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Let's Talk Building Codes

Building codes are complicated, they: are written by multiple associations, are used by multiple levels of government, sometimes conflict with other codes, use technical language, and vary widely by region. The best way to understand codes is to examine specific cases and review qualified advice.

The following collection of documents are real code examples taken from real world situations.

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Canadian Building Codes

What Are Building Codes

A building code is the mix of acts, regulations, by-laws, codes, and standards. This collection of requirements defines a minimum standard for the construction of new buildings for the purpose of protecting public health and safety. The code generally looks at the construction as well as the occupancy of buildings.

In Canada, building codes are established by provincial authorities which often use the National Research Council of Canada's  model codes. These model codes may be adopted, in whole, part, or modified to meet specific provincial requirements. They are: the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB), National Building Code of Canada (NBC), National Fire Code of Canada (NFC), and National Plumbing Code of Canada (NPC).

Recent Codes Analysis Articles

Difference Between Fire Breaks and Stops

A firestop is a fire protection system made of various components used to seal openings and joints in fire-resistance rated wall and/or floor assemblies. Firestops are designed to restore the fire-resistance ratings of wall and/or floor assemblies by impeding the spread of fire by filling the openings with fire-resistant materials.

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Applying Building Codes

Building codes are established by provincial authorities, with some federal input via the National Research Council of Canada's Canadian Codes Center which publishes model codes. These model codes may be adopted, in whole or part; or copied and modified (often substantially) to meet specific provincial requirements. These codes are: the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB), National Building Code of Canada (NBC), National Fire Code of Canada (NFC), and National Plumbing Code of Canada (NPC). Ontario has made the most modifications, while Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec have generally made additions. The remaining provinces have adopted some or all of the building, plumbing, and fire codes with Newfoundland and Labrador taking the unusual step of partially adopting of the building code.

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