As Mass Timber Demonstration Program (MTDP) projects from Vancouver to Castlegar prepare to break ground, businesses, local governments and First Nations can apply to the program's third intake and choose to build with mass timber in B.C. communities.
The Government of B.C. is investing $2 million into the third intake of the MTDP, building on $5.4 million already invested to support 12 mass timber building projects and four research projects from the first two intakes.
“Mass timber helps reduce our carbon footprint, adds value to our forestry sector and provides new opportunities for jobs, growth and innovation in every corner of the province,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “As we gather this week at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, we are excited about the opportunity for more communities to look to mass timber for their building needs as we continue growing an inclusive, sustainable, clean economy that works for all British Columbians.”
A recipient of $250,000 through the second intake, the Castlegar Chamber of Commerce’s project, The Confluence, is set to break ground in early October. Designed by a local team and using regionally sourced materials, the new building will be a multi-purpose civic space, achieve Passive House certification and operate with 85% reduced emissions.
“We’re thrilled to be breaking ground soon on The Confluence – an incredible, iconic space fuelled by community, corporate and government support,” said Tammy Verigin-Burk, executive director, Castlegar Chamber of Commerce. “Building with mass timber lets us connect The Confluence with the natural bounty of the West Kootenays, creating a legacy for Castlegar and our surrounding region.”
Mass timber construction plays an important role in advancing CleanBC climate goals by providing a smaller carbon footprint that lasts throughout the life of the building when compared to using concrete.
B.C. is a leader in the mass timber sector and especially within North America, with 307 mass timber structures having been built throughout the province as of mid-2022. B.C. has completed almost as many mass timber projects as the entire U.S.
“Growing B.C.’s mass timber sector is a key part of our government’s vision for the future of forestry – a future where we get more value from every tree harvested,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests. “Mass timber continues to prove that it is a superior building material, often exceeding the performance of concrete and steel, while cutting emissions nearly in half. These efforts align with our goals of creating a balanced and diverse forest sector that supports B.C. jobs, as well as our commitments to the environment.”
Providing more opportunities to use mass timber in construction projects is part of the StrongerBC Economic Plan, which is moving British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for everyone. The plan builds on B.C.’s strong economic recovery and works to address two long-standing challenges – inequality and climate change – by closing the skills gap, building resilient communities, and helping businesses and people transition to clean-energy solutions.
“We’re excited to see the innovative projects that will come out of the third intake of the Mass Timber Demonstration Program as we continue to develop our province’s mass timber expertise and build on B.C.’s global leadership in this sector," said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade and chair of the Mass Timber Advisory Council.
To learn more about the Mass Timber Demonstration Program and to apply, visit: http://www.masstimberbc.ca
To read the Mass Timber Action Plan, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/business/construction-industry/bc_masstimber_action_plan_2022.pdf
For more information about the StrongerBC Economic Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan
Two backgrounders follow.