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This article was published 22/3/2012 (3337 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
VANCOUVER -- B.C. is moving ahead with plans to build what is expected to be the tallest wood building in North America and possibly the world.
The proposed 10-storey Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George will become a test case for creating a value-added forest products industry around tall wood building construction methods that would differ radically from the way traditional mid-rise and even highrise buildings are constructed.
Jobs Minister Pat Bell said this week that within 30 days, the province will seek qualified firms to design and construct the building out of engineered wood beam products instead of traditional concrete and steel beams. The province has already received 34 expressions of interest.
The wood building would be the tallest in B.C., "likely North America and possibly the world," Bell said.
The plan comes at the same time a new study produced for the Wood Enterprise Coalition by Vancouver architect Michael Green and several others suggests engineered wood skyscrapers of up to 30 storeys can be safely built using this new wood technology.
In an interview, Green said he expects that within five years, buildings between 10 and 20 storeys will be built in B.C. using any one of a number of laminated engineered wood products. But for that to happen, the province needs to change its building code. The code now limits wood buildings to six storeys, but that is based on wood-frame construction methods using studs and wood cladding.
Green said he was motivated to propose tall wood buildings as a way to tackle climate change. Wood acts as a carbon sink, locking in carbon dioxide.
-- Postmedia News