Province to fast track building code changes for wood construction - InfoNews

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Province to fast track building code changes for wood construction

A Structurlam cross laminated timber panel is lifted into place at a building site. The Okanagan Falls manufacturer is expected to benefit from Premier John Horgan's announcement at the plant Wednesday, March 13, 2019, of government plans to fast track changes to B.C's building code to allow timber construction of up to 12 storeys.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Structurlam
March 13, 2019 - 12:55 PM

PENTICTON - The province says it won’t wait for changes in Canada’s national building code to work with communities in the construction of tall wood buildings.

B.C. Premier John Horgan made the announcement today, March 13, at the Structurlam plant in Okanagan Falls.

Forest communities are expected to see more jobs and opportunities from B.C.’s early adoption of building code changes that will allow construction of buildings up to 12 storeys using mass-timber technology, from the current limit of six storeys, according to a B.C. government press release.

“Our government is ready to work with communities to build safe, secure and green tall wood buildings that will create jobs, grow B.C.’s value-added sector and realize our low carbon future,” Horgan said in the release.

The federal building code is expected to allow mass timber construction up to 12 storeys, a change that will also be reflected in the next edition of B.C.’s building code.

But local governments in B.C. who are eligible (must be regulated under the B.C. building code and have council support) are being invited to become early adopters of the mass timber technology, which uses solid or engineered wood for the building’s primary load-bearing structures.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will contact local governments with a request for expressions of interest, detailing the next steps for local governments interested in this voluntary program.

The technology allows faster construction, with less weight than comparable concrete buildings while still meeting performance standards, the ministry said.

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