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CHAPTER 46

OF THE

REVISED STATUTES, 1989

amended 1990, c. 19, s. 35; 1994-95, c. 7, s. 2; 1998, c. 18, s. 550;
2005, c. 47

NOTE - This electronic version of this statute is provided by the Office of the Legislative Counsel for your convenience and personal use only and may not be copied for the purpose of resale in this or any other form. Formatting of this electronic version may differ from the official, printed version. Where accuracy is critical, please consult official sources.

An Act to Adopt and Implement a
Building Code for the Province

รวมเกมส์Short title

1 This Act may be cited as the Building Code Act. R.S., c. 46, s. 1.

Interpretation

2 In this Act,

(a) "architect" means a member or licensee of the Nova Scotia Association of Architects;

(b) "building" means a building as defined from time to time by the Building Code;

(c) "Building Code" means the regulations made pursuant to Section 4;

(ca) "building official" means a person appointed as a building official under Section 5;

(d) "clerk" means the clerk of a municipality;

(e) "Committee" means the Nova Scotia Building Advisory Committee established by this Act;

(f) "construct" means to do anything in the erection, installation, extension, relocation, material alteration or material repair of a building and includes the installation of a factory-made building fabricated or moved from elsewhere;

(g) "council" means the council of a municipality;

(h) "demolition" means the doing of anything in the removal of a building or any material part thereof;

(i) repealed 2005, c. 47, s. 1.

(j) "Minister" means the Minister of Environment and Labour or the Minister responsible for the Building Code Act;

(k) "municipality" means a city, an incorporated town or a municipality of a county or district;

(l) "National Building Code of Canada" means the National Building Code issued by the National Research Council;

(m) "National Research Council" means the Associate Committee on the National Building Code of the National Research Council of Canada;

(n) "occupancy" or "class of occupancy" means the use or intended use of a building, as defined in the Building Code;

(o) "owner" includes a person controlling the property under consideration, and also includes prima facie the assessed owner of the property whose name appears on the assessment roll prepared in accordance with the Assessment Act;

(p) "permit" means a permit issued pursuant to this Act;

(q) "professional engineer" means a member or licensee of the Association of Professional Engineers of the Province of Nova Scotia;

(r) "regulations" includes by-laws. R.S., c. 46, s. 2; 2005, c. 47, s. 1.

Application

3 This Act applies to the construction or demolition of a building on and after the first day of April, 1987. R.S., c. 46, s. 3.

Adoption of Building Code

4 (1) The Minister may make such regulations as are considered necessary or advisable for the purpose of establishing a Building Code governing minimum standards for the construction and demolition of buildings and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may make regulations

(a) adopting by reference the National Building Code of Canada 1985 or any change thereto or any other code or requirement issued by the National Research Council, or any change thereto, in whole or in part with such modifications and additions as may be specified in the regulations, and requiring compliance with it as adopted;

(b) applying any or all the regulations to particular classes of buildings;

(c) requiring the approval of an [a] building official in respect of any method or matter of construction or demolition;

(d) requiring notice to be given to an [a] building official respecting

(e) requiring the transmission of reports and reviews to the building official;

(f) requiring the making of tests, inspections or surveys necessary to prove compliance with the regulations;

(g) requiring the remedying of an unsafe condition;

(h) requiring that any part of the design, construction or demolition of a building be under the review of an architect, interior designer or engineer;

(ha) respecting the qualifications required for a building official to inspect a class of buildings;

(hb) prescribing the board, organization or institution from which a building official must have obtained his or her training or certification;

(hc) respecting the requirement for accreditation of a training or certification program for a building official;

(hd) respecting the qualifications required for members of the Committee;

(i) respecting any other matter necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.

(2) Upon the recommendation of the council of a municipality, the Minister may, by regulation, prescribe additional standards applicable to the construction or demolition of buildings in that municipality, where such standards are more stringent than the standards in the Building Code or relate to matters not regulated by the Building Code.

(3) The exercise by the Minister of the authority contained in subsections (1) and (2) shall be regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.

(4) At least forty-five days before prescribing regulations or amendments thereto under this Section, the Minister shall

(a) give written notice of the Minister's intention to each council affected by the proposed regulations; and

(b) give public notice of the Minister's intention by advertisement in a newspaper circulating in the municipalities affected, which notice shall state

(5) Copies of any regulations made pursuant to this Section shall be mailed to the clerk of every municipality. R.S., c. 46, s. 4; 1998, c. 18, s. 550; 2005, c. 47, ss. 2, 12.

Administration and enforcement of Act in municipality

5 (1) The council of a municipality is responsible for the administration and enforcement of this Act in the municipality.

(2) An [A] building official or building officials shall be appointed by each council to administer and enforce this Act in the municipality.

(3) The council of a municipality may enter into an agreement with another council or regional organization providing for the administration and enforcement of this Act in the municipality either in total or in respect of specific classes of buildings, and while the agreement is in effect the building officials of the municipality or regional organization designated to administer and enforce this Act have jurisdiction to do so in the municipality.

(4) The clerk of the municipality or the secretary of the regional organization shall issue a certificate of appointment bearing that person's signature or a facsimile thereof to each building official appointed by the municipality or regional organization who shall produce the certificate when requested to do so while in the performance of the inspector's [building official's] duties.

(5) Where an enactment requires that any action taken in a court of law be taken in the name of the municipality, any actions required to be taken with respect to the enforcement of this Act shall be taken in the name of the municipality in which the property is located, but an agreement entered into between two or more municipalities or between a municipality and a regional organization pursuant to subsection (3) may provide that the authority to carry on actions or any class of actions may be delegated to a person or a regional organization, and in such cases the approval of the council of the municipality for each action shall not be required. R.S., c. 46, s. 5; 2005, c. 47, s. 12.

6 repealed 1994-95, c. 7, s. 2.

รวมเกมส์Municipal by-laws

7 (1) The council of the municipality may pass by-laws not inconsistent with this Act or the regulations made by the Minister

(a) prescribing permits or classes of permits for the purpose of this Act and the regulations including permits in respect of construction or demolition or any stage thereof, and for occupancy and change of occupancy of a building;

(b) providing for applications for permits and requiring the applications to be accompanied by such plans, specifications, documents and other information as is prescribed;

(c) requiring the payment of fees on applications for and issuance of permits and prescribing the amounts thereof;

(d) providing for the refunding of fees under such circumstances as are prescribed;

(e) providing for the inspection of construction or demolition;

(f) prescribing the time within which notices required by the regulations must be given to an [a] building official;

(g) prescribing an expiry date for construction or demolition permits.

(2) A by-law passed pursuant to this Section does not require the approval of the Minister but when a by-law is published, the clerk shall file a certified copy of the by-law with the Minister. R.S., c. 46, s. 7; 1998, c. 18, s. 550; 2005, c. 47, s. 3.

Prohibitions

8 No person shall

(a) construct or demolish a building to which this Act applies; or

(b) occupy or change the class of occupancy of a building to which this Act applies,

except in accordance with this Act or the regulations and unless a permit therefor has been issued by an [a] building official and the permit is in force. R.S, c. 46, s. 8; 2005, c. 47, s. 12.

Issue of permits

9 (1) The building official shall issue a permit pursuant to Section 8 except where

(a) the proposed building or the proposed construction or demolition will not comply with an Act or a regulation or by-law made pursuant to this Act or Parts VIII or IX of the Municipal Government Act; or

(b) the application therefor is incomplete or any fees due are unpaid.

(2) An applicant for a permit shall inform the building official of any change in any information contained in the application.

(3) An [A] building official may revoke a permit

(a) where it was issued on mistaken or false information;

(b) where, after twelve months after its issuance, the construction or demolition in respect of which it was issued has not been seriously commenced; or

(c) where the construction or demolition of the building is substantially suspended or discontinued for more than twelve months.

(4) An [A] building official shall not revoke a permit pursuant to subsection (3) until he has given written notice of his intention to do so to the permit holder and the owner of the building, if the owner is not the permit holder, at least thirty days prior to the proposed date of revocation.

