By: The Working Forest Staff
VANCOUVER, THE PROVINCE OF BC – Building on the success of the first intake of the Mass Timber Demonstration Program, the B.C. government is investing an additional $2 million to open a second intake.
The funding will support the advancement of mass timber projects that will help drive economic recovery and change the face of construction in the province.
Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, and George Chow, Minister of State for Trade, visited the new head office of the structural engineering firm, Fast + Epp. The hybrid mass timber building located near downtown Vancouver is among the first office buildings in the city to use mass timber as a structural material.
The Fast + Epp building demonstrates the type of mass timber innovation that the Mass Timber Demonstration Program is designed to advance in B.C. The results are buildings that will position the province as a global leader in sustainable design and construction innovation.
“Innovation is key to helping the province move forward with a strong economic recovery that will benefit people, communities, and businesses throughout B.C.,” Kahlon said. “Mass timber is our triple-word score. By investing in mass timber through the demonstration program, we are advancing the construction of climate-smart buildings that are built with a renewable and sustainable product. This work gets us one step closer to building a more inclusive, resilient, and innovative B.C. economy that works for everyone.”
Mass timber uses state-of-the-art technology to glue, nail, or dowel lumber together in layers. The results are large structural panels, posts, and beams that are engineered to be exceptionally strong and versatile.
The $2-million investment will support eligible applicants with incremental or one-time costs associated with design development, permitting, and construction activities in mass timber building construction. Individual projects can receive up to $500,000.
The second intake follows a successful first intake that contributed $4.2 million to support eight mass timber demonstration projects and four research projects in B.C.
Mass timber construction plays an important role to help advance CleanBC climate goals by encouraging the construction of buildings with a lighter carbon footprint that lasts throughout the life of the building.
“This investment will further advance the mass timber sector in B.C., while fostering leadership in sustainable management of the environment,” Chow said. “The Mass Timber Demonstration Program will help position B.C. as a worldwide hub and leader in the field, with the knowledge and talent to drive the sector forward in B.C. and around the world.”
As part of the program, successful developers will share lessons learned and results to help support future mass timber projects in the province.
“B.C. is well-positioned to be a world leader in design and construction innovations that can elevate our economy and positively support our environment,” said Paul Fast, founder of Fast + Epp and a member of the Mass Timber Advisory Council. “By funding projects like these, the government is helping advance mass timber construction and adding value to our provincially harvested forest products.”
The Mass Timber Advisory Council supports the work of the Mass Timber Demonstration Program. The advisory council is a group of experts from urban planning and development, First Nations, forest products industry, environmental non-profits, academia and local governments. The council provides advice and guidance toward establishing B.C. as a leader in the production and use of mass timber, as well as the creation of a B.C. mass timber action plan.
The Mass Timber Demonstration Program is delivered by Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) on behalf of the Province. Expressions of interest will be accepted between July 16, 2021, and Oct. 8, 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by December 2021.
Supporting mass timber construction brings the province closer to its goal to build a more sustainable, inclusive and innovative economy for people, businesses, and communities throughout B.C.
“B.C. continues to demonstrate its leadership in Canada and around the world using wood as a building material of choice. Mass timber is being used as a key structural component in increasingly taller and larger wood structures because we have taken steps to advance the use of locally sourced B.C. wood to support our economy and local communities,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“Our government is working together with the forestry sector, municipalities and experts to increase the use of mass timber to support new opportunities in the clean economy. By building with mass timber, we are reducing the carbon footprint of our built environment and creating good jobs for people in communities across our province,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
- Over $6 million has been allocated for the Mass Timber Demonstration Program.
- For the first intake, $3 million came from StrongerBC funding and $1.2 million was provided by FII. This investment is supporting eight demonstration projects and four research projects.
- An additional $2 million has been provided by the Province in 2021-22 to support a second intake.
- The Province has committed that government-funded buildings will be constructed with mass timber to the greatest extent possible. The Royal B.C. Museum’s new collections and research facility in Colwood and the new BCIT and Okanagan College student housing will use mass timber construction.
- Wood products like mass timber have a lighter carbon footprint than other commonly used building materials such as steel and concrete. More than 370 buildings in B.C. feature mass timber.