Special to Ontario Construction Report
Proposed code changes to allow for five- and six-story wood mid-rise construction
The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) and Wood WORKS! Ontario are pleased with the Government of Ontario’s announcement that it will move ahead with proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code to allow the use of wood-frame construction in buildings of up to six-storeys. The changes will allow Ontario builders to access safe, strong and sophisticated building solutions, the organizations say in a news release. “We welcome Ontario’s announcement that it will undertake a regulatory review of the implications of adopting wood-frame construction in five- and six-storey applications,” said Michael Giroux, president and CEO of CWC. “We look forward to supporting this review process with the knowledge and expertise gained from years of designing and constructing these types of buildings in British Columbia and elsewhere in North America. Our goal is to ensure that wood products and building systems are fairly represented in the Ontario Building Code and ensure a level playing field for all structural products.” The changes to the Ontario Building Code would be similar to changes made to the British Columbia Building Code in 2009, which had an immediate impact on the local economy. With B.C. as a case study, Ontario builders are presented with a viable code compliant construction option that meets safety, health, accessibility, as well as fire and structural requirements in the code, the industry groups say. Whether built with light wood framing materials or new engineered wood products, the added height and area of these buildings creates new opportunities for architects and developers to deliver projects that best fit their overall vision and design. And by providing a reduced carbon footprint in the construction of mid-rise buildings, wood offers a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution to Ontario home builders, the news release says. “We are very happy with the code changes announced today,” says Marianne Berube, executive director of Ontario WoodWORKS! “They are the result of a lengthy, carefully considered process that has involved a great deal of consultation and input from all stakeholders. These changes offer new opportunities to meeting urban densification plans and create more affordable housing. We look forward to the innovative niche market for mid-rise buildings that will be created by these changes.” For additional information on the new wood mid-rise opportunity, visit: http://woodfacts.cwc.ca.