OTTAWA, March 21, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian wood industry is marking the 2nd annual World Wood Day with a significant initiative aimed at ensuring Canadians, from builders, contractors and architects to environmentalists and policymakers, have the information they need to make informed decisions about building 5- and 6-storey mid-rise buildings with wood.
The Canadian Wood Council and its partners have developed the new online resource WoodFacts, aimed at providing relevant, easily understandable and timely information related to safety, building codes, environmental impact and the economic benefits of building with Canadian wood products. The website provides easy to use fact sheets, case studies and relevant reports at the click of a mouse.
Over the course of the coming year, changes will be recommended around the way Canadian homes and businesses are constructed. The website compiles information on the new wood mid-rise opportunity, including images, videos, press releases, backgrounders and more.
"The truth about building with wood is that it is safe, costs less, is versatile, meets code and has a lighter environmental impact," says Michael Giroux, President of the Canadian Wood Council. "It's incredibly important for Canadians across a wide spectrum to understand these facts, particularly as we find the construction industry evolving and incorporating new and exciting wood technologies into buildings."
Michael Green of MGA I Michael Green Architecture says, "Wood has become an increasingly important part of our practice. It is the only structural building material grown by the sun, and design professionals, contractors, developers and policy makers need to work to ensure its viability in even more building types, including taller structures."
The initiative comes at a time when competing industry has questioned wood construction, but a number of new studies in both Canada and the United States show that wood is as safe as any other material in completed construction projects.
"We know from in-depth research that there is little difference in fire spread, death and injury rates across general construction types, provided the buildings are properly equipped with smoke alarms and sprinklers," says Len Garis, City of Surrey, B.C. Fire Chief and University of the Fraser Valley Adjunct Professor, who led the February 2014 report Fire Outcomes in Residential Fires by General Construction Type. "Wood is safe," says Garis, "and this new online tool developed by CWC is a highly useful resource when seeking information related to this topic."
The new website will act as a valuable resource for the public, media and the construction industry looking for detailed relevant and factual information that addresses important questions around upcoming changes to the Model National Building Code of Canada.
In addition, the website will host guest blogs and a newsfeed that is continuously updated with the latest news stories related to the wood industry. Visitors can browse a variety of case studies and videos that demonstrate the potential opportunities around wood mid-rise buildings in Canada and the United States, and have access to important quick facts under the "Did You Know" section.
This website (woodfacts.cwc.ca) will also act as a launching pad for the Canadian wood industry to share information and grow the online community that supports the spreading of factual information around building with wood. The Twitter handle @cdnwoodfacts and hashtag #cdnwoodfacts will be used when sharing relevant blogs and news stories throughout Canada.
The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) is the 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 environmental attributes through the use of Environmental Product Declarations. Visit us at www.cwc.ca.
SOURCE: Canadian Wood Council
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