In previous posts we blogged about falling balcony glass in a number of Toronto condos and the resulting class action lawsuits. The Ontario government announced today that an amendment has been made to the Ontario Building Code relating to the design and installation of glass balcony guards. The new prescribed types of glass are less likely to break due to force or temperature variances. The amendment will apply to buildings for which a building permit is issued on or after July 1, 2012.
The amended requirements are based on recommendations made by the Expert Advisory Panel on Glass Panels, which the provincial government established after the incidents of falling glass started to occur. The Expert Advisory Panel was composed of 25 members from various stakeholder organizations, including engineering consultants, building code consultants, developers, contractors, designers, building inspectors, municipal officials, the insurance sector and codes and standards writing bodies. Further amendments to the Building Code may be forthcoming once the Canadian Standards Association develops a national technical standard for glass panels in balcony guards, which is expected to be released within 24 to 36 months.