More than 3,000 people are expected to converge on Vancouver Sept. 22 through 26, 2025, for the biennial Woodrise conference, which highlights the benefits and uses for mass timber in construction.
The choice of Vancouver could be seen as appropriate because, on a per-capita basis, B.C. has 11 times more mass-timber buildings than the rest of North America, and is a leader in wood and mass-timber construction. Vancouver is also a centre within North America for timber-design and engineering professionals.
"I understand that it was a competitive process and we were successful," Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation Brenda Bailey told BIV this afternoon about winning the bid to host the conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
"It really came about through FP Innovations (Forest Practices Innovations), which is a nonprofit organization that helps the forest sector with their global competitiveness. They've been very involved in this conference for quite some time and are actually one of the co-organizers."
She said the province is "gung ho" on developing the mass-timber sector in part because the growth of that sector will help B.C. generate more jobs out of each tree that is cut.
Bailey said her father was a logger and she remembers that when she was growing up, there was much talk about how to add value to timber in B.C. so raw logs would not simply be exported.
"This is really part of addressing that challenge: How do we ensure that the value that's added to our timber supply happens in B.C., and those jobs happen here, and that additional value gets unlocked here," she said.
Skeptics of using mass timber in construction might fear that the structures would be more heavily damaged if there were to be a fire. Bailey said that she has heard of studies from a centre in Prince George that tests mass timber construction.
The experiment raised the temperature on mass timber to about 815 degrees Celcius, while concrete and rebar was separately also heated to that level.
"Each of them had a weight attached," she said. "The metal beam melted and bent, and the weight fell. The wooden beam didn't."
She added that another advantage of using mass timber is that construction can be quicker than using concrete because in concrete construction there needs to be more time spent waiting for the concrete to set.