Building Code in Canada

The intent of the Building Code is to detail the minimum provisions acceptable to maintain the safety of buildings, with specific regards to public health, fire protection, accessibility and structural sufficiency

  • The National Building Code is the model code that forms the basis for all provincial code in Canada
  • CSA user section guide must be used to select Windows as a minimum standard
  • Building Code is a Law and we are responsible to follow the Law.

Egress Requirements

Section 9.7.1.2 – Basement Bedroom Windows

egress

Must be 3.8 Square Foot with no horizontal or vertical side having a dimension of less than 15”

Although bedroom windows are not considered to be ordinary escape routes, many occupants have been saved by using them in an emergency. By the time an occupant is able to respond to a smoke alarm the suite may be filled with smoke and their escape route from the bedroom blocked.

Building Code article 9.7.1.2.establishes the general requirement that bedrooms must have at least one window that is large enough that it can be used as an exit in an emergency.

Basement bedroom windows present an added challenge. Besides the height, width and overall area requirements that the window must meet, there are certain requirements for the window well on the building exterior.

If a window well is required, it must be out from the window at least about 22″ to provide safe passage. Awning style windows for example opening into a window well typically do not work because they sometimes cannot provide the necessary clearances and the hardware can obstruct the opening.