Fire Performance Demonstration Workshop 2.0, hosted by Wood WORKS! BC and the Canadian Wood Council

Side-by-side fire comparisons of three demonstration boxes | Photo courtesy of Wood WORKS! BC

Nearly 200 architectural, structural and fire engineering and service professionals, as well as building and insurance officials, developers, builders and installers gathered at the Surrey Fire Department Training Facility on Tuesday, October 16 for the Fire Performance Demonstration Workshop 2.0, hosted by Wood WORKS! BC and the Canadian Wood Council. This workshop provided essential information about wood building fire requirements in the upcoming revised buildings codes. The event opened with a classroom format featuring 10 speakers and three “roll up your sleeves” interactive sessions. After a lunch at visiting local food trucks, a live burn commenced that showcased side-by-side fire comparisons of three large (8’ x 8’) demonstration boxes; a cross-laminated timber (CLT) cube, a steel cube, and a course of construction cube, each built to code.

An engaging program, this event proved to be essential for learning and understanding taller and larger wood building fire requirements in the upcoming 2018 BC Building Code and 2020 National Building Code. Speakers from the fire, building and design communities addressed attendees including Don Pedde of the Province of BC Building and Safety Standards branch who gave an overview of the coming code changes and revisions and Sean de Winter from GHL Consultants, who provided information on Alternative Solutions and Site Specific Regulations. One of Canada’s leading fire experts, Andrew Harmsworth from GHL Consultants, provided informed commentary on the live burns together with Marc Alam, Technical Specialist – Fire Code & Standards of the Canadian Wood Council.

Learning outcomes included fire resistance/fire stopping design for mass timber; gypsum installation on mass timber, fire standard testing, and fire protection and sound control solutions for the new BCBC.

The fire tests demonstrated that mass timber can last and hold up load in a fire for a significant amount of time, whether it is exposed or protected. The tests also showed that mass timber is comparable in a fire to noncombustible construction (CLT to steel frame cube). In addition, it was shown that the charring of the wood protects the unburned portion of the wood from heat and allows the wood to hold up the load.
Marc Alam, Technical Specialist – Fire Code & Standards of the Canadian Wood Council.

Sukh Johal, Technical Manager at Wood WORKS! BC was very pleased with the workshop outcome – the second workshop of its kind in BC.

“We wish to thank CertainTeed, Hilti, IPEX and all sponsors for their support of the workshop which made this invaluable learning event possible.”

To learn more about upcoming Wood WORKS! BC educational events, visit here.