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Building Systems Engineering: Standards & Codes

Information resources for students in Seneca College's Building Systems Engineering Technician and Mechanical Engineering Technology - Building Sciences programs.

What are Standards and Codes?

 "A standard is a document that provides rules,guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results. Most standards aim to achieve an optimum degree of order in a given context. Standards are guidelines that establish accepted practices, technical requirements, and terminologies for diverse field." Standards Council of Canada

What are the various types of standards and the difference between standards and codesImage result for standards codes

Organizations that develop standards are called standards developing organizations (SDOs) or standards setting organizations (SSOs). This includes committees, companies, government, organizations, trade associations and other groups.

Standards apply to everything from Christmas trees to cell phones and children's toys to medical scanners.

Codes are

More information is available from the Government of Canada.

Understanding Standard Names and Numbers

Most standards follow a similar number format.


ABC D123.56-07

  • ABC is the organization that developed the standard
  • D is a broad subject category (not always present)
  • 123.56 is a document/standard number
  • 07 indicates the standard was approved in 2007


CSA C22.1-18

  • CSA=Canadian Standards Association
  • C22.1 Canadian Electrical Code
  • Edition issued in 2018.

You might also see:

ABC D123.56-95 R07 where the 1995 standard was reviewed in 2007 and determined that no changes were needed.

Standards & Codes in Databases

Other Standards & Codes Online at Seneca Libraries

Request Online Access to Standards and Codes

Contact James Buczynski to request a standard or code from Techstreet Enterprise.

Codes Canada Publications - Free Access via NRC Canada

In April 2019, the National Research Council of Canada began offering Codes Canada publications for free. This includes the National Building Code, Fire Code, Energy Code and Plumbing Code. Orders can be placed for downloadable PDFs through their Virtual Store. A registered account is required.

Codes at Seneca Libraries in Print

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