Located on the south campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, the wood-framed Sail Condos is six-stories tall, and has 172 units. It was designed by the award-winning Rositch Hemphill Architects.
Located on the south campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, the wood-framed Sail Condos is six-stories tall, and has 172 units. It was designed by the award-winning Rositch Hemphill Architects.

CALGARY and ONTARIO, CANADA - The City of Calgary announced it will begin accepting permit applications this month for construction of wood-frame residential buildings up to six-stories tall. The city joins a growing number of towns and provinces in Canada to permit construction of the taller wood buildings. 

“We are very happy with the City of Calgary’s decision to bring the mid-rise wood construction opportunity to the construction and design community for this region,” says Michael Giroux, President of the Canadian Wood Council. “These changes are the result of a lengthy,carefully considered process that involved a great deal of consultation and input from all stakeholders.”

Rory Koska, program manager for WoodWORKS! Alberta, added,“It was a pleasure to assist with information and support the hard work of the Canadian Home Builders Association and the City of Calgary. We look forward to the new mid-rise buildings that will be created as a result of these changes.”

In September, Ontario announced it will enact code changes to allow for the construction of wood-frame buildings up to six stories. The changes in Ontario’s building code, which previously held a four-story maximum, brings the province’s codes in line with those of British Columbia, and should help spur the local economy as well as the forest industry. Wood structures have grown in popularity recently as architects, engineers and designers also look to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings.

“The changes to Ontario’s Building Code offers designers new opportunities for innovation that will help municipalities meet urban densification plans and create more affordable housing options,” said Marianne Berube, executive director for Ontario Wood WORKS!, a program of the Canadian Wood Council. “We look forward to the new mid-rise buildings that will be created as a result of these changes.”

The proposal been under debate by groups including the Cement Association of Canada, and the International Association of Firefighters, which expressed concerns over the possible increased fire risk of the taller wood structures.

Along with the code change, new safety requirements for the wood-frame buildings include building stairwells with non-combustible materials and combustion-resistant roofs.

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