Feds launch program to promote mass timber in construction

October 10, 2017

By: The Working Forest Staff

OTTAWA — A new program from the federal government, Green Construction Through Wood (GCWood), is aimed at encouraging the long-term use of wood in non-traditional construction projects, such as tall buildings, as part of the government’s efforts to position Canada as a leader in the global low-carbon economy. 

The program launch follows the government’s budget announcement of $39.8 million over four years, starting in April 2018, to undertake this initiative.

“By investing in this innovative program, we can help reduce GHG emissions while creating jobs for Canadians and opportunities for Canadian businesses. We are also helping position Canada as a world leader in a low-carbon global economy,” said Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, when announcing the program.

Wood-based materials, over their life cycle, are said to use less energy and emit fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs) and pollutants than traditional, energy-intensive materials. Using them will reduce the overall carbon footprint of most buildings, helping Canada reach its 2030 climate change target and support its long-term commitments under the Paris Agreement.

With this new funding, GCWood will build on the past successes of the Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative (TWBDI), which resulted in the construction of the world’s tallest hybrid wood building at 18 storeys, the Brock Commons Tallwood House at the University of British Columbia. It will also facilitate revisions to the 2020 and 2025 National Building Code of Canada to allow tall wood buildings beyond the current limit of six storeys, up to 12 storeys and even taller, and help develop design and costing tools to assist designers and builders.   

The formal call for Expressions of Interest for the program, which focuses on tall wood building projects (10 storeys and above), is now open and accepting applications, which are due by December 6, 2017.

Photo shows the Brock Commons Tallwood House at UBC.

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