VICTORIA - More than $2.3 million is being invested this year in the Wood First program to broaden the use of B.C. wood products in commercial, government and mid-rise buildings.
The 2012-13 Wood First Investment Strategy allocates available Wood First funding to the following strategic objectives:
- Grow the culture of living and building with wood in B.C. and beyond.
- Maximize the appropriate use of wood in public and private projects.
- Strengthen B.C.'s capacity to produce high-quality wood-based products and building systems.
- Accelerate adoption of existing and emerging wood-based products and building systems.
- Position B.C. as a world leader in sustainable and innovative wood-based products and building systems in design, production, and application.
Funding priorities reflect the recommendations of an expert panel of architects, engineers, code specialists, builders and industry representatives, the Wood First Advisory Committee. The panel sets the overall Wood First strategy and recommends investment priorities. Based on those recommendations, funding is being provided to FPInnovations, the BC Wood Specialties Group, the Canadian Wood Council's Wood WORKS! BC program, and the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at the University of British Columbia to deliver on the objectives of the Wood First program.
Chaired by Jess Ketchum of Ketchum Communications, the 12-member Wood First Advisory Committee was formed last fall to advocate and educate for wood and related industries.
WOOD FIRST ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Name / Organization / Representing
Jess Ketchum / Ketchum / Communications Committee Chair
Michael Green / Michael Green Architecture / Architect
Andrew Harmsworth / GHL Consultants / Building Codes/Fire Safety
Loren Cavallin / Perkins & Will / Designer
Eric Karsh / Equilibrium Consulting / Engineer
Brent Comber / Brent Comber Originals / Art and Design
Dave Fisher / Mitsui Homes / Value-Add Industry
Jeff Popham / Island Precision Manufacturing / Value-Add Industry
Mike Pidlisecky / Woodtone / Value-Add Industry
Reynold Hert / Former CEO, Western Forest Products / Primary Industry
Wayne Clogg / Former VP, West Fraser Primary / Industry
Witmar Abele / KMBR Architects / Architect
Doug MacFarlane / ITC Construction Group / Construction
Wood First is the B.C. government's comprehensive program to expand the use of wood products and building systems provincially. The program is managed by FII, the province's market development agency for forest products.
The government of B.C. has been funding Wood First initiatives since 2009, when the Wood First Act was introduced, to increase demand for wood products by requiring provincially funded building projects to use wood as the primary construction material.
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell -
"Increasing the use of wood in British Columbia is a priority and I am pleased to be able to announce our financial commitment to the Wood First initiative. Under the leadership of the advisory committee, we will see a growing awareness of the benefits of wood use in building and of the role our innovative industry can play worldwide. We are grateful to this group of experts for providing their valuable time to a very important initiative."
Jess Ketchum, chair, Wood First Advisory Committee -
"This is a group of best-in-class leaders from their respective industry sectors and the first set of recommendations will enhance the ability to grow the appropriate use of wood products in B.C. and beyond. The committee is proud of the advice it provided earlier this year to FII, and we look forward to building on that work in the upcoming year."
Naturally Wood: http://www.naturallywood.com/
Forestry Innovation Investment: http://www.bcfii.ca/
To find out more about 'The BC Jobs Plan', visit: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
Government Communications and Public Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation