New guidelines on Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction in BC published

April 1, 2021

The new joint professional practice guidelines on Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction (EMTC) have just been published by AIBC and EGBC. The new provisions allow EMTC in buildings up to 12 storeys in British Columbia, that is, the uppermost floor level may be a maximum of 42 m (137 ft) above the first floor. Previously, the National Building Code had allowed up to six storeys for wood-frame construction.

Carla Dickof, Fast + Epp Associate,  contributed to the authorship of these new guidelines.

“This multi-disciplinary guide will provide professionals in BC with best practice guidelines for the implementation of these new building code clauses,” says Dickof.  “This new code (NBCC 2020) will encourage the use of EMTC, clad in fire-resistant materials), as a safe and sustainable type of construction in BC.”

According to the Canada Wood Council,  an EMTC building must be sprinklered throughout and all EMTC elements are expected to have a minimum two-hour fire resistance rating. The building floor area must to be limited to 6,000 m2 for Group C occupancy and 7,200 m2 for Group D occupancy.

Click here to view the new guidelines.