Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

National Building Code should be available online, free of charge!

Canadian Contractor

Contractor reader Yvan Labbe asks why he can't access the National Building Code online, for free. A very good question, we think.

We asked last week for your comments on the National Building Code (NBC). There’s a poll at the right hand side of this site, where you can tell us whether you use the NBC and, if not, why not.

We’ve had a lot of feedback already. Such as this comment from Yvan Labbe, who asks a question I have often asked myself: Why should Canadians, in this online day and age, have to pay to access any government regulations whatsoever? Especially ones pertaining to building safely. Here’s how Yvan put it…

“Yes, I have used the National Building Code. I would use it a lot more often if I did not have to pay for it. As far as I am concerned, it should be available online free of charge so that people can refer to it. If not free you should be able to pay a bit to get to read different sections or pay so much per day to use it.”



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91 Comments » for National Building Code should be available online, free of charge!
  1. D. Brian Baker says:

    The codes are all so expensive that students in school are now copying them or not buying them and still passing their levels. I have to buy the B149 gas and propane codes, B52, B51, B31, 22.1, Plumbing code, WTF… how do we not charge for our services! These could all be free and then many problems would simply diappear. Today we waste time and money like its water.

  2. Marten Burghgraef says:

    I would like to find a code book that is written in a language that I understand. I have an old copy of the Ont. building code but never use it. Can never find what I am looking for.

  3. J P Perkins says:

    I purchase the BC Building Code in the book form and refer to it regularly. I find it an invaluable tool for design and estimating. Knowing the rules before I start is an inexpensive way to prevent deficiencies. If the code is hard to decipher I call the city building inspector for his interpretation. This saves me money. A whole lot more than the cost of the Code.

  4. Mike says:

    All codes should be available online for free. When you’re trying to get something done all you need is to be able to search it but no, you have to buy a code book for 300.00 to use a couple times before the next one comes out. I have tried calling engineers to ask a question but they can’t be bothered with these little jobs. They are like gate keepers. Don’t want you to know but don’t want to help either.
    Sometimes things don’t get done right for that reason and governing bodies get bogged down with visiting the same work site several times because work has to be redone.
    It must make too much sense to make it available. I mean is selling the books more profitable then the fire inspector or building inspector making several trips to a job site. Canada has one of the most inefficient work forces in the world. I wonder why when everything gets done twice.

  5. Dustin wood says:

    I agree totally. If it’s law for us to follow the codes it should be against the law for people to charge money for the rules that we are to follow.

  6. Manuela says:


    I agree that any government regulations should not come to a cost to any Canadian citizen. The building codes are there to make homes safe and people safe. Nobody should have to pay for their safety. If the government makes rules and regulations, we should all have access to this written information free of charge for us to view at any given time.

    I hope this changes as it’s frustrating trying to get this information for building safety. I work in the housing field and don’t think that we should pay for this.

    Please assist all of us in getting the government to stop charging us to read THEIR regulations!


    • Debbie says:

      I don’t think that there should be a charge to anyone – citizen or not – who is required to comply with the code requirements. It is especially frustrating when you have to pay the full price, but you are only dealing with one small section of the building code (e.g., the elevator section). If ignorance of the law is no excuse, then there is no excuse for withholding the information needed to manufacture a compliant system!

  7. Roger Boivin says:

    I too would use the NBC if there was free access

  8. Elke Love says:

    I use it regularly in my FR-EN translation work (mostly architectural drawing analyses for conformity with the code, so I have to get the English wording right). Luckily my local library, 30 minutes away, has a copy, and so far I’ve been lucky, it’s been on the shelves when I needed it. Yes, we should be able to access the Code for free. It’s expensive, and they keep updating it with new versions, which is of course necessary but means we’d have to buy another one every time.

  9. Gordie Eldridge says:

    Seriously, leave it to government beauracracy to make regulations and then make you pay to see what they are. I know many good contractors who have lost a lot of money because they didn’t know about updates to the code especially regarding energy efficiency.

