Published On: Tuesday, 24 October 2017

UNBC Professor Takes Home BC Innovation Council Ignite Award

PRINCE GEORGE - University of Northern British Columbia Associate Engineering Professor Dr. Thomas Tannert wants to change the way we build commercial buildings in British Columbia.

With a BC Innovation Council (BCIC) Ignite Award worth $110,000, Dr. Tannert and his colleagues at the Wood Innovation Design Centre will collaborate with BC Passive House and Equilibrium Consulting to develop and bring to market efficient and safe wood-based prefabricated commercial Mass Timber Panels (MTP).

Currently, there is no wood-based product available in North America for walls in large mass-timber buildings, but the Ignite funded research will fill that void.

The panels will be prefabricated at the BC Passive House factory in Pemberton to ensure quality. The lightweight design of the MTP will reduce transportation costs and make it easier to reach rural and remote communities. The ease of assembly will be designed with the shorter Northern construction season in mind.

This new generation of wall panels will utilize wood for its major components, enabling Passive House standard registration, faster building construction and a cost competitive wood-based solution for commercial buildings.

The BCIC Ignite awards provide funding for collaborative, industry-driven, academic research leading to projects that can be commercialized. BCIC announced four Ignite recipients at a gala event in Vancouver on October 10.

The awards are funded through the Natural Resources and Applied Sciences (NRAS) Endowment Fund. The Province of British Columbia established NRAS to enhance the quality of life for British Columbians by building a strong research and development, advanced training, technology transfer and commercialization environment.