British Columbia

B.C. building code adjusted upwards to allow 12-storey wood buildings

Premier John Horgan says the B.C. building code will be changed to allow wood construction buildings to reach 12 storeys, up from six storeys.

The provincial changes come 1 year ahead of expected changes to the national building code

UBC's Tallwood House Student Residence under construction in 2016. The 18-storey structure was an exception to the building code at the time to show developers and the public how the wood that supports the country's forest industry can be equally as effective as steel or concrete. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

British Columbia is increasing height limits for the construction of wood buildings.

Premier John Horgan says the B.C. building code will be changed to allow wood construction buildings to reach 12 storeys, up from six storeys.

Horgan made the building code announcement at a timber production company in Okanagan Falls near Penticton that has been a North American leader in wood products used in buildings.

He says the building code changes come one year ahead of expected changes in the national building code, which are also expected to increase height limits for wood buildings to 12 storeys.

Hardy Wentzel, chief executive officer of Structurlam, says the changes allow his B.C. company to continue to be an innovator on building designs and creating jobs using the province's timber resource.

Horgan says wood construction buildings are fire resistant, environmentally sustainable and add value to timber products.

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