Canadian Construction Codes

Canadian construction codes

Construction can be a complex and challenging activity as it involves various processes and professional assistance. From engineers to architects, electricians to plumbers, you have to research these professionals and get the best aid from them.

Likewise, when it comes to the process, you have to take numerous factors into consideration, such as the framing and roofing, building the foundation, site preparation, sustainability of the materials, plumbing, finishing, and more. 

To ensure that you finish the construction without any hassle and flaws, complying with the Canadian construction codes is imperative.

What is the Canadian Construction Code?

The Canadian Construction Code, commonly referred to as the National Building Code of Canada, is the country’s model construction code under the issuance of the National Research Council of Canada. 

The codes can be regarded as a regulatory instrument that lists the requirements one needs to comply with when performing any kind of construction. 

This is done to ensure that the construction occurs amidst the maintenance of minimum safety, performance, and health standards. It is considered to be the provincial responsibility by the Constitution of Canada, and it was published in 1941. 

Set of Canadian Construction Codes

As per the 1995 National Building Code, the codes are divided into 9 parts:

  1. Part 1: Scope and Definitions 
  2. Part 2: General Requirements
  3. Part 3: Fire Protection, Occupant Safety, and Accessibility
  4. Part 4: Structural Design
  5. Part 5: Environmental Separation
  6. Part 6: Heating, Ventilating and Air-conditioning
  7. Part 7: Plumbing Services
  8. Part 8: Safety Measures at Construction and Demolition Sites
  9. Part 9: Housing and Small Buildings

Part 1 of the code deals with the definitions and descriptions related to the application of the building code. 

Part 2 specifies the requirements that everyone undergoing construction work should comply with. 

Part 3, which is often regarded to be the most complex as well as the largest of the construction codes, is mainly created with engineers and architects in mind. Hence, to ensure the utmost safety, they must refer to this code. 

Part 4 refers to the construction of the building structure. It includes the selection and usage of quality raw materials and effective equipment from a reliable supplier for robust construction.  

In this regard, you can purchase building and construction safety equipment for the perfect and safest construction. 

The majority of the code requirements are driven by Part 9, which deals with housing and small buildings. It has a huge scope as it contains the most references to other preceding sets of codes as well. 

This prescriptive part is aimed at application by contractors. The construction codes are also concerned with material testing, installation, design, and commissioning documents. 

NBC 2020 Changes Made In The Canadian Construction Code

There were a couple of changes made to the Canadian Construction Code by NBC 2020, which are as follows: 

  1. The establishment of wood buildings of up to 12 stories was encouraged following the introduction of encapsulated mass timber construction.
  2. To decrease the development and transmission of Legionella and other bacteria, the revision of evaporative equipment and design requirements was done. 
  3. In housing and smaller buildings, there was an establishment of energy performance tiers to facilitate a framework for achieving higher levels of energy efficiency. 
  4. In relation to large farm buildings, there was an introduction of technical requirements to address occupant safety, structural design, air conditioning, ventilating, fire protection, heating, and structural design. 
  5. To eliminate any barriers concerning plumbing facilities, elevators, anthropometrics, and signage, the accessibility requirements were revised and updated accordingly. 
  6. To facilitate safer and more economical care in a setting akin to home, there was an introduction of a home-type care occupancy. 

Purpose of Canadian Construction Code 

A set of codes are required for construction because they serve the following purposes. 

1. Establishes Construction Standards

The National Construction Code of Canada facilitates a holistic coverage of standards. It presents the outline and framework of how safe and effective construction should be done, thereby encouraging everyone to follow and meet the required standards so that the construction can be completed without any negative impact.

2. Improves The Safety

The set of codes introduced by the Canadian Constitution lays out the safety measures every professional involved in the construction process should adhere to. This encourages them to use the best materials which are safe as well as sustainable. 

3. Increases Energy Efficiency 

Initially published in 1997, the Model National Energy Codes for Buildings encourages efficient use of energy during construction. 

It encourages one to opt for a production process that utilizes energy positively through the application of methods that are accepted commonly to promote the reduction of energy losses. This can also act as an effective solution for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.

4. Provides Better Direction 

By presenting the framework and regulations for safe and successful construction, the Canadian Construction Code established the minimum requirements for the process.

It includes a detailed overview of all the steps involved, from heating to ventilating, framing to the finishing touch, and more. All of this enables construction practitioners to have a reliable set of guidelines they can refer to. 

5. Encourages Code Compliance

Since the set of codes is introduced by the Constitution of Canada, everyone must comply compulsorily. This mandating creates a need for one and all to ensure they complete construction by following these sets of codes. 

Final Thoughts 

One can seldom deny the assertion that construction is a process that requires a lot of thought. It can be a long journey, but the most important thing is that it should be safe, not just for human beings but for the whole environment.

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