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BUILDING CODE ENFORCEMENT

by: MuniCode Services Ltd.

CONTENTS

HIRING A BUILDING OFFICIAL

FEES

WHAT IS A BUILDING PERMIT

ZONING ORDERS PERMIT PROCESS

Procedures for Plan Review and Inspection Service

INFORMATION REQUIRED WHEN APPLYING FOR A BUILDING PERMIT

COMPANY PROFILE

PROCEDURES FOR PLAN REVIEW & INSPECTIONS

SERVICES AVAILABLE

OTHER RELATED INFO

 

 

 

Building Official

The selection of your building official is critical. This person will act on behalf of the municipality, in the municipalities best interest and in the service of the public.

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Who:

  • Contract with a private company or individual on a fee for service basis,
  • municipal employee, such as Town Superintendent, Fire Chief or Foremen,
  • local resident,
  • use neighboring town’s building official, and
  • must NOT be a member of council.

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Qualifications and Qualities of a Building Official:

  • Since the amended UBAS Act has come into force, a building official MUST hold a valid licence and only perform plan reviews and inspections for which the licence is valid for.
  • If using a contracted building official that building official should carry Errors and Omission and General Liability Insurance. If your contracted Building Official does not carry both of the above insurances you should make your insurance company aware of this.
  • A good working knowledge of construction, the building code and referenced standards.
  • Able to work independently.
  • Ability to resolve disputes.
  • Must be persuasive and diplomatic.
  • Must be reasonable and use common sense.
  • Should have formal training; technologist, carpenter, engineer, etc.
  • Be an educator - educate persons on building code matters.

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Duties:

  • Ensure that supporting information is complete for permits
  • provide information and assistance to the public, designer, contractors and building owners,
  • review and approve building plans for conformance to the UBAS Act, regulations, building code and local bylaws,
  • issue permits,
  • maintain files and building records,
  • issue orders to gain compliance,
  • prepare reports on building activity, and
  • respond to correspondence, inquires and complaints.

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Fees:

Section 14(1) of the UBAS Act provides municipalities the powers to establish permit fees. In establishing permit fees council must decide whether the permit fees will be expected to cover or partially cover the cost to the municipality. What costs are involved:

  • The time spent by administrative staff in completing the permit application,
  • maintaining a filing system on the building activity of the municipality,
  • telephone, mailing, shipping costs,
  • purchases of codes and standards,
  • training of officials,
  • plan review and inspection time,
  • vehicle costs, and
  • enforcement cost, court time, legal advice etc.

The fees used should be revenue neutral, they should be set to recover the costs of providing the service.

Most municipalities use the value of construction as the basis for establishing permit fees. Typically $5 per $1000 of value of construction is used. Some communities want to encourage development such as houses and councils have reduced this rate.

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What is a Building Permit?

A Building Permit is a licence which grants legal permission to start construction of a building. Permits allow the enforcement of codes, standards and bylaws which have been adopted by the local or provincial governing body. The enforcement of the building code, standards and bylaws is carried out to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. The governing body which enforces the code is acting to assure safe construction.

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Why a Building Permit?

A Building Permit provides the means for building officials to protect the public by reducing the potential hazards of unsafe construction and is therefore ensuring public health, safety and welfare. A Building Permit helps the public understand what the local or provincial laws are in relation to the construction of a building. Before any construction or any remodeling work begins applications for a permit should be made. The building permit provides the means for the building official to inspect construction, ensure minimum standards are met and appropriate materials are used.

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What Projects Require a Building Permit?

  • New building construction,
  • garages and carports,
  • decks (in some locations decks not more than 600mm above the adjacent ground surface may not need permits),
  • mobile homes,
  • renovations, alterations and additions to an existing buildings,
  • demolition of an existing building,
  • relocation of an existing building,
  • basement development in a dwelling unit,
  • fireplaces, wood stoves and heaters,
  • retaining walls,
  • change of use or occupancy of a building,
  • work to remedy an unsafe condition or fire official’s order, and
  • temporary buildings.

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What Projects Do Not Require Building Permits?

