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Guidelines, Policies, and Procedures Handbook 2017

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For applications made from January 1, 2017 onwards. 

A. Mandate of the Building Materials Evaluation Commission

  1. The Building Materials Evaluation Commission (“BMEC”) is a regulatory agency continued pursuant to subsection 28(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992 (“BCA").

  2. The Lieutenant Governor in Council appoints the members of the BMEC, and may designate from among the members a Chair and a Vice-Chair. Members are selected from a mix of backgrounds, so that the BMEC can address issues in a manner representative of the different regions of Ontario, sectors of the construction industry and users of BMEC authorizations. The BMEC membership may be viewed online at
    http://www.pas.gov.on.ca/scripts/en/BoardDetails.asp?boardID=902.

  3. The powers and duties of the BMEC are set out in subsection 28(4) of the BCA, which provides as follows:

    Powers and duties
    28(4) The Building Materials Evaluation Commission may,

    1. conduct research on, and examine, construction materials, systems and building designs or cause such research to be conducted and examinations to be undertaken;

    2. upon application therefor, authorize the use, subject to any conditions that may be set out, of any innovative material, system or building design in respect of the construction of building or part thereof; and

    3. make recommendations to the Minister [of Municipal Affairs] respecting changes in [the BCA] or the Building Code.

  4. Subsection 28(5) of the BCA provides that the use of an innovative material, system or building design in the manner approved by the BMEC is deemed not to be a contravention of the Building Code.

  5. The power of the BMEC under subsection 28(4)(b) of the BCA to approve the use of innovative materials, systems or building designs relates to their use in respect of the “construction” of a "building" as defined in subsection1(1) the BCA.

  6. Examples of materials, systems or building designs which might be considered "innovative" for the purposes of subsection 28(4)(b) of the BCA are ones which are not mentioned in the Building Code.

  7. Materials, systems or building designs which might not be considered "innovative" for the purposes of subsection 28(4)(b) of the BCA are those for which the Building Code provides performance standards, as these materials, systems or building designs may simply require testing according to established test standards, and not evaluation.

  8. The BMEC is not a testing organization. The BMEC encourages that the testing required in the course of evaluating an application be conducted, by third party independent laboratories recognized by BMEC, for the particular product application. Testing arrangements must be made directly by the applicant.

  9. The BMEC has been designated as an institution for the purposes of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990 c. F.31, and that statute applies to records in the custody and control of the BMEC.

  10. Administrative and technical support for the BMEC is provided by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

B. Powers of the BMEC – subsection 28(9) of the BCA

  1. The power of the BMEC to authorise the use of innovative materials, systems and building designs is subject to subsection 29(8) of the BCA, which provides as follows:

    Restriction
    29(8) If a materials evaluation body designated in the Building Code has examined or has expressed its intention to examine an innovative material, system or building design, the Building Materials Evaluation Commission shall not exercise its power under subsection 28(4) in respect of that material, system or building design.

  2. The "materials evaluation body" referred to in subsection 29(8) of the BCA is the Canadian Construction Materials Centre ("CCMC") of the National Research Council of Canada, which has been designated for this purpose in Article 2.4.1.1. of Division C of the Building Code (O. Reg. 350/06).

    1. The CCMC evaluates innovative materials, systems or building designs with respect to the performance criteria contained in the applicable Technical Guide or Evaluation Directive.

    2. A Technical Guide sets out the performance criteria and prescriptive requirements that a product must meet in order for an Evaluation Report to be issued. An Evaluation Directive prescribes existing standards and specifications that a product (e.g. doors and windows) must meet to obtain an Evaluation Listing.

    3. Evaluation Reports and Evaluation Listings specify the ways in which the products are to be used for the evaluation to be valid. Evaluation Reports apply to products for which no standard exists, whereas Evaluation Listings apply to products for which specific standards do exist.

  3. The BMEC has adopted the following policy concerning the application of s. 29 (8) of the BCA:
    The BMEC will not exercise its powers under subsection 28(4)(b) of the BCA in respect of any material, system or building design where the CCMC has prepared, or has undertaken to prepare, a Technical Guide or Evaluation Directive that is applicable to the evaluation of the material, system or building design in respect of which application to the BMEC is made.

  4. The attached table entitled BMEC – JURISDICTIONAL GUIDELINES illustrates how this policy may apply to various stages of CCMC involvement with respect to a material, system or building design for which an application is made to the BMEC.

  5. Upon receipt of an application for an authorization of the use of an innovative material, system or building design, the BMEC will contact CCMC to determine its involvement in the material, system or building design for which the application to the BMEC was made. The CCMC is subject to the Access to Information Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-1.

C. Term of Authorizations under subsection 28(4)(b) of the BCA

  1. The policy set out in sections C. 2 and 3 below applies to applications for authorizations under subsection 28(4)(b) of the BCA made after January 3, 2008.

  2. BMEC authorizations shall expire 5 years after the date on which the authorization was issued.

  3. An authorization may not be extended beyond the 5 year term set out in section C.2 above. An applicant may apply for a new authorization for a further 5 year term in accordance with Section D (a). An application for a new authorization will be evaluated by the BMEC in the same manner as an application for an initial authorization. Applicants may wish to commence applications for new authorizations in a time frame which will provide a sufficient time period for the BMEC to complete its consideration of the application prior to the expiry of the existing authorization.

