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Several States Seek to Prohibit Wood Construction

The Maryland Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee recently considered legislation (SB 722) prohibiting wood construction for buildings above three levels. If passed, this legislation would significantly impact the cost and ability to construct apartment housing.

The bill is supported by the concrete industry and part of an ongoing campaign to limit wood multifamily construction through both the International Code Council’s code development process and state legislation. Along with Maryland, two other states are considering similar legislation. In New Jersey, NJ AB 1270 would prohibit wood construction and require concrete fire stops. The City of Maitland, Fla., is supporting state legislation to allow municipalities to prohibit building materials, including wood. While these bills are not likely to pass this year, it represents an ongoing nationwide campaign to restrict wood construction at the state level.

In general, NAA supports all varieties of construction. Concrete, aluminum and wood construction offer the apartment industry different options for construction. NAA will continue to participate and promote the building codes. The codes are strenuously vetted by experts across various industries, including fire safety engineers, developers and architects.

If you are aware of a state bill or local proposal addressing building codes, please contact Holly Charlesworth, Manager, Government Affairs.