New technical reports outline viable three- and four-storey wood school building options

The Canadian Wood Council and Wood WORKS! BC are pleased to announce the release of two technical reports, one cost comparison report and one life-cycle analysis report related to the use of mass timber and/or wood-frame construction in taller schools than currently permitted under the BC Building Code. Some BC school boards have identified the need for larger 3- and 4-storey schools, and mass timber/light wood-frame provides a sustainable cost-effective option for meeting this need.  Only two-storey wood schools are allowed under the existing BC code. It is important to recognize that solutions which are not included in the building code can be viable solutions but have not yet been explored or put forward to the national and provincial building code committees.  Three- and four-storey schools require an Alternative Solution for an approved building permit.



BC communities lauded for architectural and structural use of wood in design and building

NORTH VANCOUVER, September 23, 2020 – As the virtual annual convention of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) is underway this week, leading BC organizations involved with wood in design and building are applauding local governments for their vision and leadership for wood use in communities. Wood WORKS! BC together with BC Wood are noting the many community projects in the past few years that have showcased wood products and building systems, including mass timber, in design, technology and construction.  READ MORE…


NEW Online Tool for Wood Construction – CodeCHEK: Webinar hosted by Wood WORKS! BC


Wednesday, October 21st, 2020 – 1pm PDT – webinar

Presented by Marc Alam, Manager, Codes & Standards – Fire, at the Canadian Wood Council, this webinar will cover two new free online tools for checking wood design and construction building code conformance: Codices and FRR & STC tools.

CodeCHEK allows designers, builders, as well as building and fire officials to determine if and when light wood-frame, heavy timber, mass timber and/or encapsulated mass timber construction can be used in a variety of building types within the current building codes. Developed by the Canadian Wood Council under the Wood WORKS! program, CodeCHEK’s capabilities include the B.C. Building Code, the new City of Vancouver Building Bylaw and the recently implemented 2020 National Building Code Tall Wood Provisions.

Developed by the Canadian Wood Council, the FRR & STC tool (fire-resistance rating & sound transmission class) determines the applicable construction requirements related to fire safety in Sections 3.1 and 3.2 of the National Building Code (NBC). The FRR & STC tool helps designers, builders, as well as building and fire officials with the determination of generic fire-resistance rating designs of light wood-frame wall, floor, and roof assemblies using the Component Additive Method described in Appendix D of the NBC, which is referenced as an acceptable solution in Section 3.1 of the NBC and can be used for buildings permitted to be of combustible construction. In addition, the tool provides the sound transmission class (STC) value that is associated with each wall or floor assembly for which STC information is available.


This webinar has been accredited for issuing one continuing education unit by the Architect Institute of BC, BC Housing and The Engineering Institute of Canada.

Additional information about CodeCHEK can be found at:


NEW! Fire Demonstration Video

Wood WORKS! BC would like to announce the release of a new educational video, Fire Performance Demonstration Workshop 2.0 – Understanding fire design: applications. Changes to the NBCC mean new considerations for fire, with Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction (EMTC) in tall buildings as a new construction type in the code. This video provides an overview of a Wood WORKS! BC workshop at the City of Surrey Fire Department Training Facility which demonstrates fire performance with a live burn of three large demonstration boxes, including one of mass timber, and summarizes the learning outcomes essential for understanding taller and larger wood building fire requirements. CLICK HERE TO VIEW

NEW! Case Study on Wood in Civic Buildings

Wood WORKS! BC is pleased to announce completion of its latest case study on civic buildings.

This case study examines two innovative wood buildings, both civic projects, that illustrate the value and versatility of wood, while increasing the demand for BC’s wood products and assisting with the significant impacts of climate change. The Radium Hot Springs Community Hall and Library, located in the East Kootenay village of Radium Hot Springs, showcases a wealth of local wood products and assemblies, most of which were sourced from within 100 miles of the site. The Fire Hall No. 5 in Vancouver maximizes utilization of city-owned land by including four storeys of social housing above the state-of-the-art fire station. Click here to view the new study: