Canada’s National Model Codes are generally developed on a five-year cycle. For each code cycle, the CBHCC establishes a work plan that guides the work of code development committees as they develop and assess potential code changes. The work plan is established to address strategic priority areas defined by the Canadian Table for Harmonized Construction Code Policy (CTHCCP).

The 2025 code cycle priorities were set under the former Canadian Commission for Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC)1 with advice from the Provincial/Territorial Policy Advisory Committee on Codes (PTPACC) and are being carried forward by the CBHCC.

Priorities for the 2025 editions of the National Model Codes, with highlights of potential changes being developed, include:

  • Codes harmonization: working collaboratively with provinces and territories to reduce technical variations between construction codes across Canada.
  • Climate change adaptation: developing solutions for overheating in indoor environments in buildings; introducing forward-looking climate data.
  • Alterations to existing buildings: developing requirements for existing buildings to help guide energy efficiency improvements during renovations.
  • Accessibility: expanding the application of the Accessibility objective to no longer exempt dwelling units, and developing technical requirements for adaptability in dwelling units and visitability in dwelling units in multi-unit residential buildings; improving building access including for persons with impaired vision; and enhancing safety through improved accessibility.
  • Climate change mitigation: developing provisions to refine energy efficiency tiers introduced in the 2020 Codes; and expanding the scope of the current objectives to include a new objective to address greenhouse gas emissions and developing related performance-based solutions to address excessive operational greenhouse gas emissions in buildings.
  • Select fire and life safety topics: integrating the latest fire test research into the provisions that define the percentage of exposed mass timber in encapsulated mass timber construction (EMTC) buildings, as well as addressing fire safety issues encountered during construction.
  • Policy work: in addition to policy work on climate change mitigation to inform provisions for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, assessing the role of the Codes in climate change adaptation including flood-resistant design, and mitigating against wildland urban interface fires, permafrost, and extreme winds. Policy work also includes consideration of clarifying the safety of emergency responders while performing their duties in code objectives.

1 The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes was the group responsible for national code development prior to the governance transformation in November 2022. For more information about the transition to the new governance model, click here.