Mass Timber Use in B.C. buildings in Around Town

July 2, 2020

Your Weekly Construction Briefing

Last month, the provincial government appointed Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Forests and Natural Resource Operations, to lead the expansion of mass timber in B.C. buildings. “Mass timber is key to diversifying and creating a more resilient forest sector,” said Kahlon.

This artist’s rendering of a 12-storey tall wooden Tallwood building coming to Langford shows one of many new mass timber buildings under construction around BC. The City of Campbell River is an early adopter of the building style.

In mass timber buildings, the primary load-bearing structure is made of solid or engineered wood. The most common is cross-laminated timbers made with layers of wood glued together in alternating sizes. These buildings can be one- fifth the weight of comparable concrete buildings, while still meeting standards for structural resilience and fire protection, and can be constructed up to 25 per cent faster.

Federal and provincial codes have been updated to include mass timber products, and some B.C. municipalities have joined in as early adoptors. Campbell River is the only Island municipality on the early adoptors list located north of the Malahat. While Courtenay is not on the list, the City has the ability to permit taller buildings if desired.

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