Ravi Kahlon, the mass timber lead parliamentary secretary with Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development touring a mass timber facility under construction in North Vancouver. (Adera Development photo)

B.C. government focused on mass timber industry to meet CleanBC goals

Mass timber lauded for sustainability, jobs potential

A move by the province to promote the use of mass timber in new buildings is being lauded by one B.C.-based manufacturer.

Last week, the provincial government appointed a ministry of forests representative to promote the expansion of mass timber use in B.C. buildings. He will work with local governments, the construction industry and mass timber producers to develop the market.

Mass timber is a relatively recent technology originating out of Europe that’s touted as a sustainable building material. The most common is cross-laminated timbers made with layers of wood glued together in alternating sizes, which give it high structural stability.

Structurlam CEO Hardy Wentzel said the government has been committed to mass timber for more than 10 years, so this latest announcement is a natural continuation of that work.

On top of being made from a renewable resource, mass timber buildings can be constructed up to 25 per cent faster than those using steel and concrete, according to Wentzel.

Mass timber supply needs to increase to meet demand for new buildings. There are a few mass timber producers based in B.C., but the rest of the building demand is being filled by European manufacturers.

Transportation across continents severely decreases any carbon emissions savings that come from using wood. To truly be sustainable as the provincial government and others claim, the product should be harvested, manufactured and built in B.C., Wentzel said. Structurlam buys B.C. lumber, but some other manufacturers import wood.

Building codes are the other impediment, Wentzel said.

Federal and provincial codes have been updated to include mass timber products, and 13 municipalities in B.C. have also jumped on board. Wentzel hopes other jurisdictions will update their codes to match.

When existing code doesn’t account for new material, building owners end up paying more, in time and extra filing requirements to prove the materials are safe. Vancouver-based owners and architects have been instrumental in taking on this cost to push mass timber code forward, the most notable being Brock House on the UBC campus.

Premier Horgan talked about economic advancement in a recent announcement, suggesting that expanding mass timber in B.C. will mean more jobs, in manufacturing, construction, and forestry.

RELATED: Cold comfort from U.S. softwood lumber decision, B.C. industry says

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Constructionforestry

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Four people rescued after floating past Penticton’s Skaha Bridge

Elevated water levels prompts safety message from local fire department

Bags of dog feces donated to Princeton charity thrift store

A Princeton Crisis Assistance Centre volunteer was made almost physically ill after… Continue reading

Penticton Regional Hospital issues fitness challenge in support of kidney treatment

Challenge to support Renal Department will continue until Aug. 30

COLUMN: Library branch presents Virtual Film Club

Summerland branch of Okanagan Regional Library to show next film on July 10

AlleyCats desperate to re-home three cats

The non-profit is looking for a forever home for three special cats

RCMP brass addresses concerns over recent actions of police in the Southeast District

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

Finale of seven-week food drive arrives at FreshCo Kelowna

The new grocery store has partnered with the organization for a food drive

‘We need to re-think our systems’: Kelowna mayor on RCMP Southeast Division statement

The RCMP held a news conference on Thursday, July 2 to address concerns in the force

Witness helps Kelowna police track down alleged impaired driver

The driver allegedly hit a pedestrian walking on the side of the road

Driver ticketed and hospitalized after highway crash near Sicamous

The two-vehicle collision took place near Bernie Road on June 26.

Driver walks away after rolling McLaren on Highway 5A

RCMP is looking for witnesses to the crash that happened on Canada Day

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway

President Donald Trump said the jobs report shows the economy is “roaring back”

Ottawa jail inmates argue anti-COVID measures a breach of charter rights

The prisoners allege guards did not wear masks until April 25

Most Read