Building Codes in Canada and the US are considered model codes. When a level of government adopts them, as written or modified, that code becomes the legal requirement for construction within that jurisdiction.
Building codes reference standards that materials and systems are required to meet. For example, building codes do not tell you how to test EIFS; they require that you follow ULC S716.1, Exterior Installation and Finish Systems (EIFS) –Materials and Systems, which describes in detail how to test and evaluate EIFS.
Testing to the standard is not the only requirement. A system supplier must be able to produce documentation from a recognized evaluation agency stating that the materials and assemblies were tested and do comply with code.
In Canada, EIFS are evaluated by the Canadian Construction Materials Centre to the Technical Guide for EIFS and ULC S716.1. Based on their evaluation, CCMC will provide an opinion that the materials evaluated meet Canadian Code requirements. CCMC was established to allow innovative materials and assemblies become available in the Canadian market ahead of the code recognition. Up until a year ago, no code in Canada referenced EIFS or EIFS standards so the system was considered “innovative”. CCMC developed a Technical Guide to evaluate EIFS and since that time millions of square metres of evaluated EIFS have been installed.
In the last 5 years three new EIFS standards have been introduced in Canada and will be included in the next edition of the National Building Code of Canada. So far, only Ontario has modified the Ontario Building Code to include the EIFS Standards. Since that leaves most provinces relying on CCMC evaluations until they update their codes, CCMC evaluates EIFS to both the CCMC Technical Guide and ULC S716.1 standard to ensure evaluations remain valid during the code change.
For a specifier of EIFS or a code official deciding accepting an EIFS installation, how can be they certain that the combination of materials proposed for a project is compliant ? John R.S Edgar Consulting Inc. knows the systems, materials and requirements and will provide advice on the acceptability of a system for a particular purpose.