Wood First Act

The Wood First Act, which received Royal Assent on October 29, 2009, requires provincially-funded projects to use wood as the primary construction material. Wood WORKS! BC is a recognized resource to help BC communities with the Wood First Act’s “build with wood” requirements on publicly-funded projects.

Wood First Program

Wood First is part of the Government of British Columbia’s commitment to job creation and environmental sustainability.  Since its launch in 2009, Wood First has promoted and supported the increased use of wood products and systems in building design and construction, and has raised awareness of B.C. as a world leader in advanced wood technologies and design.

Greater use of wood supports the provincial forest sector through increased employment and revenues.  A growing demand for wood-based products and building systems further fosters innovation and the growth of value-added businesses.

Rapid urban growth and densification are driving demand for smart building concepts that minimize environmental impact as well as support healthy lifestyles.  Using wood, a renewable material, sourced from B.C.’s sustainably-managed forests meets this demand and, by storing carbon, helps slow climate change.

Education, research and outreach elements of Wood First are led by Forestry Innovation Investment (FII), the Province’s market development agency for forest products.

In delivering the Program, FII works with trade associations, research institutions, design and construction communities, and manufacturers. They include:

Recent advances are allowing wood to be used in a variety of new ways in building construction. By adopting and promoting these approaches in B.C., Wood First is helping to strengthen the image of the B.C. forest sector internationally and make the sector more competitive in foreign markets.

To view the project profiles of Wood First projects in British Columbia, click here.

Why build with wood?

It makes good sense to build with wood from an economic and aesthetic point of view, but also from an environmental point of view, since wood is the most sustainable, natural and renewable building material on Earth.

Wood WORKS! BC: in partnership with BC municipalities

For more than a decade, Wood WORKS! BC has been actively involved in providing technical support and wood expertise to building and design professionals for major projects throughout the province. Notable projects include the international award-winning Richmond Oval – the largest of the 2010 Winter Olympics venues. The Oval’s six-acre free spanning “wood wave” roof with its content of “beetle-kill” wood is a precedent- setting example of BC’s and Canada’s advanced wood engineering and prefabrication capabilities.

Wood WORKS! BC has worked extensively with municipalities on projects ranging from firehalls to libraries; from pools to ice arenas and recreation centres. With the passage of the new Wood First Act, Wood WORKS! BC has been asked to help local governments navigate their way through the “build with wood” requirements on publicly-funded projects.

How can we help your community?

Wood WORKS! BC is proud to help lead the way to innovative, cost-effective and creative uses of natural, beautiful, sustainable wood in design and construction and looks forward to working together with municipalities to make “wood first” in BC. How can we help your community?

Where should you use wood?

The Wood WORKS!  “CodeCHEK” tool was developed to assist designers to determine if and when lightweight wood-frame, heavy timber, mass timber and/or encapsulated mass timber construction can be used, and to determine what are the applicable construction requirements related to fire safety.