Mass Timber Building Construction in B.C.
Mass timber buildings are increasing in size, height and complexity both in British Columbia and across the world. Advancements in wood products and construction are helping to build more resilient, climate-smart communities across Canada. With our longstanding reputation for providing environmentally friendly and locally-sourced timber products, at Longhouse we are very excited about the potential of mass timber in both residential and commercial builds.
As a reflection of the popularity of this new building method, the City of Westminster has recently become the twenty-first B.C. municipality to participate in the Province’s Tall Wood Initiative that allows for the construction of 12-storey mass timber buildings. These participating communities have enabled local builders to design and create innovative and more environmentally friendly residential and commercial buildings. Along with the City of Vancouver, which has its own similar initiative, 59 per cent of 2020 housing starts in the province are represented in these communities, up from 57 per cent in 2019.
The Tall Wood Initiative advances the Province’s CleanBC climate goals by encouraging the construction of more sustainable buildings with smaller carbon footprints. In addition, building with mass timber is faster, with less site noise and traffic associated with construction.
“Mass timber design and construction is creating some of the most striking new buildings functioning at the highest levels of energy efficiency,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Mass timber technology is a great example of CleanBC in action, building low-carbon communities and creating a stronger and cleaner future across our province.”
The use of mass timber also aligns with the Province’s goal of transitioning the forest sector from high-volume to high-value production, maximizing the value of B.C.’s renewable resources. As B.C. builds back from the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial government wants to create a more diverse and resilient forest sector, supporting new jobs in the green economy and in skilled professions, including the construction industry.
“Mass timber is the construction material of the future and key to diversifying and creating a more resilient forest sector,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “By focusing on mass timber, we have an opportunity to transition the forestry sector to create sustainable forestry jobs across the province.”
The Province introduced the Tall Wood Initiative in 2019. Local governments were invited to submit an expression of interest to be early adopters of mass timber buildings up to 12 stories ahead of changes to the National Building Code.
When the next version of the National Building Code is released this year, it is expected to include provisions to allow 12-storey mass timber construction across Canada. These will be reflected in the next edition of the BC Building Code, enabling the construction of 12-storey mass timber buildings throughout British Columbia.
Founded in Parksville in 1985, at Longhouse Forest Products we are proud to provide our customers with the highest-quality locally sourced forestry products. Over the past four decades, Longhouse has been involved in more than 14,000 construction and design projects around the world. We manufacture custom cut yellow cedar decking, solid wood flooring, cedar fascia and soffits, different varieties of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)® certified cedar siding, Douglas Fir products, Japanese grade spruce siding, white oak flooring and specialize in producing locally-sourced Western Red Cedar products.
We are committed to providing sustainable forest products to ensure the renewal of our forests for generations to come. Longhouse has maintained FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)® certification by the Rainforest Alliance since 2007, and we are also a member of the Canada Green Building Council and the Greater Vancouver Home Building Association. Longhouse Forest Products also belongs to the Living Building Challenge Foundation and Passive House Canada, through which we continue our commitment to helping design and build energy-efficient and affordable homes for Canadians.
With our decades of experience in the forestry product industry and numerous accolades, Longhouse can provide the products and the know-how to turn your dream project into a reality. Call us toll-free at 1-800-811-2010 or email us at email@example.com to find out more about the products and services we can provide for you.