We previously discussed updates the province of Ontario saw when it came to its building codes for 2022, but other provinces have been busy making changes too. Case in point: Saskatchewan’s new Construction Codes Act.
Let’s dig in.
What is the Construction Codes Act?
Saskatchewan’s Construction Codes Act (CCA) came into effect January 1st, 2022, and removes and replaces The Uniform Building and Accessibility Standards Act.
The CCA lays out the legislative foundation for Saskatchewan’s construction codes and how they are applied while also assigning responsibility to the different stakeholders involved in building construction, including:
- Building owners, who are responsible for compliance with the CCA’s standards.
- Building officials, plumbing and fire inspectors who work in conjunction with local authorities.
- Architects, engineers and contractors, who provide services to building owners.
- Local authorities, who are responsible for the administration and enforcement of standards.
- Government, which is responsible for providing the legislative, regulatory and policy framework.
What are the key updates?
Important updates to the CCA include:
- Local authorities can register an interest on a building title for unresolved building official orders. This allows potential purchasers to make an informed decision about a building before purchasing it.
- Local authorities can choose to either develop their own building bylaws or use a default building bylaw to be prescribed in regulation.
- Allowing for regional co-operation between local authorities to execute and enforce construction standards across multiple jurisdictions.
- Allowing local authorities to request the Ministry of Government Relations to assist them during a province-wide or local emergency by appointing officials, issuing building permits and authorizing building renovations as necessary to support the emergency response.
- Granting the Minister of Government Relations the ability to make binding interpretations on construction codes to address Saskatchewan-specific concerns.
Why introduce a new Construction Codes Act?
The Government of Saskatchewan’s Legislative Assembly passed the Construction Codes Act last year as a way to align construction codes and accessibility standards with how they are applied to buildings, ensuring consistency across the board.
The focus is on making sure people with disabilities can better access and use buildings throughout Saskatchewan while also protecting people from unsafe construction and renovation practices.
Similar to The Uniform Building and Accessibility Standards Act it replaced, the new Construction Codes Act regulates how construction standards are developed, adopted and executed in Saskatchewan.
Overall, modernizing the CCA allows for easier understanding and implementation of the standards while also reducing any excessive government red tape.
For example, under the new CCA, Saskatchewan’s Construction Standards Appeal Board can make binding pre-rulings when the interpretation of the code is being disputed between the local authority, contractor, building owner and designer. This allows builders and designers to secure design decisions through a more efficient timeline while also ensuring they are following the legislation.
Contact the structural engineers at Criterium-Jansen, Saskatchewan’s top engineering firm, for all your building evaluation needs.
Even when simplified, rules and regulations can be overwhelming. As qualified experts in all aspects of building evaluation and versed in Saskatchewan’s new Construction Codes Act, the professional and licensed engineers at Criterium-Jansen have you (and your property!) covered.
With a range of structural engineering services related to commercial, condominium and residential properties across Saskatchewan, we’re ready to guide you through the inspection process and more.
Contact us at 1-888-940-0571 today to speak to an engineer or to schedule an inspection.