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Third intake open for mass timber construction funding

Press Release

Sept. 13, 2022

WHISTLER – As Mass Timber Demonstration Program (MTDP) projects from Vancouver to Castlegar prepare to break ground, businesses, local governments and First Nations can apply to the program’s third intake and choose to build with mass timber in B.C. communities.

The Government of B.C. is investing $2 million into the third intake of the MTDP, building on $5.4 million already invested to support 12 mass timber building projects and four research projects from the first two intakes.

“Mass timber helps reduce our carbon footprint, adds value to our forestry sector and provides new opportunities for jobs, growth and innovation in every corner of the province,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “As we gather this week at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, we are excited about the opportunity for more communities to look to mass timber for their building needs as we continue growing an inclusive, sustainable, clean economy that works for all British Columbians.”

A recipient of $250,000 through the second intake, the Castlegar Chamber of Commerce’s project, The Confluence, is set to break ground in early October. Designed by a local team and using regionally sourced materials, the new building will be a multi-purpose civic space, achieve Passive House certification and operate with 85% reduced emissions.

“We’re thrilled to be breaking ground soon on The Confluence – an incredible, iconic space fuelled by community, corporate and government support,” said Tammy Verigin-Burk, executive director, Castlegar Chamber of Commerce. “Building with mass timber lets us connect The Confluence with the natural bounty of the West Kootenays, creating a legacy for Castlegar and our surrounding region.”

Mass timber construction plays an important role in advancing CleanBC climate goals by providing a smaller carbon footprint that lasts throughout the life of the building when compared to using concrete.

B.C. is a leader in the mass timber sector and especially within North America, with 307 mass timber structures having been built throughout the province as of mid-2022. B.C. has completed almost as many mass timber projects as the entire U.S.

“Growing B.C.’s mass timber sector is a key part of our government’s vision for the future of forestry – a future where we get more value from every tree harvested,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Mass timber continues to prove that it is a superior building material, often exceeding the performance of concrete and steel, while cutting emissions nearly in half. These efforts align with our goals of creating a balanced and diverse forest sector that supports B.C. jobs, as well as our commitments to the environment.”

Providing more opportunities to use mass timber in construction projects is part of the StrongerBC Economic Plan, which is moving British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for everyone. The plan builds on B.C.’s strong economic recovery and works to address two long-standing challenges – inequality and climate change – by closing the skills gap, building resilient communities, and helping businesses and people transition to clean-energy solutions.

“We’re excited to see the innovative projects that will come out of the third intake of the Mass Timber Demonstration Program as we continue to develop our province’s mass timber expertise and build on B.C.’s global leadership in this sector,” said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade and chair of the Mass Timber Advisory Council.

Learn More:

To learn more about the Mass Timber Demonstration Program and to apply, visit: http://www.masstimberbc.ca

To read the Mass Timber Action Plan, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/business/construction-industry/bc_masstimber_action_plan_2022.pdf

For more information about the StrongerBC Economic Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan

Two backgrounders follow.

Contact:

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705

BACKGROUNDER 1

Information about mass timber and the Mass Timber Demonstration Program

  • Mass timber is a sustainable building material that is engineered through fastening multiple layers of smaller dimension wood together with glue, dowels or nails.
  • Mass timber products are solid, structural load-bearing components, such as columns, beams and panels, used to construct residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
  • This process can deliver as much as seven times the economic value when compared to milling logs for lumber.
  • Mass timber can match or exceed the structural performance of concrete and steel, while reducing carbon emissions by as much as 45%.
  • Since the components of mass timber are custom manufactured, it can reduce waste and reduce the time it takes to put up a building.
  • The growing mass timber sector will support more than 4,000 jobs in manufacturing, technology, forestry, design and engineering, and bring new jobs to communities throughout the province.
  • The mass timber sector will promote new technologies and approaches to further support existing jobs, with a projected worth of $403 million by 2035.
  • Boosting the sector’s skills training through trades programs at post-secondary institutions will help fill those expected openings.
  • Launched in April 2022, the Mass Timber Action Plan is designed to build demand for mass timber buildings.
  • The Mass Timber Demonstration Program (MTDP) was established in spring 2021.
  • The funding from the MTDP supports the advancement of mass timber projects that continue to change the face of construction in the province.
  • Individual projects can receive as much as $500,000 for costs associated with design development, permitting and construction using mass timber.
  • Goals of the program include:
    • expanding the use of mass timber in B.C.;
    • overcoming barriers to the development of mass timber expertise and construction; and
    • solidifying B.C.’s global leadership in advancing mass timber products, technologies and services.

Contact:

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705

BACKGROUNDER 2

Mass Timber Demonstration Program recipients, project summaries

Municipal projects

Castlegar Chamber of Commerce: The Confluence ($250,000) –

Combined tourist information centre, technology incubator, chamber of commerce office and meeting facilities. Will be the only Passive-House-certified institutional building in B.C.’s Interior.

First Nations Health Authority Metro Vancouver Office

District of Saanich ($500,000) –

The redevelopment of Fire Station No. 2 will demonstrate how mass timber can be used in a “post-disaster” building designed to withstand emergencies. The project will replace the present one-storey, 353 square-metre building with a two-storey 2,190 square-metre steel-and-timber post-and-beam system that will accommodate a fire-training tower and emergency vehicles.

District of Saanich Fire Station #2 Redevelopment

First Nations’ project

First Nations Health Authority ($500,000) –

The six-storey building will demonstrate institutional use of mass timber, supporting health and cultural activities. The design will expose as much mass timber as possible to evoke the plank-house tradition of the Coast Salish people, and the space will be used for First Nations Health Authority employees, as well as social spaces for gatherings, cultural activities and education.

The building will target Rick Hansen Foundation certification for accessibility.

First Nations Health Authority Metro Vancouver Office

Contact:

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Media Relations
250 893-3705

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