British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) will more than double its student housing capacity with the construction of a new mass timber student housing project.
The B.C. government is investing $108.8 million and BCIT is contributing $6 million towards the $115 million project. The plan includes a BC Student Housing Loan Program for public post-secondary institutions that provides access to funds to help finance student housing projects over six years.
This project will be the first investment in new student housing beds at BCIT in 38 years.
The 464-bed, 12-storey student housing project will be designed to reflect Indigenous culture in the region, and to support Indigenous learners by providing community spaces on the ground floor.
“This investment will allow BCIT students to access sustainable on-campus housing to support their journey to a new or expanded career through an industry-relevant applied education. This new mass timber housing project is a key component of BCIT’s commitment to support the future social and economic prosperity of the province in a way that respects our spectacular natural environment,” said Kathy Kinloch, president, BCIT.
B.C. is a leader in the use of mass timber as an innovative way to reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector. Mass timber is a sustainable product that is cost effective, quicker to build and has a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional concrete construction.
“Mass timber is key to diversifying and creating a more resilient forest sector as we work to transition to high-value over high-volume production,” said Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “It’s great to see the ripple effects from the expanded use of sustainably harvested, low-carbon wood products in B.C. buildings. It helps combat climate change and brings people back to work in forestry-related jobs, while this project creates housing for hundreds of future BCIT students.”