The Province Editorial – ‍Gaetan Royer: Mass timber & lower emissions

Mass Timber: A Sustainable Building Solution for a Greener Future

In a recent op-ed published in The Province, Gaetan Royer, an innovative urban planner and CEO of Massive Canada, sheds light on the potential of mass timber as a sustainable building material. With Canada’s pressing need for an additional 3.5 million housing units by 2030, the challenge lies in balancing this demand with the equally urgent need to address the climate crisis.

Royer highlights the benefits of mass timber, a construction material that uses state-of-the-art technology to combine ordinary lumber into large structural panels, posts, and beams. These structures are not only lighter than steel but also as strong as concrete. A significant advantage of mass timber is its ability to lock in large volumes of carbon, thus playing a pivotal role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The article also emphasizes the growth of the mass timber industry, with over 285 tall timber buildings planned or completed in 2020. The integration of mass timber with prefabrication techniques offers a sustainable and efficient approach to construction. Prefabricated building components can be easily assembled on-site, and when required, these structures can be dismantled, refurbished, and repurposed, ensuring the carbon remains locked in for generations.

Royer concludes by advocating for the use of engineered wood from sustainably harvested new growth forests in British Columbia. By doing so, new constructions will emit significantly fewer greenhouse gases. The push for mass timber not only addresses the housing demand but also provides job opportunities and supports a greener construction industry.

Key Takeaways:

Adapted from an editorial by The Province.