Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 23 September 2014 -- /CNW/ -- The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) applauds the decision by the Government of Ontario to allow up to six-storey wood frame buildings.
The province has announced it will change its building code to increase the allowable height of wood-based buildings from four storeys to six, matching what is already permitted in British Columbia and what is now proposed under changes to the National Building Code.
"Technological advances are allowing us to put up taller mid-rise wood buildings that are safe strong and sophisticated," says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. "We welcome this decision as it will benefit the forest products industry and result in more quality jobs in the sector in northern Ontario and elsewhere in Canada."
The decision comes after a period of public consultation. The changes to the Ontario Building Code reflect improvements in wood-based building science and the use of sprinkler systems that ensure completed wood buildings have the same level of safety as other building materials. The new rules will come into effect on January 1st.
Besides strong safety measures, wood framed buildings have a cost advantage over competing materials and reduce construction time. Wood is also an environmentally friendly renewable resource and an aesthetically pleasing option for construction.
"This will give additional choice for builders and architects. It will also help municipalities looking for ways to increase density and infill urban areas," says Lindsay. "Taller wood buildings are definitely the way of the future."
FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $58-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 235,000 direct jobs across the country.