OFA provided the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Canadian Board for Harmonized Construction Codes with comments on the proposed change to the 2025 National Construction Codes relating to Farm Buildings
OFA generally supports the proposed change to the 2025 National Construction Codes (NCC) relating to Farm Buildings and recognizes that clarity and consistent interpretation and application of construction and building requirements are paramount to a thriving agri-food sector in Ontario.
OFA understands the need to address safety precautions within farm buildings and how both maximum sill heights and appropriate footholds will ensure increased safety in emergency situations. However, we request that livestock commodity groups such as Dairy Farmers of Ontario and Beef Farmers of Ontario are specifically consulted to ensure this change does not conflict with their operations.
OFA understands that this proposed change would apply to new construction and be enforced using the existing regulatory framework. While authorities having jurisdiction are familiar with this requirement already in force for other types of buildings, the proposed change will be new to those involved with the design, construction and operation of farm buildings. Additionally, OFA members often struggle with inconsistent interpretation and application of OBC conditions at the municipal level. We ask that there be plain and marked indication of these requirements such that those affected are sufficiently informed prior to a building’s construction. OFA would be amenable to the development of a factsheet or guidance document to assist building owners’ understanding of these changes and requirements moving forward and would welcome the opportunity to assist in its development.
OFA looks forward to working with the provincial government and other relevant stakeholders to update and improve the National Construction Codes regarding health and safety and the protection of farm structures.
Previous related OFA submissions: