Thursday, 3 September 2015

Cement, steel oppose taller wood buildings

The province of Quebec has recently changed Building Codes to allow for taller wood structures. It is the opinion of the steel and cement industries that this change has real potential to negatively affect the public's safety and unfairly favours the wood industry in Quebec over the many steel and cement companies operating in Quebec and contributing to the economy there.

Below is an excerpt from an article from the Cambridge Times posted on August 19, 2015.

MONTREAL - Canada's cement and steel sectors say Quebec is favouring one industry and possibly putting public safety at risk by allowing wood to be used in the construction of buildings up to 12 storeys high.

The Cement Association of Canada said Wednesday that the province's new guide for the construction of taller wood buildings is primarily aimed at supporting Canada's forest industry.
"The government has a duty to protect the health of its citizens, not that of a particular industry," said association president Michael McSweeney.

The association added that the use of cross-laminated timber building systems is no more environmentally friendly than other building systems already recognized in the code, when considering the full life cycle of a building.

Hellen Christodoulou, Quebec regional director of Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, added that not enough research has been completed to ensure the safety of taller wooden buildings.
"The government has not studied this well. It's just a political move and it's problematic," she said in an interview.

Christodoulou added that the wood sector receives heavy subsidies not shared with the concrete and steel industries, which contribute substantially to the economy through taxes and jobs.

The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) has also created a webpage with links to many other articles on this subject.

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