British Columbia to allow 12-storey mass timber buildings

29 May 2020

14 municipalities in the Canadian province have now adopted building code regulations that allow taller mass timber construction.

Vancouver is poised to join 13 other municipalities in allowing mass timber residential and commercial building projects to be built up to 12 storeys, an significant increase from the city’s current maximum of six storeys.

“Accepting taller mass timber construction with the building bylaw will make it easier to build with low carbon materials, support future housing affordability and represent an important first step in reducing our carbon pollution from construction,” said a report which was presented to the city’s council.

The report also noted studies of mass timber projects showed a reduction of carbon pollution by 25%- 45 % during construction. The buildings are also more energy efficient, with wood being a natural insulator.

The University of B.C. campus, is already home to the 18-storey Tallwood House, one of the tallest mass timber buildings in the world. Another development, a luxury residential project called Terrace House in West Hastings will see seven storeys of mass timber built on top of 12 storeys of concrete.