Concerted action on the 'missing middle' : Reforming the National Building Code to allow single-egress multi-unit housing

Project Output:
This website is a tool to make sense of the wicked problem of the second egress in Canada and prepare a building code change:

Project Details:
Funds are requested to support the development of a detailed dossier in support of changes that have been formally requested to the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) by our project team concerning the number of egress points for multiple-unit housing. This will further the urgent and promising work of a coalition of practitioners, activists, and researchers to reform regulatory frameworks across Canada in favour of affordable housing. Our central claim is that the NBCC is inconsistent with (and does not allow for the same design flexibility as) building codes in almost all other jurisdictions internationally, and fails to recognize that a second egress is unnecessary for mid-rise housing typologies where other life-safety measures are provided. This initiative had the benefit of BSH seed funding in 2021-22 (Luka et al., 'Toward abolition of R1 zoning and the two-egress straitjacket ?'). We have made tremendous progress, including successfully lobbying the Government of Ontario to demand high-level discussion of reform to the NBCC concerning where and under what conditions single-egress residential construction is permitted. To continue this work, detailed documentation outlining the reasons and entailments associated with the regulatory reform must be prepared and submitted. A detailed work strategy has been developed by the coalition, and the community partners named on this application have agreed to play key roles in seeing us through on the due diligence needed for the proposed changes to be considered and implemented. Further details are found at

  • Innovating in Responsive Land Practices

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