Report from Our Sub-councils: Q1 2022

Our sub-councils continue to meet via web conference to discuss the issues of importance to Alberta’s safety codes system.

Pressure Equipment Sub-Council

  • Members reviewed three STANDATA issued jointly by the Provincial Plumbing Administrator and Provincial Pressure Equipment Administrator that aim to bring clarity to the distinction between the gas and pressure equipment disciplines. Specific feedback was given to the administrators and no significant issues were found.
  • Moved to support the automatic adoption of the 2021 edition of ASME Sections I and IV as issued.
  • Moved to suggest to ABSA the review and updating of a number of IB documents to ensure they reflect current code requirements and industry practices.

Building Sub-Council

  • Discussion was held about the energy efficiency code tiers expected in the 2020 NBC based on a presentation received at the last meeting.
    • The Tiered Energy Codes Working Group was formed to develop recommendations on the implementation of energy tiers.
    • Industry education and awareness were highlighted as crucial elements to successful implementation.
    • A “roadmap” of the implementation of higher tiers, and the resources and supports that would need to be in place, was suggested as a way to plan in advance so that industry has the time and resources to prepare for each tier.
  • Moved to support issuance of a number of STANDATA, including ones pertaining to:
    • off-site review of buildings,
    • insulation for flat or cathedral roofs serving residential garages,
    • a variance allowing unvented roof assemblies,
  • The Safety Codes Council received a request from the Minister to provide specific input on adoption and implementation of tiered energy codes and large farm structures.
    • The Tiered Energy Code working group was tasked with giving feedback specific to this request.
    • The Large Farm Structures Joint working group was formed with FSC to provide a recommendation about whether farm buildings should be included in the Alberta versions of the 2020 National Building and Fire Codes, taking into consideration what impacts would be felt beyond the safety system within the agricultural sector.

Fire Sub-Council

  • Work continues to identify Alberta-specific variations to prioritize for focused review, with the goals of harmonization with the national code or development of code change requests to the national code.
    • Key items being reviewed are relocatable structures, tire issues, Part 6, and items in Part 4.
  • Moved to participate in the Large Farm Structures Joint Working Group with BSC.

Electrical Utilities Sub-Council

  • Unfinished items from the AEUC working group were reviewed and assigned to the 2022 AEUC Development Working Group.

Gas Sub-Council

  • A possible rewording of the definition of ‘single family dwelling’ in the Permit Regulation will be put forward to the other pertinent sub-councils for their review and consideration.
  • Gas Fitter Trade Scope for Process Fired Equipment was discussed.

Electrical Sub-Council

  • A presentation regarding confusion in the industry about code requirements for decorative soffit lighting was given by a member of industry.
    • A working group was formed to explore low and extra low voltage lighting and the approval and permitting thereof, as well as how a consumer can report issues on this topic.
  • A letter will be drafted to the manufacturer of mast couplers to request the rationale surrounding the note in the installation guide that exempts use in Alberta while it’s approved for other provinces.
  • BILD Alberta submitted a letter asking for feedback on the need from 200-amp servicing on residential lots. There was general agreement that there is a need for increased residential service capacity and this issue will be passed along to the Electrical Utilities Sub-Council.
  • Work is underway to develop a code change request to Part 1 CE Code regarding the colour coding of conductors and when orange/brown/yellow conductors should be used versus red/blue/black conductors.

Private Sewage Sub-Council

  • This newly-created sub-council recently met for the first time, and members were provided an orientation to the Council and its role in the Alberta’s safety codes system.

Plumbing Sub-Council

  • Review continued on the Permit Regulation, including discussion on potential removal of the permit exemption for water and sewer installation.
  • Items from the action list specific to private sewage disposal systems were identified to be passed along to the Private Sewage Sub-Council.
  • Al Steenbergen volunteered to be the primary liaison to the Private Sewage Sub-Council.

Barrier Free Sub-Council

  • Items were identified for which the sub-council will develop policy recommendations. These will be shared with the Building Sub Council for their technical input and possible code change recommendations for the upcoming edition of the NBC(AE).

Amusement Rides Sub-Council

  • Inflatable Amusement Rides Devices information bulletin was reviewed and discussion was held around the fatal incident involving an inflatable device in Tasmania. It was noted that the standard for inflatables that is adopted in Alberta has evolved over the last five years as Alberta’s regulatory requirements around inflatables has increased. While it is difficult to fully eliminate all hazards that come with inflatable amusement rides, industry, including Municipal Affairs, AEDARSA and regulatory bodies, is continually working to find ways to increase safety.