  • Fences
  • driveways and parking lots,
  • sidewalks,
  • painting, decorating, laying carpet and general maintenance,
  • replacement using the same materials and not affecting structural, electrical or mechanical systems (roofing, siding, windows not including required egress windows),
  • accessory buildings (garden sheds, tool sheds) not greater than 10m2 in area (limit of one per property),
  • swimming pools and hot tubs less than 600 mm in depth,
  • utility or transportation systems located on a street or public right of way,
  • communication aerials and towers unless attached to a building,
  • signs unless attached to a building, and
  • operations equipment and appliances that are not part of the electrical and mechanical systems for the building.

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Zoning:

Typically before a building permit is issued the Proposed project must be evaluated against the zoning bylaw. This work is carried out by the development officer which is typically the administrator or other appointed person of the municipality. MuniCode does not review projects for zoning issues.

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Orders:

Sometimes during the inspection process deficiencies are found, however when informal attempts to gain compliance fail, the building official who has been appointed a building official under the UBAS Act, officially and formally communicates with the owner of the building under construction by using an order, a notice in writing. The order can be used to require that within the time prescribed in the notice, the owner must:

  • Produces documents relating to the work covered by the act or regulations;
  • comply with general or specific conditions prescribed in the notice;
  • take any measure prescribed in the notice;
  • follow the methods prescribed in the notice;
  • use or stop using materials, equipment or protection devices or appliances described in the notice;
  • stop work, in whole or in part as directed by the notice until any conditions described in the notice are, in the building official's opinion fulfilled;
  • have tests made, furnish a letter written by an architect or engineer certifying the building meets the requirements of the building standards, or furnish other evidence regarding the foundation conditions or any materials, equipment, devices, construction methods or structural assemblies, at the expense of the owner;
  • request plans be submitted prepared by a land surveyor, engineer or architect as is appropriate to the work, regarding the site, the building location and ground levels;
  • verify, after the completion of construction the requirements of the building standards have been met;
  • uncover and replace, at the expense of the owner, any work that has been enclosed contrary to a written order of the building official; and
  • take any steps prescribed in the notice that the Building Official considers necessary to eliminate an unsafe condition due to a building’s faulty construction, ruinous or dilapidated state, abandonment, open or unguarded condition, or any other reason.

The order or notice in writing must be delivered to the owner by:

a) person, hand delivered,
b) registered mail,
c) posting the order in a conspicuous location at the site or excavation, or
d) leaving the order with a person over 16 years of age at the place of residents of the person to be served.
 
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Permit Process

Receive request for a permit application

1. Assist applicant in completing the permit application.  Ensure all applicable information is filled out:

  • nature of the work involved; construct, alter, renovate, move and demolish
  • civic address
  • legal description of the property
  • name, address and telephone number of the owner, designer and contractor
  • intended use of the building; dwelling unit, school, warehouse, hospital, etc.
  • size of the building, length, width and height
  • number of storeys
  • number and width of exits
  • number and width of stairways
  • soil classification and type
  • list materials used to construct proposed building
  • indicate the estimated value of construction
  • determine the building area

Date and ensure the applicant signs the application

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2. Cursory review of plans submitted

Ensure sufficient information is submitted to fully describe the intended construction

• Refer to Information Required When Applying for a BUILDING PERMIT (Page 9-10)

• Site Plan, Floor Plans, Foundation Plans, Elevations, Cross-Sections and Details, Mechanical and Electrical Plans

Two sets of plans and documents, at minimum should be submitted

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3. Circulate documents, plans and permit application form to other departments or agencies.

  • Zoning (person in charge of zoning)
  • Health, gas or electrical
  • Building Official, for plan review

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4. Issuance of the Building Permit including the completed permit application and the collection of fees.

  • Calculate permit fee based the on schedule in the building bylaw
  • DO NOT issue a permit until the plan review is completed
  • Issue permit subject to provisions of the plan review
  • Collect fees

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5. Maintain file on the building

  • File project information by civic address or legal description
  • Number permits and associate documents and plans

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6. Provide Information and Handle Complaints

  • Keep a copy of the Act, Regulations and the National Building Code of Canada at the municipal office for use by the public.
  • Keep other reference books for use by the public. (ie CSA Standard on Preserved Wood Foundations, S406-, Code and Construction Guide for Housing, etc.)

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Is a Professional Designer Required for a Project?

