National Building Code

National Building Code

Updated: National Building Code

Did you know that the latest edition of the National Building Code of Canada 2020 (“NBC”) was released March 2022?

The NBC has been developed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, and published by the National Research Council of Canada, sets out technical requirements for the design and construction of new buildings, as well as the alteration, change of use and demolition of existing buildings. Over 280 technical changes have been incorporated in this new edition, improving the level of safety, health, accessibility, fire and structural protection, and energy efficiency provided by the Code, and expanding the NBC into new areas.

The accessibility requirements have been updated to reduce barriers related to anthropometrics, plumbing facilities, signage, entrances, and elevators.

Human Space has expertise in the areas of inclusion, accessibility, and wellness. Our services, here, can help to provide guidance on implementing the updates to the NBC.


We have curated a list of 22 key updates related to accessibility:

  1. Increased number of barrier-free entrances.
  2. Provision for clear floor spaces within waiting rooms.
  3. Provision for adaptable seating within assembly occupancies.
  4. Assistive listening systems at locations where information, goods or services are provided to the public at service counters.
  5. Signs that provide the same information in both visual and tactile forms.
  6. Increased clear width at barrier-free path of travel, and exterior walks.
  7. Increased frequency and size of unobstructed space at barrier-free path of travel.
  8. Provision for T-shaped clear floor space at barrier-free path of travel.
  9. Increased clear width, and level area at ramps.
  10. Increased clear width at doorways and doors, and maneuvering space at vestibules.
  11. Provision for colour contrast at doorways and doors.
  12. Provision for clear floor space and entry doors or gates at passenger-elevating devices.
  13. Provision for audible and visible signals, where controls provide feedback.
  14. Provision for water-bottle filling stations.
  15. Increased clear turning space at accessible water-closet stalls, and universal washrooms.
  16. Provision for accessible change space at universal washrooms.
  17. Provision for water-closet stalls and urinals for persons with limited mobility.
  18. Provision for universal dressing and shower room.
  19. Increased clear turning space at accessible bathtubs.
  20. Provision for telephones required to be barrier-free.
  21. Increased clear floor space at spaces in seating area.
  22. Provision of storage spaces for mobility devices.

To access the electronic version of the NBC, visit the online collection of Codes Canada publications, here.