Can timber be used for the construction of large buildings in Quebec?
Wood is a natural resource that is widely used in the construction of frames for houses and small commercial buildings in Quebec. However, this does not appear to be the case for large buildings, which seem to be mostly steel or concrete structures.
With this in mind, can timber be used to construct large buildings in Quebec? Find out in this article.
Regulations governing the construction of large wood frame buildings in Quebec
In Quebec, you can build large buildings with wood frames. However, the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) has regulations in place to ensure that these buildings are completely safe. Here are some of the main requirements to be met.
Maximum height for a wood frame building
First, a building with a solid wood frame or hybrid construction cannot exceed 12 stories in height. While this may not seem very high, it is quite impressive for a building with a timber frame to be that high. For example, in 2019, the tallest wood frame building in the world was 18 stories.
A wood frame building has to serve a specific purpose
In addition, there are some restrictions on the function that a large building made of timber can perform. This type of building can only accommodate a few types of functions defined by the RBQ Code. In fact, these buildings must be part of Group C (residential), Group D (business establishment) or a mixture of the two. Therefore, this type of building cannot be used to house a care facility (Group B, Division 3). Other uses are possible, but only under certain conditions described in the RBQ guide.
Advantages of constructing a wood frame building
If the above restrictions do not apply to you, timber is definitely a material to consider for your construction project. It is a resistant, cost-effective and environmentally friendly material that could revolutionize the construction of large buildings.
A strong and durable frame
Solid wood has many structural advantages. In fact, homes and buildings built with timber adapt very well to the harsh and diverse weather conditions of Canada and Quebec, such as wind, snow and extreme cold in winter, or heat and humidity in summer. It is particularly easy to reinforce the structure of these buildings to withstand significant overloads, such as strong winds or earthquakes. In addition, wood can meet and even exceed fire safety requirements.
Timber is a cost-effective and eco-friendly material
In addition to its resistance qualities, wood is a renewable raw material that is abundant in Quebec. This means lower import and transportation costs. In addition, the GHG emissions generated by the transportation of this material are much lower.
Wood also has some other environmental advantages. The manufacturing process requires much less energy than concrete or steel structures. In addition, fewer contaminants are released into the atmosphere during the manufacturing process.
UsiHome: specialist in machined wood structures in Quebec
In short, timber can be used in Quebec for the construction of large buildings as long as they reach a maximum height of 12 storeys and the building in question meets certain standards set by the RBQ. Timber can even provide many benefits, both for the quality of the structure and for its economic and environmental advantages.
At UsiHome, we specialize in the design and manufacturing of structural wood products. We welcome you to contact our team to benefit from our expertise and unbeatable service for your next construction project.