GREATER TORONTO, May 22, 2013 /CNW/ - An extensive report advocating for
an Ontario Building Code change that will result in the construction of
safe, affordable homes for residents across the GTA was released
earlier today by the Building Industry and Land Development Association
(BILD), the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) and
the Canadian Wood Council.
"It's good urban planning, it's safe and it's good for future homebuyers
in the GTA and across Ontario," said Bryan Tuckey, BILD President and
"We're calling on the Ontario government to change the Code to allow for
six-storey woodframe construction to help unlock the immense potential
in neighbourhoods that have underutilized land on major avenues and
"Our report shows that these lands are often well-served by existing
infrastructure and transit, and mid-rise buildings can help to meet the
demand of the increasing population of our region, offering a variety
of sizes and design features for people of all ages."
Currently, the Ontario Building Code limits woodframe construction to
four storeys. The building industry is advocating for a change to the
Code to allow for up to six-storey woodframe construction, which will
result in the affordable construction of mid-rise buildings.
"Building mid-rise housing becomes more expensive when you go above four
storeys because you have to use materials like concrete and steel,"
said Leith Moore, President of the Ontario Home Builders' Association
and Vice President, Development at Sorbara Development Group.
"If the Ontario Building Code allowed for six-storey woodframe
construction, costs would go down and options for new homebuyers would
Strong planning and economic rationales are outlined in the report, Unlocking the Potential for Mid-Rise Buildings: Six Storey Wood
Structures, commissioned by BILD and authored by former City of Toronto Chief
Planner Paul Bedford.
In addition, BILD and the Residential Construction Council of Ontario
(RESCON) commissioned a complementary report, Mid-rise Combustible Construction in Ontario - Building Code Issues, to investigate fire safety issues related to an increased use of
combustible material in construction.
"The number of fire incidents does not increase just because buildings
have more combustible material. Our study found that data collected by
the National Fire Incident Reporting System doesn't show that fire
incidents are related to the type of construction, rather to the use
and occupancy of the building," said Richard Lyall, President of
"As well, the National Fire Code and regulations in Ontario's
Occupational Health and Safety Act contain many provisions for
construction projects that address potential fire hazards and provide
solutions to reduce risks. Woodframe buildings have to meet the same
standards as those built using other materials," added Marianne Berube,
Executive Director, Ontario Wood Works, Canadian Wood Council.
The changes to the Ontario Building Code would be similar to changes
made to the British Columbia Building Code in 2009, which had an
immediate impact on the local economy. With B.C. as a case study,
Ontario can expect increased job creation, increased tax revenue from
the addition of new residences, more affordable options for new
homebuyers and a minimized carbon footprint in the construction of
With more than 1,400 members, BILD, formed through the merger of the
Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association and Urban Development
Institute/Ontario, is the voice of the land development, home building
and professional renovation industry in the Greater Toronto Area. BILD
is proudly affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders'
The Ontario Home Builders' Association is the voice of the residential
construction industry in Ontario representing 4,000 member companies
organized into 30 local associations across the province. The industry
contributes over $42 billion dollars to Ontario's economy, employing
more than 325,000 people across the province.
RESCON is a builders' organization dedicated to removing barriers to new
construction and eliminating unnecessary costs. It coordinates a
council of trade contractor associations to address issues of common
concern. RESCON represents a melding of the old with the new. It is a
streamlining of the ongoing efforts of three groups active in promoting
builder interests for over thirty years: the Metropolitan Toronto
Apartment Builders Association (MTABA), the Toronto Residential
Construction Labour Bureau (TRCLB) and the Durham Residential
Construction Labour Bureau (DRCLB). Along with new builder members,
RESCON brings a more powerful and concerted builder voice to the many
pressing issues which affect the bottom line.
About Canadian Wood Council
The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) is the national association representing
manufacturers of Canadian wood products used in construction - enabling
the selling of Canadian wood products through programs and services
focused on creating market access and demand. Wood WORKS! Ontario is a
national industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council, with a
goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood
and wood products.
SOURCE: Building Industry and Land Development Association
For further information:
To obtain a detailed press kit or to schedule an interview, contact:
416-391-3452 or 416-543-3903
Manager, Marketing & Media Relations
416-391-3450 or 416-843-4898