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Codes & Standards

Material to reference for masonry materials, design, or construction

Whether it be the materials, design, or construction aspect, Canadian codes and standards are available to offer guidance and be used as the standard across the industry.


Collaborating in Standards Development

The Canada Masonry Design Centre participates in the development of CSA standards that influence the masonry industry. In addition, as part of the technical committees, CMDC is able to represent its members by helping to ensure that the standards reflect the needs of our industry as well as consumers and end users of our products and services.

CMDC staff sit on every masonry related technical committee that develops and updates the Canadian codes and standards.

As a major participant, CMDC is able to use that expertise to provide masonry designers and masonry contractors with code and masonry standards interpretation.

CSA Standards

The CSA standards address issues such as design, manufacturing and construction, setting the minimum requirements for quality, safety and performance of building materials, construction methods and structural design. They are developed through a balanced, consensus-based process, where regulators and industry experts volunteer their time, knowledge and experience. The CSA standards are continually maintained to ensure they stay current and technically valid.

The CSA Standards can be divided into three main categories, although there is relevant material to designers in each of these CSA Standards. Click below to jump to the relevant section

We do not sell copies of the CSA Standards directly. However, our engineering textbook does include a physical copy of CSA S304-14: Design of masonry structures.

Design Standards

CSA S304-14 – Design of masonry structures

This Standard provides requirements for the structural design of unreinforced, reinforced, prefabricated masonry structures and components, and prestressed masonry beams, walls, and columns in accordance with the limit states design method of the National Building Code of Canada. In addition, this Standard specifies requirements for the empirical design of unreinforced masonry in Annex F.

CSA A370-14 – Connectors for masonry

This Standard specifies minimum requirements for the design of masonry connectors (ties, anchors, fasteners, and repair connectors) to interconnect the wythes of a masonry wall, attach masonry veneer to its structural backing, and connect masonry walls to intersecting walls or to other structural members.

Construction Standards

CSA A371-14 – Masonry construction for buildings

This Standard states the minimum requirements for masonry materials and masonry construction. It is prescriptive in nature, and it is largely directed toward masonry contractors.

Materials Standards

CSA A82-14 – Fired masonry brick made from clay or shale

This Standard specifies the minimum requirements for brick made from fired clay or shale, to be used as structural and/or facing components in masonry. It provides requirements for testing, freeze-thaw durability, finish, texture, colour, compressive strength, absorption, efflorescence, size, warpage, and out-of-square.

CSA A165 SERIES-14 – CSA Standards on concrete masonry units

This Series consists of three Standards:

(a) CSA A165.1, Concrete block masonry units: covers concrete block masonry units suitable for loadbearing and nonloadbearing applications. It provides minimum requirements for compressive strength, concrete type, moisture content, and other physical properties.

(b) CSA A165.2, Concrete brick masonry units: covers both hollow and solid concrete brick units. The Standard recognizes two grades of units; Grade I (masonry exposed to the weather), and Grade II (for interior applications or masonry not exposure to the weather). It provides minimum requirements for compressive strength, water absorption, and moisture content.

(c) CSA A165.3, Prefaced concrete masonry units: covers concrete masonry units prefaced during manufacturing. It provides requirements for resistance to aging, thermal shock, and freeze-thaw cycling. The requirements for the physical properties of the base unit are covered by CSA A165.1 or CSA A165.2, as applicable.

CSA A179-14 – Mortar and grout for unit masonry

This Standard specifies requirements for mortar (Type S or N) for use in bedding, jointing, and bonding of masonry units; and grout (fine or coarse) for use in filling core, cell, or cavity space in unit masonry construction.

Other Relevant Codes and Standards

CAN/CSA-B354.1-04 (R2011) – Portable Elevating Work Platforms

This Standard provides the minimum requirements for the design, manufacture, remanufacture, rebuild/recondition, testing, performance, inspection, training, maintenance, and safe operation of aerial platforms (elevating work platforms).

CSA S850-12 – Design and assessment of buildings subjected to blast loads

This Standard provides criteria for the analysis, design, and assessment buildings to resist blast loading.

Building Codes

The Canada Masonry Design Centre is active in areas of energy, fire safety, and structural design at the National and the Provincial levels.

National Building Code of Canada

Building designed by Part 4

Any medium or large masonry project, as well as small ones in some circumstances, are required to undergo a structural design that follows Part 4 of the National Building Code of Canada.

This is the default compliance pathway in the NBCC, where meeting Part 9 eligibility requirements can be verified to bypass these more thorough checks.

Part 9 Buildings – Residential

Part 9 of the National Building Code of Canada offers a prescriptive compliance pathway, meant for relatively simple structures where a full structural design outlined in Part 4 is not required.

Structures meeting the scope limitations of Part 9 contain provisions that mimic various CSA Standards such as Type N mortar proportion mix design, or cold weather protection requirements for example.

The material standards including for concrete block or clay brick are also referenced by Part 9.

Designing in accordance with Part 9 does not necessarily require the use of CSA S304-14: Design of masonry structures, however there may be aspect of the project that fall beyond what is covered by Part 9 that may require that a structural engineer be retained. Not all residential projects with within Part 9.

Get in touch with our team

The Canada Masonry Design Centre helps members of the design community across the country by connecting them to the resources and supports they need. Contact us today and get the conversation started!

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