Despite the long list of potential regulatory hurdles to be crossed, we will focus here on the building permit because of its direct effect on the selection of materials and systems according to your Criteria Matrix.
There is commonly a sense of dread that hopeful homebuilders have in regard to building codes and obtaining permits. Everybody has heard a horror story or two about permit denials and protracted struggles to get a building permit. While such cases do sometimes occur, they are not typical, and even builders using alternative types of materials and systems are able to obtain their permits with relative ease. This home design will help you to prepare adequately for your own permit application.
Despite plenty of anecdotal evidence to the contrary, there is no legal justification in any North American building code for denying a permit because of the use of alternative methods and materials. At the same time, it is highly unlikely that any building department that will respond to a general inquiry about whether or not they will permit the use of a particular alternative with a general answer of “yes.” Permits are not granted or denied on the basis of a single material choice, but for meeting a complete set of requirements that demonstrate the viability and safety of the entire structure.
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Code (NBC) in Canada are model codes. They are written to cover a broad range of conventional practices and solutions applicable across each country. These model codes are then adopted by state, provincial, county, and/or municipal authorities, and these levels of government can adopt and modify the model code to suit local needs. The first step in working with the building code is being sure which code you need to work from (and which is the most up-to-date version of that code in your jurisdiction). If you are intending on playing any key role in your own design team, it is well worth your while to obtain the pertinent copy of the code and become familiar with how the code is structured and how to find the information you need to make informed decisions.
Model codes are an accumulation of “accepted solutions” that prescribe how buildings can be designed and constructed in order to meet minimum standards of occupant and community safety. A building permit will be issued if a set of plans meets all of the prescriptions in the relevant sections of the code.