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This national public review ran from February 27 to April 27, 2023.

The Canadian Board for Harmonized Construction Codes (CBHCC) invited code users and stakeholders to participate in the winter 2023 public review of proposed changes to the 2020 editions of the National Model Codes. The proposed changes included in this public review addressed the following topics in the National Building Code of Canada and the National Plumbing Code of Canada:

  • structural design (Part 9) – lateral loads
  • large farm buildings
  • building fire safety
  • fire protection
  • combustible construction – fire protection and safety
  • fire alarm and detection systems
  • encapsulated mass timber construction
  • spatial separation between buildings
  • accessibility – inclusive plumbing accommodation
  • environmental separation
  • spray-applied polyurethane insulation
  • drainage systems

See the summary of proposed changes below for more details.

The purpose of this public review was to:

  • provide code users and stakeholders with a detailed look at proposed technical changes, and
  • seek comment on each proposed technical changeas to whether it should be approved, altered or withdrawn.

The public review closed at 11:59 pm PDT on April 27, 2023, after which comments will no longer be accepted.

The result of the public review process is a collection of comments on proposed code changes. The comments are sorted and analyzed by Codes Canada staff who are familiar with the development of the proposed changes, and who develop a draft resolution to each comment.

The draft resolutions are validated by the responsible code development committees, which form the recommendations to the CBHCC. The recommendations could be one of the following:

  • approve for publication,
  • defer publication pending further development – subject to subsequent public review, or
  • withdraw proposed code change.

The CBHCC decides which changes will be published in the next edition of the National Model Codes based on the recommendations of the code development committees.

National Building Code of Canada

Increased height limit for buildings of encapsulated mass timber construction (EMTC) (Part 3)

Increases the maximum physical height, measured between the floor of the first storey and the uppermost floor level that does not serve a rooftop enclosure, from 42 m to 50 m for EMTC buildings in Groups C and D that are up to 12 storeys in building height and sprinklered.

Combustible cladding and street frontage (Part 3)

Permits a building of mid-rise combustible construction with more street frontage to have combustible cladding on a greater portion of the building compared to such a building with less street frontage. Removes the existing provisions for determining the street frontage of such a building based on the distance between a certain percentage of its perimeter and a street.

Limiting distance and area of unprotected openings (Part 3)

Corrects errors in the tables for determining the unprotected opening limits for a building or fire compartment. Adds an explanatory Note showing how the table values were calculated and clarifying that linear interpolation between the table values is permitted.

Testing of protection for foamed plastic insulation (Part 3)

Updates existing references to test methods for the evaluation of protection for foamed plastic insulation and introduces references to a new test method, in order to increase compliance options and to reduce the potential for confusion resulting from the current references.

Emergency lighting in universal washrooms and shower rooms (Part 3)

Explicitly requires the provision of emergency lighting in universal washrooms and universal dressing and shower rooms as specified in Section 3.8., so that designers of Part 9 buildings that are barrier-free and comply with Section 3.8. have clear direction on the emergency lighting requirements.

Lateral loads (Part 9 and Appendix C)

Updates the seismic hazard values referenced in Part 9, replaces Sa(0.2) by the seismic design parameter, Smax, adds new wood-frame wall types, and requires bracing for wind and seismic loads in more locations in Canada.

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