Building Officials Discuss Six-Storey Wood Structures At Burlington Forum
TORONTO — The City of Burlington has hosted the first official forum on mid-rise, wood-frame construction since the provincial government amended the Building Code to permit six-storey wood buildings in Ontario as of January 1, 2015. The building industry has long advocated for the province to adopt an Ontario Building Code six-storey wood standard to support intensification, provide builders a new building option and create more choice for new home buyers.
"As part of our ongoing collaboration with the Ontario Home Builders' Association (OHBA) we decided the next logical step was to bring all the stakeholders together to have an open discussion about the opportunities and challenges this innovative building practice brings to the community," said Jason Schmidt-Shoukri, Chief Building Official and Manager of Building Permit and Inspection Services for the City of Burlington. "As a city that is focusing on intensification, sustainability and affordability, six-storey wood could be a viable building option that supports growth in the community and complements future city building plans for Burlington."
The forum brought together all aspects of the building industry including the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Tarion Warranty Corporation, Hamilton-Halton Home Builders' Association, BILD, RESCON, the Ontario Building Officials' Association and the Canadian Wood Council to discuss the opportunities available and what challenges may develop during the implementation process. Bringing these parties together allowed for a well-rounded discussion on the positive impacts this new option will have for new home buyers and the communities they will enhance.
"This is about building consumer confidence. By bringing everyone together-the Chief Building Official, engineers, architects, suppliers, builders and the Tarion Warranty Program-and collaborating to deliver six-storey wood buildings to Ontario, consumers can feel confident that this is a safe, affordable and sustainable choice for new home buyers," said Joe Vaccaro, CEO of OHBA. "As an industry, we look forward to seeing construction on the first mid-rise wood-frame building in Ontario within the year."