Appendix O
National Building Code Data Matrix


The purpose of the matrix is to provide a standardized system for including building code-related data on a set of drawings that are submitted for building permit application. Numbers in the matrix are the relevant National Building Code (NBC) references. The matrix may be modified to suit the references in various provincial building codes. The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) has a similar matrix available to be used with the Ontario Building Code. The use of a building code data matrix in Ontario is mandatory as it is included by reference in the Architects Act.

It is important to put this matrix in a prominent location on the drawings which will:

  • expedite the building official’s review of the application;
  • inform others (contractors, trades, consultants, etc.) about applicable NBC-related issues.

Additional information such as exiting widths and routes, fire separations and other data is generally shown on separate drawings, as necessary.


  1. Establish a system in your practice that facilitates retrieval of the information to be shown on the application for building permit.
  2. Ascertain this information through a code analysis in the early design stages of a project and reconfirm it throughout the design development and construction documents (drawing) stages.
  3. Consider using the NBC Data Matrix as a standard format which can be adapted as required to meet the specific requirements of each project. It may be preferable to provide more than one matrix for complex projects (for example: underground parking garage – Part 3, townhouses – Part 9, on same site).
  4. Assign a location for the NBC Data Matrix on the drawings as an office standard (one of the first or top drawing sheets is best). Where drawing sets are split for review by different plans examiners, it is beneficial to include the data matrix on more than one sheet. This may occur where the building shell and the interior fit out drawings are reviewed by different plans examiners.
  5. Add exit capacity calculations confirming that exit capacity exceeds occupant load on the same drawing sheet as the NBC Data Matrix, or separately, as appropriate. Always verify reference numbers against the latest NBC revisions.
  6. Coordinate with structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering consultants and share data with them based on your code analysis.
  7. Instruct them to include NBC-related data pertinent to their disciplines on their drawings. The building code data should be:
  • prepared specifically for the project;
  • in a similar format;
  • in accordance with the standards of their profession.

If the NBC Data Matrix is included in a project manual (rather than on the drawings), ensure that building name and address, project number and date of issuance are inserted at the top of the matrix.

Completing the Matrix

The matrix presents elements selected from the detailed code analysis and provides a quick overview to the municipal building officials of the key NBC factors governing the design of the project.