TRURO – A recent announcement the province of Nova Scotia will align its building code with the National Building code is positive news for the forest industry and the overall economy of the province, say area chambers.

“This is a positive change that has the potential to boost timber sales in this region while supporting the overall economy of the province,” says Alex Stevenson, President of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce.  “At a recent carbon pricing discussion hosted by the Chamber, panel experts outlined how locally sourced timber used in construction can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as the timbers store naturally captured carbon for the long term.”

The changes that came into effect April 1, allow for the maximum height of timber structures to increase from four to six storeys. The Fire Safety Act and Regulations will also be changed to enhance safety requ­irements for the tal­ler wood buildings.

This will offer flexibility to designers and developers in their choice of building products in structures up to six storeys, while promoting the broader use of wood which can be locally sourced, providing valuable employment and economic spinoffs while offering sustainable ‘green’ building solutions.

“Our sawmills are vital to the rural economy but they are often at the mercy of ever changing lumber markets in North America and off shore,” says Jack Kyte, Executive Director, Pictou County Chamber of Commerce. “The announced changes offer the opportunity to increase lumber sales right here in Nova Scotia and provide more stability for producers.”

Eight percent of the province’s annual wood harvest is done in Colchester County and nine per cent in Pictou County.

Nova Scotia forests cover four million hectares, or 75 per cent of the province. The forest industry provides 11,500 direct and indirect jobs to Nova Scotians, contributing an economic impact of $2.1 Billion and $800 million to the provincial GDP.