Proposals for Constructing Agricultural Buildings

CANADA - Manitoba's Fire Commissioner estimates extending provisions of the Buildings and Mobile Homes Act to cover agricultural buildings will add one to three per cent to the cost of constructing new farm buildings, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 27 July 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Following extensive consultations with the agricultural community the Office of Manitoba's Fire Commissioner has recommended extending provisions of Manitoba's Buildings and Mobile Homes Act to cover the construction of new or expanded agricultural buildings.

Under the proposed changes the act would apply to any new farm building over 600 square meters in a category called medium, and light industrial occupancies.

Manitoba Fire Commissioner Chris Jones says there's not a significant amount of changes from the way buildings are being constructed today.

Chris Jones-Manitoba Fire Commissioner

The one thing that would be required is obviously that the buildings be engineered.

There would be a requirement for a fire rating of the buildings.

Previously there was no requirement and fire travels quickly through very long spans barns where it's wide open so that would be one of the changes.

The other thing that would be looked at is fire safety plans for the employees involved in the building and alarm notification, that kind of stuff.

Typically engineered buildings, the cost premium is one to three per cent.

It appears that most buildings that are new that are going up are engineered and they're starting to meet these requirements now so it's not a significant impact.

When we did this whole process we took into consideration practicality of the code and applying it as well as affordability.

We've been looking at this and it's probably a one to three percent cost depending on the building.

Mr Jones says there's an understanding that people do want to go down this road, keeping in mind practicality and affordability and the response among producers has been positive.

He notes any changes will apply only to new construction or major renovations and otherwise will not apply to agricultural existing buildings.

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