CWC Helps Advance Sustainable Design with LCA

Get ready for LEEDv4 and extend your sustainability toolkit by learning life cycle assessment (LCA). The Athena Sustainable Materials Institute provides free LCA tools and resources to construction sector professionals. CWC is pleased to help make that possible through our supporting membership in the Athena Institute.

LCA is an analytical method for estimating lifetime environmental impacts due to a product or process, and can help building designers quantify and validate their sustainability decisions. LCA measures resource consumption, waste creation, and potential impacts on air, land and water due to constructing, using and disposing of a building.

Four green building programs now have incentives for designers to use LCA to minimize the embodied environmental footprint of new construction. The LCA provisions in LEED®, Green Globes®, the IgCC and CALGreen are easier to achieve than they look. The Athena Institute announces a new guide that demystifies the credits and explains how the Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings makes compliance easy.

Get the free software here and the free guide here.

Read the LEED V4 LCA Credit and Case Study.

The Truth About Building with Wood online resource

Ottawa, ON – The Canadian wood industry will mark the 2nd annual World Wood Day with a significant initiative aimed at ensuring Canadians, from builders, contractors and architects to environmentalists and policymakers, have the information they need to make informed decisions about building 5- and 6-storey mid-rise buildings with wood.

The Canadian Wood Council and its partners have developed the new online resource WoodFacts, aimed at providing relevant, easily understandable and timely information related to safety, building codes, environmental impact and the economic benefits of building with Canadian wood products. The website provides easy to use fact sheets, case studies and relevant reports at the click of a mouse.

Over the course of the coming year, changes will be recommended around the way Canadian homes and businesses are constructed. The website compiles information on the new wood mid-rise opportunity, including images, videos, press releases, backgrounders and more.

“The truth about building with wood is that it is safe, costs less, is versatile, meets code and has a lighter environmental impact,” says Michael Giroux, President of the Canadian Wood Council. “It’s incredibly important for Canadians across a wide spectrum to understand these facts, particularly as we find the construction industry evolving and incorporating new and exciting wood technologies into buildings.”

Michael Green of MGA I Michael Green Architecture says, “Wood has become an increasingly important part of our practice. It is the only structural building material grown by the sun, and design professionals, contractors, developers and policy makers need to work to ensure its viability in even more building types, including taller structures.”

The initiative comes at a time when competing industry has questioned wood construction, but a number of new studies in both Canada and the United States show that wood is as safe as any other material in completed construction projects.

“We know from in-depth research that there is little difference in fire spread, death and injury rates across general construction types, provided the buildings are properly equipped with smoke alarms and sprinklers,” says Len Garis, City of Surrey, B.C. Fire Chief and University of the Fraser Valley Adjunct Professor, who led the February 2014 report Fire Outcomes in Residential Fires by General Construction Type. “Wood is safe,” says Garis, “and this new online tool developed by CWC is a highly useful resource when seeking information related to this topic.”

The new website will act as a valuable resource for the public, media and the construction industry looking for detailed relevant and factual information that addresses important questions around upcoming changes to the Model National Building Code of Canada.

In addition, the website will host guest blogs and a newsfeed that is continuously updated with the latest news stories related to the wood industry. Visitors can browse a variety of case studies and videos that demonstrate the potential opportunities around wood mid-rise buildings in Canada and the United States, and have access to important quick facts under the “Did You Know” section.

This website ( will also act as a launching pad for the Canadian wood industry to share information and grow the online community that supports the spreading of factual information around building with wood. The Twitter handle @cdnwoodfacts and hashtag #cdnwoodfacts will be used when sharing relevant blogs and news stories throughout Canada.

Media Contact:

Rebecca Peters LBMG 604.637.6649 (direct) 604.762.2098 (mobile) [email protected]


Canadian Wood Council Supports Ontario’s Decision on Mid-Rise

Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) and Wood WORKS! Ontario are pleased with the Government of Ontario’s announcement today that it will move ahead with proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code to allow the use of wood-frame construction in buildings of up to six-storeys. The changes will allow Ontario builders to access safe, strong and sophisticated building solutions.

