Posted: Saturday January 21, 2023
If you are planning to change the way you use all or part of an existing building, you may need a Change of Use Building Permit, even if you are not planning any construction.
10(1) of the Building Code Act states:
“Even though no construction is proposed, no person shall change the use of a building or part of building or permit the use to be changed if the change would result in an increase in hazard, as determined in accordance with the building code, unless a permit has been issued by the chief building official.”
Why is a Change of Use Building Permit required?
When the use of a building is changed, it may represent an increase in hazard to the occupants of the building. In a new building constructed and inspected in accordance with current building codes, the occupants of the building and the building itself are protected from the anticipated levels of hazard by compensating construction. Consequently, when the use of an existing building is changed and the hazard level is increased as determined by Part 10 of Division B of the Ontario Building Code, measures may have to be taken to mitigate those additional hazards by upgrading of one or more of the following areas:
- structural systems
- demising walls & fire separations
- exits & door hardware
- provision of washroom facilities and plumbing fixtures
- HVAC system (ventilation)
- exit signs and emergency lighting
- fire alarm system may be required