Report from Our Sub-councils: Q4 2021

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

Electrical Sub-Council

  • MOTION CARRIED to support issuance of a Variance STANDATA regarding Rule 18-150 2) to correct an unintended consequence of the 2021 CE Code not including some equipment that is commonly used in Zone 2 and Division 2 locations.
  • MOTION CARRIED to form a working group to discuss the colour coding of conductors as defined in the CE Code Sections 4 and 24, and review legacy installations related to this.
  • MOTION CARRIED to forward the results of the 2021 CE Code Review to Municipal Affairs for possible creation of STANDATA.
  • Discussion continued about rounding numbers as it relates to CE Code 08-100 Current Calculations. The Provincial Electrical Administrator will raise this topic with the CSA Section 8 Committee.
  • A discussion was held regarding insurance companies’ reluctance to insure homes with aluminum wiring. Members will gather input from their industry segments for further discussion at a future meeting.
  • The Administrator reported on instances of a municipal utility requesting that homeowners take measures that go above and beyond code requirements (for example, a different conductor size than the code specifies). These items are on the consumer side of the demarcation point. This topic will be discussed further at a future meeting.

Elevators Sub-Council

  • Continued work on escalator and elevator safety awareness for the general public, including why it’s unsafe to use stopped escalators as stairs.
  • Received an update that the draft amendments to the Elevating Devices Codes Regulation are progressing through the approval process and while there are no firm timelines, it is anticipated to be issued by the end of 2021.

Gas Sub-Council

  • MOTION CARRIED to forward a code change request regarding cylinders below grade at construction sites to the CSA B149.2 Code Committee.
  • MOTION CARRIED to suggest creation of a STANDATA about Bonding Requirements in CSA B149.1-20.
  • Received a presentation from ATCO about their hydrogen blending pilot project that will begin in 2022.
  • MOTION CARRIED to support adoption of CSA B109.1 and CSA B109.2 as published.
  • Discussion continues about proposed changes to the definition of “single family dwelling” within the Permit Regulation. A final proposed definition will be brought to the next meeting for potential recommendation.

Barrier Free Sub-Council

  • MOTION CARRIED to submit proposed revisions to the upcoming edition of the NBC(AE) regarding accessibility provisions that present conflicts with the safety and accessibility needs of seniors.
  • Two active working groups (Technical and Awareness) continue to investigate initiatives such as door protection, curb cut issues, and adding accessibility information to MLS listings for homes.
  • The Technical working group continues to investigate issues such as curb cuts and door closures in communal/congregate living facilities. Issues with adaptable dwelling units will be discussed shortly.
  • The Awareness working group continues to develop a condensed checklist based on the Barrier Free Design Guide of the most commonly missed accessibility provisions, and is investigating having accessibility information added to MLS listings of homes for sale.

Plumbing Sub-Council

  • MOTION CARRIED to recommend to Municipal Affairs to keep the Combination Heating STANDATA; a revised draft will be reviewed at a future meeting.
  • MOTION CARRIED to recommend amendments to the Private Sewage Sub-Council matrix to include one seat for Rural Municipalities and one seat for Urban Municipalities.
  • Discussion was held on potential recommendations on amendments to the Permit Regulation and members were asked to gather input from their industry segments for further discussion.
  • Discussion continues of potential recommended changes to the Permit Regulation; this topic will be discussed further at a future meeting.
  • Issues arising from shortages of plastic pipe and other components was discussed. This is causing the use of other materials and intermixing of products, which is creating challenges for some AHJs.
  • Review of the final three-column document of the NPC 2020 will begin soon. The NPC 2020 is expected to be published in early 2022.

Pressure Equipment Sub-Council

  • MOTION CARRIED to support the adoption of ASME Boilers and Pressure Vessels Code Section XIII in its entirety. This section was newly published in July 2021 and primarily consists of provisions moved from other sections. As it is a section of the ASME Boilers and Pressure Vessels Code, it is subject to timely code adoption.
  • MOTIONS CARRIED to support the automatic adoption of ASME Section VIII Divisions 1 and 2.
  • MOTIONS CARRIED to support the automatic adoption of ASME B31.3 and to suggest that ABSA issue a document to raise awareness among industry about changes in this edition.
  • Presentation from Izak Roux regarding industry’s desire for regulatory streamlining and increased efficiency in the pressure equipment industry, focusing on the results of a survey of IPEIA members.

Electrical Utilities Sub-Council

  • All members were new as this was the EUSC’s first meeting
  • Members were provided an orientation to the Council and its role in Alberta’s safety codes system.
  • MOTION CARRIED to form a working group to complete development of the 2022 edition of the Alberta Electrical Utility Code
    • The first draft of the full code is expected to be complete by the next EUSC meeting on January 27, 2022.

Building Sub-Council

  • MOTION CARRIED to support issuance of the NECB 2017 Exemptions for the Oil and Gas Industrial Buildings STANDATA with comments.
  • MOTION CARRIED request a revised STANDATA regarding Off-Site Review of Buildings used at Oil and Gas Facilities that considers the sub-council’s comments, which include proposing a more general application not specific to one industry.
  • Presentation from BILD Alberta and CHBA-National regarding their concerns with the tiered energy code that’s expected in the upcoming edition of the National Building Code. The BSC will continue to discuss this topic at a future meeting.
  • MOTION CARRIED to form a working group to investigate external non-combustible insulation with regard to limiting distances. FSC will be invited to participate as a joint working group.
  • Presentation regarding unvented attic assemblies with regards to the possible creation of a generic system for spray foam insulation that may be acceptable as an alternative solution.

Fire Sub-Council

  • MOTION CARRIED to form a joint working group with BSC about external insulation regarding possible conflicts with external insulation and Code requirements for spatial separations (see BSC).
  • MOTION CARRIED to form a joint working group with BSC about shipping containers being used as buildings and when they would be subject to building and fire codes (see Q3 2021 BSC report).