The up-and-coming new material for sustainable building is mass timber. Mass timber could be part of the climate change solution and become the cornerstone of the Province of Ontario’s economic and environmental future. The question now is can supply keep up with the rising demand? Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty’s Mass Timber Institute (MTI) are about to go in search of that answer.
The research, to be conducted by Vanessa Nhan, a Master of Forest Conservation student, with support from Glen Foley, forest modeling specialist at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and MTI’s project manager Emmett Snyder, will focus on recalculating existing wood volume on two Crown Forest management units to determine what wood, if any, is leftover after wood supply commitments and shareholder allocations, and if it can be used for a new and sustainable mass timber industry in Ontario.
It is MTI’s aim to help Canada become an international leader in tall wood buildings and advanced wood products with its leading-edge research and development, coupled with specialized teaching and training for the next generation of architects, builders, foresters, and designers.
Further proof of Ontario’s mass timber’s potential is a new mass timber facility in St. Thomas, run by Canada’s latest Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) manufacturer, Element5. The 137,000-square-foot, $50-million plant produced its first panel in December 2020 and is now fully operational. It houses a technologically advanced, fully automated CLT and glulam production line and can produce up to 45,000 cubic meters of CLT and glulam annually.
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Demand for mass timber on the rise in Ontario – can supply keep up?