Guest Blog No.1

Benefits of Wood Construction

I am pleased to have been invited by Michael Gagnon to be his first ‘guest’ blogger. When I accepted the invitation Michael asked me to let him know within a few days of our meeting what topic I was going to tackle. After pondering a broad range of areas of interest I decided to address the recent amendment to the Ontario Building Code (OBC). On January 1, 2015 the OBC was revised to allow for the construction of mid-rise wood frame buildings to a height of six (6) storeys.

Wood frame buildings provide builders with the opportunity to implement more cost effective design solutions as compared to traditional masonry construction. It is anticipated that wood frame building construction up to six (6) storeys will lead to more urban intensification in a shorter period of time.  The change in legislation is not without its challenges though. Along with changes to the OBC for wood frame construction are enhanced safety provisions which are not currently required in four (4) storey wood buildings; not necessarily a bad thing from a health and safety perspective.

Hopefully the changes to the OBC supporting taller wood frame construction will lead to the creation of more affordable, mid-rise buildings. We have several clients that are exploring their options at this time.

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Read contributions by Michael Gagnon, Managing Principal Planner of Gagnon Walker Domes Ltd. (GWD) click here

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