The UBAS regulations requires that an owner shall have a professional designer complete the design or review of:

  • the building and all building systems, if the building falls within the scope of Part 3 of the National Building Code, or
  • the structure of the building, if the building is within the scope of Part 4 of the National Building Code

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The National Building Code classifies buildings by occupancy (what they are used for) and by size and height.

A Part 3 and Part 4 building is all buildings used for major occupancies classified as

(a) Group A, assembly occupancies
     Group B, institutional occupancies, or
     Group F, Division 1, high hazard industrial occupancies, and
 
 
(b) all buildings exceeding 600 m2 in building area or exceeding 3 storeys in building height used for major occupancies classified as
     Group C, residential occupancies
     Group D, business and personal services occupancies,
     Group E, mercantile occupancies
     Group F, Division 2 and 3, medium and low hazard industrial occupancies
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The following are examples of the major occupancy classifications described in the Code;

Assembly Occupancies (Group A) - a building used by a gathering of persons for civic, political, travel, religious, social, educational, recreational or like purposes, or the consumption of food or drink.

Group A, Division 1
Motion picture theatres
Opera houses
Television studios
Theatres

 

Group A, Division 2

Art galleries
Auditoria Bowling alleys
Churches and similar places of worship
Clubs, non-residential
Community halls
Court rooms
Dance halls
Exhibition halls
Gymnasia
Lecture halls
Libraries
Licensed beverage establishments
Museums
Passenger stations and depots
Recreational piers
Restaurants
Schools and colleges, nonresidential
Undertaking premises

 

Group A, Division 3

Arenas
Indoor swimming pools
Rinks

 

Group A, Division 4

Amusement park structures
Bleachers
Grandstands and Stadia

 

Institutional occupancy (Group B) - a building used by persons who require special care or treatment because of mental or physical limitations or by persons who are under restraint for correctional purposes and are incapable of self preservation because of security measures not under their control.

 

Group B, Division 1

Jails
Penitentiaries
Police stations with detention quarters
Prisons
Psychiatric hospitals with detention quarters
Reformatories with detention quarters

 

Group B, Division 2

Care facilities with treatment
Convalescent/Recovery/rehabilitation centers with treatment
Hospitals
Infirmaries
Nursing home with treatment
Psychiatric hospitals without detention quarters
Respite centers with treatment

 

Group B, Division 3

Assisted/supportive living facilities
Care facilities without treatment
Children’s custodial homes
Convalescent/recovery/rehabilitation centers without treatment
Group homes
Hospices without treatment
Nursing homes without treatment
Reformatories without detention quarters
Respite centers without treatment

 

Residential occupancy (Group C) - a building used by persons for whom sleeping accommodation is provided but who are not harboured or detained to receive medical care or treatment or are involuntarily detained.

Group C

Apartments
Boarding houses
Clubs, residential
Colleges, residential
Convents
Dormitories
Hotels
Houses
Lodging houses
Monasteries
Motels
Schools, residential

Business and personal services occupancy (Group D) - a building used for the transaction of business or the rendering or receiving of professional or personal services.

Group D

Banks
Barber and hairdressing shops
Beauty parlours
Dental offices
Dry cleaning establishments, self service, not using flammable cleaners
Laundries, self service
Medical offices
Offices
Police stations without detention quarters
Radio stations
Small tool and appliance rental and service establishments

 

Mercantile occupancy (Group E) - a building used for the displaying or selling of retail goods, wares or merchandise.

Group E

Department stores
Exhibition halls
Markets Shops
Stores
Supermarkets

 

Industrial occupancy (Group F) - a building used for the assembling, fabricating, manufacturing, processing, repairing or the storing of goods and materials.

Group F, Division 1

Bulk plants for flammable liquids
Bulk storage warehouses for hazardous substances
Cereal mills
Distilleries
Feed mills
Flour mills
Grain elevators
Spray paint operations
Waste paper processing plants

 

Group F, Division 2

Aircraft hangers
Cold storage plants
Dry cleaning establishments
Electrical substations
Factories
Laboratories
Planning Mills
Printing plants
Repair garages
Salerooms
Service stations
Warehouses
Woodworking factories
Workshops

 

Group F, Division 3

Creameries
Factories
Laboratories
Power plants
Storage garages
Warehouses

 

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Information Required When Applying for a BUILDING PERMIT

A building permit application form must be completed by the owner or an agent of the owner.

