An article in The Globe and Mail says recent innovations have sent a throng of firms back to the forest to take advantage of the efficient, sustainable, fashionable and functional architectural ancestor: wood.

Citing Brock commons, a Quebec condo and a tall wood building planned for Toronto, the author says “These projects are signs of an architectural revolution. In many settings, timber is becoming cost competitive with concrete and steel; it is beautiful; and it is more sustainable than those energy-intensive materials. For the construction industry and for forest-rich Canada, this could be a big deal.”

Russell Acton, partner at Acton Ostry, asks, “How do we get a lot of mass wood built? It’s not by designing at high budgets. It’s by creating something that the average developer will do for hotels and apartment buildings – something that’s attractive in financial terms.”

“It’s clear to us that mass wood is a cleaner, faster system that will have so many advantages,” Acton says. “It has a bright future.”

For the Canadian forestry industry, this new market is enticing. “There will be both a domestic and a global market for Canadian engineered wood,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, in The Globe article. “There’s an opportunity not only to build cool things, but to do so in a sustainable way and meet climate-change commitments.”

Read the full article here.

Photo: Brock Commons Tallwood House at UBC makes extensive use of mass timber. Photo courtesy of Photographer: Brudder