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Ontario changes building code to address falling balcony glass


June 21, 2012
By Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

June 21, 2012 – Ontario has strengthened its building code to help prevent balcony glass of newly constructed buildings from breaking. Construction companies will now be required to use heat-strengthened laminated glass when glass is close to the edge of a balcony and to use heat-strengthened laminated glass or heat-soaked tempered glass where glass balcony guards are inset from the edge of the balcony.

June 21, 2012 – Ontario has strengthened its building code to help
prevent balcony glass of newly constructed buildings from breaking.
Construction companies will now be required to use heat-strengthened
laminated glass when glass is close to the edge of a balcony and to use
heat-strengthened laminated glass or heat-soaked tempered glass where
glass balcony guards are inset from the edge of the balcony.

These requirements are based on the Expert Advisory Panel on Glass
Panels in Balcony Guards' recommendations and take effect July 1, 2012.
They are intended as an interim solution to ensure public safety while
the Canadian Standards Association develops a national technical
standard for glass panels in balcony guards.

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The amendment requires compliance on a go-forward basis and
does not require existing buildings to retrofit to the new requirement. However, under the Building Code Act, 1992, municipalities have the
ability to address unsafe conditions in existing buildings. This
includes requiring inspections and issuing work orders to remedy unsafe
conditions.

The Expert Advisory Panel on Glass Panels in Balcony Guards was
composed of 25 members including engineering consultants, building code
consultants, developers, contractors, professional designers, municipal
building inspectors, insurance providers, and members of codes and
standards writing bodies.

"This amendment will help protect the public and offer clarity and certainty to the building industry. I'm thankful to the members of the expert advisory panel for their contributions and sound advice," said Kathleen Wynne, 
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

"The Residential Construction Council of Ontario supports the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Panel on Glass in Balcony Guards. These amendments will impose new standards, making Ontario's building code provisions the most stringent in Canada with respect to the use of glass panels in balcony guards," said Michael Steele, 
director of technical standards for RESCON, and a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Glass Panels in Balcony Guards.

Related links
www.mah.gov.on.ca
www.csa.ca


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