July 8, 2013 - Press release

Green Light Given to Constructing 5- and 6-storey Buildings: A Boost to Our Markets

Québec City, July 5, 2013 – The Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC) hails the announcement of the publication of the Guide de conception d’habitations en bois de 5 ou 6 étages [Guide for the design of five- and six-storey wood buildings] presented today by Ms. Agnès Maltais, Quebec Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for the Status of Women, and Mr. Stéphane Labrie, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec [Quebec building commission]. This guide is an outgrowth of the Wood Charter announced last April by Ms. Martine Ouellet, Quebec Minister of Natural Resources, and will have direct economic benefits on our markets.


The construction of five- and six-storey wood buildings enables the industry to preserve its traditional markets. In addition, this measure addresses the concerns of Quebecers regarding the dependence of our industry toward the American market. “Developing Quebec know-how in wood construction not only provides a basis for the local processing of wood into value-added products, it is also a way to consolidate jobs in our industry and, ultimately, be more fully present on our local markets,” emphasized Mr. André Tremblay, QFIC’s Chief Executive Officer.


For many months now, the industry has called for more equitable treatment of wood, and the announcement of the publication of the Guide de conception d’habitations en bois de 5 et 6 étages has been highly anticipated. More than half of residential housing starts involve multi-family dwellings, and with the adoption of new requirements to spur urban densification, there is a growing trend toward constructing buildings of more than four storeys. Such buildings account for 42% of housing starts in Quebec and close to 80% of starts in Ontario.


“This guide reassures our industry members as to our capacity to maintain our market shares in this type of construction, which represents the equivalent of $200 million and close to 5% of Quebec’s total lumber output. Extending this measure to the commercial and industrial sectors has the potential to generate an additional 5%,” Mr. André Tremblay pointed out.


The guidelines set out in this guide serve to identify solutions for the residential construction sector. However, the industry would like to see this approach to wood use broadened to include commercial and industrial buildings. The QFIC wishes to highlight the quick collaboration achieved among various players on this issue, including the Government of Quebec, the Régie du bâtiment (RBQ) and FPInnovations, which came together to recognize the importance of the wood construction sector in Quebec.


About the QFIC
The QFIC is the voice of Québec's forest industry. The QFIC numbers more than 160 regular members operating in the softwood and hardwood lumber, veneer, pulp, paper, cardboard and panel sectors of Quebec, as well as 180 associate members. Each year, these companies generate $15.9 billion in business and close to $4 billion in wages and benefits, of which nearly $1.5 billion is returned to governments in the form of taxes paid by companies and workers.

Source: Laurence Drouin
  Director, Communications and Public Affairs
  Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC)
  418-657-7916, ext. 411

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