Mid-Rise Wood Buildings: Improving products for taller wood buildings

Volume 18, Number 1, Summer 2013

With Canada on track to become one of the largest construction markets in the world by 2020, demand for wood buildings between 5 and 12 storeys in height continues to increase. Pilot projects have demonstrated that significant economic benefits can be realized from using wood in mid-rise buildings, including lower construction costs and less construction time.

Canadian manufacturers of wood construction products want to access this growing market by providing mid-rise builders with cost-effective products that have validated performance. Manufacturers have identified technical challenges with their products but need the expertise to overcome them.

NRC is partnering with construction product manufacturers and building owners to develop technologies—including wood-based products—for mid-rise, wood-based buildings. Through strategic research projects, technical services, and large-scale and real demonstrations, we will enable manufacturers to offer cost-effective, high-performance building products to mid-rise building owners. Our integrated approach combines expertise in materials science, building engineering, performance evaluation and fire protection engineering to examine whole building effects.

We will provide clients with technical solutions and technologies in the two most critical market barrier areas:

  • Site-Built Wall and Floor Assemblies with Improved Wood-Based Products will increase builder and industry acceptance and use of lightweight frame construction products with proven durability, fire resistance and cost-effectiveness for five and six storey buildings.
  • High-Performance Pre-Fabricated Structural Assemblies will provide manufacturers with design guides and validated innovative wood-based construction products with superior fire safety, acoustic performance and construction speed for 7 to 12 storey buildings.

Along with product and guide development, we will conduct full-scale demonstrations for clients who will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and fire, acoustics, structural, moisture and mould expertise. Expected results will enable clients to increase their share of the mid-rise building market.

For more information

Contact Dino Zuppa at dino.zuppa@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca or 613-949-0073.