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Information about mass timber and the Mass Timber Demonstration Program
  • Mass timber is a sustainable building material that is engineered through fastening multiple layers of smaller dimension wood together with glue, dowels or nails.
  • Mass-timber products are solid, structural load-bearing components, such as columns, beams and panels, used to build residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
  • This process can deliver as much as seven times the economic value when compared to milling logs for lumber.
  • Mass timber can match or exceed the structural performance of concrete and steel, while reducing carbon emissions by as much as 45%.
  • Since the components of mass timber are custom manufactured, it can reduce waste and reduce the time it takes to put up a building.
  • The growing mass-timber sector will support more than 4,000 jobs in manufacturing, technology, forestry, design and engineering, and bring new jobs to communities throughout the province.
  • The mass-timber sector will promote new technologies and approaches to further support existing jobs, with a projected worth of $403 million by 2035.
  • Boosting the sector’s skills training through trades programs at post-secondary institutions will help fill those expected openings.
  • Launched in April 2022, the Mass Timber Action Plan is designed to build demand for mass-timber buildings.
  • The Mass Timber Demonstration Program (MTDP) was established in spring 2021.
  • The funding from the MTDP supports the advancement of mass-timber projects that continue to change the face of construction in the province.
  • Individual projects can receive as much as $500,000 for costs associated with design development, permitting and construction using mass timber.
  • Goals of the program include:
    • expanding the use of mass timber in B.C.;
    • overcoming barriers to the development of mass-timber expertise and construction; and
    • solidifying B.C.’s global leadership in advancing mass-timber products, technologies and services.
Mass Timber Demonstration Program: 2023 Intake 3 recipients, projects

The Mass Timber Demonstration Program has awarded a combined $4.14 million to 11 B.C.-based developers, building owners and research institutions to support the incremental or first-time costs of mass-timber design development, permitting and construction activities, and research. The following are grant recipients and project descriptions:

Demonstration Buildings

365 Railway Street Inc – 365 Railway ($500,000): Sitting atop a two-storey heritage building in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, 365 Railway will be a four-storey commercial and industrial addition built using lightweight prefabricated mass-timber systems. By rehabilitating the existing foundation, the project significantly reduces the use of emissions-intensive materials.

The City of Burnaby – Cameron Community Centre and Library ($500,000): This multi-purpose recreational hub will provide fitness, aquatic, and community programming to the fast-growing region of Lougheed in Burnaby. Responding to the city-wide climate-crisis declaration, the project will use a hybrid mass-timber and steel structural system to support the reduction of embodied emissions.  

Wesgroup Properties – River District ($500,000): This mixed-use development will feature an 18-storey mass timber tower and podium, and a seven-storey building, providing approximately 240 units of rental and strata housing to Vancouver's Killarney neighbourhood. The building's construction will include mass timber and steel hybrid and will leverage prefabrication for the balconies to reduce thermal bridging and increase airtightness.

More Than A Roof Housing Society – Vienna House ($500,000): With additional support from the National Housing Strategy Demonstration initiative, this seven-storey multi-family development in the heart of East Vancouver aims to establish best practices for affordable and sustainable housing. The building will feature mass timber and light-frame hybrid construction, making it efficient and replicable for new developments throughout B.C.

The City of Vancouver – Marpole Community Centre ($500,000): This comprehensive mass-timber-based development in South Vancouver will replace and double the size of the existing centre built in 1949. The project will use glue-laminated timber for the columns, beams and the signature gently curved roof. To expose much of the building's mass-timber structure, the team will undertake an alternate solution to the Vancouver Building Bylaw.

Columbia Shuswap Regional District – Golden and Area Indoor Aquatic Centre ($441,720): This new indoor aquatic centre in the town of Golden will be a hub for community health and wellness, while aiming to meet the Canadian Green Building Council’s, Zero Carbon Building (CAGBC, ZCB) standard and future operations as a zero-emissions building.

The Loon Foundation – The Pender Harbour Ocean Discovery Station (PODS) ($388,000): This marine facility will be the tallest and first net-zero carbon mass-timber building on the Sunshine Coast. In keeping with the region's maritime culture, the “pod” design, resembling wooden boats, will attract visitors from land and sea to this research, education and recreation hub. The nearly all-wood structure features glue-laminated and cross-laminated timber, and a Douglas-fir-clad interior.

The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust Society – Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Centre ($300,000): This nearly all-wood three-storey building in Tofino will combine light-frame wood, mass timber, cross-laminated timber, and a geothermally sourced hydronic heating and cooling system. Inspired by traditional First Nation plank house architecture, this development will be a gathering place for sharing, experimentation, learning, and innovation for the Clayoquot region.


FPInnovations – Fire Performance of Modern Mass Timber Connections Testing ($200,000): Identification and testing of effective and cost-efficient modern mass-timber connections that provide at least two hours of fire-resistance rating, as prescribed in the 2020 National Building Code of Canada for encapsulated mass-timber construction (up to 12-storeys).

FPInnovations – Guide on hygrothermal modelling ($75,000): Driven by the need to improve the design and construction of innovative wood-based building enclosure systems and assemblies, this research and guide will include the use of mass-timber-based façade panels in order to improve prediction of long-term durability performance.

National Research Council (NRC) – Intumescent coating for mass-timber buildings ($210,000): Following the success in demonstrating proof-of-concept, the next research phase covers large-scale production and full-scale performance testing of NRC’s high performance and thin-film intumescent coating technology, a first of its kind in Canada.

University of British Columbia – Fire-related thermal penetration testing for mass timber ($28,000): Development of assessment methods that will allow quantification of fire damage to mass-engineered timber structures to determine appropriate repair.