Project Specifications and theOntario Building Code Georgian College January 24th, 2012
Introduction„Specifications‟ is not a defined term underthe Architects Act or the Building Code Act.However, the term „design‟ is defined underthe Architect‟s Act as meaning;“a plan, sketch, drawing, graphic representation orspecification intended to govern the construction,enlargement or alteration of a building or a part of abuilding”
“In the commercial construction industry, aspecifier, architect or engineer develops one ormore specification sections for each product, or asmall collection of products, used on a project.This specification is used for design teamcoordination, bidding, contracting, acquiring andinstalling, product commissioning and projectadministration.As an integral part of a construction contract,specifications are read and interpreted bycontractors and subcontractors in order to providethe specified quality of product.”
In summary; Specifications are an important part of the design of a building
Generally, how do specifications get createdfor using products in project?
Specifications usually start from the manufacturer‟sinformation, in the form of a product or technicaldata sheet.
Once a product‟s technical properties have beenproper communicated to the designers using theProduct or Technical Data Sheet, thespecifications may be drafted by the designer orspecification writer.
Specifications are used to distinguish the productrequirements that a contractor must fulfill for a project.Products may be specified by any one of the followingmethods;• Prescriptive – meaning a product is described using its physical attributes• Performance – meaning a product that is described by how it must function and perform• Proprietary – meaning the product is named specifically by manufacturer, model, etc.
For example• Prescriptive – the compressive strength of unreinforced concrete after 28 days shall be not less than 32 Mpa for garage floors• Performance – Sheathing membrane is permitted to be omitted beneath cladding when the joints in cladding are formed to effectively prevent the passage of wind and rain. Proprietary – Model: ERP-TP, Explovent pressure relief panel systems shall be manufactured by Conspec Systems, Inc. Cranford, NJ; or C/S Construction Specialties Company, Mississauga, Ontario.
As a designer specifications are important, so don‟trely on the fact that some building departments don‟tinclude them as part of the building permit documents.More on this subject in the next couple of slides.In addition and more importantly for a designer,specifications form part of the contract documents,they are contractually enforceable.Contract documents = $$$$$$
So, what about the role of theOntario Building Code withrespect to the projectspecifications?
Building Code ActA designer is obliged to provide as much information as possibleto ensure the building‟s construction conforms to the BuildingCode.Section 1.1 of the BCA states;It is the role of the designer, if the designer’s designs are to besubmitted in support of an application for a permit under this Act,• to provide designs which are in accordance with this Act and thebuilding code, and• to provide documentation that is sufficiently detailed to permitthe design to be assessed for compliance with this Act and thebuilding code, and• to allow a builder to carry out the work in accordance with thedesign, this Act and the building code.
Design is often cited in theBuilding Code Act, recall theterm „design‟ is defined under theArchitect‟s Act as meaning;“a plan, sketch, drawing, graphicrepresentation or specificationintended to govern theconstruction, enlargement oralteration of a building or a partof a building”
Building Code ActA municipality may require a designer to provide as muchinformation as possible to ensure the design conforms to theBuilding Code.In part, Section 7 of the BCA states;The council of a municipality may pass by-laws providingfor applications for permits and requiring the applications tobe accompanied by such;• plans,•specifications,•Documents, and• other information as is prescribed
Markham Building By-lawSection 5 of Markham Building By-law states;As part of the application for a permit and in additionto the requirements of section 4 of this by-law, everyapplicant shall submit to the chief building official thefollowing;Sufficient plans, specifications, documents, forms andsuch other information as may be deemed necessaryby the chief building official to determine whether theproposed construction, demolition, or change of useconforms to the Act, the Building Code, any otherapplicable law.
Do Municipalities RegardSpecifications Necessary for theConstruction of a Building?A typical specification for a large ICI building contains100‟s if not 1000‟s of details for the building‟s designand construction.Sound important and they are, so why do somemunicipal building departments not require thesubmission of specifications as part of their permitapplication?
Staff resources – time to review the specificationsManage risk – if you don‟t have time to reviewinformation submitted for a building permit, better notto request the information
ICI Specifications/Building – Building CodeComplianceIn the summer of 2010, construction started on anindoor tennis facility.• Four international standard tennis courts• All four courts enclosed for winter tennis• Includes construction of a small clubhouse facility (including washrooms and change facilities)• Total construction cost approximately $1.7 million
Generally, what information is important to Building Officials?
