Edmonton – The Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) commends Whitecourt-Ste. Anne MLA George VanderBurg for introducing a bill in the Alberta Legislature (Wednesday, Nov 26) that would see 6 storey wood buildings permitted throughout Alberta. The Bill follows a 2015 National Building Code recommendation to allow 6 storey wood buildings and a recent announcement by the City of Calgary to permit these types of structures in that City.
“This is great news for the forest industry and for Alberta’s economy,” said AFPA President and CEO Paul Whittaker. “Wooden midrise buildings are faster and more economical to construct, far less carbon intensive, and use a renewable, locally-sourced material. Using wood also supports a major part of Alberta’s economy and provides jobs in communities throughout the province.”
In Alberta, wood-framed buildings are currently limited to 9 metres (3 or 4 storeys depending on building design). British Columbia permits wood buildings of up to 6 storeys, with a potential for taller buildings to be approved through a special permit process. Ontario has amended their legislation to allow 6 storey wood buildings as of January 1, 2015.
Urban centres throughout Alberta are beginning to promote densification as a responsible use of land, a sustainable way to deal with population growth, and a means of reducing infrastructure costs. The lower costs associated with wood-framed construction allow builders and developers the flexibility to meet this goal. Builders are required to meet stringent safety and fire mitigation standards, including the installation of sprinkler systems.
For more information on the Bill, please visit http://tinyurl.com/ k7bpgj4.
The Alberta Forest Products Association is a private, non-profit industry organization, representing forest products companies operating in Alberta. For more information about the Association or Alberta’s forest products industry, please visit www.albertaforestproducts.ca.