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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.

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.

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.

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 Program

The GCWood program was announced in Budget 2017 with $39.8 million over four years, starting in 2018-2019, to support projects and activities that increase the use of wood as a green building material in infrastructure projects.

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

GCWood’s second EOI was for targeted Low-rise Non-residential buildings (commercial/industrial and office/institutional buildings with a maximum of four storeys) and was open from September 10 to December 3, 2018. 30 applications were received from across the country.

GCWood’s third EOI targeted Timber Bridges (traffic and pedestrian bridges with a minimum span of 20 metres) and was open from November 18, 2018 to April 8, 2019. 13 applications were received from across the country.

On May 30, 2019, funding for the first project funded by GCWood - The Arbour, Ontario’s first mass-timber, low-carbon institutional building, was announced.

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 University of British Columbia’s campus (tallest hybrid wood building in the world in 2017, at 18 storeys).

To receive information about the GCWood program, or details about what information could be made available under a Creative Commons license, please contact the GCWood team.

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