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Canada taking command in the charge on tall wood structures, says analyst

by DON PROCTER 

The gates are starting to open for “a big opportunity in wood” around the world with the construction of tall buildings and Canada is among the countries leading the charge, says a business analyst with FPInnovations.
The University of British Columbia’s Brock Commons student residence is a hybrid structure, comprised of 17 storeys of mass timber on a one-storey concrete podium. It has two concrete cores. The facility was the subject of two recent discussions at the Tall Wood Symposium in Toronto.
The University of British Columbia’s Brock Commons student residence is a hybrid structure, comprised of 17 storeys of mass timber on a one-storey concrete podium. It has two concrete cores. The facility was the subject of two recent discussions at the Tall Wood Symposium in Toronto. - Photo: FILE PHOTO
"There are multiple projects globally and right here in Canada that are changing the way we think about building taller with wood," said Ben Romanchych, who is with the not-for-profit Canadian company that does various research and development initiatives in the forestry sector.

At 18 storeys high, Brock Commons, a student residence at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, is currently the tallest wood building in the world, although others under construction or being proposed in Europe will soar above its height.

Romanchych, who gave a presentation at the Tall Wood Symposium recently in Toronto on Opportunities for Tall Wood in Canada, said while many provincial building codes now permit construction of all-wood midrise buildings, the next step is to go higher.

Canada has seen a few wood buildings soar above six storeys under special code provisions but more opportunities are on the horizon, he said.

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