CSA Group To Develop Four New Standards Addressing Climate Change Impact In Canada’s Far North On Behalf Of Standards Council Of Canada

CSA Group, a leading provider of standards development, training and advisory solutions, global product testing and certification, and product performance evaluation, today announces that it has been selected by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to develop four new standards to help address the impact of climate change in Northern Canada as part of the Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative (NISI).

NISI is a joint project being led by SCC with support from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) that is intended to adapt critical codes and standards to address the effects of climate change on new infrastructure, as well as retrofits, maintenance and repairs to existing infrastructure.

Northern infrastructure is highly vulnerable to global climate change and must contend with emerging issues such as melting permafrost that causes damage to buildings, as well as changes in temperatures and precipitation patterns that are leading to denser, heavier, wetter snow accumulation on structures in the winter.

“CSA Group has actively been researching the role standards and codes play in helping to mitigate the risk associated with changing climate and its impact on infrastructure in various regions of Canada since 2005,” says Bonnie Rose, President, Standards, CSA Group. “From the impact of prairie drought to increased hurricanes in the East to less ice in the North, CSA Group has been examining how these changes will affect existing infrastructure and new construction standards. This collective knowledge will prove invaluable in developing new standards for Canada’s far northern cities, towns and aboriginal communities.”

In the Northwest Territories alone, it is estimated that adapting buildings to accommodate the impact of climate change could cost $230 million, or more than $5,000 for every resident of the jurisdiction1. The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy suggested that the economic impact on Canada could reach $5 billion per year by 2020. However, municipalities that begin assessing their vulnerability to climate-change impacts that are already occurring and develop responses that help protect their citizens, the local environment and the local economy, could help save Canadians billions of dollars.

“SCC is committed to mobilizing the expertise of Canada’s national standardization network to identify solutions that will address the unique vulnerabilities of Canada’s northern infrastructure,” says John Walter, CEO, Standards Council of Canada. “Adapting standards and codes to a northern climate will bring tangible value to the many Canadians that live and work in Canada’s North.”

CSA Group will develop standards in the following areas as part of NISI:

  • Thermosyphon-supported foundations for new buildings in permafrost;
  • Moderating the effects of permafrost degradation on existing buildings;
  • Changing snow loads in the North; and,
  • Community drainage system planning, design and maintenance.

1 Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Climate Change Adaptation

About CSA Group

CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association dedicated to advancing safety, sustainability and social good. We are an internationally-accredited standards development and testing & certification organization. We also provide consumer product evaluation and education & training services. Our broad range of knowledge and expertise includes: industrial equipment, plumbing & construction, electro-medical & healthcare, appliances & gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability. The CSA mark appears on billions of products around the world.

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Anthony Toderian
Manager, Corporate Affairs
CSA Group
[email protected]


November 14, 2012