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Building Code and Regulatory Information


National Building Code

Nova Scotia has adopted the National Building Code (NBC) of Canada - 2010 as the regulating document for construction in this province. The Nova Scotia Building Code Regulations contains provincial alterations and additions to the NBC. Section 9.36 of the NBC was adopted in Nova Scotia as of January 1, 2014. This section focuses on energy efficiency and conservation in Part 9 buildings. The NBC and amendments, including section 9.36, is available for purchase online.

Nova Scotia Building Code Regulations

The Nova Scotia Building Code Regulations has set the minimum standard for the design and construction of all new buildings and for additions, alterations and change of use of existing buildings in Nova Scotia. The Code is a mandatory document used by architects, engineers, designers, builders, suppliers and manufacturers with regard to construction projects which are regulated by the Code. The purpose of the Code is to set minimum standards for construction to minimize the risk to the health and safety of the occupants of a building and to provide for the barrier-free accessibility into a building and the energy efficiency of that building.

Barrier Free Requirements

Barrier Free Requirements for Nova Scotia can be found in the Nova Scotia Building Code Regulations.
The following information sheets provide a representation of the requirements.
• Barrier Free Ramps & Landings
• Barrier Free Kitchen Requirements 1 and Kitchen Requirements 2
• Barrier Free Washroom 1 and Washroom 2

Objective Based Solutions

The National Building Code of Canada offers both prescriptive and objective based approaches to compliance with the Code. The Code permits unique designs and conditions in which compliance can be achieved by demonstrating the minimum level of performance required by the Code is met. The impact of OBS (Objective Based Solution) is design is no longer required to follow the prescriptive requirements. Alternate design can be considered and demonstrated to the Authority that the objectives of the Code are maintained.
An ‘Alternative Solution’ pursuant to Division A of the 2010 NBC should be submitted for the proposed design and include a completed Alternate Solution application form including all applicable Objectives, Functional Statements, and Intent Statements. NBC reference A- Refer to the attached sample form for an acceptable Alternative Solution submission. PDF. An Alternative Solution is site specific so any approval must be specific to a particular project and Building Permit application.

Energy Code

The National Energy Code was adopted in Nova Scotia as of January 1, 2015. The National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011 (NECB) provides minimum requirements for the design and construction of energy-efficient buildings and covers the building envelope, systems and equipment for heating, ventilating and air-conditioning, service water heating, lighting, and the provision of electrical power systems and motors. It applies to new buildings and additions. It does not apply to farm buildings nor to housing and smaller buildings covered in Part 9 of the National Building Code of Canada (NBC).

Egress Windows

In all new construction or renovations where bedrooms are being created, egress requirements must comply with the Nova Scotia Building Code. Bedrooms must meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • Be serviced by an approved sprinkler system.
  • Have a door leading directly to the exterior.
  • Have a window equal to or exceeding the dimensions as shown in the attached document.

Combined Sewer

In cases where construction is taking place in an area with a combined sewer system, the following diagram illustrates proper installation of Sanitary and Storm Drains.

Fire Safety Act

The municipality is required to conduct inspections of residential buildings that contain more than three units in accordance with the Fire Safety Act. Inspections include confirmation of fire prevention systems, egress and general conditions of service rooms and common areas. Fire Safety Act. Fire Safety Regulations.

M200 By-Law