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LYALL'S FILES: Wood construction innovators Sweden highlight conference in Toronto
October 23rd, 2017 4:53 pm     A+ | a-

Richard Lyall / RESCON

We are champing at the bit for a chance to hear from the Swedish contingent at the Toronto Wood Solutions Fair on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Two years ago, a team from RESCON travelled to Sweden to see what the Swedes were doing with wood construction, including the townhome community of Hammarby, a suburb of Stockholm, and the eight-storey Strandparken in the town of Sundbyberg. The buildings were superb, and the psychological benefits of wood could be felt upon entry: you could feel a sense of well being when surrounded by wood and, for Strandparken, the smell of cedar filled the air.

Strandparken, an eight-storey wood-frame building in Sundyberg, Sweden.

The Swedes also recognize that using wood leads to a smaller carbon footprint, and a practical, durable material thanks to technical advancements in engineered wood products. Our federal government and Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) recognize this as well. The MNRF is working with RESCON and other stakeholders to develop a reference guide that will assist designers and municipalities in developing and approving respectively alternative solutions for tall wood buildings (over six storeys). We anticipate that this will be released before the end of the year.


What we saw in Sweden was the future for Ontario: two years later, mid-rise wood-frame construction is catching on around the province, but we have a lot to learn.

A mid-rise wood-frame project in Grimsby, Ont.

That’s why RESCON is grateful that our colleagues at Ontario Wood WORKS! and the Canadian Wood Council have assembled an incredible lineup of wood construction experts from North America and Europe that will help us to explore new ways of building with wood through 17 sessions that speak to the needs of design, development and construction professionals.

 Topics include:

-          Acoustics

-          CLT design provisions

-          Mass timber assemblies

-          Mid-rise construction

-          Low-carbon solutions

-          Award-winning wood buildings

Most of all, I am looking forward to a panel discussion featuring Swedish developer Folkhem, a company that only builds in wood. We met the good folks at Folkhem in Sundyberg, and these innovators are invaluable to the Swedish construction industry.

While we look forward to hearing more from Folkhem, there will also be Canadian experts on the panel who can help us to understand how European practices apply here.


“‘The Swedish Experience’ panel discussion will showcase the wood culture that grows there – the connection between harvest and buildings,” says Steven Street, technical director for Ontario Wood WORKS!

If you design and build with wood or plan to down the road, you need to be at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Nov. 2.

Street sums up why: “The fair has become such an important annual event, helping the design, build and development sectors keep pace with the advances happening globally around wood products and their use.” 

Click this link for the complete seminar program.

The conference rate is $75. Register by clicking here before 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 30.

We’ll be there. Hope to see you too!


Richard Lyall, president of RESCON, has represented the building industry in Ontario since 1991. He is also a frequent speaker and writer on issues related to the construction industry. Contact him @RESCONprez or at

Christina Keighren
November 3rd, 2017 10:46 am
Great blog! Very good presentation by Sandra Frank at Folkhem and great to see so many fantastic examples of Canadian wood buildings at the Award Cermony! Keep up the good work!
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