New RCMP building should be done in mass timber
Open letter to North Cowichan mayor and council:
Once again the RCMP detachment building has hit the news unfavourably. This time the building is to be constructed in structural steel instead of mass timber — Cowichan Citizen Oct. 15, 2020. The mass timber construction design concept was not communicated by the North Cowichan council or the media until now.
The mass timber construction concept is a growing trend that has favourable advantages over steel and concrete design — short term it could be more expensive because of COVID-19. The growing trend in electric cars is subsidized by the taxpayers — big time.
The forestry industry pioneers, like Mayo, Stone, Sutton, Cameron, MacMillian, Bloedel and Wellburn to mention a few, along with agricultural pioneers that help build the economy we enjoy today. Newcomers to the Valley think the forests are old growth trees — little do they know that the forests are mainly second or third growth and most of the timber lands on the southern east coast of Vancouver Island are owned by the public sector pension funds — Mosaic (TimberWest and Island Timber).
The industry in the Cowichan Valley has the fiber availability and the processing capacity — sawing, drying and dressing the structural material required for the mass timber design concept — it would be a major show piece — rather than imported steel. The Kinsol Timber Systems Ltd. at Bamberton is in the fabrication business.
There has been close to 200 sawmills built — including the ones operating today — in the Cowichan Valley, including the pulp and paper mill at Crofton.
I suggest maybe the North Cowichan mayor and council should go outside their bubble and building and look at all the logging, chip/hog fuel and lumber trucks going by that contribute to the local and B.C. economy.