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Ontario’s Tall Wood Building Reference: Developing Alternative Solutions Under Ontario’s Building Code

Ontario’s Tall Wood Building Reference was released at the end of 2017 by the Ontario Government. We are proud co-authors of this publication which will be used by Building Officials, architects, engineers, developers and builders.

Minister of Municipal Affairs, Bill Mauro, announced in Ontario CodeNews Issue 253:

“This technical resource provides information to assist applicants, reviewers and designers as they consider tall wood building construction.”

The Ministry says the document is the first of its kind and provides guidance for meeting requirements under Alternative Solutions of the Ontario Building Code for developing wood buildings above six storeys.


Mass timber are large engineered wood products that include wood panels, beams and columns used for constructing floors, walls and roofs in larger buildings.

Pre-fabricated paneling systems that make a wider range of wood buildings possible include:

  • cross laminated timber (CLT)
  • parallel strand lumber (PSL)
  • laminated veneer lumber (LVL)
  • laminated strand lumber (LSL)
  • glued laminated timber (glulam)

Building with these wood systems is efficient and results in high-quality construction.

There are multiple wood construction programs and resources to help you with your wood construction project. This includes funding for eligible projects and program guides to support compliance, innovation and industry best practices.

Benefits of building with wood

The benefits of building with wood include:

  • being proven fire safe for builders, occupants, and fire service officials
  • being structurally comparable to concrete and steel buildings in strength
  • storing carbon to less the impact of climate change
  • lower greenhouse gas emissions from construction by not using energy-intensive materials
  • lower buildings costs with cheaper materials and quicker construction time
  • providing safe and reliable flexibility under seismic loading (earthquake impacts)
  • efficient and effective solution for our increasing housing needs
  • supporting our sustainable forest management policies

Contact us if you would like to learn more or receive a copy of the digital publication.

Further reading