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Saint John NB first in Atlantic Canada to promote mid-rise wood frame construction

City is adopting the 2015 National Building Code permitting wood frame construction of up to six-stories.


The City of Saint John has announced it will be the first municipality in Atlantic Canada to adopt the 2015 National Building Code permitting wood frame construction of up to six-stories.

“We are excited to take the lead in Atlantic Canada by offering developers a cost-effective alternative for developing properties in our City,” said Saint John Mayor Don Darling in a release. “Adopting mid-rise wood frame construction and preparing our development staff to accept such proposals provides the City with an advantage over other Atlantic Canadian cities.”

Saint John is seeking six-story wood frame development as an alternative to the 2010 building code currently in place, and the city notes the benefits of using wood including a lower cost of construction, with potential savings of 15 to 20% (over material like concrete) as well as a minimized carbon footprint of building construction.

“This is exactly what a tree rich province like New Brunswick needs and it’s great to see Saint John leading the way to be the first city in Atlantic Canada to adopt six-story wood construction,” said Patrick Crabbe, project coordinator for Atlantic WoodWORKS!, in the release. “Allowing taller wood structures will reduce the cost of construction, push innovation in the forest industry, and provide the needed economic incentive for Atlantic developers.”

In the same statement, the City also announced a Request for Proposals for the potential development of a city-owned 505 sq. m. property in the heart of Saint John’s uptown core.

“The location would also be a great opportunity for a wood frame construction demonstration project,” said Mayor Darling.

The announcement comes just days after the province of B.C. celebrated Wood Week BC, culminating in the Wood WORKS! BC 2017 Wood Design Awards honouring the structural and architectural use of wood.