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Mass timber construction in Canada

Demand for more sustainable construction materials and methods, as well as more sophisticated design and production systems, is stimulating the construction market in Canada. Mass timber will shape the future of low carbon construction and develop the bio-economy. Canada's forest sector is responding to this opportunity with innovative products and designs.

The State of Mass Timber in Canada report

The 2021 State of Mass Timber in Canada (SMTC) report is the first of its kind to systematically document domestic mass timber construction projects and production capacity in Canada. The report provides a glimpse into market trends and demonstrates the value for builders and designers to consider building with wood.

The Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) program produced the report to record, review and analyze the rise of mass timber construction in Canada. This report highlights the progress Canada has made in mass timber production, design and building, as well as the potential for our country’s ongoing leadership in this area.

A key highlight of the SMTC report is an interactive map, which displays information on nearly 500 completed or under-construction mass timber projects from 2007 to 2019, representing over 1.5 million square metres (16 million square feet) of gross floor area. 21 mass timber manufacturing facilities across Canada, showing the growing capacity of domestic producers, are also displayed.

The rise of mass timber construction in Canada

The growth in mass timber construction across Canada can be linked to:

  • progressive building codes
  • new mass timber products
  • innovative building systems
  • a growing number of designers and builders with expertise
  • increasingly affordable products and systems
  • interest in green building materials and sustainable designs

With the wide range of mass timber uses and applications, as well as the increased availability of new building materials on the market, wood is a preferred option for low carbon/green construction.

In the SMTC report and interactive map, mass timber projects are defined as public and private industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-family residential buildings that are at least 300 square metres. These buildings use engineered wood components or assemblies in structural applications, such as walls, floors and roofs either in all-wood designs or as a key part of a hybrid system (with steel, concrete and/or light wood frame). The report and map also features other structures such as bridges, towers and agricultural buildings.

Map of mass timber projects and manufacturers in Canada

Developed using the best available data, including information provided by third parties, the SMTC database and interactive map may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies.

The database is updated periodically to capture new projects, manufacturers and production estimates.

To submit a new project or provide additional information, consult our definitions before proposing a revision to the GCWood program

SMTC-Database/key terms

Key terms used in the SMTC database, report and interactive map include:

  • Completed projects: project where the construction is completed and the structure is occupied and/or in use
  • Manufacturers: primary mass timber production facilities
    • suppliers and integrators are not currently included in the database/interactive map
  • Mass timber: engineered wood products made of large, solid wood panels, columns or beams for use as load-bearing wall, floor and roof assemblies
    • typically formed and engineered for high strength through lamination, fasteners or structural adhesives
  • Mass timber project: project using large engineered wood members or assemblies in structural applications; such as walls, floors and roofs either in all-wood designs or as a key part of a hybrid system (with steel, concrete and/or light wood frame)
    • public and private industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-family residential buildings that are at least 300m2
    • bridges, towers and agricultural buildings
  • Planned project: project that has submitted documentation to acquire appropriate permits or approvals and/or has undertaken substantial design and project planning efforts
  • Project under construction: project that has broken ground, started foundation
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