“We welcome Ontario’s announcement that it will undertake a Regulatory Review of the implications of adopting wood-frame construction in five- and six-storey applications,” said Michael Giroux, President and CEO of CWC. “We look forward to supporting this review process with the knowledge and expertise gained from years of designing and constructing these types of buildings in British Columbia and elsewhere in North America. Our goal is to ensure that wood products and building systems are fairly represented in the Ontario Building Code and ensure a level playing field for all structural products.”

The changes to the Ontario Building Code would be similar to changes made to the British Columbia Building Code in 2009, which had an immediate impact on the local economy. With B.C. as a case study, Ontario builders are presented with a viable code compliant construction option that meets safety, health, accessibility, as well as fire and structural requirements in the code.

Whether built with light wood framing materials or new engineered wood products, the added height and area of these buildings creates new opportunities for architects and developers to deliver projects that best fit their overall vision and design. And by providing a reduced carbon footprint in the construction of mid-rise buildings, wood offers a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution to Ontario home builders.

“We are very happy with the code changes announced today. They are the result of a lengthy, carefully considered process that has involved a great deal of consultation and input from all stakeholders,” said Marianne Berube, Executive Director of the Ontario Wood WORKS! project. “These changes offer new opportunities to meeting urban densification plans and create more affordable housing. We look forward to the innovative niche market for mid-rise buildings that will be created by these changes.”

For additional information on the new wood mid-rise opportunity, visit:

Details on the regulatory review can be found here:

Media Contact:

Rebecca Peters LBMG 604.637.6649 (direct) 604.762.2098 (mobile) [email protected]

The case for the solar-powered carbon sucking oxygen spewing machine

Summary: The presentation will explore the idea of sustainable design through the use of the most abundant resource Canada has: Wood. The emphasis will be on the choice of material and material combinations based on their impact on the environment; combining the material in such a way that the best attribute of each material is explored and highlighted; performing the design, detailing and maintenance of the building based on the principle of “cradle to cradle”. The presentation looks back at some historic buildings and highlights how things were done “right”; current building design and code limitations; and finally looks into the future of design with timber and timber-hybrid buildings.
Watch it here.

Federal Government Invests to Strengthen the Forestry and Wood-Products Industries in Northern Ontario


On January 31st, FedNor announced funding to support the CWC’s Ontario Wood WORKS! program. Designed to position wood as an excellent choice and best-value building material for all types of construction, this strategic initiative will help diversify the industry, while creating growth and sustainable prosperity for communities and businesses across Northern Ontario. Read the press release.


Tim Buhler, Wood WORKS! – Judy Sharp, Executive Director, One Kids Place – MP Jay Aspin (Nipissing – Timiskaming) – Paul Krabbe, VP Tembec and CWC Board Member – Marianne Berube, Executive Director, Ontario Wood WORKS! – Sarah Hicks, Ontario Wood WORKS! – Carmen DeMarco, Manager, Program Delivery, Northeastern Ontario, FedNor

CWC Stands by Integrity of Building Codes

December 18, 2013 – The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) is disappointed that a recent fire in Kingston on a 4-storey wood building under construction was inappropriately seized as an opportunity for competing materials to perpetrate anti-wood messaging. Read the entire press release.

Canadian and American Wood Councils Release New Environmental Product Declarations

These North American Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are standardized tools that provide information about the environmental footprint of the products they cover. The North American wood products industry has taken its EPDs one step further by obtaining third-party verification from the Underwriters Laboratories Environment(ULE), an independent certifier of products and their sustainability.Click here for more information.

Canadian Tall Wood Demonstration Project – Expression of Interest

The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the Expression of Interest (EOI) phase of the Canadian Tall Wood Demonstration Project initiative. The submission period for the initiative closed on Friday, October 18th at 4 PM Pacific.

Over 300 interested parties registered on the website and by the closing date the CWC had received several submissions from across Canada.

An expert panel of design practitioners, building scientists and construction specialists will now be assembled by the CWC to evaluate the submissions. The CWC expects to announce the successful proponent(s) and project(s) in early 2014.

The CWC would like to thank all registrants that have shown an interest in the initiative and would especially like to thank those who have submitted proposals. If there are any follow up questions regarding submissions or information noted or linked on the EOI website, please contact Oscar Faoro at[email protected]. or Natalie Tarini at [email protected]..

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