Here's a snapshot of some of the most important issues
for the residential construction industry.

August 2015

It seems like only yesterday when New Year's Day rolled by.

That day, not only did we celebrate the coming of 2015, but builders lifted a glass in honour of the change to the Ontario Building Code allowing for the construction of six-storey wood-frame buildings.
 
Seven months later, Quebec blew us out of the water by launching a 60-page technical guide for designing and constructing taller wooden buildings: they will be allowing wood-frame construction up to 12 storeys.

Wooden high-rises in Canada? Heck, that's even taller than the wood-frame structure that our RESCON team visited in Sundyberg, Sweden (which was eight) during our Scandinavian fact-finding mission in May.

And why shouldn't Quebec go to 12? There are even taller high-rise projects in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. And in June, a proposal in a design competition was revealed for the world's tallest wooden skyscraper -- 35 storeys -- in Paris (that's France, by the way; not Ontario).

Wood fever is catching on fast. Another group in Sweden wants to build a complex up to 34 storeys, Australia and the U.S. are building with wood ... it's the dawn of the "plyscraper!"

Back in Quebec, there's already a $25-million residential condo project that has been announced to be the tallest wooden building in North America. When it is finished by the end of 2016, 12 of its 13 storeys will be built with wood.

Quebec is now setting the standards for Canadian innovation with wood-frame construction. But just so you know, Ontario will go higher than six, too. We're not going to be left behind and let our neighbours to the east have all of the fun. It's just a matter of time.

Meanwhile, my latest Toronto Sun column is included below, as well as rescon.com/blog columns by our tech guru Michael Steele and safety man Andrew Pariser ... and more!

Please feel free to drop us a line at media@rescon.com if you have any comments about the newsletter.
 
(For previous editions of RESCON Industry News, please click here.)

Enjoy your last RESCON summer read!

 

President,
RESCON

Quebec paves the way to allow up to 12 storeys for wood-frame construction using CLT


Here's the lowdown on the Quebec government's decision to allow lumber to be used in the construction of buildings up to 12 storeys tall.

This gives la belle province's forestry industry a boost and makes Quebec Canada's leader for wood-frame construction through the use of cross-laminated timber (CLT).

Read The Canadian Press story at this link.

Read the Quebec government's press release (in English) at this link.

TECH CORNER: Realizing the advantages
of six-storey wood-frame construction
 

Michael Steele, RESCON director of technical standards, believes the best is yet to come for six-storey wood-frame construction in Ontario. While there haven't been any residential projects approved yet, the concept has spurred the industry to take a good look at how this will work for the GTA.

Read Steele's column here.

U.K. soils guru shares expertise with RCCAO


CL:AIRE’s Nick Willenbrock, SOiiL’s Al Durand and RCCAO executive director Andy Manahan take a moment at the Vaughan office of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario -- RESCON's infrastructure affiliate. Willenbrock visited Ontario to speak about the code of practice for managing excess construction soils in the U.K. To learn more about managing excess construction soils here in Ontario, click on this link.

Lyall in the Sun: Homebuyers, red tape and the No. 45

 
The number 45 has created a buzz within residential construction. Why? Because that's how many government entities the industry has to deal with. RESCON president Richard Lyall builds on the fine work of tech standards guru Michael Steele.

Read Lyall's Sun column here.

Find Steele's list of 45 here.

Three great health and safety resources

RESCON's safety guru, Andrew Pariser, points out three quintessential resources for builders and others in the residential construction industry.

Check out our association vice-president's column here.

Accessibility changes pose challenge


Alek Antoniuk returns with his Code News column as he tries to get access to information on the barrier-free requirements in the Ontario Building Code. It proves to be no easy task.

Read the Code News at this link.

T.O. at risk of housing correction: CMHC

Soaring home prices have put the GTA housing market at high risk of a housing correction, warns the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).

Click here for the story.

Canadian firm helps keep Big Apple skyscrapers steady

New York's famous skyline is getting a big assist from an engineering firm from Guelph, Ont. Damping technology developed by the innovative RWDI group is responsible for cushioning the wind vibrations pressuring skyscrapers in Manhattan.

Read the story by CBC.ca at this link.

Make infrastructure key plank for federal election, says BILD

It's time that Canada's cities received more federal support for desperately need infrastructure, writes Bryan Tuckey, friend of RESCON and president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

Click here for his Toronto Star column.

So what is the ROI
for infrastructure?

With low productivity growth in Ontario and Canada, many analysts have pointed to investments in infrastructure as a catalyst to economic recovery.

So what is the ROI for infrastructure? How can different types affect productivity? These are the kinds of questions to be asked and answered at the "Better Foundations" seminar at 8 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 14 at the Rotman School of Management at U of T (105 St. George St.).

Click here to register.
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