New federal program encouraging high-rise wood projects
The Green Construction Through Wood program is accepting expressions of interest for high-rise demonstration projects.
The federal government has announced the launch of a new mass timber program, Green Construction Through Wood (GCWood), aimed at encouraging the long-term use of wood in non-traditional construction projects, including tall buildings.
The announcement was made by Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr.
The program launch follows the Government’s Budget 2017 announcement of $39.8 million over four years, starting in April 2018, to undertake this initiative. GCWood provides non-repayable contributions of up to 100% of a project’s eligible incremental costs for the demonstration of innovative mass timber products and systems.
The funding is intended to offset the cost of being the “first mover” of wood-intensive projects, and to support the development of knowledge and tools to support the success of future projects.
The new funding program builds on the Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative (TWBDI), which resulted in the construction of the world’s tallest hybrid wood building at 18 storeys, the Brock Commons Tallwood House at the University of British Columbia, and the Origine building in Quebec (the tallest all-wood condominium building in North America in 2017, at 13 storeys).
The move also facilitate revisions to the 2020 and 2025 National Building Code of Canada to allow tall wood buildings beyond the current limit of six storeys, up to 12 storeys and even taller, and help develop design and costing tools to assist designers and builders.
The formal call for Expressions of Interest for the program, which focuses on tall wood building projects (10 storeys and above), is now open and accepting applications, which are due by December 6, 2017.
GCWood program will provide non-repayable contributions of up to 100% of a projects eligible incremental costs (including additional design: architectural, structural, fire safety, building envelope, etc…, plus approval and construction activities required to construct with wood over traditional methods). The maximum amount payable by GCWood will be $5 million per project.