The Ontario Building Code and Climate Change
By strengthening Ontario’s Building Code (OBC), the province could adopt measures that would help with both climate change mitigation and adaptation. For example, the OBC sets standards for insulation and energy efficiency in new homes – higher energy efficiency can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The OBC could also advance building practices that could better deal with heat stress and drainage of precipitation. Such practices would constitute adaptation measures.
The OBC was under revision in 2006, but the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing posted only that part of the regulation that is prescribed under the EBR (dealing with septic systems) as a proposal on the Registry. For the rest of the revisions, MAH undertook its own separate consultation, partly Web-based. This is confusing to the public and limits the review powers of the ECO regarding changes to the OBC. The OBC should be recognized as a key tool for climate mitigation and adaptation and should be prescribed for Registry notices and for EBR applications for review. Also, prescribing the OBC would allow members of the public to suggest better building practices on an ongoing basis, keeping the code responsive to the changing climate.
|This is an article from the 2005/06 Annual Report to the Legislature from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.|
Citing This Article:
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. 2006. "Adapting to a Changing Climate – Neglecting Our Basic Obligations?." Neglecting our Obligations, ECO Annual Report, 2005-06. Toronto, ON : Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. 62.