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The History of Building Size Limits in the Building Code

Over the last 80 years, prescriptive height and area limitations have remained relatively unchanged in North American building codes while technological advances and fire service capabilities have improved considerably. Through an examination of historical code development and identification of the risk factors on which codes are based, we can set the stage for a re-examination of public perception with regard to combustible construction. This presentation will provide an understanding of the implicit risk factors that went into the development of building size limits in the National Building Code of Canada.

Presenter Background:

Keith Calder

Keith Calder, P.Eng., is a Vice President, Technical Services with 18 years’ experience. Keith provides leadership with his expertise in building and fire codes, fire safety standards, and performance-based design. He focuses on assisting clients with alternative solutions for complex and innovative designs and fire spread analyses for complex forensic applications. He specializes in the use of computer fire modelling for forensic analysis and to assess new construction design with regard to smoke control and people movement.

Keith has developed a vast knowledge of the application of current and historical building codes, which assists with conducting complicated design audits, specifically, where the design and construction of a facility or group of integrated structures spans several decades and editions of the applicable codes. He provided code analysis and advice on the development and implementation of a site-specific building regulation for the proposed Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, British Columbia.

Mr. Calder was involved in changes to the 2006 British Columbia Building Code to allow for buildings of combustible wood frame construction to be 5 and 6 storeys in building height. He is skilled at assessing fire risk and has also conducted research for the Canadian Wood council specific to the historical development of the height and area limitations contained in the National Building Code of Canada Presenter 


Date:  May 8, 2018
Time: Registration and Reception 5:30pm
Location: False Creek Yacht Club (1661 Granville Street)
Cost: Members - $35; Non-members $40. Please bring cash or a cheque payable to BC Society of Fire Protection Engineers to cover the cost of dinner.
Registration Deadline: May 4, 2018

Free parking is available in the Yacht Club parking lot.

Start date: 
Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 17:30

Signups closed for this Event