Traditionally, wood construction is limited to low-rise buildings. But there's pressure to change that rule. And, not surprisingly, there's opposition to that pressure. The Woodworking Network takes a look at the issue in a December story (see: "Debate Rages Over Wood Codes for Canadian High-Rise Buildings," by Karen Koenig).
On one side, the wood guys: "The reality is that advances in wood science and building technology have resulted in stronger, safer, more sophisticated and robust products that are expanding the options for wood construction, and providing more choices for builders and architects. These changes are fully supported by science from renowned organizations such as FPInnovations and the National Research Council," Michael Giroux, president of the Canadian Wood Council, said recently in a statement.
On the other side, the concrete guys: "Wood burns, concrete doesn't," said Michael McSweeney, president and CEO of the Cement Association of Canada. "Those who promote the interests of building with wood may not like that fact, but it's a fact. And that's why we - and firefighters like [Fire Fighters Association of Ontario past president] Carl Pearson, and many others - are stepping up to oppose the building code changes that would see mid-rise all-wood buildings permitted in Canada and demand the implementation of several provisions to mitigate the potential risks posed to vulnerable Canadians."