Tall & Urban News

Canadian Province To Amend Code for Taller Mass Timber Buildings

Toronto, one of the many cities within the Ontario, Canada Province. Photo by Layla FT on Unsplash
Toronto, one of the many cities within the Ontario, Canada Province. Photo by Layla FT on Unsplash
03 May 2024

Ontario is embarking on a pioneering initiative to accelerate home construction while curbing costs and bolstering employment in key sectors. The province which includes cities like Toronto, is poised to broaden the application of advanced wood construction, such as mass timber, to facilitate swifter and more economical housing development.

Under the current regulations of Ontario’s Building Code, structures utilizing Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction are permitted to rise up to 12 stories. However, the province aims to amend this code in the forthcoming months, extending the allowance for such construction to reach heights of up to 18 stories.

The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Paul Calandra, expressed optimism about the potential of mass timber in streamlining the construction process, mitigating expenses, and invigorating the economy, particularly in northern regions. He emphasized the government's commitment to reducing bureaucratic hurdles to expedite housing projects.

Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction presents an environmentally friendly alternative, offering quicker and quieter construction without compromising on fire safety and structural integrity. By endorsing advanced wood construction, aligned with initiatives like Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy, the province anticipates a shift towards offsite manufacturing, leveraging its abundant forestry resources and skilled workforce to meet housing demands efficiently.

Ontario actively engaged in a nationwide consultation on proposed changes to the Building Code, soliciting feedback on expanded mass timber usage. A multi-province Joint Task Group will evaluate this feedback, informing the implementation of regulatory adjustments.

The province's strategic embrace and the technological advances of mass timber construction have furthered this proposed expansion to the building code. It underscores a commitment to innovation, economic growth, and addressing the pressing need for affordable housing across the province.

Learn more about this story at Blog TO.