The Ontario Building Code

The Ontario Building Code isn't a book on design, instead the building code sets out technical requirements for the construction, demolition, and change of use to a building in Ontario Canada.

The building code is an accumulation of saftey provisions with respects to building construction and

  • Public Safety
  • Fire Protection
  • Accessibility
  • Structural
  • Who uses the building code?

    The ontario building code act require that every building practitioner show proof of their knowledge of construction and the OBC.

    The Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) allows indiviuals and companies to take responsiblity for the construction drawing being submitted to the city for construction. This shows their are qualified and registered with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

    If you are taking resposiblity for the design drawings, then the following information should be shown on the drawinds title block.

    • The name and Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) of the registered firm
    • A statement that the qualified person has reviewed and taken responsibility for the design activities
    • The name and BCIN of the qualified person
    • The signature of the qualified person

    All these fields can be found in the new prermit apllication form.

    Structure of the Objective Based Code

    The Ontario building code is divided into three (3) Divisions. Divisions are further broken down into Parts, sections, subsections, arcticles, Sentence, Clause, Subclause, Sub-subclause, paragraph.

    Let me show you what I mean




    By understanding how the Ontario building code is sub divided you can have a better understanding of it contents.

    Application of Divsion B

    Division B for the most part will be the most important used division of the Ontario Building Code. This division contains all the acceptable solutions for safety within a building. The aplication of the part of teh OBC is as follows:

    Parts 1, 7, and 12 applies to all buildings

    Parts 3,4,5, and 6 applies to all building used for occupancy in

  • Group A
  • Group B
  • Group F
  • Also buidling exceeding 600 sq m belonging to occupancy
  • Group C
  • Group D
  • Group E
  • Group F
  • Parts 8 applies to all construction and maintenance of sewage systems and building in the vicinity.

    Parts 9 applies to all building

  • 3 or fewer storeys in building height
  • Do not exceed the 600 sq m in area per floor
  • Fire Protection, Occupancy Safety and Accessibility:

    • The first Section contains material relating to occupancy classification and the more general features of fire protection
    • Sections that follow contain specific requirements relating to building size and occupancy and fire safety within floor areas, exit requirements, requirements for service spaces and health requirements
    • specific requirements for those buildings required to be accessible to persons with physical or sensory disabilities.
    • includes requirements for the design of public pools

    Structural Design:

    • loads to be used in design calculations and the methods of design
    • regulates foundation design and construction
    • design in wood, masonry, concrete, steel, aluminum and glass.
    • design of air-supported structures, parking structures and guards over retaining walls.
    • contain only short performance requirements referring to the design methods outlined in detail in the relevant CSA standards.

    Environmental Separation:

    • includes requirements for the design of building elements to control groundwater, condensation and the penetration of wind and rain

    Heating, Ventilation and Air-Condition:

    • the safe functioning of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment installed in a building.
    • The requirements deal mainly with installation.


    • the design, construction and installation of plumbing system within properties.
    • It also addresses the required material to be certified or in compliance with a testing standard.

    Sewage System:

    • the design, construction, operation and maintenance of various class of sewage systems located within properties.
    • addresses sewage systems up to 10,000 Litres capacity serving one lot.
    • Systems larger than 10,000 litres/day and off-lot (communal) sewage systems will be regulated under the Ontario Water Resources Act, with approvals issued by the Ministry of Environment.
    • MOE will also regulate waste approvals for the hauling of sewage and land application sites under Part V of the Environmental Protection Act.

    Housing and small building:

    • the construction of houses and small buildings up to 600 le per floor and 3 storeys in height.
    • applies to all occupancies except assembly, care or detention and high hazard industrial.

    Change of Use:

    • change in major occupancy without any proposed construction to the buildings


    • renovating existing buildings, with or without changes in major occupancies of the buildings or parts of the buildings.
    • use of alternate methods of compliance to requirements contained in Parts 3, 4, 6, or 9, for all existing buildings or any major occupancies.

    Resource Conservation:

    • regulates the and enables efficency requirements and insulation in residential and non-residential building

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