The use of wood in commercial

"It's a very positive move forward for not only wood construction, but construction itself," said Steven Street, technical director of WoodWORKS! Ontario, a Canadian Wood Council campaign meant to increase the use of wood in commercial, industrial and institutional construction in North America.

Street said the biggest advantage wood has over steel and concrete, as a building material, is that it can lower the cost of a project by up to 20 per cent.

Street campaigned to allow for taller wood buildings in Ontario for more than four years.
"It took a significant amount of time for people to understand what kind of a system we had with some of our newer technologies," he said.

Most European Union countries allow wood frame buildings up to six storeys.

In Norway, one architectural firm plans to build a 14-storey timber building.

In British Columbia, more than 50 wood-frame buildings have been built since its building code was changed in 2009 to allow for wood construction projects up to six storeys in height.

Quebec was the next province to allow wood-frame buildings up to six storeys high in 2013.

Street said new technologies have made taller wood-frame buildings more viable, and have addressed many of the safety concerns linked to wood construction.


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