Wood First Initiative
B.C. Forest Sector & Markets – Wood First Initiative
In 2009, the B.C. Government introduced the Wood First Initiative (WFI) to promote a “culture of wood” in the province. Also in 2009, the Wood First Act was enacted by the B.C. Government to position wood as the primary choice for building material in provincially funded buildings, where supported by the B.C. Building Code. The code was also updated to allow six-storey, wood-frame residential construction, a first in Canada.
Together, these actions have expanded the use, application and development of wood technologies and wood products in British Columbia.
In 2011, FII assumed management of the Wood First Initiative. A Wood First Advisory Committee was established to provide strategic guidance to FII on the priorities for the WFI. The committee includes a broad cross-section of representatives from value-added wood processing sector and wood products end-user communities.
- Presently, the strategic objectives for WFI are:
- 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 the design, production and application of sustainable and innovative wood-based products and building systems.
The WFI is delivered mainly through activities and programs proposed and managed by trade associations, knowledge centres and educational institutions. Service delivery partners are selected through an annual competitive proposal-call process. FII also delivers some activities directly.
Programs under Wood First include marketing and outreach, education and skills development, strengthening manufacturing capacity, research and innovation, reducing barriers to wood use, and providing support to decision makers for policies on wood use.