News Release Archive

Proposed changes to building code regulations will reduce red
tape for designers, developers and the construction community.

Draft regulations were released today by Housing and Municipal
Affairs Minister Sandy Jolly.

The regulations contain three new initiatives, including: letters
of undertaking for design professionals; the addition of
sprinkler regulations, formerly under the Fire Prevention Act;
and provisions for alternate compliance for existing buildings.

In addition the regulations have been changed to integrate with
the format of the National Building Code, enabling users to cross
reference more easily.

"Safety comes first," said the minister. "Next we want to reduce
red tape without adding additional cost. These new regulations
are being made in response to requests from the private sector,
and to assure the public that we have a high standard of design
and construction in Nova Scotia."

The letters of undertaking will allow building designers and
consultants to assure municipalities that buildings are designed
and constructed in accordance with the provincial building code

The minister said this should reduce the burden on municipalities
for inspection beyond those required by the code. The letters
will clearly define the responsibility for the design and
inspection of the work.

The Building Code Regulations have also been amended to include
the sprinkler regulations formerly contained under the Fire
Prevention Act administered by the fire marshal's office,
Department of Labour. Adding the sprinkler regulations to the
building code will simplify the process for owners, builders, and
developers in applying for, and receiving, building and occupancy
permits, the minister said.

She said it will be easier for the designer to understand which
requirements must be met and result in consistent application of
the regulations. There will also be less opportunity for
misinterpretation of which regulations apply.

Ms. Jolly said the adoption of alternate compliance regulations
are a benefit to people who wish to upgrade and renovate heritage
buildings and other existing buildings. Under current
regulations, major renovations would normally require a property
to be brought up to the current code standards.

The minister said that this often becomes prohibitive or destroys
the heritage nature of the premises. The advantages of the
alternate compliance regulations allow alternate means to comply
with the building code in 36 specific areas of fire safety.

The building code regulations are recommended by the Nova Scotia
Building Advisory Committee. Membership includes the office of
the Fire Marshal, the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, the
Disabled Persons Commission, the National Association of Women in
Construction, the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova
Scotia, the Construction Association of Nova Scotia, the Nova
Scotia Association of Architects, the Building Inspectors
Association of Nova Scotia, the Carpenters Union, the Cape Breton
Construction Trades Council, and the Nova Scotia Home Builders

Copies of the draft regulations have gone to municipalities and
other key stakeholders for comment.

Written comments on the proposed regulations should be forwarded
to the Department of Housing and Municipal Affairs by June 24,
1996. The new regulations are anticipated to come into effect
July 15.

Contact: Ted Ross  902-424-8046

trp                     May 09, 1996 - 1:30 p.m.