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BC Expanding use of Mass Timber in Buildings

27 February 2024

(British Columbia) Proposed changes to the building code will expand the use of mass timber to build taller buildings and to make stronger communities. These changes will allow buildings, such as schools, shopping centres and housing to be built faster, for a better environment and economy.

“These proposed mass timber building code changes align with our recent work to deliver more homes near transit hubs by allowing taller buildings and more sustainable housing options near transit,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “These changes will also help reduce carbon pollution, support the forestry sector, create jobs, build more homes and lead to more vibrant, healthier communities.”

The proposed code changes to the British Columbia Building and Fire Codes (BC Codes 2024) would enable taller mass timber buildings, as many as 18 storeys for residential and office buildings, instead of the current 12-storey limit. The changes would also allow for more exposed mass timber or fewer layers of encapsulation in buildings, depending on a building’s height, and allow more building types, such as schools, shopping centres and industrial facilities, to be built using mass timber.

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