Canadian Consulting Engineer

Canada’s 2015 national building codes now official

July 13, 2016

The National Research Council’s Canadian Codes Centre officially launched the new version of the National Model Construction Codes (“Codes Canada”) on June 28.

The 2015 editions of the codes “respond to the changing needs of Canadians and to new technologies, materials and research,” according to the NRC.

Among the 600 changes in the new codes, some of the most significant are:

– a provision that all buildings in Canada will now be designed for earthquake forces regardless of the level of hazard;


– new flow rates in showers to reduce water usage in buildings;

– higher standards for automatic sprinkler systems to allow for the construction of six-storey buildings;

– new accessibility requirements for stairs and washrooms;

– an increased run dimension of steps inside houses from the current minimum of 210 mm to a new minimum of 254 mm, for safety.
The Canadian building codes include the National Building Code, the National Fire Code, the National Plumbing Code, and the National Energy Code for Buildings. The national codes have to be adopted by provinces and territories to become law.

The next editions in 2020 will include provisions to allow for climate change. The Government of Canada has announced it will spend an additional $40 million over five years to integrate climate resilience into building design guides and codes.

Douglas Crawford, Chair of the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, noted that the development of the new 2015 codes involved dedicated work by hundreds of volunteers, and broad consultation with stakeholders.

Canada’s national building codes were launched 75 years ago, in 1941, by the Division of Building Research.

To read the June 28 press release, click here.

To access the 2015 national building codes, click here.

To read a previous article about the code changes, click here.

New Canadian Building Codes have 400 changes


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