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

courts
Penticton man guilty of assaulting young boys

Bryan Lamb was found guilty of two counts of assault

Abandoned Rail Brewing Company, located at 1220 Davenport Ave. on the KVR trail, has applied to the City of Penticton for a manufacturing facility and lounge endorsement. The city will review the application in their April 20, 2021 council meeting. (City of Penticton photo)
A new brewery could be coming to the KVR trail in the South Okanagan

The patio would seat up to 113 just 10 feet from the trail

Most Read