Mass Timber – Increasing Workforce Capacity for Green Building

Mass timber is a non-combustible, sustainable alternative to a steel or concrete framing system. Mass timber buildings offer a means to manage the environmental impact of buildings and transform the social and economic dimensions of our building development industry.

Opportunities for mass timber are increasing over time as the technology becomes more versatile while also reducing construction waste and minimizing embodied carbon.

As with other alternative construction technologies, mass timber requires more extensive planning and integration in the building process to optimize efficiency. On mass timber projects, it is common for the owner, the architect, the engineering and specialty consultants, the mass timber supplier, and the contractor/construction manager to work together as a vertically integrated design team. The traditional role of trades is significantly streamlined, and the finished product comes with a building information model to guide facilities management.

Currently, there is a limited capacity to supply these projects as developments in the industry grow. Increasing suppliers are finding innovative ways to manufacture mass timber; however, they face challenges due to labour shortages. While capacity exists for mass timber growth, supply chains’ lack of available labour can create inconsistency and unpredictability.

To address these concerns, the OGCA has partnered with the Workforce 2030 Coalition, Canada’s first and only coalition supporting low-carbon workforce development across the building sector. The goal of the project is to ensure the capacity of the real estate and construction workforce to implement green building, including tall mass timber construction, to reduce building sector greenhouse gas emissions meaningfully. This work includes addressing workforce barriers, including knowledge and skills gaps, talent retention and recruitment, and innovation in project delivery to increase workforce capacity.

Due to the significant expertise in mass timber construction, green building and other innovative construction techniques amongst OGCA members, we are proud to work to increase workforce capacity across our sector.

For more information on Workforce 2030, visit: