Canada’s National Model Codes focus on health, safety, accessibility, the protection of buildings from fire or structural damage, and the protection of the environment.

The most current editions of the National Model Codes are:

  • National Building Code of Canada (NBC) – 2020
  • National Fire Code of Canada (NFC) – 2020
  • National Plumbing Code of Canada (NPC) – 2020
  • National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) – 2020
  • National Farm Building Code of Canada (NFBC) – 1995

The NBC sets technical requirements for the design and construction of new buildings as well as alterations, change of use, and demolition. The requirements address safety, health, accessibility, energy efficiency and building protection.

The NFC sets out fire protection requirements for the safe use and maintenance of buildings. It also applies to the conduct of activities that might cause fire hazards in and around buildings, fire safety at construction and demolition sites, the establishment of fire safety plans, and limitations on hazardous contents in and around buildings.

The NPC includes provisions for the safe installation of potable water systems, the removal of wastewater to municipal or private sewage water systems, and water use efficiency.

The NECB sets technical requirements that address energy efficiency in the design and construction of new buildings and in subsequent alterations.

The NFBC applies to small farm buildings of low human occupancy and contains minimum requirements on matters affecting human health, fire safety, and structural sufficiency. Requirements for large farm buildings were introduced in the 2020 edition of the NBC.

The National Model Codes inform regulation when they are adopted in whole or in part by an authority having jurisdiction (for example, a provincial or territorial government).

Electronic versions of the National Model Codes are available for free through the NRC Publications Archive. Hard copies of code documents are also available for purchase through the NRC Virtual Store.

Nearly 400 technical changes were introduced in the 2020 editions of Canada’s National Model Codes. The most significant technical changes are summarized here.

It is anticipated that the next editions of the National Model Codes will be available in 2025.

Learn about key changes to the 2020 editions