College to deliver new course on permanent wood foundations

Whitehorse—Yukon College will deliver a brand new course that addresses national changes to the standards for using permanent wood foundations in building construction.

The two-day course, running April 27 and 28, focusses on changes to the guidelines set out by the Canadian Standards Association for wood foundation structures. These include technical rules as well as new allowances for three-storey construction, and longer building spans.

“These changes create more opportunity because you can have larger rooms and bigger houses,” said Henry Walthert, Executive Director of Wood Preservation Canada (WPC), which is co-hosting the course with the College and the Canadian Wood Council.

The class won’t be a regular offering at the College, but will serve as a model, to be refined for various audiences and offered across Canada.

Walthert said many Canadian builders have asked him about creating something to familiarize builders, contractors, engineers, architects, and building officials with the new standards.

The driving force in its development, however, was Stan Dueck, Chief Building Inspector with the Government of Yukon.

“There was more demand from Yukon than anywhere else,” said Walthert. “If you look at the preserved wood foundation market as a whole, it’s essentially a north and west phenomenon. We don’t see many preserved wood foundations in the east, but in the north, the product is more readily available than concrete and other foundation materials.”

The course will be taught by Gary Gibson, an Alberta-based engineer with more than 30 years’ experience in the field. 

Walthert said there are currently 20 people registered for the course, being held at the College next week. Registration is open through Yukon College Admissions until April 26.