Special siding saves structure
The Calgary Fire Department is asking homeowners to consider their building materials in the wake of a huge construction site fire in McKenzie Towne over the weekend.
The Sunday morning fire affected three condo complexes under construction and melted 14 cars parked across the street.
Calgary Fire Deputy Chief Brad Lorne sits on the Canadian Commission of Building and Fire Codes and says that recent changes made to the codes are responsible for saving surrounding homes and prevented the site from burning further.
“The complex that is still standing is sided with a cement based product and obviously cement does not burn and what we're seeing here is a structure that was across the street from an inferno and houses are still fine. The people can still live here,” said Chief Lorne.
The Chief says anyone considering residing their home or building a home should consider fire retardant materials.
Since 2009 the fire code has required condos to also have a fire resistant layer underneath the siding.
The McKenzie Towne condo complex did comply with the code and had the fire resistance layer in place.
The concrete siding doesn't burn but it also isn't cheap.
The special siding costs about the same as the highest quality brands of vinyl siding but the labour costs to install it are roughly twice as much.