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

Just Posted

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

People in Kelowna’s City Park on May 18, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Search crews looking for missing diver in Okanagan Lake near Kelowna’s City Park

At around 2:50 p.m., RCMP received reports of a diver missing.

The future of the Okanagan Lake watershed land use will be subject of a new study supported by a $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation. (Contributed)
Grant to help develop Okanagan Lake protection strategy

Study receives $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation.

COVID-19 virus. (Black Press Media file)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Kelowna retirement home

The outbreak at Sandalwood Retirement Resort was initially announced by Interior Health on April 23

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

KCR Migrant Support Worker, Javier, had an exciting day escorting his son Ian with him during ‘Take your Child to Work Day’!
KCR: Volunteering is being part of a whole

KCR Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out fines to two anglers on Shuswap Lake who were both casting more than one line, in violation of provincial regulations, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (COS photo)
Conservation officers snag Shuswap anglers for unlawful fishing

Two anglers were given $150 fines for casting two lines at once, against provincial regulations

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

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

Lynda Saundry, born 1961, is charged with the murder of North Okanagan resident Barry Jones in July 2020. Saundry will appear in Vernon court May 17, 2021, to fix a date for a preliminary inquiry. (Facebook public photo)
North Okanagan murder suspect to be tried by judge and jury

Lynda Saundry is charged with the first-degree murder of Barry Jones in July 2020

Vernon Search and Rescue’s Legacy vessel is returning to Okanagan Lake for boating season, the society said Friday, May 14, 2021. (VSAR photo)
Vernon Search and Rescue vessel returns to Okanagan Lake

VSAR’s Legacy is back with a fresh coat of paint and some other upgrades

Most Read