A new mass-timber project is both a first for Vancouver Island University (VIU) and another step forward for B.C.’s Wood First policy. VIU is building an $87.8-million nine-storey mass timber student housing project that will include 266 student beds at its Nanaimo, B.C. campus. VIU’s Richard Lewis said, “it allowed us to do some things that maybe were a little unique, including extending the build height and provided us a lot of benefits around seismic properties as well as environmental benefits”. …Vancouver architecture firm Perkins&Will created designs for the business case submission, Lewis said, but the procurement process is in early stages and no project architect has been chosen yet. “Our plan is to have it open in September 2025, so we’re pushing forward with procurement right away and we’ll be looking at kicking off the detailed design process late this year or early next year,” Lewis said.