The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) says Ontario legislators are putting people’s lives at risk by permitting taller wood-framed buildings.
The association said recent fires involving wood-framed mid-rises are proof positive that this type of construction leaves seniors and the disabled vulnerable.
The industry group is protesting proposed changes to the provincial building code permitting six-storey wood construction.
"Building practices that may compromise safety are not more affordable – they are cheap," said CAC president and CEO Michael McSweeney. "Taller wood-frame buildings could compromise the safety of the people who might live and work in them as well as the safety of front line responders like firefighters. Rising emergency services costs are already straining municipal budgets. We cannot afford to take this risk."
Of particular concern to the industry group is a proposed limited 10 per cent accessible perimeter specification. The association calls this “inadequate” in providing enough space for fire and rescue vehicles.
The CAC issued their Aug. 19 release from London, site of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s annual general meeting.
The association said taller wood buildings are “not the answer” to affordable housing and are using the conference to lobby municipal leaders.