Guidelines Under Development for Mass Timber Buildings to 12 Storeys

Posted on October 2, 2019
Engineers and Geoscientists BC, in partnership with the Government of BC and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC), plans to develop professional practice guidelines in support of the expected legislative changes in BC that will allow construction of mass timber buildings up to 12 storeys.

The new guidelines will support the Government of BC’s May 2019 announcement that it is proceeding with a regulation to allow construction of tall mass timber buildings up to 12 storeys. The new provisions are expected to be introduced in the National Building Code 2020, but will be adopted in BC in advance of the national changes. 

Previously, when the transition from four-storey to five- and six-storey wood frame buildings was introduced in 2009, the BC Government, Engineers and Geoscientists BC, and AIBC felt that the provincial building code alone was not the appropriate document to effectively address a variety of design issues related to this change. Valuable experience was gained in developing a coordinated approach to address a variety of significant design issues, and this coordinated approach was supported by professional practice guidelines. 

On this basis, the Government of BC, AIBC, and Engineers and Geoscientists BC are building a team to prepare professional practice guidelines that will support professional engineers and architects in carrying out professional activities for mass timber buildings up to 12 storeys. These guidelines are expected to outline the professional’s obligations under the relevant legislation. With the assistance of Building and Safety Standards Branch, Engineers and Geoscientists BC and AIBC were able to obtain significant funding to support the development of these guidelines. 

Professional practice guidelines and other practice-related resources are provided at
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