ARCHIVED - A New Era in National Construction Codes

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September 05, 2005— Ottawa, Ontario

National Research Council Canada (NRC) launches its twelfth edition of the National Construction Codes in a new "objective-based" format.

Cover page of the National Construction CodesThe National Construction Codes are the model documents that provinces and territories use to establish their own building and fire regulations. They include the National Building Code 2005, the National Fire Code 2005 and the National Plumbing Code 2005.

National Construction Codes 2005

Further details on the 2005 National Construction Codes are available at


To order the 2005 National Construction Codes, please visit the NRC Virtual Store at


Ten years in production, all three of the National Construction Codes now offer many improvements, including technical updates and new information that will make them clearer, easier to apply to existing buildings and more accommodating to innovation.

In objective-based codes, the reasons for building design, construction, operation and maintenance regulation are clearly spelled out and the intent of every code provision explained.

The objective-based codes provide the following benefits:

  • Increased understanding of the reasons for code provisions.
  • More consistent application of the codes.
  • More clarity in what innovative technology must do to be accepted in the code.
  • Flexibility in dealing with existing buildings.

The new information in the 2005 National Construction Codes will help designers and regulators determine what minimum performance must be achieved, thereby facilitating the evaluation of new products and construction techniques.

Although the 2005 Codes will facilitate the work of designers and help regulators determine conformity, most users such as builders should experience little change from the way they previously used the codes. For their day-to-day work, the 2005 Codes have essentially remained the same: builders will find the same code provisions – now referred to as "acceptable solutions" – as they found in the 1995 editions, updated with technical changes.

All in all, close to 1,300 technical changes have been incorporated in the 2005 National Construction Codes to address the many technological advances and health and safety concerns raised over the past 10 years.

What's New?

In order to accommodate the new information, the 2005 NBC, NFC and NPC have a new organizational layout. Each code comprises three divisions: A, B and C. Of the three, Divisions A and B are of greater interest for users, with Division B looking most like the 1995 editions.

Division A includes the compliance options, the objectives and the functional statements.

Division B is where code users will find the code provisions, which are essentially the same as in the previous editions, updated with technical changes. Also, most of the code structure and vocabulary that users are familiar with will remain in place.

Division C includes administrative provisions.

A significant national effort was required to convert the 1995 Codes to an objective-based format. In the early 1990's, the NRC's Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC), responsible for developing and updating the National Model Codes, was faced with a growing demand to improve the clarity and flexibility of the codes and to make them more accommodating to innovation.

The publication of the 2005 National Construction Codes marks the completion of a 10-year overhaul guided by NRC and the provinces and territories to develop "objective-based" Codes.

Enquiries: Media relations
National Research Council of Canada

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