CSA Group Announces Harmonization of Accessibility Standard with Canadian National Building Code

CSA Group, a leading global provider of standards development and testing and certification services, announces that its key accessibility standard has been referenced in the National Building Code (NBC), an important step toward the harmonization of accessible design requirements.

CSA B651-12 Accessible Design for the Built Environment was first published in 1990, and is now in its fourth edition.  The standard contains requirements for making buildings and other facilities accessible to persons with a range of physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities. It was developed to fulfill an expressed need for a national technical standard that covers many different types of buildings and public spaces.

“The Technical Committee on Accessible Design has worked for many years to make this harmonization possible. Accessible design opens doors for people of all abilities and is an essential part of our built environment,” said Magali Depras, President of Standards, CSA Group. “By giving designers clear and consistent requirements and expectations across the country, the work of creating accessible spaces is made easier.”

The accessible design provisions in the CSA Group standard were comparable to those in the NBC, and it was clear that creating a single source document would help simplify the design process.  Over the past three years the technical committee has worked with its counterpart committee at the National Research Council, the developer of the National Building Code, to align and update the design requirements in both documents.  Once that was complete, the B651 could be directly referenced in the NBC.

Users of the recently published 2015 edition of the National Building Code now have the option to use either the design requirements in the NBC or those in B651.  The CSA and NBC technical committees are continuing to work towards referencing CSA B651 as the sole source for accessibility design requirements in the 2020 National Building Code of Canada.

About CSA Group

CSA Group is an independent organization dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability.  Its knowledge and expertise encompass standards development; training and advisory solutions; global testing and certification services across key business areas including hazardous location and industrial, transportation, plumbing and construction, medical, safety and technology, appliances and gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability; as well as consumer product evaluation services.  The CSA certification mark appears on billions of products worldwide.   For more information about CSA Group visit www.csagroup.org.


Allison Hawkins
Manager, Corporate Affairs
[email protected]


May 11, 2016