B.C. pushing tall wood homes
June 29, 2020
Baydo Towers in Saskatoon by Baydo Development Corp. - Baydo Development
A B.C. government official is touring mass-timber residential projects and appears impressed with what he is finding.
After his first stop at a six-storey condominium development in North Vancouver, which is among the cities now allowing wood buildings as high as 12 floors, Ravi Kahlon, parliamentary secretary for forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development, had this to say:
"Mass timber construction is a win, win. We're going to have partnerships to figure out how this is going to work. One of my jobs is to visit every mayor and council to encourage them to realize the benefits of mass timber."
Kahlon has been tasked by B.C. Premier John Horgan with expanding the province’s mass timber production and construction industries, and working with municipalities to boost their mass timber permissions.
Fourteen B.C. municipalities, including Vancouver, allow 12-storey mass-timber buildings—the largest an 18-storey wood tower erected at the University of British Columbia. Alberta is the only province that allows 12-storey wood towers province-wide.
While Ontario has seen the completion of a test building at 12-storeys, the breakthrough was expected to be a 35-storey all-timber high-rise on Toronto’s waterfront as part of the Sidewalk Labs project. But Google subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs, scrapped its plan to develop along Toronto’s eastern waterfront in May, citing the “unprecedented economic uncertainty” brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.