Where the Shuswap meets the Okanagan

Enderby Chamber Praises City of Enderby's Wood First Policy  

September 8, 2010


The Enderby & District Chamber of Commerce is praising the City of Enderby's adoption of a Wood First bylaw. At a council meeting on September 7, Enderby City Council voted unanimously in support of the Chamber's request to support a Wood First policy.

The Chamber's letter requests that the construction of City buildings be based on design proposals using wood as the primary building material. The policy should also favour design proposals featuring innovative or extensive uses of wood content, particularly those which use locally sourced wood and wood products.

Chamber Executive Director Tate Bengtson says that "a Wood First policy requires contractors to give serious consideration to wood as the primary building material. It will stimulate innovation in using wood. It will encourage contractors to develop working knowledge of local opportunities to acquire wood and wood products."

Enderby Mayor Dee Wejr affirms her council's support for a Wood First policy. "Wood is integral to the past, present, and future of Enderby. Many of our local businesses are leaders in using wood products in innovative ways. Wood is a warm, natural, and renewable material. Philosophically, my council is focused on fostering the right conditions to enhance our business environment and create new jobs. We believe that a Wood First policy will do exactly that. Through this and other measures, we have taken concrete steps as a council to make Enderby an incredibly competitive place to do business."

"Local businesses in forestry and value-added wood are employers, exporters, and loci of innovation and productivity," Bengtson observes. "These sectors are very important in maintaining a local economy which is competitive, productive, and diversified."

For Bengtson, the City of Enderby's adoption of a Wood First policy improves the conditions for the wood sector. "By giving favourable consideration to design proposals which maximize the use of locally sourced wood and wood products, the City of Enderby will encourage contractors to explore local supply opportunities and utilize local knowledge and innovation, which will develop new supply chains and product advancements of benefit to the local economy."

"There are also significant environmental outcomes which compliment the City's own climate action initiatives," Bengtson observes. "The cumulative environmental impact of using wood is a 60% carbon impact improvement over 120 years. As a renewable resource, using wood as the primary building material makes sense in terms of sustainability."

For Mayor Wejr, adopting a Wood First bylaw sends a strong signal. "The City of Enderby recognizes the immense value of wood as a construction material and as an economic driver. We also acknowledge and respect the products, services, and innovation of local wood and value-added wood enterprises."