While touting the success of the B.C. government’s Wood First Initiative, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell challenged more municipal governments across the province to pass laws requiring wood to be considered as the primary building material in government-funded buildings.
“Local governments are continuing to embrace the Wood First concept and I renew my challenge for others to follow suit,” said Bell. “Passing a resolution or bylaw generates new demand for B.C. wood and wood products and ensures a sustainable forest industry.”
The Wood First Act, which became law in October last year, requires that wood be considered as the primary building material in all provincially-funded building projects.
Since then, 12 local governments have passed resolutions in support of the act and three cities – Quesnel, Terrace and Enderby – now have Wood First bylaws.
The District of Squamish passed a resolution prior to the act.
The provincial government said there are currently 68 individual buildings in the works under the Wood First program.
The province is launching a web-based tool for local governments this fall to outline best practices when it comes to wood building systems and materials.
The most controversial part of the Wood First program are changes to the B.C. building code that allow for six-storey, wood-frame buildings. Opponents have questioned the safety of wood-framed buildings of that height.
Tom McNeil, project manager, for Tri City Contracting (BC) Ltd., said in a government release that given the benefits of using wood to build at that height, Tri City Contracting is currently in the design stage with several six-storey, wood-framed buildings throughout B.C.