Government of Canada announces new collaborative approach for National Model Codes

November 22, 2022 – National Research Council of Canada

Construction codes are essential in supporting safe, energy efficient homes and buildings for Canadians. As the construction industry employs nearly 1.4 million Canadians, a harmonized set of codes reduces regulatory burden and removes internal trade barriers.

On Nov 22, 2022 the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced a new governance model for the National Model Codes development system.

The new federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) governance model replaces the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, the committee that was responsible for code development in Canada since 1991.

The new FPT governance model includes the Canadian Board for Harmonized Construction Codes, overseen by a new Canadian Table for Harmonized Construction Codes Policy. It was developed to integrate provinces and territories into the national process, bringing Canada significantly closer to harmonized construction codes across the country.

With this new approach, the code development system will be more responsive to provincial and territorial code priorities and will result in more efficient construction in Canada. The new model will contribute to lower construction costs for industry and reduce internal trade barriers related to manufacturing, operation, inspection, education and training. Adoption of more harmonized codes will accelerate the construction of energy-efficient buildings, creating more affordable and efficient homes for Canadians, while also helping to meet Canada’s net-zero goals.

The code development system relies on participation from its volunteers and the general public, which is something that will continue under the new governance model. Code users, industry stakeholders, and the broader public can continue to attend public standing committee and task group meetings, make code change requests, volunteer for committee membership, and participate in public reviews.

Under the CBHCC’s leadership, development of codes content will continue to be carried out by technical committees made up of volunteers, based on input from industry, regulators, and the broader stakeholder community. The nine standing committees that operated under the CCBFC will remain in place through to the completion of the 2025 code cycle, with opportunities for current members to be part of the new technical committees in the 2030 code cycle and beyond.