NDP MLAs say projects in Vancouver will promote mass timber products

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VANCOUVER – New Democrat MLAs George Chow and Joan Phillip say new projects in Vancouver will use mass timber products, which reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help grow the province’s clean economy.

“With so many people moving to the River District, keeping up with the demand for housing is more important than ever,” said George Chow, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview. “This new development, created with mass timber, is an exciting opportunity to show how we can build sustainable, modern homes that will benefit our community for years to come.”

In Vancouver, the following projects are receiving funding:

  • 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 across 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.
  • University of British Columbia – Fire-related thermal penetration testing for mass timber ($28,000): Development of assessment methods that will allow quantification of damage to mass engineered timber structural members after a fire in order to specify appropriate repair measures.
  • 365 Railway Street Inc – 365 Railway ($500,000): Sitting atop a two-storey heritage building in Vancouver’s downtown East side, 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.

“Vancouver is full of history but so often we see older buildings torn down and quickly replaced with something new,” said Joan Phillip, MLA-Elect for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “It’s exciting to see that by building with lightweight mass timber, we’re able to give new life to older structures and add to the unique landscape of our community.”

These projects are five of 12 new mass timber demonstration and research projects that the BC New Democrat government is funding, which will help further expand the use of mass timber in B.C.’s construction sector by providing designers and builders with real-world knowledge and experience they can learn from.

Supporting mass timber construction brings the province closer to its goal of building a more sustainable, inclusive and innovative economy for people, businesses and communities throughout B.C. 

Learn More:  

For more information: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023JEDI0041-001123