January 15, 2019

CAN/CSA-A660 for pre-engineered fabric covered buildings—It’s not optional

Manufacturers of steel building systems who are not certified to the CSA A660 standard are guilty of an offence under the Safety Codes Act and subject to enforcement and penalties. Penalties for an offence include a maximum of $100,000 for a first offence to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months and a maximum of $500,000 for a second offence to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months. Other responsible persons such as owners, professionals, designers, vendors and contractors may also be subject to the same enforcement and penalties”

A660-10—the Standard[2]

Fabric covered steel framed buildings are required to meet the CSA A660 standard, which has been part of the National Building Code Section for some time and adopted by virtually every province and Territory in Canada.

The Standard is intended to assist code enforcement officials and purchasers of steel building systems in determining the suitability and quality of steel buildings. Because the manufacturer of these buildings is often remote from the building site and buildings are frequently sold through a dealer or contractor, and because local code enforcement officials may lack the capability to check the structural analysis of a building, problems may occur in determining the acceptability of such structures.

This Standard requires that the manufacturer’s production facilities, staff, and quality assurance systems be capable of reliably producing acceptable steel buildings. To ensure that these design and production capabilities are met and maintained, the Standard requires a manufacturing facility to be certified by a certification agency. In turn, the manufacturer certifies each building for a specific location by means of a Certificate of Design and Manufacturing Conformance, signed and sealed by a qualified professional engineer. This certificate lists key design criteria for review by code enforcement officials.

A Checklist

Just because a drawing is signed and sealed by a Professional Engineer does not necessarily imply or confirm compliance. Following is a short but useful checklist to aid Building Officials and buyers.

  1. Is CSA A-660 certification or compliance noted on the drawings?
  2. Does a ‘Certificate of Design and Manufacturing Conformance’ accompany the building drawings?
  3. Is the Certificate signed and sealed by an Engineer licensed to practice in the Province or Territory?
  4. Search the CWB Certification database[3]  to confirm current registration of the manufacturer as a compliant manufacturer: https://www.cwbgroup.org/services/certified-directory-search/companies

Dirk M Kerkhoff is President of BuildWorks Construction Inc., and Authorized Dealer-Builder of MegaDome®[4] pre-engineered fabric covered structures since 1999.

MegaDome® is a product and trademark of Harnois Industries Ltd.[5]

[1] STANDATA Municipal Affairs, Alberta Building Code Bulletin 14-BCB-001 May 2016
[2] CSA Group publications A660 (R2014).
[3] Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) (CWB) Certified Directory
[4] MegaDome  by BuildWorks pre-engineered fabric covered structures
[5] Harnois Industries and MegaDome

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