Eligible local governments throughout B.C. are invited to become early adopters of mass-timber technology for construction of buildings up to 12 storeys, up from the current allowance of six storeys. Forest communities will continue to see more jobs and opportunity from B.C.’s proactive adoption of building code changes that allow the safe construction of taller wood buildings.
“Companies like Structurlam are leading the way with innovative engineered wood products that create jobs in the forest sector and opportunity for people in communities throughout B.C. Changes to the national building code that allow for taller wood buildings take effect next year, but we’re not waiting to get started. Our government is ready to work with communities to build safe, secure and green tall wood buildings that will create jobs, grow B.C.’s value-added sector and realize our low-carbon future.”
– Premier John Horgan, Province of B.C.
Building taller with wood remains achievable with advanced construction technologies and modern mass timber products such as glue-laminated timber, cross-laminated timber and structural composite lumber. Around the world, over 30 tall wood buildings (seven storeys or taller) have been built or are currently underway over the past five years.
“Wood WORKS! BC is proud to support the Government of B.C. as it moves forward and provides early opportunities for municipalities to build taller and faster, using wood. We look forward to assisting those municipalities and project teams requiring information and support to move ahead with this exciting opportunity.”
– Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director, Canadian Wood Council/Wood WORKS! BC
With construction professionals and designers seeking lower carbon building alternatives and renewable materials, there is a growing opportunity to use tall wood buildings as a solution for the built environment, especially communities committed to sustainable development and climate change mitigation.
A performance overview case study of Brock Commons was recently conducted to assess a wide range of factors, including structural elements, building systems, building envelope, durability, moisture protection and fire. By also including a cost analysis, an environmental impact analysis and an assessment of inhabitant comfort, the case study demonstrates that taller wood buildings like Brock Commons can be built economically while also delivering community and environmental benefits.
Four case studies and architectural drawings that provide solutions to common issues in mass-timber building design are now available.
Advancements in construction technology, modernized building codes, and a demand for sustainable design are making wood the right choice for a variety of residential and hotel projects. Wood products from B.C.’s sustainably managed forests are also helping to meet the growing demand for affordable housing; wood is well-suited for economical and timely construction — notably in hard to reach places, including downtown sites and remote locations.
More multi-family developers are discovering that the innovative use of wood and mass-timber construction doesn’t just save money, it can be an advantage that sets you apart in a sea of condos that begin to all look the same. Increasingly, both buyers and renters are placing importance on organic materials, sustainability, and warm, inviting interiors—all areas where wood construction excels.
The Shore is a multi-building residential development located a few blocks from the North Vancouver waterfront. The project includes both five and six-storey wood-frame buildings constructed over a single storey concrete parking garage. On completion of the fourth building in 2017, the complex will include 359 apartment units.
Leadership in structural and architectural wood use by local governments was recognized at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Vancouver.
People spend the vast majority of their life inside buildings. For children and young adults, many of those hours are spent inside educational institutions. Having wood visible in learning spaces has been shown to lower stress and improve concentration and test performance. Along with health and wellness benefits, wood construction is cost effective and often faster than other methods. Learn more about the benefits of building with wood in schools.