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Overcoming Barriers to Prefab and Mass Timber Construction

On May 15 our Renewable Cities-led project team attended the Building Officials’ Association of BC (BOABC) 2022 Annual Spring Conference and AGM in Victoria, BC. We led a series of engagement activities focused on reducing barriers to prefabrication and mass timber (MT) construction at 7-12 storeys.  

Given mid-rise encapsulated mass timber construction (EMTC) is a novel construction approach–with immense potential to drive building carbon performance–there are still a wide range of barriers that must be hurdled, many of which are inadvertent at the municipal level. 

The project team employed short interviews and surveys to engage with over 120 conference delegates made up of building and plumbing officials, consultants, and other building and local government stakeholders. 

Delegates were asked to describe their prefabrication and mass timber project experience through their authorities’ approval process, specifically relating to real or perceived barriers at the building permit and inspection stage. Despite the variety of MT related experiences and responses received by interviewees, the Project Team noted overwhelming support by senior building officials to see mass timber and prefabrication scaled up in their communities. 

Engaging Building, Plumbing Officials and other stakeholders at the BOABC conference accelerated and deepened the team’s early identifications of MT barriers and possible solutions within the building permit process. Findings from this engagement exercise will be used in conjunction with further mapping of other local government barriers and solutions that constrain mass timber construction.  

Learn more about the project: Local Solutions to Mass Timber Barriers

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