Wood Frame Building Code Changes

The Province has announced the early adoption of building code changes to enable the construction of 12 storey wood buildings, up from the current allowance of 6 storeys.

The changes are voluntary, with any local government currently regulated under the BC Building Code being eligible provided that:

  • There is council support;
  • The planning, building and fire departments support participation;
  • The lead building official holds a Level 3 Certification from the Building Officials’ Association of BC; and,
  • Land-use bylaws support buildings greater than six storeys in height.

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing staff will contact local governments with a request for expressions of interest, and detailing next steps for interested local governments.

In making the announcement, the province cited a range of benefits including faster construction with off-site manufacturing and reduced carbon footprints. The announcement comes one year ahead of expected federal 2020 National Building code changes to increase the height limit for wood buildings to 12 storeys.

The program broadly aligns with a UBCM housing report recommendation that called for the promotion of wood-frame construction as an economical means of constructing new rental housing while showcasing BC wood products.

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