National Building Code – 2019 Alberta Edition, NBC(AE)

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The National Building Code – 2019 Alberta Edition is based on the National Building Code of Canada 2015. It establishes design and construction standards, including barrier-free access in new buildings and energy efficiency for housing and small buildings. It also applies to the alteration, change of use and demolition of existing buildings. The National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2017 is also adopted in Alberta and applies to new building construction other than housing and small buildings regulated under NBC(AE) Part 9. The 2019 NBC(AE) is more harmonized with the national code provisions so as to support a reduction of barriers to trade, investment and labour.

Highlights of updates to this edition
  • Access to medical clinics will be substantially improved for seniors and persons with mobility issues. Improvements include more power-assisted doors and a required wheelchair-turning space in reception areas, examination rooms and areas housing special equipment.
  • Section 3.8., Accessibility (formerly called "Barrier-Free Design"), has been re-organized to align with the National Building Code of Canada. The content remains the same.
  • Changes have been introduced to improve the safety of stairs in housing for all Albertans. Tread depth has been increased, which will result in less steep staircases. These changes will reduce the risk of trips, slips and falls.
  • Changes relating to bars and nightclubs will improve emergency exiting for patrons in the event of a fire.
  • New options for smoke detection will allow homeowners to install more advanced fire warning systems.
  • Clarifications on the design of handrail sections will make them easier to grasp, which will mean increased safety for stair users.
  • Updates to the snow load calculations will improve the structural integrity of buildings, which will be able to withstand higher snow loads.
  • Uniform standards on the fire protection of self-service storage buildings not more than one storey in height are included.
  • Changes introduced will improve fire protection for optical fibre cables, electrical wires and cables used for the transmission of voice, sound or data installed in heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems.
  • The calculation method for seismic loads has been updated, which will improve the structural integrity of buildings as they will be less likely to collapse during an earthquake.
  • New provisions address flanking sound transmission between suites in new apartments and condominiums.
  • Requirements have been added for smoke dampers in new buildings to prevent smoke from spreading from the ducts into the fire exits and emergency stairwells.
  • Provisions on wind loads have been updated and requirements for wind tunnel testing during building design have been introduced.
  • A new subsection provides guidance on EIFS design and construction.
NEW - Automatic Code Adoption

Alberta regulations that adopt construction and installation safety codes have been amended to allow for the automatic adoption of codes from national and standards development organizations. Automatic or timely code adoption means that a regular date is established for when codes come into force so that stakeholders and the public can plan ahead. It ensures that Alberta codes will be more harmonized with the national codes with respect to the publication date and the technical content. Alberta may still develop province-specific variants where necessary.

Under timely code adoption, national codes are adopted automatically upon publication and come into effect in Alberta 12 months after the publication date, on the first day of the following month (e.g., publication of a national code on November 12, 2020 means it will come into effect in Alberta on December 1, 2021). However, the Minister, by order, may bring a code into effect earlier or later if deemed necessary. Timely code adoption will apply to the 2020 code publication cycle for the building, fire, plumbing and energy codes. In addition to the annual public review of proposed changes to the national codes, the Government of Alberta and the Safety Codes Council will continue to review code changes and conduct any necessary public consultations.

Product details

Table of Contents - National Building Code – 2019 Alberta Edition, NBC(AE)
  • Volume 1
    • Preface
    • Relationship of the National Building Code – 2019 Alberta Edition to Standards Development and Conformity Assessment
    • Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes and Standing Committees
    • The Safety Codes Council
    • Alberta Municipal Affairs
    • Division A - Compliance, Objectives and Functional Statements
      • Part 1 - Compliance
      • Part 2 - Objectives
      • Part 3 - Functional Statements
    • Division B - Acceptable Solutions
      • Part 1 - General
      • Part 2 - Reserved
      • Part 3 - Fire Protection, Occupant Safety and Accessibility
      • Part 4 - Structural Design
      • Part 5 - Environmental Separation
      • Part 6 - Heating, Ventilating and Air-conditioning
      • Part 7 - Plumbing Services and Health
      • Part 8 - Safety Measures at Construction and Demolition Sites
      • Appendix C Climatic and Seismic Information
      • Appendix D Fire-Performance Ratings
    • Division C - Administrative Provisions
      • Part 1 - General
      • Part 2 - Administrative Provisions
      • Appendix B - Schedules of Professional Involvement
    • Index
  • Volume 2
    • Division B - Acceptable Solutions
      • Part 9 - Housing and Small Buildings
      • Part 10 - Relocatable Industrial Accommodation
      • Part 11 - Exterior Acoustic Insulation
    • Index

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