With more than 80 pages of amendments in the 2010 National Building Code, public education will be an important part of its implementation.
Meeting this demand, the City of Prince Albert is hosting a free information session presented by the province’s Building Standards and Licensing Branch on March 26.
Anyone interested in the code change, which will go into effect on May 1, is encouraged to attend the session, city chief building official Kim Johnson said.
“We deal with everyone, from the handyman to the professional,” he said, noting that this wide range of expertise results in a range of questions and concerns.
Since the building code’s amendments are numerous and vary from project to project, it’s difficult to pinpoint which are the most pertinent for a given person, Johnson said, but for the average person who’s building or renovating a home, there are some significant changes, including but far from limited to the following:
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are now required in every sleeping room and must be hardwired, with a temporal signal and batter backup, with an additional smoke alarm required in a hallway.
Windows, doors and skylights must now be adequately certified as energy efficient for the zone in which we live – zone “c.”
When it comes to basement floors, they must now include a specific ventilation system so that radon is expelled outside the home instead of inside.
These changes join many others, and although they have potential safety implications, Johnson said that if residents don’t currently meet these codes they shouldn’t be worried about being forced to make renovations.
Housing code changes take effect from the date of implementation forward, with existing codes used during past builds grandfathered in.
“If you were coming in to build something now -- the 2005 code is in effect -- you would be building to those requirements,” he said.
After May 1, adherence to the 2010 code would be mandated.
The March 26 public meeting will take place at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library’s Mahon Auditorium from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
More information and a registration form can be found on the city’s website, at www.citypa.com, under the “Highlights Selection” tab. Registration is due by March 19.