Cement Industry takes ‘cheap’ shot for fear of losing market share
Ottawa, ON, August 21st, 2014 – It’s a fact; wood-frame construction has been the preferential
construction option for millions of homeowners throughout North America for decades. From the
historical days when settlers relied on the bounty of the land for their shelter and food, to modern-day
advances that have seen the wood products industry grow in sophistication, wood has and always will
be a safe and affordable option for construction.
Advances in building technology and research, coupled with the rigorous five-year process for building
code changes, should re-assure each Canadian that safety is of the utmost importance for each building
material and for each decision made at the building code level. If a building does not meet code, it does
not get built – regardless of the material used!
Putting forward code change requests to increase the height limits for wood buildings is not about
risking lives, it’s about breaking down the misperceptions and barriers that exist regarding the capacity
of wood products in modern construction and leveling the playing field for all building materials. The
truth is, all building materials have pros and cons, and all buildings are susceptible to devastations such
as earthquakes or fire. So when competing materials imply that wood is ‘unsafe’, are they advocating for
Canadians or their own market share?
A February 2014 report “Fire Outcomes in Residential Fires by General Construction Type,” released by
the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, challenged the general belief that completed
buildings built predominantly with steel or concrete are significantly safer in a fire than those built
predominantly with wood. Comparing the outcomes of fires in residential buildings constructed with
wood, steel or concrete showed little to no difference in extent of fire spread or death and injury rates
for buildings equipped with sprinkler systems and smoke alarms.
“Canada’s wood products industry continues to develop innovative building products and improved
building systems that are designed to meet the rigorous standards of the National Building Code of
Canada,” says Canadian Wood Council President and CEO Michael Giroux. “At the end of the day, it is
the discretion of each Municipality to make decisions about the infrastructure options that are best
suited for their communities – we’re simply expanding their options.”
Municipalities, homebuilders and buyers should look forward to the new wood mid-rise building market
– a safe, strong and sophisticated form of construction. When it comes to wood construction, trust the
experts with over 50 years of experience at the Canadian Wood Council, (www.cwc.ca) and get the facts
on mid-rise wood construction at www.woodfacts.cwc.ca.
For more information please contact:
Communication Manager, Canadian Wood Council
613.747.5544 ext. 225