B.C. first province to allow 12-storey mass-timber builds

Premier Horgan announced in OK Falls that mass-timber will be allowed on buildings up to 12 storeys

B.C. will be ahead of the rest of Canada in allowing 12-storey mass timber buildings meaning an increase in jobs in manufacturing and in the woods, Premier John Horgan said.

The current building code allows only six-storey mass timber buildings, but the National Building Code is expected to be revised and allow for 12 storeys builds in 2020.

Travis Hiller, right, of Structurlam talks about operations with Hardy Wentzel, CEO, Structurlam, Premier John Horgan and Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. (Tara Bowie/Penticton Western News)

Mass timber buildings are made of large prefabricated, engineered, wood for wall, floor and roof construction.

Horgan along with Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing was at Structurlam, a leading mass timber manufacturer, in Okanagan Falls to make the announcement Wednesday morning.

“Normally British Columbia would assess those recommendations and then they would implement a year or two after that. We believe that the work has been done we’ve got a practical example of more than 12 storeys at Brock Commons of 18, so we’re prepared, we’re confident that the work has been done on safety. The work has been done on the fire stuff,” he said to media and workers at the mass timber plant.

Related: Bright spots ahead for B.C. forest industry in 2019

Brock Commons is an 18-storey residence at the University of B.C. campus built in 2016 using mass timber.

“That is the way of the future. We have less volume in the forests and we need more value out of our forests and where better than right here at Structurlam to start that revolution,” Horgan said.

Although B.C. is moving ahead with the increase each municipality will make decisions on if they will allow 12-storey mass timber buildings.

Horgan called the change, “win-win-win,” meaning more jobs in the forestry and manufacturing industries and providing a chance to offset losses of timber due to wildfires over the last few years.

“We’ve had two of the worst fire seasons in our history in 2017/2018 2 million hectares of merchantable timber up in a puff of smoke while in fact smoke that was clogging the lungs of British Columbians, Washingtonians and even Oregonians for the past two summers,” he said. “We have a dwindling fibre basket. We have less wood today than we did 20 years ago, so if we’re going to continue to be a province that depends on forestry, which we will be, we need to make sure we are adding more value not more volume to our production,” he said.

“We’ve been chasing low cost stands when we can turn those low cost stands into a high quality product that will mean more jobs in OK Falls and more jobs in the woods as well.”

Using mass timber construction is also expected to shorten building times and decrease budgets. Horgan said in the Brock Commons project the construction time was cut in half. The building was constructed in just 66 days.

“We have a housing crisis in British Columbia right now and we have a product that can see houses built, mass houses built quickly and in a less impactful way than other forms of construction,” he said.

Horgan noted the hope was exports of the mass timber, specifically in countries prone to earthquakes, will increase.

“The advantage of this on the seismic side is that wood moves…. On the earthquake side, wood is a much better product for construction that’s why we’re excited about export potential to places like Japan who are already significant purchasers of B.C. wood products. When we show them what we can do with engineered wood products like mass timber products developed here I think the export potential is significant to areas where seismic activity is concerned,” he said.

To report a typo, email:
editor@keremeosreview.com
.


@TaraBowieBC
editor@keremeosreview.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Thunderbirds advance to BCMML final

T-birds eliminate Okanagan Rockets, take on Cariboo Cougars in final this weekend

South Surrey wrestler wins pair of national titles

Ana Godinez Gonzalez tops field at junior, senior championships in Saskatoon

Abbotsford Hospice Society hosts annual Butterfly Ball

Event takes place Saturday, April 6 at Quality Hotel and Conference Centre

Electronic devices destroyed for free at Abbotsford event

Police partner with Electronic Recycling Association to dispose of unwanted items

Hikers alert after woman approached by suspicious man in Harrison Mills

The woman and her family were hiking in the wetlands between Rowena’s Inn and Sts’ailes First Nation

VIDEO: Creativ Festival comes to Abbotsford

Event highlighting crafts takes over Tradex on Friday and Saturday

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Norway opens probe into why cruise ship ventured into storm

The Viking Sky was headed for southern Norway when it had engine problems on Saturday afternoon

Crash threatens Vancouver shipyard’s schedule for new coast guard ships

The delivery of the vessel was already years overdue

Fired B.C. farmland commission chair backs NDP rule changes

Richard Bullock agrees with Lana Popham, ALC records don’t

Michael Dunahee’s disappearance remains the largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Kamloops chamber of commerce director let go after controversial Facebook posts

Facebook account had derogatory comments about Muslims, Justin Trudeau

B.C. RCMP officer cleared after Taser incident seriously injures woman

Woman with knives refused to comply with orders therefore officer used appropriate level of force

Most Read