There are many construction components/productscontained in the specifications. However, not all itemsare regulated by the Building Code. ie. painting,washroom accessories, etc.Building Officials are more concerned with life safety,building science, type of issues, such as;Concrete MasonryStructural Steel Metal DeckingPlumbing HVA/CInsulation Fire StoppingConcrete Formwork ReinforcementCurtain Walls Pre-engineered Products
SpecificationsLet‟s consider 2 construction components/products forcompliance with the Building Code1. Sprayed Foam Insulation Air and Vapour Barrier System (Building Science), and2. Shear Connectors for Brick to Masonry Back-up (structural)
The issues from a Building Codeperspective:1. Do the products comply with the Building Code? • As specified, and • As installed
Municipal Building InspectionsWhat role do the specifications serve on theconstruction site from the building officials perspective?If there is an issue on site, such as a Building Codeinfraction, then the building official may reference thespecifications to find some answers.
Municipal Building Inspection (Suggested sequence of events)1. The municipal building inspector attends the site2. Observes the sprayed applied insulation and connectors for attachment of brick3. Requests and obtains specifications on the insulation and shear connectors4. Specifications indicate product and manufacturer (Proprietary Specification)5. Confirm product compliance with Building Code6. Confirm product installation with Building Code
Sprayed Foam Insulation Air and Vapour Barrier SystemReview Specifications for Compliance with the Building Code
Inspectors willSpray foam insulationgenerally review the installation visually and not intrusively.
Confirm Building Code requirements/standard for spray foam insulation
Specifications for spray foam insulation indicate the correct reference to Building Code standard
Before we go any further, lets remember,Products may be specified by any one of the followingmethods;• Prescriptive – meaning a product is described using its physical attributes• Performance – meaning a product that is described by how it must function and perform• Proprietary – meaning the product is named specifically by manufacturer, model, etc.
Specifications indicate manufacturer/type of spray foam insulation Back
Technical Data Sheet for insulation confirms compliance with standard referenced by the Building Code
Footnote – Important for designers/specifiers toknow almost everythingThe product specified is available in 3 types. When installedduring cold temperatures, Walltite ECO v.2 CT is required.What will happen if the incorrect type is installed in coldweather?Since the incorrect system chosen does not have the propercatalyst level, the cold temperature of the substrate will causea heat sink and rob the foam of its required heat for expansion.The contractor will need to install additional foam to reach therequired thickness. More foam = more $, therefore thecontractor may opt to reduce the amount of foam in order tosave money. The result, less insulation as required by theBuilding Code and specifications.
Shear Connectors for Brick to Masonry Back-up Review Specifications for Compliance with the Building Code
Inspectorrecognizes theincorrect typeof tie installed
But at anotherlocation thecorrect typewas installed
Building code requirement for tie/connector found in Part 4
Within CSA Standard A23, states ties to conform with CSA Standard A370
Specifications for the project do not indicate the Standard CSA Standard A370 for tie/connector compliance
Specifications for the project included a material or product that conforms to CSA Standard A370 for tie/connector compliance, see next slide
Product data sheet indicates ties/connectors conform to CSA Standard A370Correct tie tobe used on site Therefore, the full slotted tie as installed is confirmed as not conforming to the specifications
Remember,Products may be specified by any one of the followingmethods;• Prescriptive – meaning a product is described using its physical attributes• Performance – meaning a product that is described by how it must function and perform• Proprietary – meaning the product is named specifically by manufacturer, model, etc.
FootnoteDuring construction the general review engineer observed thecontractor was installing the incorrect masonry connector andinstructed the contractor to use the proper specified connector.What will happen if the incorrect connector is installed?
Summary1. It is important for designers to know the properties of building materials2. Incorrect specifications can result in materials being used for the wrong purpose3. Incorrect specifications can result in materials being installed contrary to the requirements of the Building Code and cause health and safety issuesWhat can go wrong?
Specifications for Dwellings (subdivision type construction)
Specifications for dwellings are not assophisticated when compared to ICI buildings,however, they are just as important for thedesign of the building
Specifications for dwellings may becomprised of one or more of the following;• General Notes Sheet• Construction Notes Sheet• Shop drawings• Engineered Shop Drawings• Notes on architectural drawings• or whatever
Construction NotesThe closest thingto specifications,but lacking floorjoist and beam orLVL information
For the most part, specifications for dwellingsare;Prescriptive – meaning a product is describedusing its physical attributesFor example, the Construction Notes page oftenlists the specifications for Compliance with theBuilding Code.
Example Note # 4 – is prescriptive because it states the sizes of the materials, it does not give its intended functions or provide a product manufacturer
Case StudyShop Drawings for Engineered Wood Products and Compliance with the Building Code
What are shop drawings?A shop drawing is a drawing or set of drawings producedby the contractor, supplier, manufacturer, subcontractor,or fabricator.Engineered wood shop drawings are usually sealed by aprofessional engineer and contain drawings andspecifications related to the design and installation of thecomponent.
