As of April 1, 2014, the City of Lacombe will no longer be able to offer an exemption under the Alberta Building Code as it relates to residential construction standards for developments on side yards. An exemption, based on fire department notification and scene response times, previously enabled residential construction to have a lower standard as it relates to construction material and windows. The removal of the exemption will require a number of changes for residential development within the community.
Please be advised that previous communication identified the setback distance for unprotected windows as 2 metres. Superior Safety Codes has now clarified that this distance is actually 2.4m from the side property line.
To determine if your project is affected by the new requirements the first step is to determine what side yard setback you wish to use.
If your project will have a side yard less than 2.4 metres (the distance from the side property line to the nearest side of your building), than aspects of your project will be affected:
- Between 0 – 2m, increased fire rating of the side walls, through the use of specific construction materials, is required
- Between 0 – 2.4m, windows are not allowed unless they are protected (through sprinklering or through alternative means which meet the code requirements).
Unprotected openings (windows/doors) less than 2.4 m from the property line must be protected. Engineered stamped Spinkler drawings are required and a letter of verification from the engineer is required after installation and prior to occupancy.
Please note that development on all parcels that were registered prior to December 31, 2010 are permitted to have side windows without sprinklers until December 31, 2014. This is a province wide exemption. After December 31, 2014 development on all parcels within Lacombe will be required to fully meet the improved construction standards, as set out in Section 188.8.131.52(1) of the Alberta Building Code.
If you have any questions on the changes being implemented, please do not hesitate to contact the planning and Development Department at 403 782 6666.