Why do we have to implement ‘Seismic restrain’ now ?
Seismology has evolved considerably in recent decades. The St Lawrence Valley with extensions along the Ottawa River, the Laurentians and the Saguenay happens to be one of the three main areas in Canada where significant earthquakes could occur. In this regard, since over 20 years, the National Building Code requires that non-structural elements found in buildings shall be able to resist to an earthquake of the intensity that could happen in the area where the building is located.
Is it mandatory to do seismic protection on all projects?
While seismic mitigation requirements may not be specifically mentioned on project specifications, all contractors must comply with the seismic mitigation requirements for non-structural elements contained in the Quebec Building Code.
All buildings built under part 1 of the Quebec Construction Code are subject to the seismic protection requirements for non-structural elements contained in section 184.108.40.206 of the Code.
Those requirements do not apply to ‘Farm Buildings’ and also to ‘Houses and Small Buildings’ built under Part 4 of the Quebec Building Code. Note that Part 4 contains some requirements regarding securing against earthquake of gas fired water heaters.
The Code exempts from the application of seismic mitigation measures certain buildings located in area of low seismology such as Abitibi and Nunavut. The exemption test contained in the Code takes into account the location of the project, the type of soil on which the building is constructed and the classification of the building to determine if the building may be exempt from implementation the seismic risk mitigation measures. We invite you to contact us to confirm if your work is subject or not subject to the provisions of the Code concerning seismic protection.
Finally, the seismic risk mitigation requirements apply not only to new buildings but also for building renovations and upgrading.