Building Codes Act Regulations Consultation
The Prince Edward Island Building Codes Act is new legislation that was passed in spring 2017.
A public review of draft regulations for the Building Codes Act is now complete. A series of public meetings took place in August 2019. Thank you for your participation.
Why is this important to Islanders?
Adopting the National Building, Energy and Fire Codes will help to ensure that minimum standards are met to safeguard building occupants, specifically public health, fire protection, structural sufficiency, and accessibility for people with disabilities.
It will have a positive long-term impact by reducing upkeep, maintenance, and energy costs over the life of the structure.
It will also eliminate confusion for builders, homeowners and developers in different parts of the province by ensuring that each jurisdiction follows the same version of the National Building Code (NBC). Once the legislative work is completed, the Province will require all construction, renovations and demolition to meet the same minimum standards now required by other Canadian provinces as well as the municipalities of Charlottetown, Summerside, and Stratford.
Will adoption of the NBC mean additional construction costs?
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. It is estimated that the additional cost to build a 30 ’x 50’ home will 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.
As a homeowner, where will I find savings once the NBC are adopted?
Energy efficient features alone will reduce energy consumption and save the homeowner over $940 annually, based on today’s oil prices. These features include insulation requirements of R17 on basements walls, R22.5 on exterior walls and R50 in attics. Previously, the code did not specific 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.
Will I have to use kiln-dried, stamped lumber?
Kiln-dried lumber is not a requirement of the NBC. 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.
How will adoption of the NBC support the province's climate change initiatives?
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.
Proposed Building Code Act Regulations
What is the purpose of the regulations?
The Building Codes Act Regulations will 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:
- design, construction, erection, placement, use and occupancy of new buildings;
- alteration, demolition, removal and relocation and changes to the use and occupancy of existing buildings; and
- the work necessary to correct unsafe conditions in existing buildings.
Who will benefit?
The proposed adoption will establish a minimum standard of construction that can be expected by all owners. It will also provide a framework for an efficient and coordinated approach across the province.
How will the regulations be applied in PEI? Will there be exemptions?
An appeal board will be set up to ensure due process and consistent interpretation of the codes across the province.
When will changes come into effect?
It will be business as usual for residents of Charlottetown, Summerside, and Stratford as these municipalities already require that construction meet requirements of the NBC. For the rest of the province, inspections will be carried out to ensure that construction also meets these same minimum standards.
Enforcement of the NBC for single and two-unit residential buildings will be delayed by one year to allow industry to become familiar with new code requirements. Institutional, commercial, multi-unit residential and industrial developments / construction are required to satisfy the NBC immediately once the legislation is adopted.
How will feedback be used?
Your input will inform the final regulations to be presented to cabinet this Fall 2019. Feedback received will also be posted to the PUBLIC COMMENTS section of this website.
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Joshua Collins, P.Eng.
Chief Building Standards Officer