Canadian Wood Council Applauds Ontario's Decision on Mid-Rise

Code Changes to Allow for 5- and 6-Storey Wood Construction

OTTAWA, Sept. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) and Wood WORKS! Ontario are pleased with the announcement made today by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, MPP Ted McMeekin, the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, MPP Bill Mauro, and the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, MPP Michael Gravelle, that Ontario will enact code changes to allow the use of wood-frame construction in buildings of up to six-storeys.

Wood mid-rise construction is a safe, strong and sophisticated building solution. "We are very happy with the code changes announced today for Ontario," says Michael Giroux, President of the Canadian Wood Council. "These changes are the result of a lengthy, carefully considered process that involved a great deal of consultation and input from all stakeholders."

Marianne Berube, Executive Director for Ontario Wood WORKS!, agrees and explains that "the changes to Ontario's Building Code offer designers new opportunities for innovation that will help municipalities meet urban densification plans and create more affordable housing options. We look forward to the new mid-rise buildings that will be created as a result of these changes."

Changes to the Ontario Building Code are similar to ones made to the British Columbia Building Code in 2009, which had an immediate positive impact on the local economy. Now Ontario builders have the opportunity to use wood in mid-rise construction – a viable, code-compliant construction option that meets the safety, health, accessibility, as well as fire and structural requirements of the code.

"It is encouraging to see the province adopt changes to the Ontario Building Code that will permit wood-frame construction for mid-rise buildings." Explains Mayor David Canfield of Kenora and President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA). "This is going to have a positive impact on rebuilding the forest industry across Northern Ontario."

Alan Spacek, Mayor of Kapuskasing and President of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities says, "The construction of six-storey wood-frame buildings will increase the demand for Ontario wood products, benefitting the forestry industry and more broadly, the northern economy. A thriving forestry sector will help to sustain jobs, create new ones, and encourage investment and innovation into new processes and technologies - all while using a renewable, environmentally-friendly resource."

For additional information on the new wood mid-rise opportunity, please visit: www.woodfacts.cwc.ca.

The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) is a national association representing manufacturers of Canadian wood products used in construction. CWC is a strong advocate for the use of life-cycle assessment and communication about the environment attributes through the use of Environmental Product Declarations. Visit us at www.cwc.ca. Ontario Wood WORKS! 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.  Visit us at www.wood-works.ca.

Image with caption: "Canadian Wood Council (CNW Group/Canadian Wood Council)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140923_C1024_PHOTO_EN_5880.jpg

Image with caption: "Wood WORKS! (CNW Group/Canadian Wood Council)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140923_C1024_PHOTO_EN_5879.jpg

SOURCE: Canadian Wood Council

For further information: For additional information, photos, or to arrange interviews contact: Natalie Tarini, Communications Manager, CWC, 1-613-747-5544 x225, ntarini@cwc.ca; Sarah Hicks, Communications Manager, Ontario Wood WORKS!, 1-866-886-3574 x3, shicks@cwc.ca

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