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The Ontario Build Code; Engineer or Architect? Results of the Divisional Court of Ontario

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English: Sharp Centre for Design, Toronto

English: Sharp Centre for Design, Toronto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Professional Design

The 2012 Building Code (Ontario Regulation 332/12) no longer includes provisions regarding professional design of buildings by an architect or professional engineer that were previously set out in Division C, Section 1.2.of the 2006 Building Code (O. Reg. 350/06).

This change came about from the 2007 decision of the Divisional Court of Ontario that found that the Building Code Act, 1992 did not provide sufficient authority to allocate responsibility for the design of buildings between members of the professional engineering and architectural professions in the Building Code.

Architects and professional engineers are both self-regulating professions and are regulated under the Architects Act and the Professional Engineers Act respectively.  These Acts define the scope of practice for architects and professional engineers undertaking the design of buildings, including requirements for professional design of buildings and allocation of responsibility for professional design between these two professions.

For information on the scope of practice of professional engineers and architects, contact Professional Engineers Ontario and the Ontario Association of Architects.  Each Association can advise when an architect or engineer is required under the Architects Act or Professional Engineers Act and whether there are any exemptions from the professional design requirements in those statutes.

Division C, Section 1.2.of the 2012 Building Code does provide design requirement for certain buildings and structures.  It also includes requirements for the general review of buildings by an architect, professional engineer or both.  The general review requirements include an allocation of responsibility for general review between the two professions.

The 2012 Building Code comes into force on January 1, 2014. Don’t forget that the OBC for 2014 will include Accessible Design Addendae whereby new design/build projects and renovations to buildings and public spaces will require the use of Accessible Design elements. This results from the AODA Act for Ontario and the Regulatory Standards with the goal being a fully accessible Ontario by 2015.

The Accessibility/Human Factors Design specialists at Optimal Performance can provide Built Environment Audits for your company, corporation, business locations in anticipation of the OBC release. Contact one of our experts at AODA@optimalperformance.ca


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