Construction of 176 Regina Street will begin in the summer of 2017.  This exciting 6-storey all wood building designed by MORe will be one of the first constructed the City of Waterloo and quite possibly the Region of Waterloo.

Wood is an important Canadian resource and the timber industry is highly dependent on the use of wood in the Ontario Construction industry.  On January 1, 2015 the Ontario Government amended the Building Code provisions for residential (“Group C”) and office buildings (“Group D”) to allow them to be constructed using wood-frame construction up to six storeys.

To ensure that they meet Ontario’s high safety standards, the Government included additional safety provisions not currently required in four storey wood buildings, including:

  • enhanced automatic sprinklering to the NFPA 13 standard;
  • sprinklering of all balconies over 610mm deep;
  • building height limits including height limits to the fire access route;
  • a requirement for exterior cladding and roof covering to be noncombustible or combustion-resistant;
  • additional compartmentalization for large sprinklered spaces such as attics;
  • requiring at least 10% of the building perimeter to be within 15 meters of a fire safety access route;
  • requiring that exit stairwells have a 1.5 hour fire-resistant rating and be of noncombustible construction;
  • a requirement to meet a higher seismic load than similar noncombustible buildings; and
  • more robust occupancy permit requirements.

In a December 2014 Globe and Mail Article Richard Lyall, President of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario refers to the legislation as “a real game changer” because wood is a material that is usually less expensive than concrete or steel.  He further says that “it will increase the supply of department rentals and condos, which will be good for the market. Read the whole article here: