Despite the hype, B.C. still has just two wooden highrises

By Douglas Todd
Vancouver Sun
August 20, 2022
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

During heated debate over the Broadway Plan, Vancouver city council responded with a concerted effort to pave the way for more mass-timber highrises.  But despite years of talk about such structures, only two have been built in B.C. .  …Brock Commons, a student residence, was the world’s highest contemporary wood highrise when it was completed in 2017 to many awards.  …But that was five years ago. Such towers remain rare, despite so-called “cross-laminated timber” technology being around for a couple of decades. …Given the radically lower carbon advantages of wood, why are so few highrises made of this sustainable material?  Wood is a fifth the weight of concrete, which reduces the energy used for its transportation and cuts the need for massive foundations.   …Some are psychological. Some are technical. The mass-timber industry says both concerns can be overcome.

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