Farm Building Code to be Updated

by 5m Editor
8 February 2013, at 9:01am

CANADA - Canadian farming is undergoing a radical transformation as small farms are being replaced by large and sophisticated operations designed and run like industrial facilities. Regulatory requirements pertaining to these increasingly complex farm buildings, however, have not kept pace.

The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) has therefore made it a priority to update the requirements of the National Farm Building Code of Canada (NFBC), last published in 1995. This decision is supported by the Provincial/Territorial Policy Advisory Committee on Codes (PTPACC) and the Canadian Farm Builders’ Association.

A joint CCBFC/PTPACC Task Group reviewed the key issues associated with the changing nature and scale of farm building operations and recommended a course of action. The task group submitted its report to the CCBFC’s annual meeting in June 2012. The CCBFC is now awaiting comment from the provinces and territories before voting on the recommendations.

The report recommends splitting requirements between small and large farm buildings, with "small" being defined as having less than 600 square metres of building area and not more than three storeys. It also recommends the creation of a separate occupancy classification for farm buildings, with sub-categories based on suggested criteria.

No new objectives are proposed specifically for farm buildings, as the general ones in the National Model Construction Codes remain appropriate and can be linked to updated farm building requirements. Energy efficiency and water use efficiency requirements will not be developed at this time.

In response to an independent request that a new objective be created for the protection of animals in farm buildings, the task group recommended that this be considered using the CCBFC’s standard protocol for determining the need for new objectives.

Given the multidisciplinary nature of the technical requirements for farm buildings, the report recommends establishing a coordinating committee to oversee the work. Members would be selected from the CCBFC’s standing committees based on their expertise.

The task group recommends a flexible approach for farm building regulation that enables the provinces and territories to easily opt out of adopting the requirements, should they so choose.

For more information, contact Cathy Taraschuk at [email protected] or 613- 993-0049.