(5) Any decision to refuse a permit or to revoke a permit and the reasons therefor shall be communicated in writing to the permit holder or the owner. R.S., c. 46, s. 9; 1998, c. 18, s. 550; 2005, c. 47, s. 12.

Entry by building official

10 (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), an [a] building official may, for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the provisions of this Act or the Building Code, enter in or upon any land or premises at any reasonable time without a warrant.

(2) An [A] building official shall not enter any room or place actually being used as a dwelling without the consent of the occupier unless the entry is made during daylight hours and written notice of the time of the entry has been given to the occupier at least twenty-four hours in advance.

(3) If a person refuses to allow an [a] building official to exercise or attempts to interfere or interferes with an [a] building official in the exercise of a power described in this Act, the municipality on whose behalf the building official is acting may apply to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for an order to allow the building official entry to the building and an order restraining a person from further interference. R.S., c. 46, s. 10; 2005, c. 47, ss. 4, 12.

Powers of building official

11 (1) For the purposes of an inspection pursuant to Section 10, the building official may

(a) require the production of the drawings and specifications of the building or any part thereof that are in the possession of the owner, the permit holder, if the permit holder is not the owner, or agent of the owner;

(b) be accompanied by any person who has a special or expert knowledge of any matter in relation to a building or part thereof;

(c) alone or in conjunction with such other person or persons possessing special or expert knowledge, make such examinations, tests, inquiries or, subject to subsections (2) and (3), take such samples or photographs as are necessary for the purposes of the inspection;

(d) order any person responsible for the construction to take and supply at his own expense such tests and samples as are specified in the order.

(2) Where an [a] building official takes a sample pursuant to clause (c) of subsection (1), the building official shall divide the sample into two parts and deliver one part to the owner, the permit holder, if the permit holder is not the owner, or agent of the owner, as the case may be, if any of them so requests at the time the sample is taken, and the necessary facilities are provided.

(3) Where an [a] building official takes a sample pursuant to clause (c) of subsection (1) and has not divided the sample into two parts, a copy of any report on the sample shall be given to the owner or his agent, or the permit holder, if the permit holder is not the owner, as the case may be. R.S., c. 46, s. 11; 2005, c. 47, s. 12.

Order to comply

12 (1) Where an [a] building official finds that any provision of this Act or the Building Code is being contravened or where an [a] building official has given notice of intention to revoke a permit, the building official may give to the person whom the building official believes to be the contravener and the owner, if not the contravener, an order in writing directing compliance with such provision and may require the order to be carried out forthwith or within such reasonable time as the building official specifies.

(2) Where an [a] building official gives an order pursuant to this Section, the order shall contain sufficient information to specify the nature of the contravention and its location.

(3) Where an [a] building official gives an order pursuant to this Section, the building official may affix a copy thereof to the site of the construction or demolition, and no person, except an [a] building official, shall remove such copy unless authorized in writing by the building official.

(4) Except where an order given pursuant to subsection (1) is an order that the construction or demolition cease, where an order of an [a] building official made pursuant to this Section is not complied with within the time specified therein or, where no time is specified, within a reasonable time in the circumstances, the building official may order that all or any part of the construction or demolition cease and such order shall be served on the permit holder, the owner if the owner is not the permit holder and on such other persons affected thereby as the building official specifies.

(5) An order made pursuant to subsection (4) shall be posted on the site of the construction or demolition and no person except an [a] building official shall remove such copy unless authorized in writing by an [a] building official.

(6) Where an order to cease construction or demolition is made pursuant to subsection (4), no person shall perform any act in respect of the construction or demolition of the building in respect of which the order is made other than

(a) such work as is necessary to carry out any other order of the building official made pursuant to this Section; or

(b) such work as is necessary to make the site of the construction or demolition safe. R.S., c. 46, s. 12; 2005, c. 47, s. 12.

Nova Scotia Building Advisory Committee

13 (1) There is hereby established a Nova Scotia Building Advisory Committee.

