Wood Use Matrix

The Wood Use Matrix is a tool that summarizes the current best practices in the use of wood building materials and systems for various building elements of a wide variety of building types. The matrix reflects the current state-of-the-art in wood design and engineering. The Matrix is a guideline that uses a scale from 1 (green) to 4 (red) which indicates where:


1. An Acceptable Solution with wood is permitted;

2. An Alternate Solution with wood is relatively easy to implement;

3. An Alternate Solution with wood will require advanced analysis;

4. An Alternate Solution with wood will require extensive research.

The Matrix is consistent with the BC Building Code and is intended provide comfort to building proponents by showing them where and how the design teams for similar projects have used wood in structural and architectural applications. Clicking on selected cell in the Matrix presents a “drill-down” to example projects, case studies and other resources that can help to realize wood in new projects.  As new wood designs are created and new wood building materials and systems are developed, the matrix will be continuously updated to reflect the best practices available to the building community.

      i.  Special considerations for “Post Disaster Buildings” are not included;
      ii.  Wood for ceilings may require treatment to improve flame spread resistance;
      iii. Mixed use buildings require special analysis;
      iv. Preserved wood foundations must comply with CSA-S406 and may be particularly advantageous for buildings in extremely cold or remote regions, or for
          temporary structures. 
Filter Columns:
Arts & Cultural Centres
Community Centres, Recreation Centres, Gymnasia & Libraries
Transit Stations
Fire Houses/First Response Centres
Community Housing (excl. Assisted Living)
Office and Admin Buildings, City Halls & Police Stations (excl. Lock-Ups)
Public Washroom Buildings
Tourist Bureaus
Warehouse and Service Depots
Pedestrian Overpasses
Adv Ed - Classroom and Library Buildings
Adv Ed - Multi-Use Including Classrooms and Labs
Adv Ed - Office and Admin Buildings
Kindergarten to Grade 12 Schools
Filter Rows:
Primary Structural System
Secondary Structure
* Click on these cells to view sample projects.
Building Elements
Local Government BuildingsAdvanced EducationMinistry of Education
1 Storey2 Storey3 or More Storeys1 or 2 Storey3 Storey4 or More StoreysAllSmallLarge< 1,000 m21,000+ m2Up to 6 Storeys7or More StoreysUp To 4 Storeys5 or More StoreysAllAll1 or 2 StoreyAll1 or 2 Storey3 Storey4 or More StoreysAllUp To 4 Storeys5 or More Storeys1 Storey up to 4,000 m21 Storey 4-12,000 m21 Storey 12,000+ m22 Storey up to 4,000 m22 Storey 4-12,000 m22 Storey 12,000+ m23 Storey up to 12,000 m23 Storey 12,000+ m2
Arts & Cultural CentresCommunity Centres, Recreation Centres, Gymnasia & LibrariesTransit StationsArenas/PoolsFire Houses/First Response CentresCommunity Housing (excl. Assisted Living)Office and Admin Buildings, City Halls & Police Stations (excl. Lock-Ups)Public Washroom BuildingsTourist BureausWarehouse and Service DepotsPedestrian OverpassesAdv Ed - Classroom and Library BuildingsAdv Ed - Multi-Use Including Classrooms and LabsAdv Ed - Office and Admin BuildingsKindergarten to Grade 12 Schools
Primary Structural SystemColumns, Beams & Braces
Floor Structure
Exterior Walls
Foundation (iv)
Shear Walls
Bearing Walls
Fire Walls
Roof Structure (inc. columns and braces)
Stairway & Elevator Shafts
Secondary StructureConvenience Stairs
Entrances & Canopies
Fire Separations
Enclosures for Mechanical Equipment
ArchitecturalPartitions (interior)
Exterior Curtain Walls
Ceilings (ii)
Exterior Cladding
Parapets (excluding Parapets of Firewalls)
Ceiling Bulkheads
Trim, Paneling & Features
Wall and Corner Guards
Other Architectural Woodwork
Hard Landscaping & Structures
Perimeter Fencing