Building Standards in PEI

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PEI follows the National Building Code (NBC) and National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings ensuring all buildings meet minimum standards to safeguard building occupants, specifically standards for public health, fire protection, structural sufficiency, and accessibility for people with disabilities.  Reduced upkeep, maintenance, and energy costs over the life of the structure provide additional positive long-term impact.

Why is the adoption of the NBC important to Islanders?

The adoption establishes a minimum standard of construction that can be expected by all contractors. It will also provide a framework for an efficient and coordinated approach across the province.

It reduces confusion for builders, homeowners and developers in different parts of the province now that each jurisdiction must follow the same version of the National Building Code (NBC). The new Building Codes Act and Regulations require all construction, renovation and demolition projects to meet the same minimum standards already required by other Canadian provinces and some PEI municipalities, i.e. Charlottetown, Summerside, and Stratford.

Will construction costs increase with the new code?

These minimum construction requirements are not expected to significantly increase the cost of construction when compared to a building that was built using good construction practices. The additional cost to build a 30 ’x 50’ home is estimated to be $9,200, with the bulk of that cost ($7,680) being used to properly insulate the concrete foundation wall to code.

Adding the necessary features to meet new energy requirements in the NBC will increase the overall costs. However, calculations show that a monthly mortgage increase of $54 will result in a monthly energy savings of $78; an instant payback of $24.

In addition, energy efficient features alone will reduce energy consumption and save the homeowner over $940 annually, based on today’s oil prices.

Do the NBC standards help to address climate change?

Yes. Energy efficient features include insulation requirements for various wall, floor and ceiling assemblies. Previously, the code did not specify an R value, it only stated that adequate insulation must be installed. The new code also specifies exactly how to properly air seal a home.

A new home built to the NBC energy efficient standard reduces CO2 emissions by 1.4 tonnes. If all homes were built to this standard, the total provincial CO2 reduction would be 550 tonnes annually.

Does the code specify the lumber used?

The NBC does not require kiln-dried lumber. However, lumber must be graded, stamped, and dried to a moisture content not exceeding 19%. There are several exemptions within the draft regulations, including small, low to the ground decks, small sheds, and resource buildings. Consult with a provincial building official to learn more.

What is the purpose of the Building Code Act regulations?

The Building Codes Act Regulations outline the requirements and procedures to issue and acquire a Building Permit, as well as the required qualifications of building officials.

The intent of the regulations is to detail the minimum building standards acceptable in order to maintain the safety of buildings, concerning the following:

  1. Design, construction, erection, placement, use and occupancy of new buildings;
  2. Alteration, demolition, removal and relocation and changes to the use and occupancy of existing buildings; and,
  3. Work necessary to correct unsafe conditions in existing buildings.

How will the regulations be applied in PEI? Will there be exemptions?

An appeal board will be formed to ensure due process and consistent interpretation of the codes across the province. For details on the interpretations, applications and exemptions, download the Building Codes Act Regulations and Plain Language Guide.

Where can I get a Building Permit Application?

For information about applying for a building or development permit, refer to Building and Development in PEI.

Who can I contact for more information?

Lands Division                                                Lands Division                                                         Lands Division
J. Elmer Blanchard Building                            Access PEI                                                               Access PEI
31 Gordon Drive                                             41 Wood Islands Hill                                                120 Harbour Drive       
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8                          PO Box 1500, Montague, PE  C0A 1R0                  Summerside, PE  C1N 5L2

Phone: 902-368-5280                                     Phone: 902-838-0605                                             Phone: 902-432-2802
Email:                   Email:                           Email:

Date de publication : 
le 1 Mars 2021
Logement, Terres et Communautés

Renseignements généraux

Provincial Planning
J. Elmer Blanchard Building
31 Gordon Drive
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-5590
Fax: 902-368-5526