First of Four New CSA Group Standards Addressing Climate Change Impact on Infrastructure in Canada’s Far North Now Available For Online Public Review

CSA Group, a leading provider of standards development, today announces that the first of four new standards to help address the impact of climate change in Northern Canada as part of the Standards Council of Canada’s Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative (NISI) is available for a 60-day public review online. The draft Buildings in Permafrost Supported on Thermosyphon Foundations standard is available for public and stakeholder feedback by visiting http://publicreview.csa.ca

Northern infrastructure is highly vulnerable to global climate change 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. To help address this issue, CSA Group announced in November 2012 that it had been selected by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to develop four new standards as part of NISI, a joint project being led by SCC with support from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). NISI 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.

Thermosyphons are used to exchange heat from liquids without a pump. In Canada’s far North, it is used as a means of stabilizing foundations built on permafrost. Man-made heated structures built on permafrost without mitigative systems such as thermosyphons have the potential to degrade the permafrost and destabilize the ground/foundation under a structure. Ground cooling using a thermosyphon system is often used solution to mitigate the effects of thermal disturbance as it transfers heat from the ground to the air when appropriate temperature differentials prevail. A thermosyphon is a passive system, which means there are no mechanical moving parts.

This draft Buildings in Permafrost Supported on Thermosyphon Foundationsstandard is designed to provide requirements for all lifecycle phases of thermosyphon foundations for new buildings in permafrost, including site characterization, design, installation, and commissioning phases as well as for monitoring and maintenance. This standard is meant to ensure the long-term performance of thermosyphon-supported foundation systems under changing environmental conditions.

The other three standards in development by CSA Group as part of NISI include:

  • Moderating the effects of permafrost degradation on existing buildings;
  • Changing snow loads in the North; and,
  • Community drainage system planning, design and maintenance in northern communities

The standards developed as a result of this initiative will not only address current built infrastructure challenges, but will also contribute to reinforcing the fabric and quality of life in Canada’s North.

CSA Group procedures require that a standard be made available for a 60-day public review to permit individuals and organizations materially affected to have an opportunity to participate in its development. This helps ensure the standard reflects the consensus of opinion of experts and interested parties. Upon consideration of the feedback, decisions will be made on which changes are required, if any, before the standard is approved by CSA Group’s Northern Built Infrastructure (NBI) technical committee and then submitted to the SCC. CSA Group appreciates and welcomes the involvement and feedback of affected individuals, organizations and stakeholders.

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.


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


October 30, 2013