Wood Construction and NBC Part 9 for Housing and Small Buildings


Part 9 of the National Building code is a set of primarily prescriptive requirements covering the design of residential, business, personal service, mercantile and some industrial buildings, 3 stories or less in building height and 600 m2 or less in building area. A large portion of buildings that fall under Part 9 are built primarily with wood construction and the foundation and framing can be selected directly out of Part 9 without the assistance of a structural engineer. However, many people who design and build houses that fall under Part 9 of NBC, have very little knowledge of the code. If you are involved with the design and construction of small wood structures or residences, you will find this course particularly helpful.


  • To provide some background on Part 9 of the National Building Code
  • To review the areas of wood frame construction that fall under Part 9 of the NBC
  • To review some of the areas of wood frame construction that require an engineer
  • To familiarize participants with the selection tables within NBC Part 9
  • To understand the paperwork and inspections that may be required when an engineer is involved in a Part 9 building
    • NS Building Code Act
    • A-3 Letter of Undertaking
    • A-11 Field Review of Construction

Who Should Attend

Architects; designers; architectural or civil technicians and technologists; general contractors; building inspectors, and others who work, design, or build in the field of wood frame construction for housing and small buildings.

Benefits to Participants

  • Better understand when your wood residence or small building requires a structural engineer, and when you can size framing members yourself;
  • Learn how to size and specify wood construction using NBC Part 9;
  • Go through design examples

Reminder: Please bring a calculator. If you have a copy part 9 of the Building Code or the NBC Illustrated User’s Guide, please bring it. 


Andrea Doncaster, LEED AP, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., is an Engineer in Residence, teaching part-time in the Civil Engineering Department at Dalhousie University, and principal of Andrea Doncaster Engineering. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the province of Nova Scotia, and has worked in structural consulting for 20 years, including 12 years at BMR Structural Engineering.  Her experience includes the design and analysis of buildings constructed of steel, concrete, masonry and timber. She holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering Co-op degree and a Master of Applied Science degree from the Technical University of Nova Scotia, and is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional. Ms. Doncaster has been teaching for Continuing Technical Education at Dalhousie since 2001.