The Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia have published new guidelines to support the safe design and construction of larger mass timber buildings. RJC’s Grant Newfield is a contributing author.

The ‘Joint Professional Practice Guidelines – Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction up to 12 Storeys’ cover minimum qualifications, professional practice, roles and responsibilities and quality assurance for encapsulated mass timber construction projects. They also identify issues to be considered, provide resources, and in some cases design options when providing architectural, building enclosure, fire protection, acoustical, structural engineering, mechanical and electrical design services.

The new guidelines were developed in response to BC Government changes to the BC Building and Fire Codes to allow construction of mass timber buildings up to 12 storeys. Mr. Newfield is a recognized authority in the design of tall mass timber in Canada. A Vancouver structural engineer, Grant works across Canada. He is a respected champion for innovations in wood design and increases in the use of mass timber systems, helping to push the height limits of traditional wood framed structures in both practice and through code development.

Grant’s latest project is to develop a guide for a 12 story CLT shear wall system for use in Canada. He is also a member of the BC Advisory Group on Advanced Wood Design Solutions, co-authoring guidelines that support code changes revising the 4-storey limit to 6-storey both in the BCBC and NBCC. He has authored several guides, given numerous presentations, and provided support for Michael Greens Tall Wood Study, and FP Innovations CLT Guideline and Tall Wood Guideline. His involvement with tall high-rise structures up to 50 storeys and long history with wood structures made him a natural to push the status quo far beyond 4-storeys.

Grant also helped develop EGBC’s Practice Guidelines for Structural, Fire Protection and Building Envelope Professional Engineering Services for five and six-storey wood-frame buildings. He was a member of the Board of Directors for NEWBuilds, a multi-disciplinary NSERC strategic research Network for Engineered Wood-based Building Systems highlighting CLT’s development in Canada. He is also a member of the main committees for: Standing Committee on Structural Design (NBCC), Joint 3,4,5 Task Group, and Mid-rise Design (NBCC), Canada’s Wood Standard (CSA 086-01). He is also a contributor to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Committee for Tall Wood Structures.

The development of the guidelines was made possible with the funding and support of Forestry Innovation Investment, National Research Council – Construction Research Centre, Engineers and Geoscientists BC, and the AIBC.