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)

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

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Most Read