Timber construction and Indigenous practices a natural fit, say panellists

By Don Procter
Daily Commercial News
March 15, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada East

The connection between timber construction and First Nations communities goes back ages, long before today’s mass timber movement in major cities such as Toronto. That movement should grow, however, in Indigenous communities as relationships are forged between mass timber proponents and First Nations partners. Patrick Chouinard, of mass timber manufacturer Element5, said he hopes more Indigenous fabrication centres for mass timber can be established by Element5 in First Nations communities. He said Element5 could produce “truckloads of billets” and ship them to Indigenous areas to set up in First Nations-owned facilities for fabrication tailored to local projects. “They own their own projects, hire local labour.” Chouinard was a conference speaker on a panel session on Indigenous collaboration. “Mass timber generally is ideally suited for First Nations communities because you can use it for so many kinds of buildings,” he said, pointing out firehalls to housing as examples.

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