Beginning in November, The City will be accepting building permit applications for six-storey wood-frame residential buildings in areas where the building proposal would comply with the applicable zoning rules. The current Building Code currently limits wood frame residential construction to four storeys.
“We are looking at innovative ways to make housing more affordable for Calgarians,” says Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Six story wood buildings are easier and cheaper to build than using other materials, which makes for more affordable homes.”
This decision comes after two years of participating in engagement with industry and responding to public review comments for the National Building Code.
Calgary joins jurisdictions in Quebec, British Columbia and on January 1, 2015, Ontario, to allow six storey wood buildings. Rollin Stanley, General Manager of PDA notes that "cities across North America permit this type of construction. It has provided lower cost construction and we have looked at building practices in these places to model our approach to regulations."
The City is also taking best practices from these jurisdictions to adopt in Calgary which includes enhanced Fire Safety Plans during construction.
“The Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Calgary Region would like to thank The City of Calgary for their leadership in providing this exciting opportunity to bring more mid-rise multifamily construction to Calgary,” says Amie Blanchette, Director of Government Affairs with CHBA. “This new choice in the marketplace will assist our builders in meeting the steadily increasing demand for safe, quality housing in a variety of forms throughout the city.”
The City of Calgary will be accepting building permit applications for six-storey wood-frame structures immediately using an alternative solution process, to meet the minimum requirements of the Alberta Building Code, until the changes are adopted. View the technical guide and examples at calgary.ca.