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Combustible Windows Project

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Combustible Windows Project and Potential Change to National Building Code

We wish to inform our members that a research project involving industry members is getting under way to lead to a potential code change to the National Building Code. This is an opportunity for members to actively participate in the Canadian code change process by joining this initiative. Fenestration Canada strongly urges its members that provide or could provide products to this segment of the construction industry, namely Part 3 buildings, to participate in this project.


This project grew out of a public meeting held during the Fenestration Canada Windoor Trade Show on Nov. 19TH, 2014 in Toronto. At this meeting Philip Rizcallah, Director of Building Regulations at the Canadian Code Centre spoke about the need modernize the code requirements that place restrictions on the size and spacing of windows constructed of combustible framing. While the code places no such restrictions on windows constructed of non-combustible framing, the Code Centre is aware that currently no exterior window framing material, including thermally broken aluminum, complies with the test the code uses to determine non-combustibility.

The National Research Council (NRC) believes the code requirements for combustible windows could be modernized, however:

  1. To modernize the code, specific research is needed to identify potential hazards related to combustible fenestration and provide a technical framework to manage those risks. NRC has defined specific objectives for a research program that would address all the issues relevant to a code change.

  2. The NRC will not initiate the code change process. A code change proposal based on the research would have to originate with industry.

  3. During the past year the NRC, in consultation with the fenestration industry representatives below, and assisted by the Project’s Technical Committee, has developed a test program aimed at acquiring the data needed to support such a code change, and is now inviting interested manufacturers and suppliers to participate in it.

Time line

NRC is inviting interested participants to join the test program by December 20THin order to be completed in time for a fall 2016 code change request and a possible spring 2017 code change.

This project may be eligible for IRAP funds for participants should companies fit the IRAP criteria. NRC will facilitate the process with participants. The costs involved for individual companies to participate in this project will be in direct relation with the number of participants. The more participants, the lower the costs will be.

Only active (financial) participants will be part of the process and have a voice in the code change request.

For more information

To participate in the research project contact Chris Pezoulas via email

Or via phone:

Chris Pezoulas

Client Relationship Leader, Business Management Support

NRC Construction | National Research Council Canada

Tel: (613) 993-9502 | Mobile: (613) 697-3979 | Fax: (613) 941-0822


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