(2) The Minister may appoint to the Committee such number of members as the Minister determines for such terms as may be specified in the appointments.

(3) repealed 2005, c. 47, s. 5.

(4) The Minister may prescribe the remuneration to be paid to members of the Committee who are not employees of Her Majesty in right of the Province.

(5) The Minister may designate from among the members of the Committee a Chair and a Vice-chair.

(6) A majority of the members of the Committee constitutes a quorum. R.S., c. 46, s. 13; 2005, c. 47, s. 5.

Functions of Committee

14 The Committee shall

(a) provide the Minister with such advice and assistance concerning this Act and the regulations as the Minister may from time to time require;

(b) provide a liaison between the Minister and the National Research Council, or any other persons or bodies interested in construction standards;

(c) hear appeals as provided by Section 15;

(d) respond to a matter referred to it by a judge [court] pursuant to Section 16;

(e) perform the duties and functions assigned to it by the Minister. R.S., c. 46, s. 14.

Ruling on dispute

15 (1) Where a dispute arises between an owner of a building or the owner's agent and an [a] building official respecting the technical requirements of the Building Code or the sufficiency of compliance with such requirements, or respecting an order made by the building official pursuant to Section 12, the owner or the owner's agent may make an application to the Committee for a ruling on the subject-matter of the dispute.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the agent of the owner includes any person employed by the owner in the design or construction of the building.

(3) An applicant for a ruling shall cause notice of the application to be served on the building official.

(4) The Committee may, with the approval of the Minister, establish the procedure to be followed before it in resolving a dispute, which may consist of the presentation of

(a) written submissions;

(b) oral submissions; or

(c) a combination of written and oral submissions,

and the examination of witnesses on oath or affirmation.

(5) The parties to a dispute may agree upon the procedure to be followed by the Committee in the consideration of a particular question from among the procedures approved pursuant to subsection (4) but, in the absence of such agreement, the Committee shall decide which procedure will best permit the resolution of the dispute in the shortest practical time.

(6) The Committee may seek advice from such experts in the matter under consideration as it may deem advisable, but no decision shall be made until the parties to the dispute have received any report received by the Committee pursuant to this subsection and have responded to it.

(7) A member of the Committee shall not participate in a decision of the Committee pursuant to this Section where there is a hearing unless that member is present throughout the hearing and hears the submissions of the parties.

(8) No member of the Committee shall participate in the making of a decision pursuant to this Section where the member has an interest in or has previously considered the subject-matter of the dispute.

(9) The Chairman [Chair] may designate the members of the Committee who will consider an application for a ruling and, where the Chairman [Chair] is not one of the members so designated, the member who shall preside at any meeting of or hearing held by the members so designated.

(10) The Chairman [Chair] may, pursuant to subsection (9), designate fewer members of the Committee than a quorum thereof.

(11) Notwithstanding subsections (9) and (10), an application shall be considered by at least three members of the Committee.

(12) A decision of the members designated pursuant to subsection (9) is a decision of the Committee.

(13) A decision of the Committee pursuant to this Section shall be in writing although, where time constraints warrant, an oral decision may precede a written one.

(14) A decision of the Committee pursuant to this Section shall either confirm the interpretation of the building official or shall be substituted for the interpretation of the building official and an order of the building official which is the subject-matter of the appeal shall remain in force until the Committee has rendered a decision. R.S., c. 46, s. 15; 2005, c. 47, s. 12.

Appeal to Supreme Court

16 (1) Any person who is adversely affected by an order given or decision made by an [a] building official under this Act, or by a decision of the Committee may, within thirty days after the order or decision is made, apply to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for a hearing and appeal.

(2) Where an application is made pursuant to this Section in respect of a matter in which a question is pending before the Committee, the proceeding before the Committee is terminated.

(3) Where an application is made to the court for a hearing pursuant to subsection (1), the court shall appoint a time for and hold a hearing within thirty days after the application is made and may rescind or affirm the order or decision of the building official or the Committee, or take such action as the court considers the building official ought to take in accordance with this Act and the regulations, and for such purposes the court may substitute its opinion for that of the building official or the Committee.

