It remains to be seen when the City of Delta will get its first application for a mass timber building as the province continues to promote the concept.
Aimed at advancing mass timber projects, the B.C. government recently announced it’s investing an additional $2 million to open a second intake of the Mass Timber Demonstration Program.
Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon, the Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, in a news release said that by investing in mass timber through the demonstration program, his government is advancing the construction of climate-smart buildings that are built with a renewable and sustainable product.
The latest $2-million investment will support eligible applicants with incremental or one-time costs associated with design development, permitting and construction activities in mass timber building construction, the province notes, adding that individual projects can receive up to $500,000.
The second intake follows a successful first intake that contributed $4.2 million to support eight mass timber demonstration projects and four research projects in B.C.
The government earlier this year announced funding for the 12 projects and that it also established a new advisory council to accelerate the adoption of mass timber building systems.
The demonstration projects reflect a range of different building types and approaches to using mass timber that will highlight the versatility and performance of the building material, the province noted.
The government already invited municipalities, including the City of Delta, to sign on as mass timber construction early adopters in the Provincial Office of Housing and Construction Standards Mass Timber Early Adopter Initiative.
Delta council last fall agreed to sign an expression of interest, but also added conditions.
An upcoming new National Building Code will allow encapsulated mass timber construction up to 12 storeys, which in turn will be reflected in the next edition of the B.C. Building Code due out in 2022/23.
The provincial government introduced its early adoption initiative for participating municipalities to permit the construction of taller buildings up to 12-storeys with engineered wood products in advance of the provincial adoption of the National Building Code.
Several other municipalities have signed on to the early adoption initiative.
The primary load-bearing structure in mass timber buildings is made of solid or engineered wood.
A Delta staff report last fall noted Delta Fire and Emergency Services would support design elements that utilize passive fire protection, active fire detection and suppression techniques equal to or better than the B.C. Building Code.
Any project would be subject to the requirement for a Construction Fire Safety Plan.
Delta’s fire department also supported the same fire protection standards that the Vancouver Fire Department required for the recently constructed Brock Commons, a 12-storey mass timber project at the University of B.C.
Council also agreed with a staff recommendation for a city requirement for independent reviews by professional licensees for submitted structural designs as part of building permit applications.