Get Yukon-related updates to the National Building Code

The National Building Code of Canada (NBC) 2020, developed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes and published by the National Research Council of Canada, sets out technical requirements for the design and construction of new buildings, as well as the alteration, change of use and demolition of existing buildings.

Over 280 technical changes have been incorporated in this new edition, improving the level of safety, health, accessibility, fire and structural protection, and energy efficiency.

Significant changes in the National Building Code for 2020

  • Technical requirements for large farm buildings are added, which address fire protection, occupant safety, structural design, and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning.
  • Encapsulated mass timber construction is introduced, enabling the construction of wood buildings with up to 12 storeys.
  • Accessibility requirements are updated to reduce barriers related to anthropometrics, plumbing facilities, signage, entrances and elevators.
  • Design requirements for evaporative equipment are revised to minimize the growth and transmission of Legionella and other bacteria.
  • A home-type care occupancy is introduced to allow safe and affordable care in a home-type setting.
  • Energy performance tiers are established to provide a framework for achieving higher levels of energy efficiency in housing and small buildings.

Log home exemption from National building Code energy efficiency

Yukon adopted section 9.36 of the National Building Code in 2016, with some amendments that take Yukon’s climate, geography and construction types in account.

This standard ensures that a minimum efficiency level of 78/100 on the Energuide rating is met. As long as builders meet this rating they can:

  • reduce the minimum insulation requirement in their ceilings from R60 to R40; and
  • remove the insulation requirement in crawl space floors.

Builders or designers looking to construct a residence 480 square feet or less are exempt from 9.36.

Builders or designers constructing log homes must meet a minimum thickness for exterior walls of log homes. Squared logs must be 8 inches thick and rounded logs must be a minimum of 10 inches in diameter. Log homes outside Whitehorse are exempt from section 9.36.

City of Whitehorse building standards are established by municipal bylaw and generally exceed the requirements of the National Building Code.

Significant technical changes in the 2015 National Model Construction Codes

The National Model Construction Codes, or Codes Canada 2015, contain almost 600 technical changes that make the provisions in the 4 model codes clearer and introduce new concepts and expand the codes to new areas.