Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

COFI’s Ministerial to Be Upgraded to Prescriptive Specification in Building Code

Hidehiko Fumoto

By Hidehiko Fumoto

Deputy Director and Manager Technical Services, Canada Wood Japan

May 7, 2014

COFI’s MinisterialIt has been 10 years since COFI obtained the first fire resistive ministerial approval in 2004 for 2×4 structural assemblies together with Japan 2×4 Home Builders Association.  As part of the series of BSL*1 revisions planned in June of 2014, MLIT*2 has decided to include COFI’s exterior wall specification in the BSL as an example permitted as a fire resistive structure.  This specification is scheduled to be issued by an MLIT notification in June this year and will be enacted after one-year transition period.  The BSL describes fire resistive specifications for walls, columns, floors, beams, roofs and stairs only of concrete and steel constructions in a prescriptive manner in Notification 1399 of year 2000.  It is the first time for MLIT to prescribe a wooden structure in the building code as the one satisfying the fire resistive requirements.  In year 2000, in order to respond to the strong demand from Canadian government and Japanese housing industries, MOC*3 (now MLIT) revised the BSL drastically to a performance oriented building code so that wooden structures can be deem to be fire resistive once a required performance can be demonstrated by testing.  It is a significant progress in the BSL revision history in Japan to include a fire resistive wooden structure specification as the one treated in a parallel manner to steel and concrete structures.  This achievement has resulted from MLIT’s appraisal of PFC fire resistive starts track record; cumulative over 2,000 buildings since 2004.

*Notes: 1) Building Standard Law

2) Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

3) Ministry of Construction