TORONTO — May has officially been declared Building Safety Month by the Ontario government, recognizing the importance of the province’s Building Code and the critical role building officials play in maintaining public health and safety.
Ontario’s Building Code establishes standards for construction to keep people safe, including requirements for fire safety devices, accessibility, structural sufficiency and water and energy conservation, states a release, adding it is updated regularly to reflect technical advancements, research and government priorities.
The province is also making changes to Ontario’s Building Code to unlock housing, reduce barriers and help speed up housing construction. The changes make it easier to use innovative construction materials and techniques that can save time and money, including allowing encapsulated mass-timber construction for buildings up to 12 storeys tall, adds the release.
The province also streamlined modular multi-unit residential building requirements so they can be quickly assembled and occupied.
Different approaches to homeownership and increasing housing supply such as tiny homes, second units and laneway housing are also being considered.
The province is also working to better align Ontario’s Building Code with the National Construction Codes which is anticipated to help reduce red tape and overcome barriers related to trade, product manufacturing and building design and maintenance, supporting market standardization across the country.