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

Just Posted

19 times on 19th birthday: Aldergrove teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kayden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday, by 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times

Lawnmower catches fire at Langley elementary school

Township firefighters responded, no injuries were reported

LANGLEY’S GREEN THUMB: Tiny hybrids can add stunning colour to the garden

Dwarf lily varieties offer same great features of full-sized plants, including strong stocks

Early morning walks resume at Willowbrook shopping centre

Other Langley indoor walking facilities remain closed

Blueberries ripen as u-pick starts in Langley

The official Blueberry Day is to be held – online – on July 15

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Cold and wet weather has corn farmers waiting across the Fraser Valley

Usually the crop is ready July 5-12 but it’s still a few more days from perfection, says local farmer

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Most Read