How CCMC determines code compliance

The Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC) is a service of the Government of Canada that supports authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) across Canada through technical assessments of code compliance. The CCMC has assessed more than 1,000 construction products, providing construction innovators with a path to market while simultaneously supporting health and safety in Canadian construction. CCMC assessments cover a variety of construction materials, products and systems from foundations to rooftops, and from interior finishes to building façades.

Our staff of engineers and scientists work with manufacturers, distributors, and private labellers to assess their products against the requirements of the national and/or provincial codes in Canada. With over 30 years of assessment experience, the CCMC is trusted by AHJs across Canada. Under the purview of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the CCMC stands behind all of its product assessments. As the primary users, it is important that AHJs are confident in CCMC assessments. The process that the CCMC follows from application to published assessment is described below.

The trusted process, explained

1. Application

The first step for the CCMC is to understand the product, its intended use, how it is to be installed, and the manufacturing details. When a manufacturer or distributor applies for a CCMC assessment, manufacturers must submit a comprehensive set of information and a product sample for review. This ensures that the CCMC has a correct and complete understanding of the product and its use as a foundation for the assessment process.

2. Review

Based on the information provided, the CCMC reviews the submission and determines the next steps in the assessment strategy using the knowledge from our team of experienced evaluation officers. This often includes a high-level code analysis and possibly consultations with experts for some innovative products.

3. Assessment path

Once the CCMC has completed its review of the submission, the client is notified of the next step in the assessment process. This typically results in 1 of 3 assessment paths, depending on the type of product as follows:

  • The client may be directed to provide evidence that the product meets a code-referenced standard
  • The CCMC may provide the client with an existing CCMC-developed set of technical criteria and direct the client to provide evidence that the product meets that criteria
  • The CCMC may suggest to the client that they work with the CCMC to develop a custom set of criteria based on code requirements, after which the client will be directed to provide evidence that the product meets that criteria

4. Criteria development (if required)

The heart of the CCMC mandate is to provide innovators with code-compliant products and an accelerated path to market compared to the typical timelines of standards development and code adoption cycles. When there is no code solution related to a product's conformance, the CCMC provides the knowledge and expertise to develop a set of criteria to establish equivalency or an alternative solution.

The primary considerations for the CCMC when developing a set of criteria are:

  • material properties
  • product performance
  • service life durability
  • health and safety of occupants

To establish criteria, the CCMC conducts a thorough code analysis, looking at any relevant requirements for all applicable aspects of the code, including:

  • similar acceptable solutions (such as performance benchmarks)
  • code objective statements
  • code functional statements
  • code intent statements

With these requirements in mind, the CCMC uses a variety of resources to set material requirements and performance benchmarks, such as:

Once the criteria have been developed, they are provided to the client.

5. Compliance review

Having been provided with a set of technical criteria, the client must then demonstrate compliance with the criteria via third-party testing or analysis and provide the generated data and documents to the CCMC for review. The CCMC notifies the client of any missing requirements until all criteria are met.

6. Assessment publication

Once all criteria are met, the CCMC drafts an assessment and publishes the results on its Registry of Construction Product Assessments.