B.C. investing $2.14 million to expand wood first technology

Since Wood First was introduced by the Province five years ago, the use of wood in building construction has grown rapidly

Forestry Innovation Investment

RICHMOND – The B.C. government is investing $2.14 million to advance the use of wood in British Columbia with a focus on expanding the use of wood in non-residential construction, strengthening manufacturing capabilities, and positioning B.C. as a global leader in wood design technologies.

Funding is being provided to industry trade associations and research institutions with proven records in wood products marketing, training, wood products development and research. The funds are being distributed through the Wood First program, an initiative to grow the culture of wood throughout B.C. and to develop world-leading technologies and building systems that can be used to promote B.C. wood sales both at home and in foreign markets.

The Wood First program is delivered by Forestry Innovation Investment, the Province’s market-development agency for wood products. The funding announcement was made today by Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat at Viceroy Homes in Richmond, a leader in the design, engineering and manufacturing of custom wood buildings.

Since Wood First was introduced by the Province five years ago, the use of wood in building construction has grown rapidly, particularly in the multi-storey residential market and in institutional and recreational buildings. New approaches to building with wood have been developed, such as the iconic wood roof of the Richmond Olympic Oval, and there is the potential to use wood in much, much taller structures than we do today.

B.C. is playing a leading role in these developments and the Wood Innovation Design Centre, now under construction in Prince George, will be one of the tallest contemporary wood buildings in North America when completed later this year.

Wood First is widely supported in B.C. Nine out of 10 British Columbians say wood-product manufacturing is important to the provincial economy and job growth. Throughout the province, more than 50 local governments have developed their own pro-wood policies and British Columbia was the first province to allow six-storey wood frame residential buildings.

More than 153 mid-rise wood frame building projects have now been completed, or are under development, across the province.

 

The forestry sector employs almost 60,000 British Columbians and generates an annual manufacturing output of over $12 billion. More than 40 per cent of regional economies across the province are dependent on forestry.