B.C. is changing its building code to allow the construction of taller wood buildings as a safe, economic and environmental alternative to concrete apartments and office buildings, Horgan said Wednesday.
B.C.’s building code changes come a year ahead of expected changes in the national building code, which are also expected to increase height limits for wood buildings to 12 storeys, Horgan said.
“We’re not waiting for the rest of the country to get here,” said Horgan. “We already know that the product we’re building, that we’re creating here, is fire resistant. We know that we can build faster and we know it’s better for the environment.”
A new building is being built at the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, June, 13, 2016. The 18-storey Brock Commons is intended to show developers and the public that wood can be equally as effective as steel or concrete, better for the environment and support the country’s forestry industry.
He said he expects local governments and First Nations to approve more wood buildings for family apartments, student residences and business locations.
Horgan made the announcement at Structurlam, a timber production company in Okanagan Falls near Penticton that has been a North American leader in wood products used in buildings.
“We need to get more value out of every log,” he said. “It’s cost-effective. It’s environmentally sensitive and it’s putting British Columbians to work with a B.C. product.”