This national public review runs from October 23 to December 18, 2023.
The Canadian Board for Harmonized Construction Codes (CBHCC) invites code users, the Codes community, and the public to participate in the fall 2023 public review of proposed changes to the 2020 editions of the National Model Codes. The proposed changes included in this public review address the following topics in the National Building Code of Canada, the National Fire Code of Canada, the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings, and the National Plumbing Code of Canada:
- alterations to existing buildings
- greenhouse gas emissions
- accessibility – illumination levels and projection of protruding building elements
- building envelope – thermal bridging and insulation
- building fire safety
- climatic loads
- combustible construction – fire protection and safety
- encapsulated mass timber construction
- HVAC equipment efficiency
- large farm buildings
- hazardous materials and activities
- plumbing materials and equipment
- fire protection
- use and egress
- prescriptive trade-off path
- vegetated roof assemblies
- windows, doors and skylights
- environmental separation standards
- fenestration – thermal characteristics
See the summary of key proposed changes below for more details.
The purpose of this public review is to:
- provide code users, the Codes community, and the public with a detailed look at proposed technical changes, and
- seek comment on each proposed technical change as to whether it should be approved, altered or withdrawn.
The public review will close at 11:59 pm PST on December 18, 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,
- revise 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.
Steps for submitting comments on proposed changes
Step 1: Read the guidelines for writing comments.
Step 2: Read the instructions for submitting comments.
Step 3: Read the proposed changes.
Step 4: If you have a comment, click the “Submit a comment” link located at the beginning of each proposed change, which will take you to the online comment form. Only comment forms that are submitted online will be accepted.
You may submit other related documents, such as reports, by e-mail or mail.
Important: submit one comment form per proposed change. If you are commenting on more than one proposed change, use a separate form for each one.
Thank you for contributing to the development of the National Model Codes.
National Building Code of Canada (NBC)
Maximum sill height for openable windows in large farm buildings (Part 2)
Specifies the maximum sill height for openable windows or panels used as exits in large farm buildings that are or are not occupied by livestock.
Accessible controls for manual fire alarm stations (Part 3)
Includes manual stations as one of the building controls that are subject to the accessibility requirements so that persons with disabilities related to dexterity or mobility are able to activate the fire alarm in case of an emergency.
Encapsulated mass timber construction (Part 3)
Updates the minimum requirements for and exceptions to the encapsulation of mass timber elements based on the new editions of certain referenced standards and the most recent fire research.
Wind resistance of vegetated roof assemblies (Part 5)
Clarifies the requirements for determining the acceptable wind loads for the design of vegetated roof assemblies.
Illumination levels (Part 9)
Aligns NBC Part 9 with Part 3 regarding the minimum requirements for lighting in public and service areas to provide occupants with adequate lighting over escalators and moving walkways and at controls and signs.
Projection of protruding building elements (Part 9)
Aligns NBC Part 9 with Part 3 regarding the requirements on protruding building elements by limiting their geometry and location in most paths of travel in Part 9 buildings to help prevent injuries to persons with low vision.
Prescriptive trade-off path in Section 9.36. (Part 9)
Provides additional energy conservation measures, including drain-water heat-recovery units, gas-fired furnaces, airtightness and fenestration, with corresponding energy conservation points for compliance with the prescriptive trade-off path in Section 9.36.
Limit on solar heat gain coefficient in Section 9.36. (Part 9)
Restricts the solar heat gain coefficient of fenestration and doors based on the fenestration and door area to gross wall area ratio in the prescriptive path in Section 9.36. to limit the risk of overheating.
New performance metrics for air conditioners and heat pumps (Part 9)
Updates the minimum performance requirements for air conditioners and heat pumps in Section 9.36. to include the SEER2 energy performance metric, based on the recent amendment to the Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2016.
Alteration of existing buildings (new Part 10)
Introduces a new Part to the NBC which applies to the alteration of existing buildings. Also introduces the defined terms “existing building” and “heritage building”, and specifies the energy performance of existing buildings subjected to alteration as the scope of this new Part.
National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB)
Thermal bridging (Part 3)
Adds a referenced standard on thermal simulation and accounts for energy loss through the building envelope due to fasteners that penetrate the insulation layer.
Alteration of existing buildings (Parts 3 to 8 and 10 and new Part 11)
Expands the scope of the NECB to the alteration of existing buildings and introduces a new Part applying to the alteration of existing buildings. Also introduces the defined terms “existing building” and “heritage building.”
Application to lighting located on the building site (Part 4)
Clarifies that the NECB requirements for lighting components and systems in Part 4 apply to the lighting components and systems in the building, connected to the building’s electrical service, or located on the building site.
New performance metrics for air conditioners and heat pumps (Part 5)
Updates the minimum performance requirements for air conditioners and heat pumps to include the SEER2 energy performance metric, based on the recent amendment to the Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2016.
National Fire Code of Canada (NFC)
Protection of adjacent buildings (Part 5)
Provides clarification that the fire safety plan should include a risk assessment and that protection measures should be taken to reduce the risk of fire spread to adjacent buildings. Also provides additional explanations and options to achieve compliance objectively rather than prescriptively.
Protection for encapsulated mass timber construction (EMTC) during construction (Part 5)
Updates the protection requirements for EMTC during construction to provide more options and reduce construction costs. Also aligns the NFC with the proposed changes for EMTC in the NBC.