Ontario allocates $7.9 million for Mass Timber Program

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The provincial government says it is investing $7.9 million for research, education and construction of tall wood buildings through the new Mass Timber Program.

This program is funded by proceeds from the province’s carbon market, part of the government’s Climate Change Action Plan.

The use of wood in infrastructure can help address climate change by storing carbon in buildings and by avoiding greenhouse gas pollution associated with other carbon-intensive materials.

The program has been developed to promote the use of wood in taller buildings by:

  • Providing funding for research and development of innovative wood products, undertaken by academic and private research organizations, to support potential wood-related changes to the Building Code and other standards;
  • Funding post-secondary education institutions to provide skills development and technical training and to create tools relating to using wood in construction;
  • Supporting the establishment of a tall wood research institute in Ontario, in partnership with researchers, universities, and colleges; and
  • Demonstrating the successful use of mass timber in design, construction, and the fire safety of taller wooden buildings (seven storeys and higher) including four tall wood demonstration projects.

Mass timber refers to large engineered wood products, including wood panels, beams and columns, used in the structural systems of high or mid-rise buildings.

In 2015, Ontario made changes to its Building Code related to the use of wood-frame construction in mid-rise construction of up to six storeys. Numerous projects have been designed and built to these new Building Code requirements and more are coming

The province has also released Ontario’s Tall Wood Reference: A Technical Resource for Developing Alternative Solutions under Ontario’s Building Code to assist architects, engineers, building and fire officials, and developers in the development of safe alternative solutions for taller wood projects.

In addition to environmental benefits, mass timber structures will have lower building costs due to quicker construction times, while maintaining fire safety standards.

Video: Design selected for The Arbour, George Brown College’s new Tall Wood building

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