Frequently asked questions

General

  1. What are the National Model Construction Codes?
  2. How are the Codes developed and updated?
  3. Have all the National Model Construction Codes been updated?
  4. Have the intent statements been updated for the 2010 Codes? Are there any for the 2011 NECB?
  5. How different are the 2010 Codes from the 2005 editions?
  6. Will revisions to the 2010 Codes/2011 NECB be published after they are released? If so how do I get the revisions?
  7. If I find something wrong with the Codes that needs to be changed, who do I tell and what do I do? OR I would like to make a change to the Codes. How do I forward this change and who do I forward it to?

Cost

  1. Why should I pay? Aren’t the Codes a regulation?
  2. Why can’t the 2010 Codes be free if published on the Web?
  3. Why has the price of the Codes gone up?

Purchasing

  1. Where do I purchase the Codes?
  2. Will the delivery of the Codes be faster if I order them through the NRC Virtual Store?
  3. The 2010 National Building Code is sold in two volumes. Can I purchase only Volume 1?
  4. Can I get a discount if I purchase more than one Code?
  5. The Codes are available in printed formats. Can they also be viewed online on the Web?
  6. Are CD ROMs and User's Guides available? If not, when will they be available?

Application

  1. Are the Codes mandatory?
  2. Are the Codes a guide on how to construct a good building?
  3. Will I have to update my house or building now that the new Codes have been released?
  4. Do I have to follow the new national Codes as soon as they are released?
  5. If I’m regulated by my province, do the Codes apply to me?
  6. I live in Ontario, and will be purchasing the Ontario Building Code. Should I also purchase the national Codes?

Scope of construction codes

  1. What is the extent of Canada’s national model codes development system? How many people are involved?
  2. Who is responsible for regulating construction in Canada? Who provides Code interpretations?
  3. Who establishes the content of the codes?
  4. What do the National Model Construction Codes deal with? What do they not deal with? Why?

Roles and responsibilities

  1. What is the role of the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes?
  2. Who serves on the CCBFC and how are they selected?
  3. Given that the CCBFC has, in its membership, regulatory officials from provincial and territorial governments, how are their roles and responsibilities defined? Do they participate as individuals or as representatives of their respective governments?
  4. What is the role and mandate of the provinces and territories?
  5. What is the role and mandate of the Provincial/Territorial Policy Advisory Committee on Codes (PTPACC)? To whom is it accountable for its policy advice?
  6. Is there a formal agreement among governments which sets out the role and purpose of National Model Construction Codes, and the commitments and expectations of provincial and territorial governments in relation to them?
  7. Does the CCBFC provide advice to provincial governments when the latter are considering changes to their building codes? If so, how is this done?
  8. If a province or territory determines that a national code change is either acceptable or unacceptable, how does this affect the decision of the CCBFC? Can objections from a province or territory prevent the CCBFC from adopting a proposed code change?
  9. What is the role of NRC?

Making code changes

  1. How does a person propose a code change? What is involved, and do you need to be an “expert” to do this?
  2. When a code change is being considered, what information and factors are taken into account? What factors are not considered? Why?
  3. I understand that I can provide input to the CCBFC, but my building code is managed by my province. Can I also discuss code issues with my provincial government? If so, who do I talk to?
  4. Can the code development process respond quickly to emerging issues, or must everything wait until the end of each five-year cycle? Does it take long to make changes to the Codes?
  5. What is the “consensus-based decision-making process” that is used to update and produce the Codes and how does it work? Why is it important?
  6. Why do the National Model Construction Codes only set minimum standards of health and safety? What is meant by “minimum requirements”?

Training

  1. Is training offered on the technical changes made in the 2010 Codes?
  2. What training programs are there to educate users on the content of the Codes?

Objective-based Codes

  1. What is an objective-based Code?
  2. When did objective-based Codes come into effect?
  3. Aren’t objective-based Codes just performance-based Codes?
  4. Are objective-based Codes part of Smart Regulation?
  5. Can a requirement be added to the Codes that is not related to one of the stated objectives?

Energy efficiency

  1. How do the Codes address climate change?
  2. How do the Codes address energy efficiency?
  3. How do the Codes address resource conservation?

Energy efficiency – buildings

  1. What is the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011?
  2. How was the 2011 NECB developed?
  3. What’s new in the 2011 NECB?
  4. What performance improvement can I expect in using the 2011 NECB?
  5. What is the scope of the 2011 NECB? Is there going to be an energy code for houses as well as for buildings?

Energy efficiency – housing

  1. How much better are the NBC's new energy efficiency requirements for housing over the Model National Energy Code of Canada for Houses 1997?

Log home construction

  1. Will the interim changes eliminate log homes from the Canadian landscape?
  2. Why isn’t there a simple exemption for log walls?
  3. How is the RSI value for log walls calculated?
  4. Are log walls considered an air barrier system?
  5. Are log walls considered to have a vapour barrier?
  6. Can log homes comply with the prescriptive requirements?
  7. Which log types are affected most in having to use alternative compliance routes?
  8. Is there a limit to how much insulation can be traded within the trade-off path?
  9. What if the trade-off method does not allow sufficient flexibility, say in the North?
  10. Can I look at the requirements and, when are they coming into force?

Snow loads – when to shovel your roof

  1. What are signs of heavy snow load on my roof?
  2. What can I do myself?
  3. How much snow can my roof hold?
  4. What are the building code requirements?
  5. Does the age of my house matter?
  6. What’s the best way to deal with all of this?
  7. Are there other resources?

Other questions

  1. Are power driven nails addressed in the National Building Code?
  2. The U.S. will dramatically reduce allowable lead content in plumbing products effective January 4, 2014. Will the National Plumbing Code be revised to require low lead products as well?
  3. Why are requirements to protect communities from wildfires not in the National Model Construction Codes?
  4. Do the 2010 Codes address fire risk associated with houses built close together?
  5. Do the 2010 Codes reflect the new Health Canada guideline for radon exposure?
  6. How do the Codes address a sustainable built environment?
  7. Will the National Codes be revised to allow construction of wood buildings with more than four storeys?
  8. Will the use of water be regulated by the National Codes?
  9. The National Farm Building Code dates back to 1995. Will it be updated?
  10. Are green roofs addressed by the National Building Code of Canada 2010?
  11. What level of earthquake are Canadian buildings supposed to be able to withstand under the National Building Code of Canada 2010?
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