  10. Jessie says:

    The NBC is published by the National Research Council of Canada. If you read what it does in the act that created it , you may understand what may play a part in it. The funds that it makes goes back to the NRC to make up to date building models, and fire safety models. The same goes for the Canadian Association of Standards. It’s easier to this than have tax payers pay out of pocket to fund these entities. It would be nice to see them to allow apprentices access to these via their apprenticeship number at a discounted rate.

  11. Robin Clunie says:

    re free access to building codes.
    I am an architect in Scotland. The Scottish Building Standards for Domestic + Non-Domestic Buildings are downloadable for free from the Scottish Government portal and have been since 2009. Hard copies are charged for. I don’t know that cost as I use the free download, straight into my computer and available for instant reference and print out of any part for ‘hard copy’ file needs .
    The attitude is that these standards are mandatory for the health + safety of the building users and the public at large and, as such, should be available to all involved in the industry for reference and implementation at low or no cost to ensure those aims of the legislation are achieved.
    Hope this may be of assistance to those preparing their arguments for easy access.

    • Avatar photo Steve Payne says:

      Robin, thanks for reading us in Scotland, and for your information on the free building standards portal over there.

    • Terrence says:

      And there it is….simple logic and clear reasoning. Unfortunate that we can’t have that here in Canada when it comes to the building trades

  12. Michael Fulcher says:

    It is important that Canadians have access to important regulations pertaining to safety. In the US, access to the National Fire Fire Code is available on line, free of charge from the NFPA website,
    The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act is available on line free of charge.
    What goes with the Ontario building code and the Ontario Electrical Code?? Why should we pay to get information on public safety developed with tax payer money?

  13. sean Kelly says:

    As a student I am only able to access the national building code at school.
    Having free access to the Code for the duration of study for students would allow a more thorough understanding of the material.
    The free dissemination of the NBC will have a positive effect on the building industry (increasing compliance) that would more than compensate the government for the costs of research and publishing.
    I believe that free access will help promote quality in the trades and alleviate a burden for small to medium sized builders.

  14. These comments I have made over 20 years ago.

    As taxpayers, we paid for research and maintenance of
    various boards and research facilities. We do not have access to this information, having paid for it countless
    times over. When will this gouging of honest, hard working Canadians ever end.

    Is this what we are reduced to?

    A constant source of revenue from hundreds of various conduits, to maintain (6) figure salary of such indifferent bureaucrats.

    Some of which, could care less about this country and those who support the good for which it used to stand for. This reckless abandonment of the christian values
    we have held dear and treasured will certainly result in our ultimate demise.

    This is shown to be evident, in many recent ongoing, within some corrupt elements of those in positions of authority.
    Need only watch the evening news. When does this gouging ever end. God help us.

  15. Lou Roste says:

    Yes I feel it infringes on my rights as a citizen to not make building code available to a person planning a new construction. I feel it nothing less than a money grab and some power hungry inspector will tell you falsely something is code and you have no way of telling right or wrong without paying for something temporarily. This should be changed

  16. Al says:

    Government (NRC) should be obligated to provide free downloadable and updated copies of the National Building Code. It is absolutely ludicrous that this information must be paid for and most especially at such a high price. We pay enough taxes and downloadable information costs very little to provide.

  17. Derek Muise says:

    The price is high yes. The price of the research that goes into each page is equally high I’m sure. I’d prefer an imperial measurements edition. Part of any competent carpenters tool bag.

  18. Will says:

    If the building codes have been written by government. We as tax payers have already purchased every single code and law book ever made. It should all be free. Its our right. its definitely a safety risk making people pay to see them. People are more likely to not check the standards and do a job wrong.

  19. Eric Tait says:

    I agree that anyone should have free access to the National Building Code. It is ridicules that anyone should have to pay for it.

  20. Dylan says:

    I do refer to it during renovation projects, but as others have eluded to it’s a pain to get access. Luckily I have a neighbor who is an engineer who prints portions for me, but it is crazy this isn’t available online to everyone. Why revenue needs to be generated there I don’t know.

  21. Questo says:

    When real caring and responsible politics became obsolete, we the public, can only be left with apparent economic terrorists using the laws in majority style to protect them. For these terrorists, the tax vacuum machine never ends, and soon they want to tax the air, called carbon tax, how far these crooks will go?

