The Halifax Regional Municipality is considering a wood-first policy for the construction materials used in municipally-owned buildings but at least one other sector in the construction industry wants a say.
Richard MacLellan, the manager of sustainable environment for the Halifax Regional Municipality, made a recommendation to the city's Environment and Sustainability Committee on Thursday to adopt a wood-first policy.
He said other provinces and municipalities have already approved similar proposals.
"British Columbia in 2009, the province created legislation and then most of the municipalities across the province followed suit," he told CBC News.
"That had a large impact on the construction of a lot of the infrastructure that went up around the Olympics."
The wood-first policy is supported by the Maritime Lumber Bureau, which wants all levels of government in the region to focus on wood products when public institutions such as hospitals, schools and recreation centres are built.
The Maritime Lumber Bureau argues wood is more environmentally friendly and is good for the economy because it supports the local forestry sector.
"Their position was that wood has been forgotten for a period of time in construction projects," said MacLellan.
"They wish to bring it back to awareness."
Mary Macaulay, the executive director of the Atlantic Concrete Association, said her group wants a say on a possible wood-first policy before a decision is made.
She said the ready-mix concrete industry employs a lot of people and is greener than wood.
"In terms of demolition waste, wood is the primary culprit," said Macaulay.
"Fifty-one per cent of the construction demolition waste comes from wood. Concrete isn't even in there because concrete is not hazardous when it becomes a waste. It can be crushed and it can be recycled."
The municipality's Environment and Sustainability Committee will see a presentation from the Atlantic Concrete Association in January before the issue is sent on to regional council for a final decision.
"We are a pretty successful industry but we're always in the background and we're quietly plodding along," said Macaulay.
"People don't realize how important to the economy this industry is."