D. Applications

(a) Applications for Authorizations under subsection 28(4)(b) of the BCA

  1. An applicant for an authorization under subsection 28(4)(b) of the BCA must be in a position to exercise control over the quality of the product submitted for evaluation or over its distribution in Ontario.

  2. An applicant for an authorization shall provide to the BMEC:

    1. a completed application form (available online at http://www.obc.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=13656)

    2. Canadian applicants shall submit a certified cheque, money order, or bank raft payable to the "Minister of Finance" in the sum of $9,000.00 in Canadian funds, comprising of a $10,170.00 application fee, plus 13% HST.
      International applicants shall submit a certified cheque, money order, or bank draft payable to the "Minister of Finance" in the sum of $9,000.00 Canadian funds.

    3. 19 copies of the application and supporting data.

  3. If the applicant is a corporation, the application form shall be signed by a duly authorized officer of the corporation.

  4. Applications shall be prepared using metric units. All test results and information provided by the applicant must be in metric units or show metric equivalents.

  5. The applicant must inform BMEC of any licensees or sub-manufacturers who may be granted the right to manufacture all or part of the product.

  6. Applicants will be provided with an opportunity to present an overview of the application at a BMEC meeting.

  7. The BMEC may, in the course of considering applications for an authorization,

    1. consult with research agencies, standards writing organizations, government agencies, ministries, universities, and industry about the applications,

    2. request the Building and Development Branch of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to provide technical assistance to the BMEC, or a subcommittee or standing committee, and

    3. require further information from the applicant.

(b) Applications for Amendment or Revocation of Authorizations

    1. The applicant specified in Section 1. of an authorization may request that:

      1. an amendment be made to any of the information set out in Sections 1. or 2. of the authorization,

      2. an amendment of an editorial nature be made to the authorization, or

      3. the authorization be revoked.

    2. The request shall be made in writing and be signed by a duly authorized representative of the applicant.

    1. The applicant specified in Section 1. of an authorization may request that an amendment be made to the authorization in respect of:

      1. the material, system, or building design specified in Section 3 of the Authorization;

      2. the authorization specified in Section 6. of the authorization, or

      3. the Specific Terms and Conditions specified in Section 6. A. of the authorization.

    2. An applicant requesting an amendment shall complete the BMEC’s application form and Section D (a) above (Applications for Authorizations under subsection 28(4)(b) of the BCA) applies, with necessary modifications, to the BMEC’s consideration of the application.

E. BMEC Meetings

  1. The BMEC shall meet at such times as the BMEC shall determine.

  2. BMEC meetings are held at 777 Bay Street, Toronto unless otherwise determined by the BMEC.

  3. Meetings are attended by BMEC members, its Secretary and invited parties.

F. Subcommittee and Standing Committees

  1. The BMEC may establish standing committees of its membership with assigned continuing responsibilities.

  2. The BMEC may establish subcommittees of its membership to evaluate specific applications or to perform specific tasks assigned by the BMEC.

  3. Each subcommittee or standing committee shall appoint from its members one person to serve as chair.

  4. Subcommittees and standing committees shall meet at such times and places as determined by the members. Meetings may be conducted in person or by telephone conference call.

  5. The chair or a member of a subcommittee or standing committee shall report to the BMEC.

G. Communication with the Public

  1. All inquiries from the public concerning BMEC applications, status of applications, or other administrative matters shall be directed to the Secretary.

BMEC - JURISDICTION GUIDELINES
Building Code Act, 1992, Subsection 29(8)

Status of CCMC Involvement
with Respect to a BMEC Application
BMEC Jurisdiction
(s.29(8) of BCA does not apply)
Potentially No BMEC Jurisdiction
(s.29(8) of BCA may apply)  
No BMEC Jurisdiction
(s.29(8) of BCA applies)
Notes
(1) CCMC has examined the subject material, system or building design or finalized an agreement to prepare a Technical Guide or Evaluation Directive.      X  
(2) CCMC is in the process of preparing or revising a Technical Guide or Evaluation Directive.      X  
(3) CCMC has not prepared or negotiated to prepare a Technical Guide or Evaluation Directive.  X      
(4) CCMC has an existing Technical Guide or Evaluation Directive that requires revision to ensure its purpose and scope covers the entire matter to be evaluated.    X    [1] + [3]
(5) CCMC is negotiating to prepare or revise a Technical Guide or Evaluation Directive.    X    [2] + [3]

Notes

[1]   The extent of the revision of the Technical Guide or Evaluation Directive necessary to evaluate the matter will be a factor in determining whether s.29(8) of the Building Code Act, 1992 is applicable. ^

[2]   The status of the negotiations will be a factor in determining whether s. 29(8) of the Building Code Act, 1992 is applicable (i.e. initial discussion vs. near completion). ^

[3]   The fact that the purpose of a proposed Application to the BMEC is to satisfy a regulatory requirement exclusively identified in the Ontario Building Code may be a relevant factor. ^