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Building industry releases report: Industry calls for changes to Ontario Building Code

Published by Rachael Factor, May 29, 2013.

An extensive report advocating for an Ontario Building Code change that will result in the construction of safe, affordable homes for residents across the GTA was released on May 22 by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) and the Canadian Wood Council.

BILD is calling on the Ontario government to change the Code to allow for six-storey woodframe construction to help unlock the immense potential in neighbourhoods that have underutilized land on major avenues and corridors.

"Our report shows that these lands are often well-served by existing infrastructure and transit, and mid-rise buildings can help to meet the demand of the increasing population of our region, offering a variety of sizes and design features for people of all ages" says Bryan Tuckey, BILD President and CEO.

Currently, the Ontario Building Code limits woodframe construction to four storeys. The building industry is advocating for a change to the Code to allow for up to six-storey woodframe construction, which will result in the affordable construction of mid-rise buildings.

In addition, BILD and the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) commissioned a complementary report, Mid-rise Combustible Construction in Ontario - Building Code Issues, to investigate fire safety issues related to an increased use of combustible material in construction.

The changes to the Ontario Building Code would be similar to changes made to the British Columbia Building Code in 2009, which had an immediate impact on the local economy. With B.C. as a case study, Ontario can expect increased job creation, increased tax revenue from the addition of new residences, more affordable options for new homebuyers and a minimized carbon footprint in the construction of these buildings.

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