B.C. is hoping to position itself as a key supplier of forward-looking construction materials, with a new action plan and investment into mass timber.
The province announced the move Thursday (April 7) morning, with an initial $1.2 million in funding to construct four new mass-timber structures.
B.C. already leads Canada in use of the carbon-capturing material, with 285 mass timber buildings completed or underway as of the end of 2020. In 2021, the province promised an additional 12 buildings with $4.2 million in funding.
B.C. is also leading the way as a manufacturer. As of mid-2021, the province says it’s manufacturers produced about a quarter of the leading types of mass timber in North America.
According to the new action plan, if B.C. continues to invest in expanding the sector, it could see the equivalent of 10 new mid-sized factories by 2035. That could translate to 2,400 plant jobs, and an additional 2,000 construction and design positions.
Beyond job creation, the province says the plan is an investment in a greener future. The production of mass timber – typically made by fastening multiple layers of smaller dimension wood together – releases far fewer carbon emissions than other materials, such as concrete and steel.
The four projects receiving funding for 2022 are a 9-storey residential building in Vancouver, a District Chamber of Commerce building in Castlegar, a 3-storey mixed-use commercial and industrial building in Vancouver, and a new 4-storey building for L’Alliance Francaise de Vancouver in Vancouver.