(4) The court may refer a question respecting the technical requirements of the Building Code or the sufficiency of compliance with such technical requirements to the Committee for a determination, and the procedure before or the composition of the Committee shall be determined pursuant to Section 15, following which the Committee shall report to the court.

(5) The court to whom [which] application is made for a hearing pursuant to subsection (1) may extend the time for making an application either before or after the time fixed therein, where the court is satisfied that there are prima facie grounds for granting relief to the applicant pursuant to a hearing and that there are reasonable grounds for applying for the extension and may give such directions as the court considers proper consequent upon the extension.

(6) Where, in the court's opinion, it is necessary in the interest of public safety and would not destroy the subject-matter of the appeal, the court may, upon application therefor, order that the order or decision appealed from not be stayed pending the outcome of the appeal, but shall take effect immediately. R.S., c. 46, s. 16; 2005, c. 47, ss. 6, 12.

Appeal to Court of Appeal

17 (1) Any party to the hearing before the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia pursuant to Section 16 may appeal the decision to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules.

(2) The Minister, either personally or by agent, is entitled to be heard upon the argument of an appeal pursuant to this Section.

(3) An appeal pursuant to this Section may be made upon any question that is not a question of fact alone. R.S., c. 46, s. 17; 2005, c. 47, s. 7.

Inquiry

18 (1) Where it appears to the Minister that there is or may be a failure in construction or demolition standards or in the enforcement of this Act or the Building Code, the Minister may designate a person to conduct an inquiry into such failure.

(2) For the purposes of an inquiry pursuant to subsection (1), the person conducting the inquiry has the powers, privileges and immunities of a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act. R.S., c. 46, s. 18.

Offences

19 (1) Every person who

(a) knowingly furnishes false information in any application made pursuant to this Act or in any statement or return required to be furnished pursuant to this Act or the regulations;

(b) fails to comply with any order, direction or other requirement made pursuant to this Act or the regulations;

(c) contravenes any provision of this Act or the regulations,

and every director or officer of a corporation who knowingly concurs in such furnishing, failure or contravention is guilty of an offence and on summary conviction is liable to

(d) in the case of an individual, a fine of not less than five hundred dollars and not more than twenty-five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or both; and

(e) in the case of a corporation, a fine of not less than one thousand dollars and not more than fifty thousand dollars.

(1A) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where

(a) an individual knowingly commits;

(b) a director or officer of a corporation knowingly directs or authorizes, assents to, acquiesces in or participates in the commission of; or

(c) a corporation, whose director or officer knowingly directs, authorizes, assents to, acquiesces in or participates in the commission of,

an offence referred to in subsection (1) that results in

(d) the loss of human life, injury or damage to the health of a person; or

(e) a catastrophic impact on the community,

that person is guilty of an offence under this subsection and not under subsection (1), and is liable on summary conviction to

(f) in the case of an individual, a fine of not more than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years, or both; and

(g) in the case of a corporation, a fine of not more than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

(2) Where an offence under subsection (1), (1A) or (6) is committed on or continued for more than one day, it is deemed to be a separate offence for each day on which the offence is committed or continued.

(3) Any fines resulting from an offence under this Act accrue to the municipality in which the offence took place.

(4) In addition to any other penalty imposed for the conviction of an offence under this Act, the court may order the person to pay in trust to the Minister of Finance a sum of money for the purpose of public safety education.

(5) In addition to any other penalty imposed for the conviction of an offence under this Act, the court may order the person to comply with this Act, the regulations, any by-laws made pursuant to this Act or a licence, a permit or any direction issued under this Act.

(6) Any person who fails to comply with an order issued under subsection (4) or (5) is guilty of an offence and is liable to the penalties set out in this Section. R.S., c. 46, s. 19; 2005, c. 47, s. 8.

Limitation period

19A The limitation period for the prosecution of an offence under this Act is two years from the date of the commission of the alleged offence. 2005, c. 47, s. 9.

