Through advancements in construction technology, modernized building codes, and a demand for sustainable design, wood is proving to be a viable, safe and effective material for a growing range of residential buildings. Podium wood-frame designs and hybrid mass-timber construction with concrete and steel have enabled British Columbia (B.C.) industry to take wood buildings to new levels.

As in many parts of North America, the demand for affordable housing in B.C. is increasing, and wood is a strong contender to add value to homes. 

Whether light-frame wood, hybrid, or mass-timber construction, all can deliver safe, comfortable, quality buildings. Wood is well suited for economical and timely construction in hard-to-reach remote locations and tight urban sites. As well, modular prefabricated wood technologies can speed up construction schedules and reduce overall construction costs.

This learning chapter will identify benefits of building with wood in multi-family residential and accommodation units demonstrated through articles and featured projects using wood as a structural and finishing material.

Learning objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Summarize the benefits of using wood as a primary building material for the design and construction of multi-family residential and accommodation units.
  • List and elaborate on examples of multi-family residential and accommodation units that used wood as a primary building material in construction.
  • Discuss wood’s role as a building material in affordable housing construction. 
  • Explain the benefits of prefabricated modular wood construction.
  • Identify and differentiate between the various types of engineered wood products, with an emphasis on mass-timber.