Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program

Calls for Expression of Interest (EOI) for demonstration buildings (Tall Wood and Low-rise Commercial/Industrial/Office/Institutional) and Timber Bridges (Pedestrian and Traffic) are closed.

Applicants for the Timber Bridge EOI will be informed of the status of their application in the spring/summer 2019.

What is GCWood?

The Government of Canada created the Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program to encourage greater use of wood in construction projects in Canada. We want to catalyze a broader awareness of, and domestic capacity for, innovative tall wood buildings, timber bridges and low-rise wood buildings. Building with wood offers many benefits, including GHG emission reductions and opportunities for economic growth.

GCWood provides non-repayable contributions of up to 100% of a project’s eligible incremental costs for the demonstration of innovative wood products and systems. The funding is intended to offset the cost of being the “first mover” of wood-intensive projects, and to support the development of knowledge and tools to support the success of future projects.

Knowledge and information developed using GCWood funding will fall under a Creative Commons license to allow for knowledge sharing. For details about what information could be made available, please contact a GCWood team member.

Our goals

The GCWood program supports Canada’s transition to a more wood-inclusive construction industry by funding projects that encourage:

  • greater adoption and commercialization of wood-based products in the construction of innovative tall wood buildings, timber bridges, and low-rise wood buildings;
  • replication of demonstrated innovative non-traditional wood-based buildings and timber bridges;
  • research that addresses the gap in technical information needed to facilitate revisions to the 2020 and 2025 National Building Code of Canada to allow tall wood buildings beyond the current 6 storey limit.

To receive information about the GCWood program, please join our mailing list by contacting the GCWood team.

Benefits of GCWood-funded projects

Environmental benefits of working with wood include:

  • reduced GHG emissions from renewable and sustainable resources and
  • innovative energy-efficient building designs.

Communities will benefit from:

  • new jobs and development opportunities;
  • more options and affordable housing for home buyers;
  • increased market opportunities for rural and Indigenous communities dependent on forestry activities.

Companies will benefit from:

  • new revenues;
  • a reduction in the incremental cost gap of using wood;
  • new or diversified building portfolios.

History of the GCWood Program

The GCWood program was announced in Budget 2017 with $39.8 million over four years, starting in 2018-19. The funds will support projects and activities that increase the use of wood as a green building material in infrastructure projects.

On May 30, 2019, funding was announced for The Arbour – Ontario’s first mass-timber, low-carbon institutional building.

GCWood’s first call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) targeted Tall Wood Building Projects (10 storeys and up) was open from October 6 to December 6, 2017.  The call was well received, with 14 applications submitted from across the country.

GCWood’s second EOI call for targeted Low-rise Non-residential buildings (commercial/industrial and office/institutional buildings with a maximum of four storeys) was open from September 10 to December 3, 2018. This call was very well received, with 30 applications submitted from across the country. Applicants will be informed of the program’s decision in spring 2019.

GCWood’s third EOI call targeted Timber Bridges (traffic and pedestrian bridges with a minimum span of 20 metres) was open from November 18, 2018 to April 8, 2019. The call was well received, with 13 applications submitted from across the country. Applicants will be informed of the program’s decision in spring/summer 2019.

The GCWood program builds on the success of the Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative (TWBDI). Through the TWBDI, Natural Resources Canada funded two successful demonstration projects: The Origine building in Quebec (the tallest all-wood condominium building in North America in 2017, at 13 storeys) and the Brock Commons Tallwood House student residence on the UBC campus (tallest hybrid wood building in the world in 2017, at 18 storeys).