Manitoba bumps up building code adoption targets

The change came after speaking with industry stakeholders.

The Manitoba Legislature sits empty.

Officials say this will allow industry to gain familiarity with the new requirements. – Province of Manitoba

Key Takeaways:

  • Manitoba will skip 2015 codes to give industry more time to adapt to 2020 standards.
  • The province currently is using 2010 codes.
  • The switch to 2020 codes will happen six months sooner than required.

The Whole Story:

Manitoba is looking to get ahead of the pack when it comes to national building requirements.

The province announced it will adopt the 2020 editions of the national model building, plumbing, fire and energy codes, published by the National Research Council, earlier than required by legislation and “as soon as practically possible.” 

Officials explained they are doing this in response to industry feedback on proposed changes to the regulations.

“Following feedback from industry and other stakeholders, our government has chosen to adopt the 2020 national standards, thereby bypassing the 2015 editions, to give those professionals sufficient time to gain familiarity with the 2020 codes,” said Reg Helwer, consumer protection and government services minister. “The adoption of the 2020 editions will benefit industry in Manitoba through reduced costs and improved competitiveness, which will help strengthen our province’s economy.”

The province explained that its approach will update Manitoba’s construction and fire codes to the 2020 editions approximately six months earlier than required under Canadian Free Trade Agreement commitments for harmonized and timely adoption of national model codes. Officials believe this will avoid duplication of learning and overhead investment that adoption of the 2015 editions would have presented. 

The Manitoba Building Code, Manitoba Plumbing Code and Manitoba Fire Code regulations currently adopt the 2010 editions of the national model codes. The Manitoba Energy Code for Buildings regulation currently adopts the 2011 edition of the National Energy Code for Buildings.

An engagement with industry was conducted between June 29 and Aug. 17, with the results indicating an accelerated adoption of the 2020 standards is preferred rather than a two-step adoption of the 2015 editions followed shortly afterwards by the adoption of the 2020 editions.

The province stated that engagement will continue with key industry stakeholders on adoption of the 2020 national standards. Hewler noted that adding the publishing of regulation changes with ample notice will allow industry sufficient time to adjust to the updated codes.


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