Updating roofing, dampproofing and waterproofing standards in the NBC

Volume 18, Number 3

A concrete foundation wrapped in black plastic material

A CCBFC task group is reviewing roofing, dampproofing and waterproofing standards currently referenced in the National Building Code of Canada.

A large number of standards referenced in the National Building Code (NBC) have not been formally revised in over twenty years. Some of these have been officially "withdrawn" by the Standards Development Organization responsible for their upkeep. Such an administrative step does not necessarily or automatically invalidate the standards’ content, but it does mean that industry and other users should actively look for alternative sources of validated standard solutions dealing with these specific subject matters.

Roofing, dampproofing and waterproofing standards currently referenced in the NBC fall within the category of standards that are considered problematic because they have not been maintained in many years. The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) therefore established a joint task group to review their content and recommend more suitable solutions as necessary. The Commission’s policy is that, insofar as is possible, Canadian standards should be referenced. However, non-Canadian standards may be referenced when technically adequate Canadian standards are not, or are no longer, available.

The joint task group proposed replacing many of these material standards with ASTM standards that continue to be technically maintained and are considered applicable within the Canadian context. It also proposed deleting all dampproofing and waterproofing installation standards in Parts 5 and 9 of the NBC in favour of some key installation requirements (now located in NBC Part 9), combined with manufacturers’ instructions for each material. Some clarifications and a performance-based requirement for dampproofing materials were also proposed.

These recommendations were submitted for public review in fall 2013. If approved by the CCBFC, the final proposed changes will be published in the 2015 edition of the NBC.


Morched Zeghal
Telephone: 613-993-9632
Email: Morched.Zeghal@nrc.gc.ca