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Building the case for more mass timber construction in BC (New SPH)

Structurlam supplied engineered wood for the University of British Columbia’s 18-storey Brock Commons Tallwood House residence building, which was the tallest mass timber structure in the world when it was completed in 2017. Photograph by Chung Chow
Structurlam supplied engineered wood for the University of British Columbia’s 18-storey Brock Commons Tallwood House residence building, which was the tallest mass timber structure in the world when it was completed in 2017. Photograph by Chung Chow

Faced with the challenge of diminished lumber supply and lower prices, the British Columbia government has made investing in higher-value-added products like engineered wood a priority, betting that supporting mass timber construction can be a winning proposition for the industry.

“For too long the focus has been on maximizing volume but not value, and so we want to flip that on its ear,” Doug Donaldson, minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development, told Business in Vancouver.

These initiatives include modifying the provincial building code to allow for construction of mass timber buildings reaching 12 storeys, up from six storeys, as well as requiring the use of engineered wood where possible in the construction of the new St. Paul’s Hospital and the upgrade to the Royal British Columbia Museum.

Click here to read the story on Western Investor, City News, and Vancouver Courier.

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