Information required on the application form includes:

  • nature of the work involved; construct, alter, renovate, move or demolish
  • civic address
  • legal description of the property
  • name, address and telephone number of the owner, designer and contractor
  • intended use of the building; dwelling unit, school, warehouse, hospital, etc.
  • size of the building, length, width and height
  • number of storeys
  • number and width of exits
  • number and width of stairways
  • soil classification and type
  • list materials used to construct proposed building
  • indicate the estimated value of construction
  • determine the building area

Drawings must be submitted with the completed building permit application to show what will be built. All Drawings should:

  • Show the owner’s name project name, and date
  • Be drawn to scale (1:50 or 1/4” = 1’ or to suit) and the scale should be noted
  • Be blackline or blueline prints on good quality paper
  • Have legible letters and dimensions which can be read from the bottom or right- hand side of the page
  • Be marked with the architect’s or engineer’s stamp and signature (if professional design is required - (see information page 6-8 is a professional designer required for a project).
  • Clearly show the locations of existing and new construction for additions, alterations and renovations.

The drawings which will be required are listed below. Information typically shown on these drawings is listed, but other information must be added if necessary to fully describe the proposed construction. For alterations and renovations, some of the drawings may not be required.

SITE PLAN - building address; street names; size of the site; size of the building(s); location of the building(s) in relationship to the property line, north arrow; vehicle access to the property; parking; site drainage.

FOUNDATION - overall size of the foundation; size and location of footings, piles, foundation walls; size and location of openings for doors, and windows; foundation drainage.

FLOOR PLAN - size and location of interior and exterior walls; exits; fire separations; doors (including door swings and hardware); stairs; windows; barrier-free entrances; barrier-free washrooms; other barrier-free facilities; built-in furnishings.

STRUCTURAL PLANS - size, material and location of columns; beams; joists; studs; rafters; trusses; masonry walls; poured in place and precast concrete walls and floors; related structural details.

ELEVATIONS - views of all sides of the building; height of finished grade; exterior finishing materials; size and location of doors, windows; location of chimneys.

CROSS-SECTIONS AND DETAILS - cut through views of the building; lists of all materials cut through including structural and finishing materials; vertical dimensions; stair dimensions and handrails; height of finished grade; wind, water and vapour protection; insulation.

MECHANICAL PLANS - description and location of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment; size and location of ductwork; location of fire dampers; location of plumbing fixtures and piping; size and location of sprinkler system equipment.

ELECTRICAL PLANS - type and location of lighting; electrical panels; fire alarm systems; location of exit lights, and emergency lighting.

 

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Procedures for Plan Review and Inspection Service

Outlined below are the steps that both the municipality and MuniCode Services Ltd. will follow when the services are requested by the municipality.

1) When you wish to use our services for a project, you must:

  • submit to MuniCode Services Ltd. a completed "Request for Services" form.
  • submit to MuniCode Services Ltd. two copies of all plans and specifications.
  • submit to MuniCode Services Ltd. all correspondence supporting the application for a building permit.
  • send the above information to MuniCode Services Ltd. by mail or prepaid courier.

We recommend that you do not issue the building permit until you receive a Plan Examination Report and letter indicating whether the project conforms with the requirements of The Uniform Building and Accessibility Standards (UBAS) Act and regulations.

 

2) Once you receive the plan examination report and letter, you must:

  • decide to issue or reject the application for a building permit.

3) If you are also using our inspection service, you must:

  • notify MuniCode Services Ltd. by phone if a building permit is issued and when the construction starts on the site.

4) MuniCode Services Ltd. will:

  • schedule on-site inspections.
  • send copies of all inspection reports and correspondence to you.
  • send to you all documentation on the project for your records, once the project is completed.

If enforcement of infractions is required by MuniCode Services Ltd., the Local Authority must Appoint the employee of MuniCode Services Ltd. as an Building Official by a resolution in council. The Building Official will act on behalf of the municipality.

Charges for services will be made to the municipality in accordance with the contract.

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Please contact MuniCode Services Ltd. at 306-955-6355 if you have any questions on these procedures, or visit our website at (www.municodeservices.ca).




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