In the this case study, an engineered woodproduct (NASCOR) is specified by the buildingdesigner (BCIN person)Again to review, products may be specified by any oneof the following methods;• Prescriptive – meaning a product is described using its physical attributes• Performance – meaning a product that is described by how it must function and perform• Proprietary – meaning the product is named specifically by manufacturer, model, etc.
Lets review the shop drawings to determine how theengineered wood products are specified on thisproject.The next slide is the first page on the woodengineering shop drawings and is applicable to all ofthe engineered drawings.It specifies the how the engineer‟s shop drawingdesign must be co-ordinated with the dwellingdesigners information. The dwelling designer musthave a BCIN or be an architect or professionalengineer
The previous slide indicates that NASCOR floor joists willbe used for this project. This type of specification is called,Proprietary – meaning the product is named specifically bymanufacturer, model, etc.So, what is or where is the specification for the LVL beam?Let‟s find out.
Architectural design drawings specify that a double joist is required at thislocation at the stair opening. However, Sentence 126.96.36.199.(2) requiresheader joists exceeding 3.2 m in length to be determined by calculations.
Floor framing plan forengineered woodcomponents;• floor joists (NASCOR)• beams ?• connectorsThe G4 2-ply beam isindicated on the floorplan to be a LVL
Review, an engineered wood product isspecified by the building designer (BCINperson) and engineered shop drawings producethe specifications for the floor joists and beams.Products may be specified by any one of the followingmethods;• Prescriptive – meaning a product is described using its physical attributes• Performance – meaning a product that is described by how it must function and perform• Proprietary – meaning the product is named specifically by manufacturer, model, etc.
The engineered wood framing is based on design criteria from theBuilding Code. Therefore, the specifications for the LVL beams on thiscase study project are;Prescriptive – meaning a product is described using its physicalattributes.Therefore, the designer has specified that the builder must select an LVLmanufacturer‟s product that meets these prescriptive requirements: Back
Since neither the designer and engineered shop drawinghave not specified a product model or manufacturer, thebuilder must chose a LVL to be used in the dwelling thatmeets the previous physical attributes of:1 ¾ x 9 West Fraser 2.0 E – 3 16‟ (maximum length ofspan)
Shop drawing forthe LVL beamcontains informationto indicate it meetsthe specifications,but does notindicate the productto be used on site.
Where does this leave the building official?The building official must either request theproduct information for the LVL beam or wait untilit is installed to determine the productmanufacturer and confirm that the product meetsthe Ontario Building Code design criteria.So off to the site we go.
Site visit, this is the LVL beaminstalled around the stairopening
Summary1. Shop drawings form part of the design of a dwelling and contain specifications for the builder to follow.2. In this case study, the engineered wood components were specified by:• Proprietary – meaning the product is named specifically by manufacturer, model, etc. (NASCOR) and• Prescriptive – meaning a product is described using it‟s physical attributes. (The builder chose to install Global LVL Inc. that met the physical attributes)3. Other specifications may come from the product data sheet and CCMC approval.
There are other components of a dwellingthat should be specified, such as;• Exterior rigid insulation (SB-12 energy efficiency)• Windows (SB-12 maximum window areas)• Framing grading (Stud, no. 1)• Floor sheathing (CSA standard)• Mechanical connectors (Brick ties)• Concrete (Strength, air entrainment, etc)• Roofing (Shingle standard, Richmond Hill issue)• Cladding (Product type, ie. Hardie Board)• Thermal insulation (R or RSI value)• Heating unit (SB-12 efficiency rating, 90%, 94%, etc.)• and so on .....
Sheathing tape 3M ProprietaryAir BarrierSurround Housewrap Proprietary Concrete 25 mPa strength Prescriptive Drainage layer as per Clause 188.8.131.52.(2)(b) of the OBC Dove-tail anchor slots ABC Anchors Ltd. Performance Proprietary
Drainage Layer SpecificationPerformance – meaning a product that isdescribed by how it must function and perform184.108.40.206.(2)(b) states; a system shall be installed thatcan be shown to provide equivalent performance to thatprovided by the materials described in Clause (a)Clause (a) = not less than 19 mm mineral fibre insulation with adensity of not less than 57 kg/m3 or not less than 100 mm of freedraining granular material.So, the builder could chose a product that meets the criteria inClause (a) above. A CCMC approved product would be appropriate,such as the drainage mat installed by Delta.
Thank you and Questions Further information on specifications Construction Specifications Canada - http://www.csc-dcc.ca/ Further information on Building Code issues for designers Facebook Site for Designers – www.facebook.com/designers.buildingcode