Government of Québec Launches 12-storey Wood Building Construction Guide

DOLBEAU-MISTASSINI, QC, Aug. 17, 2015 /CNW – The Government of Québec has announced the publication of a technical guide entitled Bâtiments de construction massive en bois d’au plus 12 étages (Construction of Mass Timber Buildings Up to 12 Storeys).

The guide outlines the technical principles required to design and construct wooden buildings up to 12 storeys using mass timber. The announcement was made by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard in the presence of Hon. Sam Hamad, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, and Mr. Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations.

Research in Canada and internationally has shown that it is possible to construct safe and secure wooden buildings greater than 6 storeys in height and that, at those heights, rather than light wood framing, mass timber construction materials must be used such as cross-laminated timber.

“We are very proud to have contributed the scientific expertise necessary to enable the Government of Québec to develop this manual,” said Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO, FPInnovations .

“The Quebec construction industry now has the knowledge necessary to design and construct buildings to the highest possible standards of safety using wood, an abundant and renewable natural resource and a cornerstone of the Québec economy.”

Any designer who wishes to erect a building over 6 floors of wood must make a request for equivalent measures to the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ).

Under section 127 of the Building Act, the RBQ may, however, determine the conditions for the use of wood as a material different from that provided by the Code for the construction of a building of more than 6 floors.

The RBQ and its authorized experts will determine if designers and builders have the appropriate skills to ensure that the construction of wooden buildings up to 12 floors will have the same level of quality and security offered by buildings designed with other materials:

• If they meet all the guidelines set out in Part 1 of the guide massive construction of wooden buildings up to 12 floors – PDF (2.5 MB)
• If the elements set out in Part 2 of that guide are considered
• If they meet the standards and other applicable requirements.

The Government of Québec is following in the footsteps of countries in Europe, where similar wood-based construction methods are permitted. Québec has recently seen an increase in wooden construction with a local consortium announcing the development of a 13-storey wooden residential building in Québec City.

Based on the scientific expertise of FPInnovations, this manual provides a technical framework for a growing tall wood building construction industry of which Québec is expected to be a significant beneficiary.

Quick Facts

• In 2011, the CLT Handbook – Canadian Edition, a technical guide presenting design and construction principles when using cross-laminated timber (a mass timber product), was published by FPInnovations. A subsequent version was also published in the United States.

• In 2013, testing performed at the National Research Council in Ottawa, Ontario, confirmed that this type of construction met the required safety specifications.

• In 2014, FPInnovations published the Technical Guide for the Design and Construction of Tall Wood Buildings in Canada, providing the guiding principles for the design of wooden buildings greater than 12 storeys.

• In 2015, a Québec-based consortium announced the construction of a 13-storey wooden building in the Pointe-aux-Lièvres eco-district in Québec City.

Associated Links

Bâtiments de construction massive en bois d’au plus 12 étages (in French only):
CLT Handbook – Canadian Edition
Technical Guide for the Design and Construction of Tall Wood Buildings in Canada

NB: Feature image is of a proposed 18 storey wooden residence to be constructed at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver Point Grey .

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