  22. Barry Lipsett says:

    I am a homeowner in dispute with my contractor over workmanship. To access the NBC and the applicable CSA standard would cost over $500. How is a consumer, let alone a contractor, supposed to afford this? If the information is inaccessible, Canada’s building code system neither informs builders or protects consumers.

  23. Dan says:

    Complete Sham!!! I am a flooring contractor, no government issued regulation document should cost the public money! especially when it pertains to safety. i’m surprised they haven’t been sued for this. This should not be allowed. They make lots of money elsewhere taxing and such. This safety related document should not be locked up with a 335 dollar price tag. Complete sham!! very crooked

  24. Ben Frail says:

    I ran into this issue recently and have to say i was surprised to find that i was actually expected to PAY to be able to access building codes. If these codes are legislated and enforceable by law, how can they not be public domain? Without public access, that leaves everyone to the mercy of contractors and inspectors, with no way to know if what they are being told is factual, minus paying hundreds for a code book that most people will only use once or twice in a lifetime. Seems like something that shouldn’t be legal?

  25. Issuance of the Building Codes become a very good business for those, who is responsible for their publishing (I believe this is our Government and their institutions).
    Every 5 years thousands of copies for the cost of $300-400 for just i set is the cost.
    This is multi million dollar business for the minor changes, they are doing.

    Also consider, that these codes still have some major mistakes, like for example design wind load for Vancouver:
    1998 q1/30 – 0.44kPa; 2006 q1/50 – 0.48 kPa; 2012 – q1/50 – 0.45kPa
    These difference is also valid for other Canadian cities, which costs to Developers, Contractors and Final Users (Customers) a lot of money.

    For example first Building Code in Canada was issued in 1940 or 1941. And it wasn’t changed till 1965, as far as I know. 25 Years we worked on the same Code.

    Another sample is Washington State in US. The Code available on-line for anybody want to watch it.

  26. Wayne says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I think it is absurd that we are held to a standard but unless we pay the government hundreds of dollars, we will not be allowed to know what that standard is. There is no transparency here and one could venture as far as to say the Federal/Provincial governments are failing contractors/citizens. You are held to a standard which is not readily accessible to you but if you fail to meet the standard you are held financially responsible.

  27. Deborah says:

    I agree with Mr. Labbe. I’ve been working in the Construction field as a home designer for 37 years and, as a small business owner, find it difficult to pay $700 for the codes I need. I would think that this information would be cheaper or free with all of the taxes we, as small business owners, have to pay.

  28. J. E. Travis says:

    I agree. It would be great if the NBC was free, especially if you only need a certain section that pertains to your field but $350 over a 5 year time span equates to $70 per year. Not a big outlay in comparison to a costly deficiency fix due to not knowing the code!

  29. Totally. A couple of months ago, I was looking for information regarding elevators…to my surprise the NBC was not available on-line, unless I paid for it. All laws and regulations should be available for free to all citizens. It is ridiculous that citizens have to pay for access to laws or regulations when they pay taxes. It is their basic right to have free access to regulations such as the National Building Code.

  30. Philip Hall says:

    I am dumbfounded. This set of standards is only available for sale? For heavens sake, we want people using it, and we want our standards known …. but how will that happen with this exorbitantly priced document out of reach to many?

    Time to get this thing up on a server and sent regularly to users and anyone inclined to use it.

  31. Richard Rempel says:

    All builders should follow the National Building Code so it should be available online for free. What our government is saying is “these are the regulations you must follow, but you have to pay to see them.” Ridiculous.

  32. David kent says:

    Looking for the proper building code for basement poly before we pour the concrete floors

  33. Luke says:

    I am an apprentice going through training right now and I was required to purchase the NBC. That part I do not have a problem with. As a carpenter, it is our job to know the code. We purchase tools all the time to make sure the job is done correctly and efficiently. The NBC is just that, a tool. It gives us the information we need to do the job correctly the first time. So buying another tool is just part of the job for me. One thing I would like to have is an app on my phone that has the entirety of the NBC so I can easily access the information I need on the job without having to lug a giant book everywhere I go. I’m sure a programmer could accomplish that in his sleep. Then make it free to access with the number given with your already purchased codebook.

  34. Pat says:

    I would like to use the NECB more often and be nice to have open access at no cost and not beg, borrow, ask advice. Since the Building Codes are to the benefit of anyone occupying a building for any purpose they should be free for online access (which costs the least to produce and updates the easiest) and paid for by a small amount added to property taxes.

  35. Marvin Lu says:

    It should be free to download or viewed by every one, just same like the city by law.
    It’s a law, it’s a regulation, but it charges people money to know what you should not to do. How funny is that.

  36. Noreen Evers says:

    Apparently, the NBC is not law, and has no force of law until adopted by a municipality. Interesting but true.

  37. Robert Kane says:

    Since “ignorance of the law” is not accepted as a defense in a Canadian court of law then all laws and regulations, including the NBC, in the country should be available ‘free’ to any/every citizen seeking the information.
    A primary responsibility of government is to inform citizens of their rights AND their responsibilities.

  38. Robert in Vancouver says:

    Codes need to be available online for free. We all pay more than enough taxes to cover this cost 1000 times over. People in the construction industry need access to codes so they can do their jobs properly.

  39. Dan LaRiviere says:

    Canadian and Provincial building codes should be free to view and copy on-line just as all laws, acts and regulations should be.

  40. Myra says:

    I am working on my Construction Management Certificate at SAIT in Calgary, AB, and I find it so completely ridiculous that our government forces us to build homes according to the “code, ” but then denies us access to it (I.E. view it online for reference) unless we pay them almost $300.00. This is our corrupt government for you!!!!

  41. Joanne Ackland says:

    I would like to have free access because I am concerned about foundations and soils.

  42. Kurt Metcalfe says:

    We pay enough taxes in that we as Canadian citizens should have access to all of these most important codes free of charge…I mean what does 1 PDF form cost the government to have posted on their site(s)…guess it’s just another money grab by our government to keep us safe….. I don’t need it in binder form when in this day and age it’s as far as my tablet will reach…

  43. paul says:

    it is stupid that the rules to build a safe home are guarded by the Canadian government as tax payers we should be able to get that for free seeing we paid for who ever worked on it .To say the least it is another form of taxation. and causes more harm than good . the bottom line here is that Governments have become a big business and can only think of ways to get more money out of hard working Canadians.every 3 years the Government gets all the money from tax payers and we are not allowed to look at it without paying big bucks soon we will have no freedom o to be a millionaire

  44. Robert Smith says:

    Building Regulations are free for use in UK to make sure people don’t take shortcuts and do so safely. They are also far, far easier to understand and you don’t go on a pointless ‘journey’ its like walking through maple syrup with NBC sometimes and trying to remember a myriad of different paragraphs and sentence numbers – and then forget what you were looking for in the first place…..diagrams say a thousand words with interpretation, Appendix has a few but no where near enough! Interpretation especially between Building inspectors on how they interpret how the code is written can make things difficult on any project imho.

  45. Sajid says:

    Anything related to public safety should be free especially if it’s belong to legal requirements. So that people can understand that work they are getting done in their home is legal and safe for their family especially for kids.

  46. Yvette Aube says:

    we refer to the National Building Code quite often and it would be so much more beneficial if our on the Road and site technicians could access the NBC at no charge online while on a site with a question.

  47. Francois Belec says:

    Most ridiculous thing…….”we make the rules for you to follow but if you want to know what those rules are you will have to pay”

  48. Sharon Dunn says:

    I was looking for the Canadian National Building Codes as they are just now being introduced to Prince Edward Island (about time!). I am not a contractor, but was merely interested in some of the issues contained in the Code. They should be free to Contractors and the general public. Everything else is, such as various federal regulations, Acts, etc., this should be as well. Especially in this time when everyone accesses the internet for information. I cannot imagine how time-consuming it would be for a contractor to haul out a book which they would have to have with them at all times, just to check a certain section.

  49. scott says:

    I have a 1995 NATIONAL BUILDING CODE OF CANADA I bought that for 25 dollars back in 1996 , I use to go online and see the latest codes but now there not accessible , Id like to buy a used 2015 one but the prices are out of this world

  50. Rob McLaughlin says:

    The reason the National Canadian building code is to readily available is because the Government does not want the public to know their rights.

  51. Stephen says:

    Do they charge us a fee to view the criminal code?

    Accept it as Canadians we have been and will always be “taxed to death”.

    Look up Canadian Escalations Taxes on “”

  52. Chris says:

    I can’t believe how ridiculous it is that the Government makes a building code supposedly designed to make homes better built and safer then they won’t even allow you to access the rules unless you buy a printed copy or purchase a paid subscription for access to an electronic copy of the building code.

    This is like the government setting speed limits for the roads but not giving the public access to see what the limits are unless you pay for a monthly subscription to view the speed limits. And of course, if you don’t follow the speed limits you will get a speeding ticket. Then the government expects you to believe that this is all done to increase safety, but it starts to look more like a big tax grab.

  53. Robert Brown says:

    if you want me to follow a code then make that code available to me on line at no cost. I cannot be expected to follow the rules if i do not know or have access to the rules.

    • Randy Elliott says:

      Just another GOVERNMENT GOUGE as Govt says “do what we demand and you pay us for the privilege to dance to our bureaucratic order .” Gouge, not service, what happened to “service” in Govt? 40 years in my trade, 35 years in business, today I go to look up codes online in Canada for a better building product and I have to pay hundreds dollars to provide a better quality product for GOVERNMENT compliance in code and for my clients? What next, pay for CRIMINAL CODES too so I and descendants can pay for privilege to stay out of jail in complying with Canadian law? This is not an extreme exaggeration. Which gouging Canadian Government brought this gouge in? WOW! R

  54. RAYMOND FINAL says:

    I am in the process of designing my new house. I feel that I should be able to review all the regulations for the construction of my new home for free. This would be a “one time” use for which I should NOT have to pay over $300 for. It is available at the Halifax Library (1 copy) but it cannot be taken out from the library or copied. Ridiculous. Who is going to sit in the library reading hundreds of pages.

  55. James Hoskins says:

    The national building code and any other government issued rules and regulations should without a bout be free online. These are important document pertaining to the minimum standards of construction. A homeowner or anyone else for that matter should be able to review them to insure their house is up to code. I’ve been red seal journeyman Carpenter for over 25 years. I can tell you from personal experiences that I’ve seen contractors cut many corners either due to cost savings or ignorance. Municipalities often don’t have enough inspectors to cover the volume of inspections required. For example homes in Calgary receive very few inspections. Fort St. John when I lived their had no electrical inspector for the ten years I lived there. Homeowners should have free access to information to educate and protect themselves from contractors without having to the $350 cost of a building code book. All rules and regulations implemented by our government should be free to the public under freedom of information

  56. Rob says:

    Beyond my comprehension that the plumbing code is not available free, online. Does the government work for the people or the other way around? We pay our taxes (Yes, I pay a lot…) so just put the code online. Never mind screwing around publishing in hard copy…get real; it’s 2018!!!!

  57. barry dudle says:

    hi i am looking for a free building code book on houses

  58. Terrence says:

    There is incredible value in having the resources you need at hand when estimating, quoting, and performing scope of work on a project. That being said, it is simply like pulling teeth to get any information on codes in this country and I think it is ridiculous that I MUST build something to a particular code that is designed for the safety of citizens but yet I have to pay $300 for a book in order to do so. That f’n book is like the holy grail. I WILL buy one out of sheer necessity but it is my opinion that charging contractors and any us citizens for that information is counterproductive and blatantly foolish

  59. Harvey Raynard says:

    maybe if the codes were on line for free there would not be so many infractions ,after all it is our tax money paying for it

  60. Neal Skinner says:

    Building code should be published free so diy builders who don’t have access normally can follow the code vs follow their intuition and have someone hurt.

  61. kal says:

    it is very frustrating trying to comply with codes, bylaws and regulations that are either made “classified top secret” or they are written in a language that no one understands…i am in the process of finishing my garage and i am having a lot of trouble finding information..
    when i called city building inspectors they also have a lot of trouble understanding the damn codes. this practice should be illegal and the information should be free and unconditional.

  62. Brian says:

    This is an announcement in the 2018 fall economic update by finance minister Bill Morneau.

    Making the National Building Codes Freely Available to All Canadians

    Building construction is an important part of Canada’s economy, employing nearly 1.4 million Canadians. Building construction codes used throughout Canada are based on the National Building Codes, developed with the support of the National Research Council of Canada, to provide guidance for building products, design and construction.

    For small businesses—which account for approximately 99 per cent of Canada’s construction industry—the cost of purchasing building codes, and the lack of harmonization between provincial/territorial codes and national codes, make it harder to succeed and grow. The Government is proposing to provide $67.5 million over five years to the National Research Council of Canada, with $13.5 million ongoing, to make access to the National Building Codes free, and to provide sufficient resources for the federal government to address provincial, territorial, and other stakeholder code development priorities in a more timely way.

    Building codes are Canadians’ assurance that their health, safety and general welfare have been fully considered whenever their homes, places of work and other buildings are built or renovated, including the
    accessibility needs of people with disabilities. Harmonized and freely available building codes will also ensure that all municipalities can readily access and use the latest codes as they become available.

    Having one set of rules that covers both the design of, and products that go into the construction of, buildings reduces regulatory burden and removes barriers to internal trade. Consistently applied, harmonized building codes also make it easier for designers, product manufacturers, distributors and contractors to conduct business
    more efficiently across the country.

    The Government will continue to work with provinces and territories towards the timely adoption of the national codes in a way that ensures that the needs of provinces, territories and Canadians are met.

    I think this is exciting news, as the cost was prohibitive. Some of the students had to purchase two copies of code during their block training because the code was being updated every 3 years for them.

  63. Harvey Morse says:

    I like to know about ICF forms building and have go by building code with rule for it also I like hear from them and like to you can send building code in mail here my address 1063 vault road Forest Glade NS b0p1r0

  64. Brian McCulloch says:

    I, without reservation, state that up-to-date copies of the various sections of the National Building Code should be available at no cost.

    The current setup is rude. $35 for a one day look, or more for this and that. Why?

    There is no cost for anyone to use it. This includes downloads, with the usual caveats.

    I have a very specific question regarding stair railings. To be more specific, I have been told that the 2018 National Building Code has eliminated reference to balustrade design other than the 4″ sphere standard.

    Now, I have to approach the local building department. They have proven problematical (big time) on this point.

    Or, wait until the local public library has an online copy. In the meantime, for my thirty-five bucks, I am guaranteed the end of the next day service. What?

    The alternative is to uncover the six scrolls. Then decide how best to push back. The local inspectors, from top to bottom, knew about the now decade old major US National Association of Home Builders study on the subject involving young children.

    They couldn’t or wouldn’t provide the standards, but made it sound subjective which it was not. Tales of the arbitrary and capricious application of standards and rules, which sometimes don’t exist, leads to confusion, frustration and needless cost.

    Publish immediately the current code. Keep it current.

    After all, the public have paid for it – one way or the other.

    Contractors should be able to refer and point to it when their customers have questions.

    • Avatar photo John Bleasby says:

      Here is the reply we received from the NRC when we asked about the free availability of the National Building Code:
      “The electronic versions of the National Energy Code for Buildings 2017 is available online as a free one-year subscription for single users and organizations. The free subscription initiative will continue indefinitely.

      To access the free, online 2017 edition of the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings, please follow the instructions in the “Place an order” section on the National Energy Code for Buildings webpage:

      We hope this helps!

  65. Mike says:

    I think it all of the building codes should be available on line and free of charge to reduce many problems in the construction because of the lack of accessibility to the codes, either because of the physical availability of the codes on the job site or because of the cost of buying the codes. The benefit of it will return directly to the country and to the public by having more code oriented construction, less hidden deficiencies, less damages in future and less incidents.

  66. Don Tedford says:

    yes the NBC should be free and accessible online no different than the OBC?
    I quite often like to do comparable on code requirements and was not prepared to purchase the whole NBC just read a few sections!!
    this is totally unreasonable and needs to be rectified by providing the NBC online.
    Don Tedford

  67. Susana Toma says:

    I’m to fill out a form to request changes to the National Building Code as I had a head injury (caused by a rental apartment’s sharp tiling edge).

    Per the following Guideline:, I should give clear indication of the changes I would like to see:
    ‘The Code committees expect proponents to make very clear what specific change they would like to see.’

    Currently I can’t read the National Building Code online, and would need to find it in a library, which I’ll attempt to do. However because of financial constraints after an injury it could be difficult to do so, and would need unnecessary burning of fuel, which bad for the environment. Additionally some injured people are possibly physically disabled, and reading the Code online could certainly help them. It could be possibly put to their disposition online temporarily.

    Thank you.

  68. Susana Toma says:

    I can’t obtain the National Building Code from the library, because I can’t ask for it to be held for me once returned there by others. I receive a message: ‘No items requestable, request denied.’

    It would be difficult to fill out a request for revision form for the new edition of the National Building Code clearly without having access to the code.

  69. EDWARD HARDING says:



  70. Kenneth Dacey says:

    Canadian tax dollars support NRC research and operations. Their operation, publications and information should be produced and distributed as inexpensively as possible and be free to all Canadian tax payers.

    Years ago (1960s & early ’70s) the NRC codes were published in a binder. After purchasing the binder updates were issued periodically so users could replace individual pages as necessary. The system worked, was economical and codes were kept current to within a few months.

    The current practice of publishing the entire NBCC every 5 years fails to distribute information in a timely manner. It is also costly, unnecessary and wasteful to re-print information that remains unchanged. The NRC should go back to the old system of issuing updated pages as changes occur.

  71. Susana Toma says:

    Further to my previous comments I would like to add, that I obtained access to the National Building Code at a library (not to be borrowed by a reader).

    It takes a lot of time to search for a topic in the Code from a hard copy.
    Online I could have used the ‘Find’ feature to search for a topic.

    I found relevant and very clear information instead in the 2012 Ontario Building Code at the library.

  72. Remy Mallari says:

    All building code books should be free to read to help all user to have them become know-how technically aware of current issues for all engineer – architects and designers.

  73. Neal Skinner says:

    As of February 28th 2019 the government decided that the National Building Code should be available free of charge online, it’ll be available this spring apparently according to the website.

  74. David Stewart says:

    Having the NBC available free online would only be a positive thing. We all know it is a thorough and complex document, one that is expensive to produce, edit, maintain current, etc. but I feel the benefits of unfettered online access outweigh the costs of producing and maintaining it.

  75. Fred says:

    The building code should be free, but it’s all about greed, charging a fee wouldn’t be so bad, but it’s 6 to 700 dollars is ridiculous. Especially since it’s already done, and only requires a few changes now and then, so why the money grab? We will never pay this ridiculous amount. $25 would be a fair charge, having upkeep and such. But $700? Just ridiculous.

  76. Greg Wallis says:

    Whether directly or indirectly, I an sure out tax dollars went towards producing and maintaining the Code- so it belongs to all of us and should be available for free. It is clear and concise and can be used to insure that the requirements for structure design or modification are clear and easily determined. Forcing the public to pay for a “rule book”, or alternately forcing them to go unnecessarily to a professional builder when it is not a requirement by law to do so is both unfair and in my opinion unethical.

  77. John says:

    Access to the fire codes for sure should be free of charge. Since I’m here, would anyone know what clearance is required (ft or metres) around the perimeter of a fire pump. If anyone knows, send a message to

    Thank you

  78. Darrell says:

    As Canada goes down the rabbit hole, where a little information is power, we are well on our way to being classified as a third world country. I have been fined for not complying to codes I have no access to. Do these inexperienced inspectors even know what they are doing or just measuring and comparing to the code book that the rest of us are not privy to? I build a deck about once every 5 years and comply with the last one. The codes are now changing fast enough that I get re-assessed every time I build anything and buying code books for each little project is not practical or financially viable. My tax dollars have paid to write this, why do I have to pay to read it?

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