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July 9, 2013 - Press Release

Régie du bâtiment du Québec Facilitates Construction of 5- and 6-storey Wood Buildings

Québec City, July 5, 2013 – Cecobois salutes 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.


Working from the experience of British Columbia, which since 2009 has authorized the construction of wood buildings of up to six storeys, the guide published by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec [Quebec building commission] takes into account the latest technological advances and the most recent scientific studies pertaining to the design of safe, sustainable wood buildings. This guide will help to clarify the acceptable parameters for building five- and six-storey multi-family dwellings in wood, thereby eliminating the need to petition for alternatives.


“As can be seen, all the necessary precautions have been taken in order to ensure maximum safety for the future users of these buildings,” notes Mr. Louis Poliquin, Director of the Centre of expertise on commercial wood construction (cecobois). “The guidelines set out in this guide – in particular those stipulating a greater number of sprinklers and firewalls – are very strict in that regard, and even more stringent than the fire safety requirements in effect in British Columbia. Nonetheless, we are delighted by the arrival of these new rules that facilitate the construction of wood buildings.”


This announcement demonstrates the will of the government to grant all materials, including wood, the chance of being treated fairly when the time comes to design a five- or six-storey building. Building professionals and developers will not only have greater latitude for selecting the material best suited to their multi-family buildings but will also be better equipped for performing this type of construction in a way that ensures that public’s total safety.


It is important to point out that for the time being, this guide provides guidelines applying only to the residential sector. Cecobois would like this approach to be extended as well to commercial and industrial buildings of five and six stories.



About cecobois
The  Centre of expertise on commercial wood construction (cecobois)  is an organization whose mission is to promote and facilitate the increased use of wood in multifamily and nonresidential construction in Quebec, in particular from the perspective of fighting climate change and promoting responsible economic development.




Laurence Drouin
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Centre d'expertise sur la construction commerciale en bois (cecobois)
Tel: 418-657-7916, ext. 411


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