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Blueprint #4

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Dear OBOA Members:

Happy New Year to OBOA members and key stakeholders!  We hope that 2015 provides the opportunity for learning and growth.  Several different new years are also celebrated by diverse societies and cultures in 2015 using different calendars than the Gregorian.  As examples, the Chinese New Year, as the “Year of the Goat”, will be celebrated on February 19, in the year 4712; Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, will be celebrated September 13, in the year 5776; and the Islamic New Year will be celebrated on October 13-15 in the year 1437 AH.

This is a time for professional building officials to insert the approximately five hundred (500) amendment pages into their copy of the 2012 Building Code.  This Blueprint is intended to issue that advice and to provide clarification on other relevant events, to help prepare for the upcoming year.  

Topics Include

1. OBOA-Owned Training & Professional Development Update

Members should recall the announcement and commitment that “OBOA will continue its investment in training to advance the profession of building regulators and offer the best and up-to-date training for our members” at the 2014 AMTS (Niagara Falls). Specifically, we will develop a suite of technical training courses (Part 3, 8, 9 & 10/11).  Additionally, we are creating related online training of particular benefit to members in rural and northern communities, through conversion of classroom courses. Also, OBOA will convert the Small Buildings 2012 course to the National Building Code platform to serve as an educational product for ACBOA members across Canada.

For more details, please read the full text of an earlier communication to members at the following link, (http://www.oboa.on.ca/bulletin/archive/bulletin7/index.html).

The Co-Chairs of Education & Training, Matt Farrell and Grant Brouwer, have solicited volunteers to serve on various committees to support the training initiatives.  The OBOA is quickly building a full suite of training courses for our members and non-members, and this certainly is a very exciting time.  Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) have been selected to develop the first group of courses.  By this spring, two Part 9 and two Part 3 detailed technical courses will be available through the OBOA training calendar. Please continue to check the OBOA website and consider taking the new courses wherever they are offered. The first three online training courses – House 2012, HVAC House 2012, and Building Officials & the Law - will also be available in the spring as well.  Lastly, the National Building Code of Canada Small Buildings 2010 is to be delivered in February to western Canadian building officials by the Saskatchewan Building Officials Association.   Four additional detailed technical courses – one in each of Part 3, 8, 9 and 10/11 – will be available by September.  Thus, OBOA will have a suite of almost 24 courses by September, in time for a full training fall season at OBOA Head Office, Chapters, Municipalities, Community Colleges, and online!

The above deliverables clearly demonstrate that OBOA is moving and changing to meet the needs of our members and that of our partners!  Thank you to all of our supporters, inside and outside OBOA, who are assisting in meeting these goals.

2. 2012 OBC Amendment Package O. Reg 191/14

Building officials should have two (2) packages of inserts with an effective date of January 1, 2015.  The first package formed part of a previous amendment package.  The second package is O. Reg. 191/14.  Some municipalities report that the latter amendment package arrived via courier on December 30. The O. Reg 191/14 amendment is nominally focused on the new mid-rise construction requirements (wood frame up to six storeys), though readers may notice that the amendments are NOT limited to mid-rise topics only.  MMAH included other amendments without advising OBOA, or flagging this fact in the preface to the amendment package.   The OBC writers included other changes such as:

  • Reversing the clarification on demolition permits related to farm properties and their buildings; and,
  • More barrier free accessible changes. Possibly these are tweaks to previously-issued pages.

OBOA highly recommends that, going forward, building regulators do a better job of highlighting changes, and communicating them earlier, so municipalities can prepare to enforce.  This last minute handoff is typical, but poor practice.  Municipalities need time to understand the intent, details and delivery implications of amendments.  To minimize risk and exposure to claims, a helpful tip for Chief Building Officials may be to add a note on each issued building permit clarifying both the applicable OBC edition and amendment that applies, for the benefit of applicants and inspectors.

3. More MMAH Changes

The MMAH is not sitting still and changes are occurring, again.  To assist our members, attached is a breakdown of some:

  • In October 2014, MMAH announced all BCIN exams will be administered by Humber College. This is a change for designers and building officials because, historically, exams were administered by MMAH. The cost of writing has been raised to $150.  Exams are now electronic (no paper copy).  For complete details, read more via Ontario CodeNews #233.  To avoid the need to re-write a BCIN exam, we highly recommend Building Code training before the exam. For more information, check out the Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA) website at www.oboa.on.ca and search the training tab.  Another option is to purchase the self-study manual from OBOA.
  • In December 2014, Ontario CodeNews #235 stated BCIN holders will be subject to annualized registrations. This is brand NEW for building official BCIN holders!  The annual registration fee (2015 rate is $105) applies and the fee is due before March 31, 2015.  The MMAH website will be revised shortly with more information on processing, payment, etc.  OBOA has learned that paying via credit card is one new option.  Also, contrary to the announcement of the changes, a municipal cheque for the registration fee does NOT have to be certified.  We remind members that OBOA was the only Association to lobby MMAH forcefully about the negative consequences of this policy.
  • The new mid-rise construction (up to 6 storeys) requirements and enhanced barrier free accessible requirements including Part 11 changes that are now in effect are being communicated more effectively.   Through a partnership with MMAH, two (2) slide decks on the changes to barrier free accessibility and new mid-rise requirements are available for FREE on the OBOA website.   These are great tools to use to educate yourself and others at Council meetings, Chapter events, or in the office.
  • Check out the OBOA website regularly for more information, under Announcements.  

A thank you is extended to our MMAH partner for sharing the two slide decks. Also another thank you is extended to Steven Street, Wood Works, for being a helpful resource on the mid-rise changes.

4. New OBOA Board Appointment

At the December 2014 Board meeting, Gerald Moore, City of Guelph municipal building official, was appointed to the OBOA Board of Directors as a Director-at-Large for a two-year period. The vacancy in Region F (GTA Chapter) following the recent election required the position to be filled with an experienced professional that can assist with delivering the Strategic Plan.  Gerald has the necessary skills and experience as a former Chief Building Official, Chapter Chair, and facilitator of a number of OBOA training courses.  Please join us in welcoming Gerald to the OBOA board.  He can be reached at Gerald.Moore@guelph.ca.

If you have comments, questions or suggestions, please contact Aubrey or Mike directly.  Until next time.

This concludes the OBOA updates on a number of important projects that the OBOA Board of Directors and CAO are following.  If there are additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact either of us directly.

We look forward to our next communication.

Best Regards,

200 Marycroft Avenue, Unit 8, Woodbridge, ON L4L 5X4
Tel: (905) 264-1662, Fax: (905) 264-8696, Website: www.oboa.on.ca, E-mail: info@ oboa.on.ca