The British Columbia provincial government has introduced a new regulation to increase demand for wood products.

The Wood First Act requires provincially-funded building projects to use wood as the primary construction material.

“In an average year, the province funds about C$3bn worth of capital projects,” said BC forests minister Pat Bell.

“Putting a ‘wood first’ lens on this spending is an effective way to support BC forest workers and showcase wood products. Leading by example is the best way we can demonstrate to architects and builders the benefits of innovative wood building systems.”

The government will implement the requirements through new procurement standards. Additional consultation will occur as the province develops best practices and a reporting structure to support the legislation.

BC is actively encouraging other provinces and the federal government to implement a pan-Canadian, wood-first policy.

The Wood First Act builds on amendments to the BC Building Code that allow for six-storey, wood frame construction.