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Two storey increase in woodframe midrise - Ontario Building Code

Discussion in 'Canada' started by mark handler, May 24, 2013.

  1. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    Calling for change to the building code

    Two storey increase in woodframe midrise construction called for by deveopment industry

    Calling for change to the building code | Toronto Star

    By: Bryan Tuckey Staff Reporter., Published on Thu May 23 2013

    Earlier this week, I stood with a group of industry leaders and called on the provincial government to make changes to the Ontario Building Code.

    We’re asking for amendments that will allow woodframe construction of buildings up to six storeys, resulting in the creation of more safe and affordable homes across the GTA.

    Currently, the code allows woodframe buildings to be constructed up to four storeys. As you go higher, mid-rise housing becomes more expensive because you have to use materials like concrete and steel.

    “If the Ontario Building Code allowed for six-storey woodframe construction, costs would go down and options for new homebuyers would go up,” Leith Moore, president of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association and a vice-president at Sorbara Development Group told the group at our news conference on Wednesday.

    At the press conference, we released a BILD-commissioned report by the City of Toronto’s former chief planner, Paul Bedford. His research found that there are strong planning and economic rationales for the changes.

    The planning rationale stems from the need to build complete communities and revitalize existing neighbourhoods for the up to 100,000 people and 50,000 jobs that come to the GTA every year.

    “Mid-rise six storey wood structures present the opportunity to build out our avenues in a way that is compatible with low-density residential neighbourhoods, and allows for an affordable new choice in the housing market. This is an essential initiative for our City,” said Toronto’s chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat, who joined us at the news conference with chief building official Ann Borooah.

    The changes we need here in Ontario are similar to those made in British Columbia in 2009. There, an immediate impact on the local economy followed. With B.C. as a case study, Ontario could expect job creation, increased tax revenue from the addition of new residences and more affordable options for new homebuyers.

    B.C. had to overcome opposition to the change from the fire safety community, so we did a report to investigate fire safety issues related to an increased use of combustible material in construction. The findings were clear: the number of fire incidents does not increase simply because buildings have more combustible material.

    “Woodframe buildings have to meet the same safety and building standards as those built using other materials and we all want residents to be safe and secure in their homes,” said Steven Street, technical director at Six Storey Wood Frame Building.

    Through the upcoming review of the National Building Code, we have the opportunity to direct change in a positive way. We are calling on our partners in government to make changes to the Ontario Building Code that will bring additional safe and affordable homes to the GTA.

    Bryan Tuckey is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and can be found on Twitter (twitter.com/bildgta ), Facebook (facebook.com/bildgta ), Youtube (youtube.com/bildgta ) and BILD’s official online blog (bildblogs.ca).
     

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