Are the Codes mandatory?
Answer to question 1:
The National Model Construction Codes are model documents only and must be adopted by an authority having jurisdiction in order to come into effect, as Canada's constitution gives the ten provinces and three territories jurisdiction over construction. In some cases, they are amended and/or supplemented to suit regional needs, and then published as provincial Codes. It is anticipated that the 2010 editions will form the basis of provincial and territorial regulations in the near future. To find out about Code adoption in your jurisdiction, please contact the appropriate government agency listed on the National Codes website under Provincial or territorial ministries.
Are the Codes a guide on how to construct a good building?
Answer to question 2:
The Codes are not a design guide or a “how-to” book on how a house or building should be built. Rather, when adopted by a provincial or territorial jurisdiction, they set out minimum requirements for building construction. Best practices will often exceed these minimum provisions.
Will I have to update my house or building now that the new Codes have been released?
Answer to question 3:
No. The new Codes are model Codes that apply to new construction and major renovations to existing buildings, as well as additions in some jurisdictions. They must be adopted by a provincial or territorial jurisdiction to take effect. Some regulatory authorities may require that some provisions of the new Codes apply to existing buildings. To find out about the application of the Codes in your jurisdiction, please contact the appropriate government agency listed on the National Codes website under Provincial or territorial ministries.
Do I have to follow the new national Codes as soon as they are released?
Answer to question 4:
No. To come into effect, the National Model Construction Codes must be adopted by a regulatory authority. There may be a period of a few months or years before a province or territory adopts the new Codes. To find out about adoption plans in your jurisdiction, please contact the appropriate government agency listed on the National Codes website under Provincial or territorial ministries.
If I’m regulated by my province, do the Codes apply to me?
Answer to question 5:
It depends on the specific province or territory you are in. To find out about adoption plans in your jurisdiction, please contact the appropriate government agency listed on the National Codes website under Provincial or territorial ministries.
As a general guide only, the National Model Construction Codes are normally adopted by reference by Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, North West Territories, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon Territory (“adoption by reference” means that a public authority includes a reference to a model code in their laws, ordinances, regulations, or other legal instruments, turning the model code into law).
The National Model Construction Codes form the basis of the provincial Codes in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Prince Edward Island does not adopt the National Model Construction Codes provincially, but the cities of Summerside and Charlottetown have, through bylaws, adopted the NBC and NFC.
Federal government buildings and buildings associated with federally regulated industries (such as airports) are required to conform to the National Model Construction Codes as well as applicable provincial or territorial regulations.
I live in Ontario, and will be purchasing the Ontario Building Code. Should I also purchase the national Codes?
Answer to question 6:
If you are planning on doing work for the federal government, you will need the National Model Construction Code documents. Many people also buy the Codes when the projects they are working on involve different provinces.
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