Greener Horizons: Advancing Sustainable Solutions in Construction

Photo credit: B Collective Homes


This month we are exploring two examples of innovation in sustainable building practices in British Columbia, the Building Offsite Sustainable System and the Hybrid Timber Floor System. Through financial support from both the provincial and federal governments, these innovations reshape traditional construction methods and embody a dedication to sustainability and resource efficiency.

Building Offsite Sustainable System (BOSS) is a construction method developed by Vancouver-based BCollective Homes. BOSS is a system for offsite building that reduces the environmental impact of construction and improves the resilience and durability of buildings. It’s an open-source prefabrication system that was developed by a team of experts and funded by Clean BC.BCollective Homes, specializing in the design, manufacturing, and construction of energy-efficient prefabricated homes, will receive funding from the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund. This funding would allow them to target affordable housing projects urgently needed in the Vancouver region, while potentially creating 55 jobs.

Prefab homes are constructed off-site under controlled conditions before being transported for assembly on the designated property. By building in a controlled factory environment, prefab homes significantly reduce overall construction timelines without sacrificing quality. This not only expedites the homeowners’ ability to inhabit their new dwellings but also leads to cost savings through minimized labor expenses and decreased vulnerability to weather-related delays.

The controlled manufacturing environment of prefab homes enables precise material usage, minimizing waste during construction. Prefabrication also facilitates the integration of eco-friendly technologies and sustainable design elements, contributing to enhanced energy efficiency. The customizable nature of prefab homes allows for the incorporation of features such as solar panels and energy-efficient insulation. Prefab homes are an environmentally conscious choice, aligning with construction trends that are evolving towards greater efficiency and sustainability.



A partnership between FPInnovations, DIALOG, and EllisDon, the Hybrid Timber Floor System (HTFS) is a large-scale research and development prototype that combines cross-laminated timber panels with reinforced and prestressed concrete to create a long-span, low carbon floor system.

Photo credit: DIALOG

This technology represents a significant stride forward in the Government of Canada’s commitment to sustainable building practices by providing to the Hybrid Timber Floor System Project with funding through the Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program. The testing of this hybrid timber floor system is a crucial step forward, offering the construction industry an opportunity to explore more environmentally conscious alternatives in building design and implementation.

As the Province and the federal government continue to provide the incentives that push the boundaries of sustainable construction methods, innovative organizations like B Collective Homes, FPInnovations, DIALOG and EllisDon demonstrate a collective dedication to fostering a greener and more resilient future.

Photo credit: DIALOG


Learn more: BOSS

Learn more: Hybrid Timber Floor Systems