For over 75 years, the provinces, territories and the federal government have worked together in supporting an open collaborative process for developing model building, fire, plumbing and energy codes with the aim of harmonizing building and safety regulations across Canada. The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) provides direction and oversight on the development of the codes. NRC hosts the system and is involved throughout, from managing its funding to supporting Committee work with the latest technical information and expertise.
The most recent result of this long-standing partnership and collaboration is the publication of Codes Canada 2015 which includes the National Building Code (NBC), National Fire Code (NFC), National Plumbing Code (NPC) and National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB).
Almost 600 technical changes will not only make certain provisions in the new codes clearer and easier to apply, they will also introduce new concepts and expand the codes to new areas. Examples of the latter are the introduction of water-use efficiency in the NPC and allowances for six-storey combustible construction in the NBC and NFC.
Work begun on 2020 codes
The process of code development is an open and continuous one in which committees constantly deliberate the merits of future changes to the codes. With the 2020 editions already in their sight, committees are busy reviewing numerous code change requests submitted by stakeholders. Anyone wishing to request a code change may do so by submitting an online form via NRC’s website. The first public review of changes proposed for the 2020 editions is scheduled for fall 2016.
New members were recently appointed to the CCBFC for a five-year term ending August 31, 2020. Membership strikes a balance between regulators, industry and general interest categories while ensuring that the various regions of the country are evenly represented.
The CCBFC will convene its first meeting of the 2015-2020 code cycle in spring 2016. A report on the status and performance of the coordinated code development system will be presented to the CCBFC and discussed in detail. The report notes significant progress made to improve the system since the last review some ten years ago, but recommends that partners take stock, confirm shared goals, and adjust and re-energize the system as necessary in critical areas.