Action for remedy

20 (1) In addition to any other remedy provided for by this Act, the council of the municipality, or a standing committee thereof, may authorize an action or other legal proceeding to be brought in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for any or all of the remedies provided by this Section.

(2) The Court or a judge thereof may, where a contravention of or failure to comply with this Act, the regulations or an order made pursuant to this Act has been established,

(a) make orders, restraining the continuance or repetition of such contravention or failure and the new or further contravention or failure in respect of the same building;

(b) make orders directing the removal or destruction of the building or structure or a part thereof that is in contravention of or fails to comply with the Act or regulations, and authorizing the council, a standing committee or official thereof, if such order is not complied with, to enter upon the land and premises with such necessary workers and remove and destroy the building or structure or part thereof at the expense of the owner; and

(c) make such further order as to the recovery of the expense of any such removal and destruction, and to enforce the Act and regulations, and as to costs, as the Court or judge deems proper,

and any such order may be interlocutory, interim or final. R.S., c. 46, s. 20; 2005, c. 47, s. 10.

Amendment of proceeding

21 In the event of a fresh offence by the same person against the Act or regulations after an action or other legal proceeding has been commenced, it shall not be necessary to bring any other action or proceeding, but the action or proceeding already begun and any pleading or information therein may be amended from time to time at any time before final judgment so as to include such fresh offences and the Court or judge shall hear, deal with and determine the whole matter of such violations. R.S., c. 46, s. 21.

Evidence or proof

22 (1) The production of a printed volume or paper purporting to contain the Building Code or the National Building Code of Canada or any other code adopted by regulation, or any amendment, revision or abridgement thereof is prima facie evidence of the Building Code or the National Building Code, other code, amendment, revision or abridgement, as the case may be.

(2) In any prosecution for an offence pursuant to this Act, a copy of a direction or order purporting to have been made under this Act or the regulations and purporting to have been signed by the person authorized by this Act to make the direction or order is prima facie proof of the direction or order without proof of the signature or authority of the person by whom it purports to be signed. R.S., c. 46, s. 22.

Public utilities

23 Notwithstanding the provisions of the Public Utilities Act, the Electrical Installation and Inspection Act or any other Act, no public utility shall make a new permanent connection, or supply electric power, energy, water or steam heat through such connection, to any building until it is established that all permits required by this Act or the regulations prior to occupancy of the building have been obtained. R.S., c. 46, s. 23.

Service of notice

24 Except where otherwise provided, any notice required by this Act to be served may be served personally or by registered mail addressed to the person to whom notice is to be given or his agent for service at the person's or agent's last known address. R.S., c. 46, s. 24.

Interest of building official

25 (1) No building official shall grant or revoke a permit, conduct an inspection or make an order pursuant to this Act in respect of a building or property in which the building official has any interest.

(2) Where subsection (1) precludes an [a] building official from acting and where no other building official is available, the building official shall notify the council, which shall appoint a person to act as an [a] building official for that purpose. R.S., c. 46, s. 25; 2005, c. 47, s. 12.

Effect on other laws

26 (1) This Act and the regulations supersede all municipal by-laws governing the construction or demolition of buildings, except with respect to construction or demolition for which a permit has been issued before the first day of April, 1987, and that has been seriously commenced within twelve months of the date the permit was granted and is not afterward abandoned for a period of more than ninety days, or where no permit is required, which has been commenced before the first day of April, 1987, and is not afterward abandoned for a period of more than ninety days.

(2) Nothing in this Act or the regulations affects the provisions of the Electrical Installation and Inspection Act, the Elevators and Lifts Act, the Fire Safety Act or the Steam Boiler and Pressure Vessel Act and the regulations made thereunder.

(3) Where the provisions of any private or local Act conflict with the provisions of this Act, the provisions of this Act prevail. R.S., c. 46, s. 26; 2005, c. 47, s. 11.

No action

27 No action or proceeding lies against the Crown, a municipality or a servant or agent thereof for any matter or thing done or omitted to be done by them in good faith and with reasonable care in exercising their powers or carrying out their duties under this Act or the regulations. R.S., c. 46, s. 27.

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