VANCOUVER – Thirteen British Columbia communities have signed on to be early adopters to use mass timber for buildings of up to 12 storeys.
The City of North Vancouver, the Township of Langley, Colwood, Surrey, Abbotsford, Campbell River, Langford, Richmond, Kelowna, Mission, Victoria, and Saanich together made up 35 per cent of housing starts in B.C. in 2018.
“Building with B.C. wood is good for people, communities, our economy and our climate. It will create thousands of jobs, reduce carbon pollution and support forest-dependent communities. These 13 communities will help us get there faster,” B.C. Premier John Horgan said.
“These communities throughout B.C. are showing the nation that by seizing opportunities to change how we live and work, we can put B.C. on a cleaner, more sustainable path, while also supporting forest-dependent communities. This is just one more way that our government is supporting local governments, builders, non-profits and community members to use innovative techniques to deliver the homes people need,” provincial minister of municipal affairs and housing Selina Robinson said.
To become eligible to sign on as an early adopter local governments regulated under the BC Building Code must have the support of their city council and planning, building and fire departments, Level 3 certified building officials and land use bylaws for buildings higher than six storeys.
Mass-timber components are fabricated off-site, can be assembled quickly. And can be one-fifth the weight of comparable concrete buildings while meeting performance standards for safety, structural resilience and fire protection.
The 2020 National Building Code is expected to allow mass timber construction if up to 12 storeys. Mass timber technology has been reviewed by the National Building Code committees as well as by experts, such as fire safety specialists, structural engineers, architects, scientists and builders, a government release stated.