Richard Lyall / RESCON
Six-storey wood-frame construction is here to stay, but the residential construction industry is still a long way from fully implementing it into streetscapes across Ontario.
New Year’s Day saw a change to the Ontario Building Code went into effect allowing the construction of wood-frame buildings up to six storeys, rising from four, across the province. Wood will open up new business for our industry. There are certain corners of towns and cities that can use some additional density, in accordance with the directive by the provincial growth plan, and six-storey wood-frame construction will allow builders and municipalities to fulfill this goal. Not too tall, not too short. It’s an exciting time for our industry.
Now, construction leaders are trying to figure out what steps they have to take to start building five- and six-storey projects. That’s where RESCON comes in.
We are the lead sponsors for the upcoming Toronto Mid-Rise Symposium, a one-day conference hosted by Ontario Wood WORKS! that focuses on how to create mid-rise wood-frame homes.
The topics for the conference include: fire safety, sprinkler considerations, project collaboration, the six-storey experience in British Colombia, site safety, the expectations of building departments at the permit stage, insurance and acoustics. It’s going to be an incredible day that will include experts from organizations such as:
- Ontario Wood WORKS!
- The Ontario Association of Architects
- Building Industry and Land Development Association
- Ministry of Labour
- National Research Council of Canada
- Canadian Wood Council ... and more.
If you’re interested in attending our event, please check out our agenda at bit.ly/1IF0Yp1. If you want to register, visit http://bit.ly/1wR44Ao. Hope to see you there!
In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you to find out what your questions are and what you want to see in this column over the coming weeks and months. Building a house is a complicated process. Let’s continue a dialogue to take some of the mystery out of it.
The ultimate question for Ontario new-home buyers, which I’ll address in many blog posts to come, is why aren’t affordable homes more available? The reality is affordable housing is a supply problem. But the best way to answer that question is to follow Lyall’s Files, put on a hardhat and see over the course of many blog posts the many hurdles that builders face before they can build your new home, whether it’s a single-detached house in Barrie, a condominium suite in downtown Toronto, a rent-to-own townhouse in Mississauga or a midrise wood-frame home, perhaps in Burlington.
Please follow our conversations on Twitter at @_RESCON, @RESCONprez, @RESCON_VP and @RESCONtech. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for reading Lyall’s Files!
Richard Lyall has represented the residential building industry in Ontario since 1991 in his capacity as the President of RESCON, the President of the Metropolitan Toronto Apartment Builders Association and as the Executive Director of the Toronto Residential Construction Labour Bureau. Lyall is also a frequent speaker and writer on issues related to the construction industry.