August 17, 2015 by STAFF REPORT
The Québec government has launched a technical guide in support of the design and construction of 12-storey wood buildings using mass timber.
The Government of Québec is following in the footsteps of countries in Europe, where similar wood-based construction methods are permitted, according to a release from FPInnovations, which provided technical and scientific advice on the guide. British Columbia was the first province to change its building code in 2009 to allow buildings up to six-storeys to be made of wood.
Québec has recently seen an increase in wooden construction, including a local consortium announcing the development of a 13-storey wooden residential building in Québec City. The manual provides a technical framework for a growing tall wood building construction industry of which Québec is expected to be a significant beneficiary.
Research in Canada and internationally has shown that it is possible to construct safe and secure wooden buildings greater than 6 storeys in height and that, at those heights, rather than light wood framing, mass timber construction materials must be used such as cross-laminated timber, according to Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations.
“We are very proud to have contributed the scientific expertise necessary to enable the Government of Québec to develop this manual,” says Lapointe. “The Quebec construction industry now has the knowledge necessary to design and construct buildings to the highest possible standards of safety using wood, an abundant and renewable natural resource and a cornerstone of the Québec economy.”
In 2013, testing performed at the National Research Council in Ottawa confirmed that multi-storey construction using cross-laminated timber (a mass timber product) met the required safety specifications.