Consultation on proposed Building Code amendments to expand provisions of Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction
O. Reg. 332/12
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Building Code Act, 1992
Summary of Proposal:
Ontario's Building Code is a regulation under the Building Code Act, 1992 which sets out minimum administrative and technical requirements for new construction, renovation, and change of use of buildings.
Responding to the need for more housing and calls for more flexibility around Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction (EMTC), Ontario participated with other provinces, Codes Canada and the National Research Council in a joint task group that has been investigating the expanded use of EMTC to develop these proposals. Now, MMAH is encouraging industry partners and stakeholders to participate in this consultation to help shape the content of what could be the next steps for tall mass timber buildings.
Unlike the established process where National Construction Codes change first and the provinces follow, this is a pilot initiative that aligns provinces that intend to adopt proposed changes, anticipating future National Code adoption of the proposals. It is the first time that provincially led proposals have been hosted by the body responsible for the development of Canada's National Model Codes, in advance of the typical national process, for review and consultation.
While the Canadian Board of Harmonized Construction Codes (CBHCC) has agreed to host this public comment period to amplify its reach as part of a pilot to foster harmonization, neither the CBHCC nor its committees have undertaken a technical review of the proposed changes. Ontario has not decided whether to adopt proposed changes based on this initiative.
Details about this pilot process, the technical proposals, rationale and comment submissions forms are at the following link: Advancing EMTC Provisions.
Please join the consultation by using the link above instead of the regulatory registry link to submit your comment. Once the consultation closes, comments from Ontario stakeholders will be provided to MMAH.
Please note that EMTC Proposed Change 06 is not within the scope of the Ontario Building Code. Therefore, Ontario is only considering potential changes to Ontario's Building Code at this time.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
Costs: If adopted, these changes would be enabling provisions and so do not impose new costs. Fostering a smoother approval pathway for EMTC could potentially make it easier to use EMTC in construction projects, bringing down costs to use it.
Benefits: EMTC buildings have demonstrated that they can achieve the same health, safety, accessibility, fire and structural protection as other types of construction.
The use of mass timber also has environmental benefits, supports the forestry sector, and results in quicker construction projects with less disruption to surrounding neighbourhoods.
If some provinces adopt these changes before they are included in the National Construction Codes, it could help to demonstrate a code development process that is more responsive to provincial priorities while maintaining consistent code requirements in the building codes of those provinces that choose to adopt them.
January 12, 2024
Comments Due Date:
February 16, 2024
Building and Development Branch
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
College Park 12th Floor, 777 Bay St
Toronto, ON M7A 2J3