Nov. 22, 2022
Today, the newly formed Canadian Board for Harmonized Construction Codes (CBHCC) assumes responsibility for the development of Canada’s National Model Codes. The CBHCC replaces the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) – the committee responsible for managing the national code development system in Canada since 1991.
The creation of the CBHCC is part of a broader set of governance changes including the dissolution of the Provincial/Territorial Advisory Committee on Codes (PTPACC), which previously advised the CCBFC on policy matters. Under the new governance model, strategic policy direction will be set by the Canadian Table for Harmonized Construction Codes Policy, which will oversee the CBHCC and include deputy-minister-level decision-makers from provincial, territorial, and federal governments.
The governance changes are a significant step towards supporting the adoption of harmonized Construction Codes in Canada. The new model will remove barriers to the free movement of goods, services, and investments within Canada.
The new governance model will also include an Advisory Council for Harmonized Construction Codes consisting of members from industry, the regulatory community, and other interested organizations that will provide policy advice to the CBHCC. The broader code community, including code users, interested organizations and members of the public, will continue to participate in the code development process by attending open meetings and providing feedback during public reviews of proposed code changes.
“In developing the new governance model, it was important that we maintain strong engagement with industry and the code community, which have been hallmarks of the Canadian system” said Joe Rogers, Vice-Chair of PTPACC and Chair of the transition efforts. “Also, the development of the National Model Codes would not be possible without the volunteers who serve on technical committees, and who will continue to develop changes on these committees for the 2025 Codes. I would like to thank the members of the CCBFC for their contributions to code development in Canada and for being such effective partners during this transition.”
The new code system governance approach was developed collaboratively over the last two years by provincial, territorial, and federal officials under the Construction Codes Reconciliation Agreement (CCRA), a Regulatory Cooperation Table agreement under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement. Endorsed by provincial, territorial, and federal jurisdictions, the agreement includes commitments to reducing variations in technical requirements between codes, for more timely adoption, and for a transformed national code development system that meets the needs of all jurisdictions.
The working groups that designed the transition also included members of the CCBFC’s Executive Committee, who provided input into the new system design and helped inform the timing and approach to the transition from the CCBFC to the CBHCC. The CCBFC and the broader code community were consulted on the advisory and engagement mechanisms of the governance model, and a subset of the CCBFC is being retained in an advisory capacity during the transition to help manage the change.
The standing committees, task groups and working groups that develop code change proposals remain in place at the time of transition.
The National Research Council of Canada will continue to publish the Codes, and provide administrative, technical, and policy support to the code development system.
The ongoing public review of proposed changes to the 2020 editions of the National Model Codes will continue until December 23, 2022.
Canada’s National Model Codes include the National Building Code of Canada, the National Fire Code of Canada, the National Plumbing Code of Canada, and the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings. The Codes contribute to the health and safety of Canadians, to the accessibility of buildings, and to safeguarding the environment, while limiting the probability of fire and structural damage to buildings.