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Certification

Posted: 
November 13, 2015

Regardless of how or where a building is constructed, the authority having jurisdiction (e.g. the municipality) where the building will be located has a mandate to confirm that the building is built to code requirements. A certification label, indicating compliance with Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards, is the building inspector’s assurance that the factory-constructed parts of the building meet local requirements.

Code References to Z240 MH Series Manufactured Homes

Some building codes state that homes constructed in compliance with Z240 MH Series are “exempt” from the code. In effect, this means that homes constructed to the standard are deemed to comply with the code. Local authorities rely on the Z240 MH label to confirm acceptability.

In addition to provincial/territorial/municipal building code requirements, there are three CSA standards that apply primarily to factory-constructed buildings in Canada:

• CSA A277, Procedure for Certification of Prefabricated Buildings, Modules and Panels
• CSA Z240 MH Series, Manufactured Homes
• CSA Z240.10.1, Site Preparation, Foundation and Installation of Manufactured Homes

At the time of publication, CSA Z240.10.1 is referenced in the model National Building Code of Canada, and in all provincial/territorial/municipal codes that address housing. CSA A277 is referenced for compliance in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Yukon. The CSA Z240 MH Series of Standards is referenced for compliance in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Yukon, with limitations on its use in Manitoba and Ontario.

CSA A277, Procedure for Certification of Prefabricated Buildings, Modules and Panels

The CSA A277 Standard is a factory certification procedure. It defines the quality-control procedures and staff that a plant must have in place to ensure that the products are built properly and in accordance with the relevant standards and codes. The A277 Standard is not unlike the ISO-9000 standard in that it deals with the concept of “total quality” throughout the manufacturing process, not just the final product. The 2016 edition of the A277 Standard covers the procedure for certification of prefabricated buildings, modules and panels, providing for the certification of the plant quality program and the product built, auditing of the plant quality program, and in-plant inspection of the product built. The A277 Standard does not cover those portions of structures, components or services that are not factory-installed, nor subsequent transport and installation at the site.

CSA Z240 MH, Manufactured Homes

The CSA Z240 MH Series Standard sets out requirements for the construction of manufactured homes specifically, related to structure, building envelope, plumbing, electrical and heating service, energy efficiency and vehicular requirements for running gear.

CSA Z240.10.1, Site Preparation, Foundation and Installation of Manufactured Homes

CSA Z240.10.1, Site Preparation, Foundation and Installation of Manufactured Homes details the construction of surface-mount foundations and the installation of the home. The standard is applicable to any home that is built on soil that is not frost-susceptible, or that incorporates an integrated frame providing sufficient rigidity to protect the home from damage due to minor movements in the foundation.

Building Labelling

As part of the CSA A277 Standard, all new factory-certified buildings must be labelled before they leave the factory, in a clearly visible manner.

The label plays a key role in the municipal building inspection. It signifies to the inspector that the factory-completed parts of the building are built in accordance with the appropriate code and standards, and that only the work done on-site requires inspection.

A certification label is affixed permanently to the building, often on the electrical panel. Homes built to the CSA Z240 MH Series standard carry a Z240 label; all other factory produced buildings use an A277 label. Manufacturers buy the labels directly from an accredited certification agency. A special label has been developed for members of the Canadian Manufactured Housing Institute which incorporates the CMHI name.

A specification sheet, also sometimes referred to as a specification name plate, accompanies the label. The specification sheet lists the manufacturer and the model and serial number of the home along with the label number. It includes information on the factory-installed appliances and on aspects of construction such as insulation specifications, and snow load and wind pressure capacity.

The information provided on the specification sheet is particularly helpful in the event that a building is moved from one location to another. While the model National Building Code of Canada includes clarification that it is not intended that local jurisdictions apply the provisions of the current model NBC when an existing building built to a previous code is relocated, the NBC states that relocation to an area with different wind, snow or earthquake loads will require the application of current code requirements to ensure a minimum acceptable level of safety. A comparison of the specifications with local loads can help local officials determine if structural upgrading is required to meet geographic requirements.