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Ontario to allow mass timber construction up to 18 storeys

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In a move designed to help build more homes and support Ontario’s forestry sector, Ontario will now allow mass timber buildings up to 18 storeys high.
The province is expanding the use of advanced wood construction like mass timber to help build homes faster and reduce costs over time while supporting good-paying jobs in forestry, technology, engineering design and manufacturing. Currently, Ontario’s Building Code allows encapsulated mass timber construction buildings to be up to 12-storeys tall. The province intends to amend the Building Code in the coming months to permit encapsulated mass timber construction up to 18 storeys.
“The use of mass timber can help the sector build more homes faster, keep the cost of construction down and boost our northern economy,” said Paul Calandra, minister of municipal affairs and housing.
“As we work to cut red tape in order to increase housing supply, we’re taking an innovative approach to help our partners get shovels in the ground.”
Encapsulated mass timber construction offers an environmental solution for quieter and faster construction with the same fire and structural protection as other building methods. Provincial initiatives that support advanced wood construction, such as Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy, offer a significant opportunity to shift housing construction offsite and into factories, supporting more efficient and rapid construction from renewable forestry resources grown and harvested in Ontario by Ontario workers for Ontario families.
“Our abundant natural resources and highly-skilled forestry sector are helping to meet the demand for housing across the province,” said Graydon Smith, minister of natural resources and forestry. “Advanced wood construction will help bring long-term investments to northern communities that will create new, good-paying jobs while increasing housing supply and supporting Ontario’s largest renewable natural resource sector.”
As part of a thorough review of this opportunity, Ontario participated in a national consultation on proposed changes to Ontario’s Building Code that would allow for expanded use of mass timber in the province.

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