Imagine. A fight brewing between lumber and masonry markets? It’s no secret that wood as a building material of choice is finding increasing favor in markets globally. Most recent is a recommendation from the city of Halifax that wood should become the first choice in municipal building construction (Full Story). Their report says that environmentally, wood building materials “have lower energy, water, and air quality impacts than alternatives” while economically, the use of wood would benefit Nova Scotia forestry and lumber sectors.
Not surprisingly, there is pushback from the Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association (CCMPA): “While economics and environment are both valid considerations in construction, what about public safety?” argues CCMPA President Paul Hargest. “Ask anyone where they would rather be in the event of a fire – a structure made of wood, or one built with materials such as masonry or concrete.”
It’s interesting to note that B.C. is the only province in Canada to implement “wood first” legislation – in 2009 – meaning wood is prescribed as the primary building material in all provincially funded buildings.

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