Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

B.C. proposes to increase height for tall wood buildings

Proposed changes to building code would increase permitted height to 18 storeys
B.C. government wants to encourage see more tall wood buildings like this -- Brock Commons at UBC. | Chung Chow

The B.C. government is proposing changes to the provincial building code to allow for tall wood buildings to be built up to 18 storeys high in B.C.

That’s an increase from the current 12-storey limit.

The B.C. government is trying to promote the increased use of engineered wood products by promoting more construction with mass timber.

It announced plans today to amend the BC Building and Fire Codes to increase the height limits on wood buildings to up to 18 storeys. The government is hoping to see the use of mass timber in more building types, including schools, shopping centres and industrial facilities.

The proposed changes are being posted for public comment on the Canadian Board for Harmonized Construction Codes website.

"These proposed mass timber building code changes align with our recent work to deliver more homes near transit hubs by allowing taller buildings and more sustainable housing options near transit," said Ravi Kahlon, B.C.’s minister of Housing.

"These changes will also help reduce carbon pollution, support the forestry sector, create jobs, build more homes and lead to more vibrant, healthier communities."

Guido Wimmers, dean of the BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) school of construction and the environment, supports the changes. BCIT provides trades training for mass timber construction.

"BCIT is delivering relevant, hands-on training to help learners master in-demand skills for the mass timber sector," Wimmer said. "This announcement supports the sector to fill current knowledge gaps in industry and combat skilled-worker challenges, while also supporting clean growth and renewable resources for the economy."

[email protected]