City of Saskatoon to allow wood frame construction in taller buildings

The City of Saskatoon will be allowing wood frames in taller buildings starting next year.

Officials say buildings will be cheaper to build, still be safe

The City of Saskatoon will allow wood-framed buildings up to six storeys starting next year. (Gregory Bull/The Associated Press)

The City of Saskatoon will be allowing wood frames in taller buildings starting next year.

Starting in 2016, the city will allow six-storey buildings to be built with wood frames, instead of steel or concrete. Right now, wood-framed buildings are limited to four storeys.

City administration said wood framed buildings are becoming a popular option with construction companies.

"Other jurisdictions have reported cost savings of $30 to $40 per square foot, or up to 20%, when compared to a similar building built with steel and concrete," Building Standards Director Kara Fagnou said in a news release.

"This change provides a new opportunity to create beneficial, cost-effective mid-rise options between the current low-rise and high-rise development." 

The city will be working closely with the Saskatoon Fire Department to make sure the buildings are safe and up to the new National Fire Code.

The new buildings will be allowed in the city's downtown and north downtown, as well as the University of Saskatchewan and Preston Avenue.


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