Canadian Consulting Engineer

ASC collaborates with CSA to update building design standard

December 6, 2021

There will be a new edition of CSA B651.

ASC and CSA logos

Federal research funding organization Accessibility Standards Canada (ASC) is collaborating with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group to develop a new edition of a national accessibility standard for the design of the built environment.

ASC/CSA B651, Accessible design for the built environment, is referenced in the National Building Code (NBC) and legislation across Canada. The new edition will provide updates on the exterior environment, circulation (including elevators, escalators and moving walkways), tactile walking surface indicators, interior rooms (including washrooms and kitchens) and emergency egress.

“Accessibility standards are critical to building a barrier-free Canada,” says Mary Cianchetti, CSA’s president of standards. “Combining resources and coming to the table with complementary knowledge and expertise is the best way to achieve our common goals. We are confident our collaboration with ASC will only serve to strengthen the process and final product.”


The organizations are also collaborating on ASC/CSA B652, Accessible homes, a National Standard of Canada already in development with funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which will provide evidence-informed guidance for design, construction and modification; and ASC/CSA B651.2, Accessible design for automated banking machines and self-service interactive devices, which will combine the requirements of two existing CSA standards.

“ASC is committed to developing standards focused on equitable technical requirements,” says Philip Rizcallah, CEO of ASC. “The principle of ‘nothing without us’ is at the core of everything we do; we include persons with disabilities in every step of our work. We are proud to collaborate with CSA in contributing to a more inclusive and barrier-free Canada.”

Each of the three standards will be available for public review, starting early next year with ASC/CSA B651.2.


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