The Canadian Construction Materials Centre's mandate
The Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC) has a mandate to advance and protect the Canadian construction industry through:
- support of Canadian construction authorities in making product approval decisions
- support of innovation in the Canadian construction market
This mandate is achieved through:
- code compliance assessment of standardized and innovative construction products
- publication of technical information about a product's compliance with the requirements of Canada's national and provincial construction codes
The CCMC provides code compliance assessments either as an alternative solution, which uses a proprietary CCMC-developed set of criteria to establish code compliance, or as an acceptable solution, that verifies if a product meets a code-referenced product or material standard.
The CCMC is the only code compliance assessment service for construction products provided and supported by the federal government of Canada.
Management and oversight
As a Government of Canada service operating under the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the CCMC's evaluations are impartial, neutral, and science-evidence based, and exist to help protect the health and safety of Canadians. The CCMC applies the same objective, factual and rigorous process to all assessments and provides an expert, unbiased opinion on code and standard compliance without commercial interest in the products evaluated.
Along with Codes Canada and the Canadian National Master Specification (NMS), we operate within the NRC's Construction Research Centre. The CCMC follows the advice and policy of the Canadian Commission on Construction Materials Evaluation (CCCME).
The CCMC is an active participant in the construction industry, supporting the conformity assessment and regulation of construction products across Canada.
Recognition across Canada
At the direction of the provinces and territories, the CCMC was established in 1988 to centralize the technical service of establishing code compliance for construction products. The CCMC provides code compliance assessments that are supported by the Government of Canada and broadly recognized across the country.
Provincial memorandum of understanding
The CCMC has established a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with provincial and territorial construction authorities across Canada. As a result, Canadian authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) consider CCMC product assessments acceptable as evidence for product approval.
Provincial building official associations
The CCMC actively participates in many Canadian provincial and territorial building official associations (BOAs), providing presentations and support to over 6,500 local officials and inspectors. Provincial BOAs recognize the use of CCMC assessments to support product approvals within the scope and limitations stated within the assessment.
Alliance of Canadian Building Officials' Associations
The CCMC is a member of the board of the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials' Associations (ACBOA), providing input and guidance at a national level. ACBOA's National Certification Program for Professional Building Officials includes recognition of CCMC assessments in making approval decisions.
First Nations National Building Officers Association
The CCMC is actively engaged in supporting the work of the First Nations National Building Officers Association (FNNBOA) for safe and reliable housing in First Nations communities. FNNBOA officials and leaders recognize CCMC assessments in making product approval decisions.
Canadian Home Builders' Association
CCMC product assessments are accepted by the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) for use in building designs and specifications.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
CCMC product assessments are recognized by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in making product approval decisions.
The CCMC operates several committees related to product assessment, which provide a variety of functions:
CCMC Stakeholder Committee
The Canadian Commission on Construction Materials Evaluation (CCCME) is a stakeholder committee with members representing the private industry, public sector, construction regulators, CCMC assessment users (AHJs and design professionals), and CCMC clients (manufacturers and distributors). CCCME members are determined through a selection process, as defined in its policies and procedures. The CCCME meetings are open to members and approved guests only. Meeting minutes are made publically available upon request.
CCMC Scheme Committee
The CCMC Scheme Committee is the technical approval authority for CCMC certification schemes (documents that guide the CCMC in their certification activities). The members of this committee are:
- chosen by the CCMC based on their technical competence and experience in particular domains
- part of an academic and/or a consultant organization, to minimize the potential for conflict of interest
CCMC Appeals Committee
The CCMC Appeals Committee provides the CCMC with an external perspective on appeals and makes final appeal decisions. The members of this committee are selected by the CCMC using the following criteria:
- Knowledge and experience in a regulatory or conformity assessment framework
- Demonstrated professional conduct in their field
CCMC Impartiality Committee
The CCMC Impartiality Committee provides a third-party review of CCMC operations to ensure it safeguards the impartiality of CCMC certifications. The members of this committee are:
- chosen by the CCMC from the industry at large
- composed of professionals experienced in conformity assessment who are knowledgeable in product certification
The construction of new buildings in Canada has been regulated for nearly a century. Municipalities were issuing building permits as far back as the early 1920s.
In Canada, provinces and territories are responsible for the determination of building regulations, while municipalities are responsible for their implementation. To streamline building rules and regulations across the country, the NRC developed model construction regulations, which became the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) in 1941.
Today, the NBC's primary objectives remain focused on health, safety, accessibility for persons with disabilities, fire and structural protection of buildings, and protection of the environment. It's also supplemented with the National Fire Code of Canada, the National Plumbing Code of Canada, and the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings. These model codes are adopted by the provinces and territories and enforced through local building officials.
Until 2005, the NBC specified the requirements for building materials and methods. Under the code, some innovative products and methods (which were not prescribed under the code), could be used only when they were proven to be equivalent in performance to standard materials. To support the need for approval of equivalency standards, the CCMC was formed as Canada's official evaluation service for innovative building materials in 1988.
In 2005, the NBC moved from specifying requirements to an objective-based approach, which was designed to foster innovation. Since then, technical requirements have been presented as acceptable solutions. The code now states the objectives, intent and functional statements behind each acceptable solution.
To be accepted, an alternative solution must meet the same performance level as the acceptable solution it aims to replace. The CMCC's function is to ensure that new and innovative building materials and systems meet this requirement.