Canadian Consulting Engineer

New guidelines issued for mass-timber buildings in B.C.

The guidelines follow recent legislative changes which allow construction of encapsulated mass-timber buildings up to 12 storeys.

April 8, 2021  CCE

In a nod to the growth in innovative wood engineering and architecture in British Columbia, and to support the safe design and construction of taller mass-timber buildings, Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) have published new guidelines to clarify the expectations for professional practice for architects and engineers designing mass-timber buildings up to 12 storeys.

This guideline follows recent legislative changes which allow construction of encapsulated mass-timber buildings up to 12 storeys, AIBC officials noted in a news release.

The new guidelines cover minimum qualifications, professional practice, roles and responsibilities, and quality assurance for encapsulated mass-timber construction projects. They also identify issues to be taken into consideration, provide sources of information, and, in some instances, design options when providing architectural, building enclosure, fire protection, acoustical, structural, mechanical, and electrical design services.

The guidelines provide guidance on architectural and engineering considerations relating to these significant changes to the 2018 BC Building Code (BCBC), the 2019 Vancouver Building By-law (VBBL), and the 2018 BC Fire Code (BCFC).

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The development of the guidelines was made possible with the funding and support of Forestry Innovation Investment, National Research Council – Construction Research Centre, Engineers and Geoscientists BC, and the AIBC.

Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the AIBC will be offering a continuing education webinar in the summer of 2021 to provide engineers and architects with an overview.

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