New guide to improve wood-frame construction in B.C.

British Columbia is releasing a new guide that builds on industry knowledge gained over the past decade to enhance the quality of wood-frame, multi-unit residential buildings constructed in British Columbia.

The Building Enclosure Design Guide – Wood-Frame Multi-Unit Residential Buildings is a reference for the construction industry and explores the latest research, design and construction best practices for building enclosures. It offers practical solutions to help ensure that new residential buildings are well constructed for B.C. families and residents. “Developing practical reference tools for B.C.’s residential construction sector and sharing this knowledge with other jurisdictions has raised the profile of our industry, and achieved recognition for the quality of our construction,” said Dave Ricketts, principal, RDH Building Engineering Ltd.

Developed in consultation with an industry task group, it updates earlier best practice guides that have been instrumental in creating a consistent approach to the design and construction of effective building envelopes.The guide will be of great assistance to the construction and design community in addressing the unique challenges presented by B.C.’s coastal climate,” says Frank Denton, president of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C.

Available from the Homeowner Protection Office, a branch of BC Housing, a provincial Crown agency under the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Ministry Responsible for Housing), this comprehensive guide is intended to assist members of B.C.’s residential construction industry – particularly builders, architects, designers and contractors. It is also an excellent resource for industry educators.

“The Province is committed to working with industry to advance knowledge and generate new technology, particularly when it comes to wood-frame construction, which is the predominant method of residential construction in B.C. Our goal is to ensure that our residential buildings are among the most comfortable, durable and energy efficient in the world, said Rich Coleman, Minister Responsible for Housing. “British Columbia has one of the most dynamic and innovative residential construction sectors in North America. While our diverse climate presents distinct challenges for the design and construction industry, it has inspired breakthroughs in building envelope technology that have been adopted throughout the world.”

Quick Facts:

  • The guide was developed by the Province in partnership with the Homeowner Protection Office and in collaboration with an industry task group.
  • It covers building enclosure design and best practices for wood-frame construction in five and six-storey mid-rise buildings.
  • An indispensable resource for B.C.’s residential construction industry, this comprehensive best practice guide is also useful for other jurisdictions that face similar building enclosure construction challenges and need solutions.
  • The guide can be purchased online from the HPO website for $70 plus applicable taxes and shipping.

Visit to learn more or to purchase a printed copy of the Building Enclosure Design Guide – Wood-Frame Multi-Unit Residential Buildings online from the Homeowner Protection Office.

The HPO is responsible for research and education related to B.C.’s residential construction industry and consumer information, as well as licensing residential builders, building envelope renovators, and administering owner builder authorizations in British Columbia.

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