TORONTO — Through the new Mass Timber Program, the Ontario government is investing $7.8 million in the research, education and construction of tall wood buildings so more wood products can be used in new homes and taller structures.
The program is part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan, funded by proceeds from the province’s carbon market.
The use of wood in infrastructure can help address climate change by storing carbon in buildings and by avoiding greenhouse gas pollution associated with other carbon-intensive materials, a release indicates. The province states mass timber structures will also have lower building costs due to quicker construction times.
According to the release, the Mass Timber Program was developed to: promote the use of wood in taller buildings by providing funding for research and development to support potential wood-related changes to the building code and other standards; funding post-secondary education institutions to provide skills development and technical training and to create tools relating to using wood in construction; supporting the establishment of a tall wood research institute in Ontario, in partnership with researchers, universities and colleges; and demonstrating the successful use of mass timber in design, construction and the fire safety of taller wooden buildings (seven storeys and higher) including four tall wood demonstration projects.
In 2015, Ontario made changes to its building code related to the use of wood-frame construction in mid-rise construction up to six storeys. Numerous projects have been designed and built to these new building code requirements and more are coming.