Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program

Government of Canada

Relevent Country: Canada

Government of Canada is seeking applications for the Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) program to encourage the use of innovative wood-based building technologies in construction projects to support Canada’s commitment to reach 2030 and 2050 emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement and advance long-term priorities regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction.

  • GCWood invests in wood construction projects that generate many benefits, including:
  • reduced GHG emissions from renewable and sustainable resources that help decarbonize the built environment
  • accelerated adoption of innovative building technologies and systems
  • updated building codes that allow for taller and larger wood buildings
  • affordable housing and community infrastructure

The GCWood program aims to catalyze a long-term transformational change. This change would include the greater use of wood in all infrastructure projects, with broader benefits, such as GHG emission reductions and economic growth, being realized.

The renewed GCWood program will focus on low carbon, non-traditional wood construction materials and building systems to de-risk and accelerate domestic market penetration and support Canada’s efforts to decarbonize the built environment.

The program will facilitate market and regulatory uptake of wood-based products and systems in Canada through demonstration projects. Funding will catalyze greater awareness of, and domestic capacity for, innovative wood building technologies and systems, design concepts, and advanced bio-products used in the construction of buildings.

Funding Information

The maximum amount payable by the GCWood program is up to 50% of a project’s eligible costs up to a total of $1.4 million.

The GCWood program funding will be available to recipients until March 31, 2026. All eligible expenditures for GCWood contributions must be incurred and paid on or before March 31, 2026. To address the potential for construction delays for demonstration projects, funding authorities will remain valid until March 31, 2028 so that the recipients can complete the project and deliver key performance indicators per the terms and conditions of the contribution agreement.

Projects funded by the program are expected to

  • De-risk the design and deployment of nascent design and construction concepts for wood construction (such as prefabrication including modular construction, Design for Disassembly/Adaptability (DfD/A), and retrofits).
  • Address the need for affordable housing and community infrastructure.
  • Decarbonize the built environment.
  • Address technical challenges, research, testing or other impediments to the use of wood in construction projects in Canada.
  • Gather data through instrumentation and monitoring to study and improve understanding of the performance of wood infrastructure, accelerate the adoption of innovative technologies and systems, and fill gaps identified by the insurance industry and other key stakeholders.
  • Help building owners and developers showcase their innovative wood infrastructure projects, enabling marketing and replication of future sustainable and resilient building projects.
  • Support costs associated with the design, engineering, code equivalency, or construction of a wood building (that would not be incurred if the building was built with traditional materials).
  • Raise awareness of off-site prefabrication efficiencies, speed of construction, reduced waste, and other benefits associated with prefabrication of building components.
  • Expand the understanding and use of life cycle analysis and related carbon accounting research.
  • Showcase best practices and share lessons to support future uptake of technologies, systems, designs and products in timber construction.
  • Prove-out the business case for wood use and support the costs related to the learning curve associated with regularizing wood use in the development and construction sector.

Eligible Projects

To further the program’s objective to encourage the increased use of wood as a low carbon building material, GCWood will fund eligible design, approval, and construction activities associated with construction projects that incorporate one or more of the following elements:

Schematic design: a project to develop the design of a new wood or wood-hybrid infrastructure or existing infrastructure targeting the early design stage. The schematic design project must be linked to an actual project in Canada. The approaches submitted must be related to the use of wood and the mitigation of GHG emissions associated with the design of the actual project.

Innovative building solutions for wood construction: a project to deploy innovative wood-based construction methods, technologies, processes or assemblies to address specific sustainability, construction processes or innovation goals (e.g., DfD/A, retrofitting of existing buildings, prefabrication, etc.). These innovative building solutions for wood construction are targeting new or existing wood or wood-hybrid infrastructure projects that are shovel-ready or under construction.

Advanced bio-based products: a project to deploy the use of advanced wood-based products in existing or new construction to replace conventional construction materials in buildings to lower the building’s carbon footprint. Examples include use of wood fibre insulation, wood-based cladding panels, etc.

Projects that do not fall within the above categories will not be eligible under this solicitation process.

Eligible Recipients

Eligible recipients are for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous organizations and groups, Canadian academic institutions, as well as provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies.