Charlottetown council approves new National Building Code

Charlottetown city council passed a motion Tuesday night to introduce the 2015 National Building Code by the end of October.

'I felt it was urgent I guess for the city to move forward'

'With the less than one per cent vacancy rate, we have a bunch of developers that are waiting on the new building code to be adopted,' says Coun. Greg Rivard. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

Charlottetown is moving forward to implement the 2015 National Building Code by the end of October.

Council passed a motion Wednesday night to introduce the new code.

Coun. Greg Rivard, the chair of planning and heritage, said developers have been waiting for this change.

"With the less than one per cent vacancy rate, we have a bunch of developers that are waiting on the new building code to be adopted."

Rivard said the city has close to 1,000 apartment units to be constructed or approved to be constructed.

He said council was in talks with the province to bring the code forward at the same time, but said the city did not want to wait. 

Changes for developers

"With the amount of units that are approved to be built, and listening to what the developers are saying, that they want this new National Building Code," said Rivard.

"I felt it was urgent, I guess, for the city to move forward."

Rivard says council was in talks with the province to bring the code forward at the same time, but the city did not want to wait. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Rivard said one of the biggest changes for developers will be the opportunity to build an extra floor, increasing building height from four storeys to five. 

"It also talks about building out of wood over 40 feet. That's key," he said.

"Right now everything that's constructed over the 40 feet, the four floors requires steel. You can do so with wood now, under the new by law."

Transition period

Rivard said there will be a four-month transition period from Nov. 1, 2018 to Feb. 28, 2019.

During this time, a building or development permit applicant may choose to have an application governed by either the National Building Code from 2010 or 2015.

The province-wide National Building Code officially comes into effect for residential construction on Jan. 1, 2020.

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About the Author

Isabella Zavarise

Isabella Zavarise is a reporter with CBC in P.E.I. You can contact her at isabella.zavarise@cbc.ca

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