TORONTO - Plastics building products suppliers are decrying a change in Ontario's building code that promises to reduce their sales. The provincial government removed full-height basement insulation and exterior basement drainage layer protection from its building code Aug. 20 to trim about C$1,000 (US$730) from the cost of a typical new home. Affected are expanded polystyrene insulation, plastic drainage pipe and products made from other materials.
An ad hoc group of insulation and drainage product manufacturers warned that the change could cost 1,500 jobs, including up to 200 in manufacturing, and lead to higher energy consumption. A spokeswoman for the group said its members are incensed that Ontario removed the requirement before it finished a major review of about 700 building code amendments due to be complete in 18 months.
``The government wants to get rid of red tape but this process is bizarre,'' said Kathleen Greenaway, spokeswoman for the Toronto-based Committee for Sensible Reform of the Ontario Building Code.
One committee member, drain-age pipe producer Big O Inc. of Exeter, Ontario said its investment of C$6 million (US$4.4 million) in plant and equipment is jeopardized by the decision.
The Ontario Home Builders Association has opposed requirements for basement full-height insulation and exterior drainage since before 1993, when a previous government made it part of the code, said spokesman Dave Henderson.
``Our studies showed they were not cost-effective,'' he said.
Greenaway argued the building practices save money, even when their cost is factored into a mortgage.
Henderson said his association does not oppose in principle the use of plastics in construction. Ontario's government is inviting public comment on its proposed 700 building code amendments.