Effectiveness of New Manitoba Ag Building Code

CANADA - Saskatchewan's chief building official says his province will be closely monitoring the impact of the introduction of a new agricultural building code in Manitoba, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 23 September 2010
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Effective 1 November Manitoba will introduce a new agricultural building code which will apply to new construction over 600 square metres or to buildings undergoing extensive renovation.

William Hawkins, the chief building official in Saskatchewan working with building standards which is part of the protection and emergency services branch of the Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing, says the province encourages owners to move voluntarily toward more compliant buildings but it's still too early to say whether Saskatchewan will follow Manitoba's lead.

William Hawkins-Saskatchewan Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing

In Saskatchewan we make reference to the National Farm Building code in the National Building Code as it's adopted for use in the province but we also have a provision in the act that says farm buildings are exempt from its application.

So currently farm buildings on agricultural properties involved in the practice of farming would be exempt from application of the building code.

The primary difference as I see it is that in Manitoba they've taken steps to move forward and apply a set of minimum set of standards to the construction and occupancy of farm buildings.

In Saskatchewan we're still examining that and will be watching closely how effective Manitoba's approach has been in their agricultural community.

It's something that we're interested in.

It's something that we will need to discuss with stakeholder groups in Saskatchewan should there be a need to move forward and we anticipate that will unfold in the next few years.

Mr Hawkins says the value of agricultural buildings has increased and owners are exercising care and attention to their design in attempting to construct buildings that meet their production needs.

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