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Bill proposed in Ontario to allow 14-storey timber structures

The Act would amend the Ontario Building Code to allow for wood frame construction to be used in mid-rise buildings up to 14 stories, instead of the current six stories.


Updating a version of the wood frame construction bill he tabled in the Ontario Legislature earlier this year, Vic Fedeli (representative for Nipissing) has introduced the Ontario Forestry Revitalization Act (14-Storey Wood Buildings), 2017, which received First Reading in the Ontario Legislature on October 18.

The Act would amend the Ontario Building Code to allow for wood frame construction to be used in mid-rise buildings up to 14 stories, instead of the current six stories.

“This change will further boost the Northern forestry industry, and create jobs and growth,” Fedeli said.

Fedeli originally introduced a Private Members’ Bill in 2012 seeking an increase in the maximum height of wood-frame buildings from four to six stories.

That change was eventually adopted by the government in 2015.  This past May, Fedeli introduced a bill seeking an increase from six to 12 stories, which would accommodate a building being planned by George Brown College in Toronto.

“I’m now seeking an increase to 14 stories as the University of Toronto has such a building in the works.  As in the past, I hope to rally all-party support for this legislation because it’s a win-win solution.  By increasing the use of wood harvested in residential construction, we help Northern Ontario by providing jobs, and we help southern Ontario meet targets to reduce urban sprawl and reduce construction costs,” said Fedeli.

He added that wood-frame construction can reduce the carbon footprint and increase the energy efficiency of mid-rise buildings while meeting or surpassing other buildings when it comes to fire safety standards.

Fedeli’s bill also comes as the federal government is currently accepting expressions of interest through its Green Construction Through Wood program for high-rise demonstration projects in Canada.