Home Inspections and Ontario Building Codes. The Ontario Building Codes are a minimum set of standards that all building must meet when constructed. Although the Ontario Building Code is not designed to be used as a requirement to bring existing buildings up to this standard, not having a knowledge of the code would not allow a person to know what deficiencies existed in a building.
Existing buildings only have to be built to the standard of the existing building code that was in effect at the time of construction. This is known as “Grandfathering” and will apply to most buildings unless they have under gone a “Major Renovation, Change of Use or Occupancy or a Building Permit has been issued that would involve bringing building up to current requirements. Most older buildings would fall under Part 10 or 11 of the Ontario Building Code and not require extensive upgrading, especially if the building was over 5 years old.
Knowledge of the Ontario Building Code is essential when performing Home Inspections. Some home inspectors mask their lack of skills and training by refraining from ever mentioning the Ontario Building Code and this lack of knowledge can lead to missed deficiencies that a trained inspector would pick up. If your house was built to the minimum standards set out by the Building Codes, how could any professional not be trained in their use and application. As a member of the Ontario Building Officials Association I ensure that my knowledge is maintained at the current editions of the Building Code, to do other wise would be unfair to my customers.
Here is copy of the changes published by Ministry of Affairs and Housing
Ontario Households and Businesses Will Save Energy and Money
The changes to the Building Code balance energy efficiency with affordability. Purchasers of houses built to the new energy efficiency standards that become effective at the end of this year will recoup energy cost-savings equivalent to the extra cost of the upgrades within three years.
Ontario businesses also will save energy and money through increased energy-efficiency standards for non-residential buildings.
The Building Code will now require that:
- Insulation levels of ceilings in houses be increased by 29 per cent
- Insulation levels of basement walls of houses be increased by 50 per cent
- Window energy efficiency in houses be increased by 67 per cent
- All gas and propane-fired furnaces in houses also will need to have a high-efficiency rating.
Over eight years, the Building Code changes will:
- Save enough electricity to serve 380,000 homes or enough to power the entire City of London
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to 250,000 cars off Ontario’s roads.
Ontario Will Have More Accessible Buildings
The 2006 Building Code will enable Ontarians with disabilities to stay in their own communities.
The new Building Code will make Ontario buildings more accessible to people of all ages and abilities. For example:
- Public corridors will be built to accommodate modern wheelchairs
- New tactile signs will make it easier for the visually impaired to navigate through buildings
- Ten per cent of the units in a new apartment building or hotel will have to include accessible features.
Ontario Leads the Way
Ontario already leads building regulation in Canada in setting minimum energy-efficiency requirements for buildings.
By the end of this year, changes to the Building Code’ energy-efficiency standards will:
- Increase home energy efficiency over the current code by more than 21 per cent
- Continue to be the highest energy-efficiency standards in Canada
- Be 13 per cent higher than have ever existed in Ontario.
The new Building Code standards for wall and ceiling insulation, high-efficiency furnaces and energy efficient windows are significantly higher than previous Ontario standards. The standards for homes with electrical heating have also been raised.
Homes built under permits applied for in 2009 will have to meet even higher standards that:
- Mandate the construction of near-full-height basement insulation
- Will see homes 28 per cent more energy efficient than today.
Ontario is the first jurisdiction to mandate EnerGuide 80 levels. This means that homes built in 2012 will have a 35 per cent increase in energy efficiency over today’s Building Code.
The changes to the Building Code further Ontario’s leadership in energy efficiency standards for buildings.
Remember! A “Smart Consumer” is an “Educated Consumer”