Canada Building Code to Reflect Climate Change


Attendees at 2018’s Toronto Buildings Show got a rundown of how climate change standards are going to be incorporated into Canada’s building codes.

Gerald Genge, an engineer, was leading a workshop at the expo and spoke about the changes planned for the National Building Code for 2020 and beyond, according to Daily Commercial News.

The Changes

Genge, who was on a committee tasked with updating the Canadian Standards Association guideline S478 on building durability and building code standards, said that changes are coming.

“The standard includes the obligation for designers to create durability plans, and the durability plans have to be based on the life of the building, the life of the components that go into the various envelope components of the building and the elements that are part of those components,” Genge said.

“The example is, we don’t want to have buried sealants inside a wall system that fail before the wall does.”

The codes, which are developed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes and published every five years by the National Research Council of Canada, will now reportedly be based on predictive data instead of historic data, an approach that was found to be problematic by an auditor general’s report in 2016.

Such data includes information on temperature trends, general precipitation, wind, wind-driven rain, freeze-thaw cycles, ice storms and UV radiation.

“Building design requires predictive data,” Genge said. “It is now being considered as a mandate of the National Building Code. And if it’s a mandate of the National Building Code, it is going to end up in every province’s legislation."

“In the future, they are going to have to think about the life of the building and design systems and components and elements that are in the building envelope, for instance, to withstand future climate load,” Genge added.


Tagged categories: Building codes; Good Technical Practice; Government; Laws and litigation; North America; Regulations

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