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

Mark Skage and his son Mica during the filming of a West Kootenay episode of Start ‘em Young. Photo: Submitted
TV show films West Kootenay hunting trip

Start ‘Em Young aims to encourage kids to get out in the wilderness

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

Nav Canada will not be closing the tower at West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Nav Canada tower to remain open at West Kootenay Regional Airport

The organization was considering closing the tower

Dresses hang outside Nelson city hall as part of the REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson’s REDress Project exhibit vandalized

The REDress Project brings attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read