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This national public review ran from January 13, 2020 to March 13, 2020.

The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) invited Code users and stakeholders to participate in the winter 2020 public review of proposed changes to Codes Canada publications:

  • National Building Code of Canada 2015 (NBC)
  • National Fire Code of Canada 2015 (NFC)
  • National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2017 (NECB)
  • Updates to the documents referenced in the 2015 and 2017 National Model Codes

The purpose of this public review was to:

  • provide Code users and stakeholders with a detailed look at proposed technical changes
  • seek comment on each proposed technical change as to whether it should be approved, altered, or rejected.

The public review closed at 4 pm PDT on March 13, 2020, after which comments will no longer be accepted (although requests for extensions have occasionally been considered on a case-by-case basis, there will be no extensions to this public review). The relevant committees of the CCBFC will review every comment that was received up to that date. The committees will then either withdraw the proposed change; recommend that it be reviewed further for possible re-submission in revised form in a future public review; or recommend that it be approved by the CCBFC, with or without modification. If approved by the CCBFC, the technical changes will be published in the 2020 editions of Codes Canada publications.

Updates to Referenced Documents

Updates documents referenced in the National Model Codes.

Description of the updates to referenced documents.

National Building Code of Canada (NBC)

Large Farm Buildings (Part 2)

Introduces technical requirements for large farm buildings into Part 2 of Division B of the NBC. The four Sections introduced focus on general technical requirements and classifications, fire protection and occupant safety requirements, structural design requirements, and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) requirements, respectively.

Accessibility (Part 3)

Improves the accessibility of buildings by revising the minimum dimensions of building elements to accommodate persons using various types of mobility devices and by addressing the visibility, detectability and ease of use of building elements for persons with reduced dexterity, vision or hearing. Introduces requirements for visible and audible feedback signals, and visible, tactile and audible safety signage. Requires public entrances and more floor levels to be accessible and, for some occupancies, extends the barrier-free path of travel to additional storeys.

Penetrations (Parts 3 and 9)

Clarifies the requirements for the protection of penetrations through fire separations, expands protection options to include industry practices, and references test methods to increase compliance options while reducing the potential for confusion.

Earthquake Design (Part 4)

Updates seismic hazard values for various locations across the country. Eliminates site coefficients and introduces new site designations, which allow uniform hazard spectra and amplified hazard curves to be determined directly based on average shear wave velocity. Adds new performance requirements for post-disaster and High Importance Category buildings.

Structural Design (Part 9) – Lateral Loads

In response to an increase in the seismic hazard values for many locations in Canada, updates the seismic design parameter from Sa(0.2) to Smax, adds new prescriptive wood-frame wall types, and extends requirements for bracing to resist lateral loads to locations with low seismic and wind loads.

National Fire Code of Canada

Large Farm Buildings (Parts 2 and 4)

Introduces technical requirements for large farm buildings that address the inspection of mechanical and electrical equipment, the control of flammable gases and vapours, and the storage of flammable and combustible liquids.

National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) & NBC Section 9.36.

Building Envelope (NECB Part 3)

Updates the air leakage requirements in the prescriptive path to include airtightness testing (which is optional in the performance path). Reduces the allowable fenestration and door areas, and lowers the overall thermal transmittance values for opaque building assemblies and fenestration.

Lighting (NECB Part 4)

Updates the lighting power density (LPD) values to better align them with the efficacy of lighting products available in the North American market. Outlines the lighting power allowances to be used for exterior applications that are not covered by existing provisions.

HVAC and Service Water Heating (NECB Parts 5 and 6, and NBC Section 9.36.)

Deletes the NECB trade-off paths for HVAC and service water heating because they are complex and not used by the industry. Updates the performance requirements for HVAC and service water heating equipment in the NECB and Section 9.36. by adding new equipment types and by aligning the requirements with federal energy efficiency regulations and relevant standards.

Tiered Performance Requirements (NECB)

Introduces a new Part to Division B of the NECB that establishes a compliance path with four tiers, each successive tier being increasingly stringent in terms of building energy consumption.

Tiered Performance Requirements (NBC Section 9.36.)

Introduces a new Subsection that establishes tiered performance requirements by defining five tiers in terms of overall energy performance improvement, improvement in building envelope performance, and airtightness level. To supplement this tiered approach, adds new Subsections on prescriptive requirements for compliance with Tier 2 and on airtightness measurement.

Alignment with EnerGuide System (NBC Section 9.36.)

Aligns NBC Subsection 9.36.5. with the EnerGuide Rating System to establish this system as an acceptable compliance path.

To receive the proposed changes for this public review, please contact the Secretary of the CCBFC.