Building Envelope Requirement Upgrades in Alberta
The government of Alberta has committed to ensuring greater safety to the residents of Alberta by supporting continual improvements in the residential construction industry to provide better safety standards for the homes being built.
The Alberta government has proposed changes to improve building standard quality to protect home buyers and hold builders more accountable for the product they provide. These changes include:
- Fines and limitations. The proposed change would bring charges for building code offences to be increased from 6 months to 3 years – it also proposed to increase fines for offences: up to $100,000 for first time offences; and up to $500,000 for subsequent offences.
- Warranties. The government proposed to make new home warranties mandatory, following a framework they developed in conjunction with key stakeholders.
Additional activities by the government included reviews of Alberta’s Safety Codes Act, the Safety Codes Council's review of Alberta's inspection system, and building envelope training for all building Safety Codes Officers in the province.
The goal of this initiative by the Alberta government is a way to protect consumers and ensure responsibility in the construction industry, without negatively affecting home prices or builders who follow code.
These changes come as an answer to the recent housing boom, during which the department of Municipal Affairs received numerous complaints from new home owners concerned by the lack of quality present in their newly built homes. A survey was run to get a better idea of the quality of homes being constructed in the city of Calgary: of all 20 residences sampled, none of them were found to be compliant with Alberta Building Code.