April 7, 2021                                              Vancouver, British Columbia                                        Natural Resources Canada

Canada’s forest sector is transforming — and greening the construction industry. The use of mass timber as a building material lowers emissions, promotes innovation and supports value-added manufacturing. That is why Canada is investing in the use of mass timber in building applications to support our forestry workers with new uses for wood.

Terry Beech, Member of Parliament for Burnaby North–Seymour, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $900,000 investment to support the design and construction of oN5, a four-storey mass timber office building, to become the new home of Equilibrium Consulting.

Named for its location near the intersection of Ontario Street and East Fifth Avenue in the Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood of downtown Vancouver, oN5 will be a smart growth infill building that will demonstrate what is possible in mass timber construction. oN5 will be the first office building in Canada constructed using high-performance cross-laminated timber panels. The project will showcase the potential for mass timber in commercial construction, which is designed to achieve high levels of occupant comfort and energy efficiency. oN5 will incorporate several sustainable building technologies — most notably, the use of mass timber and strategies based on Passive House principles, making oN5 energy-efficient, comfortable, affordable and ecological at the same time.

Funding for the project is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Green Construction Through Wood Program, which encourages the use of wood in non-traditional construction projects, such as low-rise non-residential buildings, tall wood buildings and bridges. The program aims to position Canada as a world leader in innovative wood construction technologies and the low-carbon economy.

Projects like this are helping Canada reach net zero by finding effective ways of building sustainably using Canadian wood products and lowering GHGs. 

“Vancouver’s urban landscape will benefit from the innovative wood design of oN5 and inspire more wood and mass timber structures to take root in our city.”

Terry Beech
Member of Parliament for Burnaby North–Seymour 

“Wood is being used more and more in building bigger and tall buildings, and we’re leading the world at it. Creating new markets for Canadian timber supports our forestry workers, creates jobs and gets us to net zero.”

Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Minister of Natural Resources 

“We feel that as engineers, we have a responsibility to put our money where our mouth is. The oN5 project provides an example to society on how the use of mass timber is doing our bit for the environment in a typical mid-block city lot commercial development. Canada, British Columbia and the City of Vancouver are leaders in wood excellence, and, as professionals, we are proud to be a part of it.”

Robert Malczyk
P.Eng., Owner 

“FPInnovations is proud to be entrusted with the performance assessment of this exciting project. We are pleased to witness NRCan’s support of mass timber construction projects such as this one that offer greening strategies to reduce the carbon footprint for the building industry.”

Tim Caldecott
Strategic Partnerships Leader BC|Ottawa, FPInnovations 

We have been involved in the design and construction of a number of highly sustainable, mass timber buildings throughout British Columbia. It is very encouraging to see a project in Vancouver utilizing the advantages of CLT construction to simultaneously address both the challenges of an in-fill, urban site and the pressures of sustainable design.

John Hemsworth,
Principal and Architect, Hemsworth Architecture 

“The use of Virtual Construction as a process for the oN5 project has enabled the efficient and innovative use of CLT, which replaced a more traditional concrete and steel structure. The use of wood greatly reduces the carbon impact of the materials used within the project and also provides for a much faster construction process with less impact on the surrounding neighbourhood.”

Joe Geluch
President, Naikoon 

This innovative four-storey commercial wood project is an important new archetype for viable mass timber construction on urban infill building sites. oN5 demonstrates technologically advanced wood building products and systems, including prefabricated mass timber components that offer benefits such as reduced carbon impacts, accelerated speed of construction and enhanced building performance. This Passive House project and others like it signal a new paradigm for commercial buildings, moving us toward a more sustainable built environment for tomorrow.

Lynn Embury-Williams
Executive Director, Wood WORKS! BC / Canadian Wood Council 

Associated links

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources


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