Building with wood
Information and resources for your mass timber, tall wood or wood bridge construction project.
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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 mitigate climate change
- lower greenhouse gas emissions from construction by using less energy-intensive materials
- lower buildings costs with cheaper materials, reduced on-site labour 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
Ontario’s Tall Wood Building Reference
Working with our partners, we’ve created a resource providing background and references to assist applicants, reviewers and designers as they consider using wood in buildings. 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.
The Tall Wood Building Reference aligns with our two primary objectives related to the Ontario Building Code:
- help increase opportunities for designers and builders to create innovative, flexible and affordable new buildings
- maintain our high fire safety standards for both the public and fire service personnel
We are committed to providing accessible customer service. If you need accessible formats or communications supports, please contact us.
Greenhouse Gas Material Assessment Tool (GHGMAT) for buildings
GHGMAT is a free online tool that you can use to estimate the carbon footprint of building structures.
Using low greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity building materials can help reduce building sector emissions.
GHGMAT lets you:
- account for emissions associated with your choice of structural building material
- create multiple building scenarios using common building materials such as wood/mass timber, reinforced concrete and structural steel
- compare and refine these scenarios to optimize the use of lower-carbon building materials like wood
GHGMAT was developed:
- in alignment with the ISO 14064-2 standard
- in collaboration with the Government of Quebec and Natural Resources Canada
- footnote Back to paragraph IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp. (Accessed January 17, 2022). (PDF)
- footnote Back to paragraph International Organization for Standardization. November 2, 2021. Zero-energy buildings: New guidance just published. (Accessed January 17, 2022).