It’s soon to be official. On January 1, 2015, wood frame buildings can now be built up to 6-storeys in Ontario, raising the limit from 4-storeys.
According to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing “Safe and flexible building options that help make housing more affordable and support our forest industry is part of the government’s plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure, and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.”
In British Columbia, over 50 wood frame buildings have been built since its building code was changed in 2009. Wood framed buildings can be as much as 20 per cent cheaper to build than concrete buildings because of material costs and faster construction. This is great news for Ontario’s forest industry which will see the creation of jobs and growth in the industry.
The change to the Ontario Building Code will give builders more design options for the construction of wood frame buildings. New safety requirements for wood frame buildings include building stairwells with non-combustible materials and roofs that are combustion resistant making Ontario's regulations the most rigorous in Canada.
For the public, this means even safer wood framed buildings, and more flexible, affordable housing options.