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Wood frame Sandman Hotel breaks ground in Hamilton

Dena Fehir
Wood frame Sandman Hotel breaks ground in Hamilton

HAMILTON—A revised building code has allowed Hamilton to be the first municipality in Ontario to issue a building permit for a six-storey wood frame structure.

The Sandman Hotel will be located on Centennial Parkway in Hamilton’s East end, at the South Service Road. Ground broke in late March for the 208-unit, 9,534-square-metre location.

Currently, as per the district building inspector, contractors are at the mobilizing stage moving dirt and setting up the compound for construction.

Ed Vander-Windt, Hamilton’s chief building official said he is "thrilled" that the city is the first in the province to issue a permit for such a project.

"As a municipality, we’re always pleased to see innovative construction occur. To see any of the many construction materials develop new technologies is good for the construction industry," he said.

Regulations went into effect on Jan. 1, 2015 to allow wood-frame residential and commercial buildings to a maximum of six storeys. Previous to the revision, the height limit was four storeys.

Vander-Windt says such structures are popular in Western Canada and hopes to see more applications for similar developments.

Wood frame buildings call for additional sprinklers for balconies and attics and roof and wall coverings are required to be non-combustible. Also, stairways must have a fire protection rating of 90-minutes, which means they have the ability to withstand a fire test for that duration of time.

It has been well-documented by wood advocates that the advantages of wood-frame buildings include the material being easier to work with – especially in tight buildings — is renewable and more cost-effective than projects that call for steel and concrete materials.

The $12-million project is under the direction of British Columbia based Northland Properties, the driving force behind not only the Sandman Hotel Group, but also Moxie’s Grill and Bar, the Chop Steakhouse and Bar, Denny’s Restaurants, the Dallas Stars and the Northland Asset Management Company.

For this particular project, Sandman Hotels submitted a site plan application to the city for a six-storey hotel that also will include an indoor pool, a 432-square-metre Denny’s restaurant and a 840.5-square-metre Moxie’s Bar and Grill restaurant as well as 277 parking spaces. Upon completion, it is expected to employ approximately 350 people.

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