Artist’s rendering of The Exchange, a mass timber commercial-industrial-office project in Kelowna to be completed in late 2023. (Faction Projects Inc.)

Artist’s rendering of The Exchange, a mass timber commercial-industrial-office project in Kelowna to be completed in late 2023. (Faction Projects Inc.)

B.C. funds 12 mass-timber research and development projects

Saanich fire station, Kelowna commercial building included

The B.C. government is putting $4.2 million into a dozen mass timber research and demonstration projects to advance the technology and its use with steel and concrete for hybrid buildings.

Projects include a new fire station in Saanich, which gets $500,000 to help create a “post-disaster” building to function after an earthquake or other emergency, and $137,000 toward a four-storey mixed-use commercial and industrial building in Kelowna to demonstrate the feasibility of using local trades for advanced wood construction technology.

Other projects funded include a 21-storey rental building in Vancouver using mass timber along with steel and concrete, a six-storey headquarters for the First Nations Health Authority in North Vancouver, and a 10-storey office building in Vancouver’s False Creek Flats with a honeycomb exterior to demonstrate its perimeter-braced seismic system.

“Mass timber is good for forestry-dependent communities, workers and the environment because it adds value rather than just volume,” Premier John Horgan said when the project was announced April 7. “That’s why growing the sector is key to building a strong and sustainable economic recovery that reaches everyone.”

The federal and provincial governments have been promoting mass timber construction in Asia for many years, promoting its earthquake resistance, low carbon footprint compared to concrete and the ability to pre-fabricate components and assemble them rapidly on site. A key focus is fire resistance, and one of the research projects is mass timber demonstration fire tests. B.C. is contributing $300,000 to the project with Natural Resources Canada and other provincial governments, through the Canada Wood Council.

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon said using the technology for an emergency building is a step forward for a construction technique that in its early days was not supported by firefighters. Other research is to show cost advantages and deal with building codes.

“If you look at the four research projects that we’re funding, obviously the fire safety piece is one where we want to continue to educate the public that this is actually safe,” Kahlon said.

The demonstration projects are selected to advance the glue-laminated and cross-laminated technology that was first developed by Structurlam in the Okanagan, and has spread around the world. The 21-storey tower in Vancouver, being developed by international high-rise developer Westbank, “puts us right back as a leader in the world again” for tall wood construction, Kahlon said.

The mass timber demonstration program is run by Forest Innovation Investment, an industry-government partnership to develop forest industry technology. It is based at the University of B.C., where the 18-storey Brock Commons student residence was one of the pioneers of tall wood construction.

RELATED: B.C. trade ‘micro-credentials’ include mass timber training

RELATED: Structurlam, Okanagan resort win awards for wood design


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the community garden hosted their first seed swap and fundraiser at the Greenwood Mall in Sparwood on Monday. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Sparwood Community Garden hosts first seed swap

Work on the garden at Engelmann Spruce Drive will begin soon

Crews and volunteers responded to a four-hectare wildfire on the lower half of the Aqam community lands near Cranbrook on Friday afternoon. Trevor Crawley photo.
Wildfire season gets early start in the East Kootenay

Fire crews, volunteers respond to two local wildfires, while prescribed burns turn weekend skies smoky

A conceptual image of a multi-family housing development envisioned by Abugov Kaspar Architects to go on a lot in Castle Mountain in Fernie. (Image courtesy of City of Fernie)
City defers zoning decision

A zoning change would permit a development with 15 percent rental tenure residences in Castle Mountain

Rob and Jennifer King run Sasquatch Cyclery out of their garage. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
‘Hop on it now’: Parts crunch hits cycling

New bikes are hard to get and used bikes are selling at a premium this year

Michel-Natal-Sparwood Heritage Society runs a museum that was established to display the heritage of the "no-longer towns" of Michel and Natal, and the Elk Valley Area. Photo Submitted/Monica Beranek, Artifact Curator
Sparwood Museum requests a leg up to stay open full-time

The museum is volunteer-run, but needs a full-time employee to be able to snag much-needed grants

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to target people ages 40+ in ‘high risk communities’ with AstraZeneca vaccine

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Most Read