British Columbia to Allow 12-Story Wood Buildings

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May 2, 2019
tall wood building
Tall Wood Building student residence currently under construction at UBC in Vancouver, Canada. Credit: Acton Ostry Architects. “TWR 6 finished building and wood structure ME” by UBC Media Relations is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.
British Columbia has changed its building code to allow the construction of tall wood buildings, up to 12 stories. The previous limit was six stories. The change comes a year ahead of the anticipated 2020 update to the National Building Code (NBC) of Canada, which is expected to allow mass timber construction up to 12 stories. Michael McSweeney, president of the Cement Association of Canada, expressed surprise at the BC government’s announcement, calling the “absence of approved seismic specifications for this form of construction…premature.”

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